1st Place Underwater Conversation Ocean Art 2020 Christophe Chellapermal

1st Place Underwater Conservation

Christophe Chellapermal

"French Riviera Corona Mask"


Christophe Chellapermal won a YS-D3 Strobe from Sea & Sea



The Story: This picture was taken in Antibes on the French Riviera in the summer of 2020.  Every week, activist Laurent Lombard with the NGO ‘Operation Mer Propre’ organizes meetings with local environmentalists in an effort to clean up the coast. Many people don’t realize that the Mediterranean is tragically one of the most polluted seas, where plastic waste drifting and breaking down into micro plastic has sadly become the norm.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I believed we were living in a world where youth like Greta Thunberg were illuminating that the fact that they were left with the burden of the environmental damage that preceding generations had created.  Just at the moment when a movement was galvanizing to take action, COVID-19 hit and many people’s priorities shifted.  Sadly, these masks, a symbol of our irreverence for the environment, will be left in the ocean long after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, further damaging an already fragile environment resulting in an even heavier burden on the next generation.  

When I captured this photo, I wanted to represent that the simplest of actions, like ignorantly discarding a mask, are resulting in further devastation just under the surface.  Similarly, the simplest of actions are required to help amend our failures.  I invite everyone seeing this picture to be inspired to take initiative, however they can, to be conscious of the actions they are taking.  

Location:   La Sallis, Antibes, France

Equipment Used: Nikon D500 Camera, Nikon 12-24mm Lens, Nauticam Housing, Howshot 230mm Glass Dome Port, Dual Inon Z240 Strobes

Camera Settings: 1/60, F5, ISO 250


Back to Ocean Art Winners Page