2nd Place Underwater Art Ocean Art 2020 Justin Lutsky

2nd Place Underwater Art

Justin Lutsky

"Drowning in Plastic"


Justin Lutsky won a gift certificate from Bluewater Photo and Bluewater Travel.



The Story: This image was created in collaboration with model Linnea Snyderman, designer Deborah Lindquist and Kolossal.org as part of an "Act On Plastic" media campaign. The concept was to visualize the idea that the ocean is choking on plastic waste. Deborah designed custom wardrobe for Linnea made entirely out of plastic and we built an underwater set with chain-link fence and other plastic waste to surround her. The image is meant to convey a sense of urgent desperation with Linnea center frame, trapped underwater by chain-link and drowning in a sea of plastic waste.

The chain-link set itself was prepared and dressed above water, then sunk in the pool and suspended by rigging from above. A large, black water solid was used as a backdrop. Underwater strobes were all triggered optically and above water strobes were triggered via radio transmitter. A 20x20 silk was also stretched across the entire pool to soften the natural sunlight and provide general fill.

To capture the shot, Linnea and I would both descend on breath hold together. Linnea would try different poses each time and we'd capture a series of images. Ultimately, we chose this image as a final selection, where Linnea's underwater scream created added texture and emotion of air escaping from her mouth.

Location:  California, USA

Equipment Used: Sony A7R III, Sony 12-24mm Lens, Nauticam Housing, Zen 230mm Glass Dome, Sea & Sea YS-D2J Strobes, Godox AD-200 Studio Strobes

Camera Settings: 1/200, F5, ISO 100


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