Underwater Apnea Photography
Alone in the ocean.
Relaxing , forgetting breathing.
The body completely melting with the sea water.
Calm movements in the weightlessness.
I remember the ego doesn't exist.
I remember the our link with the macrocosm.
I was elected TOP 20 finalists.
私は、 TOP 20 finalists に選ばれました。
2017年の Review Santa Fe に参加しました。
I took part in the "Review Santa Fe" in 2017.
Kauri me te tohorā
From New Zealand
"The story of the whale and the kauri places trees and whales in their environments. The tohorā asked the kauri to return with him to the sea, but the kauri preferred the land. Tohorā then suggested they exchange skins, which they did. This is why the bark of the kauri is so thin, and as full of resin as the whale is of oil."
I dived a lot during the stay and was connected to the Ocean. The act is meditation, a means to feel the sublime world. People who lived with the sea and worshiped nature were "Homo Delphinus”.
I could not shoot underwater portraits but I found it in myth of Māori.
I dive into Mother Ocean with old legend. And I shooting the spirit and returned to this world.
This time, I was forced to go back in the middle of artwork due to "COVID-19" which spread all over the world. I was very sorry, but I could meet wonderful nature, rich Ocean and nice people. I want to visit this "under the Ocean" again.
"Message from Homo Delphinus"
I always dive in the sea in front of my house.
And here is the sea where Jacques Mayol (1) of the legendary free diver who was advocating Homo Delphinus(2) dove.
He was a diver who loved this sea, he dove here and spent his time with friends.
I couldn't meet him in his time.
But, I would like to feel the same spirit he had by diving the same sea where he loved to dive.
I invited some outstanding free divers to this sea.
Then, I let them sit on a chair sunk at the bottom of the sea and I took the pictures with the tripod.
Excellent free diver can dive deep and deeper by apnea using the diving reflex. They can stay at the bottom the ocean for a long time.
However, we can not beat marine animals such as dolphins and whales.
We human respect them and we learn the swimming method and being a part of the mother nature.
My friends of free diver have responded to my instructions pleasantly for this project.
They accommodated the slow shutter speed and they stayed still for a long time without wearing diving mask in the deep water.
This is "Underwater Portrait “ taken at "Underwater Photography Studio(3).
The divers who felt the diving reflex became Homo Delphinus, they send us the message from the bottom of the ocean.
I asked them five short questions(4). The answers from them will make the message we receive deeper.
Underwater Apnea Photographer
(1) Jacques Mayol-(1 April 1927 – 22 December 2001) was a French diving legend and the holder of many world records in free diving.
 The 1988 film The Big Blue, directed by Luc Besson was inspired by his life story and that of his friend, Enzo Maiorca.
Mayol was one of the screenwriters and authored the book Homo Delphinus: the Dolphin Within Man of his philosophy about humans having aquatic origins.
(2) Homo Delphinus-Homo Delphinus is a term created by Jacques Mayol himself which is also the title of his book.
The term is combined “Homo Sapiens,” the scientific name for modern human and “Delphinus Delphis, the scientific name for dolphin.
Mayol said, “If human were getting a bit of inspiration from dolphin, the world would be more peaceful.”
(3) Underwater Photography Studio-I named the place I invited free divers, Underwater Photography Studio – 12.”
There are only a chair and a tripod stand for camera and photo shooting. Since there is no wall or boundary, it is the largest photo shooting studio on earth.
(4) Five short questions-1)How deep underwater have you dived in one breath? 2)What has been the longest you hold your breath underwater?
3)How did you feel when you first dived? 4)How do you want your last dive to be? 5)How did you feel and what did you see when you were underwater?
I am a photographer and free diver who has been mesmerized by the magic of the ocean. I shoot the surface layer, the scenery, and the living creatures of the ocean. I believe that taking photography by free diving is more important than taking it by scuba diving.My spirit and body becomes “leveled” and utilizing the diving reflex stage, I can go into a meditating stage and it looks like I am practicing Zen. From this learning I have started this program “Underwater Zen” and I have been shooting divers and myself in a diver reflex stage.
Diver reflex stage is, when a person dives, a certain body reaction occurs. His erasion veins contracts and circulates blood to the heart, lungs and brain; and at the same time, a reflex called underwater slow pulse occurs, and the pulse beat becomes calmer and calmer as the diver goes deeper and deeper into the ocean. In this stage, motor and brain activity are inhibited, and the diver is in a state of meditation. During this time, I shoot my mental picture and other divers who are in a state of Zen with natural lighting in the dark ocean and have compiled this as my work.
Being in the diver reflex stage, I can be one with this gigantic ocean, and I can see people in a noble state, and shoot sceneries of mental pictures in the deep ocean. This is my production underwater, which I call “Underwater Zen”.
By diving with out breathing, you can be very close to the ocean and the ocean species; and it is an act to understand our Mother sea.
While I take photography, There is no boundary between diver and me.
Then, the brain activity is suppressed, it makes no judgment whether yes or no.
That is "enlightenment" in Zen that is Buddhism.
The way I take my photos…
I paddle offshore with my kayak and camera.
Jump into the ocean to make my body float and my soul blend in the ocean.
Surrounded by mother nature I take photos with purified mind.
Makoto Kubo (b.1964,Japan)（ currently resides in Chiba )
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kyoto University of Art and Design, 2011
Graduated from photographer Shin Suzuki PRO photo class, 2011
Graduated from PHat PHOTO photo class, 2010
epSITE public elected solo exhibition, Shinjuku Tokyo, May 2018
Mt.Rokko International Photo Festival Group Exhibitions, July 2017
“Ocean and prayer” solo exhibition, outdoor exhibition at Okinoshima beach, Tateyama, Chiba August 2012
“Ama diver at Satori” solo exhibition, at Ama divers’ festival in Shirahama, Minami Boso, Chiba July 2012
“Free diving photography” solo exhibition, one man show in Tateyama, Chiba, January 2011
“Free diving photography” epSITE public elected solo exhibition, Shinjuku Tokyo, January 2011
Fraction Magazine, http://www.fractionmagazine.com/makoto-kubo
Voice Japan, http://www.voicexjapan.com/showcase/examples/allindex/171.html
Takaki Fujii “Photo Technique Digital Magazine” August issue, Vol31, August 2010, p.18-23
Texts＆Photo work featured:
”Underwater in Minami Boso”,Asahi Camera Magazine, Vol.97, May 2012, p.108-109
FOCUS Photo L. A. finalistTop 20 Summer 2018, http://www.focusphotola.com/past-competitions#/summer-2018/