Photographer Laura Babahekian Talks About Her Connection with the Ocean
We met Laura while competing in the Nirvana Oceanquest competition in San Andres, Colombia. Her images were mesmerizing, truly capturing the spirit and atmosphere of the competition. In her own words below, you can follow her journey from leaving her native Argentina to becoming a freediving photographer.
I have connected with the sea since I was a child. I have always felt connected with nature. After starting my career in visual arts in Argentina, along with a bit of diving, the search for adventure took me to the ocean one time more and I decided to leave my country, my routine, and belongings. I just packed my small camera with a simple housing and I went traveling around Asia and Oceania for 4½ years. I tried to always be in touch with local communities, their customs, wildlife and the ocean. I was trying to learn and to understand their lives, and the world with a new perspective.
I've been scuba diving for many years, but in my free time I began to experiment with just my mask and the sea. I began to feel a connection with the ocean, the same connection I felt when I was a child and played in the sea. I started to bring my camera with me, so I could look at the ocean from other perspectives and to play around a bit with natural lights. And with only one breath I began to experience another type of diving. I felt one with the ocean. At a certain point, I realized that I needed more training to enjoy and get better at what I was doing. I decided to start learning and practicing freediving thanks to the advice of a freediver friend.
I can spend hours in the ocean, just mesmerized by the water, watching the lights, the movement of the water, and all the creatures living in the depths below. I recently spent a few weeks training to be ready to cover the photos for the apnea competition in San Andres, Colombia. It was a very exiting challenge for me.
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