Papua New Guinea
Coral reefs are among the most diverse and productive ecosystems on the planet. They shelter and provide food to the denizens of the deep, and also generously feed and support us, humans. We, in turn, have adopted lifestyles that endanger their very existence. We pollute, over-fish, and release gases into the atmosphere that are warming the oceans to temperatures corals will not be able to tolerate. Despite the global decline trajectory of many coral reefs and mass bleaching events, some coral reefs in the world are more resistant and resilient. This project illustrates the thriving reefs of Papua New Guinea.
In many cases, underwater photographers are drawn to fish and other big animals due to their interesting behavior, abundance, brilliant coloration, or sheer size. In this portfolio, my intention was to bring into the spotlight the backbone of the fascinating underwater tropical world: stony corals. They are the engineers, architects, and the artists that build and maintain the complex reef structures, and breathe life into them.
In this project, a series of wide angle photos convey the scale of a coral reef habitat, which, together with close-ups of stony corals, draws a complete picture of their beauty embodied in an endless variety of shapes, patterns, and colors.