Fine Art Underwater Photographer Steve Richard

In episode twenty seven host Brett Stanley is talking with Fine Art Photographer Steve Richard. Steve has an amazing take on underwater photography, his approach is quite unique and results in a beautiful painterly feel to his images.

They chat about building a personal dogma to help find your artistic voice, and how people can approach work in very different ways. Oh, and Steve is a demon with the delete button!

Follow: Website, Facebook

Discuss the episode in our facebook group.

Donate to the podcast.



About Steve Richard – Fine Art Underwater Photographer

Steve Richard has been plying his trade in the mysterious photographic arts for well over a quarter of a century. Steve is both a stills photographer and a cinematographer, thus bringing an unerring sense of style and composition to all of his work. Steve’s visuals capture the imagination, challenge preconceptions, and merge a classical ethos with urban grit and 21st Century techno-savvy.   

Born and raised in a small town in Eastern Canada, Steve took his first photograph at the age of 12, over 40 years ago. Much of the early years were spent developing his craft while working in the various commercial facets of the photography trade. During this time he developed a significant love hate relationship with photography, and actually gave up shooting a number of times. During these down times he has worked as full time musician touring across Canada, a recording studio engineer, a fiber optic network designer, a teacher at Dalhousie University, a cinematographer, and has developed the necessary skills to produce a fine bowl of Tom Ka Guy soup.

His passion for photography developed into a full obsession about 20 years ago when he decided to only shoot the subjects that would interpret his view of the world. For the most part this meant a combination of beauty mixed with a bit of darkness.   Although fully digital Steve still creates his work as if he was shooting film and does everything “in camera” with little or no post production.   His approach to creating art is more from the perspective of a sculptor than a photographer, spending hours making small changes in light and body line until the final image is perfect.   Steve spends most of his time shooting dance, bodies in motion and teaching the art of light, language and line.



Podcast Transcript

Ep 27 – Steve Richard

Brett Stanley: [00:00:00] Welcome back to the underwater podcast. And this week, we’re learning how to let go of our work with Steve Richard. Steve has an amazing take on underwater photography. His approach is quite unique and results in a beautiful painterly feel to his images. We chat about building a personal dogma to help find your artistic voice and how people can approach work in very different ways.

Oh, and Steve is a demon with a delete button. All right. Let’s dive in. Or in Steve’s case, just stay dry.  Steve, welcome to the underwater podcast.

Steve Richard: [00:00:31] Oh, thanks. Uh, I’m really happy to be here.

Brett Stanley: [00:00:33] It’s great to have you here. And now you’re in, um, Eastern Canada. Where, where exactly are

Steve Richard: [00:00:38] so I’m in a city called Halifax. It’s in Nova Scotia. So it is on the East coast. Um, and it’s, it’s basically North, North, East of Maine for any, uh, anybody in the U S. And, uh, and basically quite far West of, uh, the UK kind of a wet, wet journey to get here. If you don’t have a plane or a book.

Brett Stanley: [00:00:59] Is it actually part of Canada or is it,

Steve Richard: [00:01:01] Yeah, Robinson, Canada.

So, uh, it’s uh, it’s not quite, there’s, there’s one more province. Uh, that’s North and further East is Newfoundland and, um, but, uh, Nova Scotia is basically right on the coast. So our coastline is the Atlantic ocean.

Brett Stanley: [00:01:17] Right. So you’re kind of out in the sticks a little bit. I mean,

Steve Richard: [00:01:22] Yeah, well, it depends. Yeah. So I probably, I live in a city that’s, you know, it’s kind of a, it’s called Metro. There’s three cities combined, maybe 400, 450,000 people, which is, you know, in some places that’s a town. And, uh, and so for, yeah, it’s kind of a smaller. It’s, it’s not for us. It’s not the sticks, but it certainly is a smaller lifestyle if you wish, you know, much smaller than Toronto, but certainly much bigger than, than other, you know, other cities.

So I think, I think you’re from you’re from, is it New Zealand,

Brett Stanley: [00:01:57] Well, originally I’m from Australia, so I

grew up in Sydney.

Steve Richard: [00:01:59] Australia? Sorry. Okay. Sorry. Yeah.

Brett Stanley: [00:02:01] Is that where you grew up?

Steve Richard: [00:02:02] well, I grew up in the, uh, the next province over called new Brunswick, which is a bit smaller as far as population. Um, and, but I I’ve lived in Nova Scotia, uh, you know, uh, a few times, and I actually lived in the Caribbean for almost six years too. I lived in The Bahamas for, for awhile.

Brett Stanley: [00:02:19] Oh, wow. That’s, that’s kind of the opposite, I guess.

Steve Richard: [00:02:23] it certainly is in many, many ways, many, many ways.

Yeah.

Brett Stanley: [00:02:26] So how did you find yourself in The Bahamas?

Steve Richard: [00:02:29] Uh, Uh, well, initially, it was wonderful. Um, mostly because of the weather was incredible and the access to just incredible, clear, beautiful water. Uh, you know, I mean, I, I did my, my, uh, scuba training in new Brunswick and I think we did our open water testing in January.

And in this body of water called the pay a fun day. And, and, uh, you know, I didn’t have a dry suit. I had a 10 mil wetsuit and I thought I was going to die. Um, Um, you know, and so it was interesting though, you know, the first time I drove in The Bahamas, I just couldn’t believe that I could see past my, you know, my elbow and, and that I wasn’t freezing to death.

And it was, so it was, yeah, it was amazing for. For underwater photography, without question, it was just such a change. Um, and, and for many things, it was a change, but, but it is very much the item life. And I, and I don’t know at the end of the day, whether I’m an Island life type of person,

so I found it a bit difficult after a while.

Yeah.

Brett Stanley: [00:03:32] It is a very different lifestyle and different pace of life, I think. And I think for me, like I like it in small, small doses. I think, I don’t think I could do it permanently.

Steve Richard: [00:03:42] Yeah, once again, ups and downs. it’s not like I have a negative you’ve experienced this stress, you know, after a while it really wasn’t for it. Wasn’t for me. And, and I, and I guess the other thing is I I’m, I’m a, you know, I’m a, really a wimp when it comes to, I hate being cold and I hate being hot.

So, uh, yeah, it’s definitely hot. uh,

Brett Stanley: [00:04:03] So let’s take it back a little bit. I think I’ve jumped the gun a little. We’ll be taking you to The Bahamas, but how did you get into underwater photography? Was it something that you had planned? Was it something you thought of as a younger person or was it,

Steve Richard: [00:04:16]   wow. Well, I was living in new Brunswick and I, I think I, uh, started experiment a little bit in pools and, and, um, With a housing. It was a  housing for DSLR or not DSLR.

SLR. Of course this was way back

Brett Stanley: [00:04:31] I was still in film days.

Steve Richard: [00:04:32] still, yeah, it’s still in the film base. And, um, um, and what, maybe a step back a bit. So yeah, I’ve been, you know, I’m what you call old. And I started in, started shooting around 1973. So, um, so I’ve been in the game a little bit of time, but I started in pools with an Isolite housing.

I used like light housing that I, that I bought and, and it was really just couldn’t get over. How maybe a theorial and everything seemed under water, how different everything seemed. And that’s, what’s sparked me to do my diving certification. So I signed up and, you know, when started buying used gear and, you know, did the classes and did the training and the bull training and, and did all my, um, you know, open water certifications. Yeah. And then realized, you know, it certainly where I lived at the time that you know, is probably the worst environment ever to, to do under water photography. You know, I don’t it’s, it’s the, well the, where,  where, so we dove in the ocean, so it never really, I don’t know if you, do you want to talk in Senegal or in Fahrenheit?

Brett Stanley: [00:05:38] you’re comfortable with. We have people all over the world.

Steve Richard: [00:05:40] Okay. So, so usually, yeah, yeah. You know, the, the temperatures are, are not much above zero centigrade and, You know, five or seven degrees. Um, so it’s, it’s, you know, it’s a saltwater, uh, so it doesn’t get it, doesn’t ice over, but it’s, it’s cold. So you’re usually wearing a 10 mil wetsuit or a dry suit.

And, um, and even in the, even in the summer where you’re diving in the ocean, it’s still fairly cool there. Um, and, and once again, being a wimp, I would, I couldn’t afford a dry suit at the time. So I just had. I had a 10 mil wetsuit. That was not quite my exact size. So there was always these little pockets of freezing cold water sneaking in,

Brett Stanley: [00:06:21] the dribble the dribble down the back of the neck

Steve Richard: [00:06:23] Neck.

Yeah. And under the arms and, and, um, but you know, you’ve got the, the, the, the whole head, you know, the head trout on that, squeezing your face to death. And, um, so it’s not a really pleasant experience as far as comfort, but what was really annoying was the visibility’s not great. Uh, you know, at the best of times, so, you know, you’re, you’re, it’s really a difficult, challenging environment to, to photograph.

And, and I, I like anybody who can, can produce decent underwater photos and in that environment, you know, wow. Kudos to them. That’s fantastic. It was, it was mostly beyond my capability.

Brett Stanley: [00:06:59] And w what were you shooting? Was the, did you had, you started down the fine art kind of route, or you

just doing like dye photography?

Steve Richard: [00:07:06] I was fine art, but I hadn’t, I hadn’t moved to find out underwater at that point. I was still way too way too, uh, early in the learning curve, you know, so some of the pool stuff, I was starting to experiment with the SN and figuring that. But it really wasn’t until I moved to The Bahamas and then experienced this, this, you know, incredible change in water and also in The Bahamas where I lived, I had access to a pool every day.

Um, you know, nice and well maintained. So it really clear water and it could do quite a bit of experimenting and learning. Yeah.

Brett Stanley: [00:07:40] And would that pool was in Nova Scotia or in

Steve Richard: [00:07:42] No in the bomb is yeah, no. So, so, so basically, you know, I, didn’t do a lot of underwater photography or it’s not successful underwater photography and in Canada, and I think it was 1992, maybe two 90, one 92 that I moved to the bombs.

And that’s when I really started, uh, you know, a much better journey towards, uh, fine arts underwater stuff.

Brett Stanley: [00:08:05] So what took you to The Bahamas? Was it a photography decision or was it

Steve Richard: [00:08:08] there’s many decisions to, um, but, but it was just wanting for the most part, my wife and I wanted to just try, try them in a warmer place

Brett Stanley: [00:08:17] Right? It was a lifestyle choice.

Steve Richard: [00:08:19] Yeah. It was a lifestyle choice. Um, yeah.

Brett Stanley: [00:08:21] Whereabouts did you end up?

Steve Richard: [00:08:23] We were in Nassau. Yeah. And ironically enough, we lived on paradise Island, you know, so you know, which, which is much different now than it was back then.

But, uh, but it was quite a pleasant place to live for the most part,

you know?

Brett Stanley: [00:08:38] And so then how did you end up, uh, kind of using that crystal clear water that’s down there or, I mean, that’s a bit of a playground really? Isn’t it?

Steve Richard: [00:08:45] It was in fact. Um, so I, and I ended up moving from, uh, so I had the, I play housings and I also had an iconic five, which is, uh, it’s, uh, you know, uh, rangefinder fell on camera by Nikon. I don’t know what know you’ve probably, I don’t know if you’ve ever used one, but

Brett Stanley: [00:08:59] I haven’t used them, but I’ve seen them. And the basically, uh, uh, you know, there’s no eddies, the housing, the whole, the whole camera is

Steve Richard: [00:09:05] Yeah. Yeah, it’s underwater. It’s all, you know, the lenses are attached with all rings and it’s so it’s, a totally unique experience to use. Of course, you know, you got 36 frames and then you have to come back up and, and reload and,

Brett Stanley: [00:09:18] It’s the underwater equivalent of the point and shoot camera where you, you didn’t even really have a viewfinder.

Steve Richard: [00:09:24] No. That’s right. Well, in fact, yeah, there was all kinds of ways that you would just, um, you know, set up your view that you could figure out, you know, what was in your frame and not, and, and of course it was a rangefinder. So you’d even, even for your focus, you’d start you basically trial and error, but you would learn.

You know what the distance settings meant, and you try to judge, you know, what was going to be in focus and not in focusing. And I had underwater strokes as well, that, uh, that, you know, that would sink off the camera. So it, but it was certainly laborious and, and a great deal of work to try it to, you know, to, capture anything that was, uh, unique and different.

Certainly.

Brett Stanley: [00:10:04] Yeah.

Um, so what, so what were you shooting? What sort of subjects were you

shooting with

Steve Richard: [00:10:08] uh,

I, I did a lot of just time photography, um, but you know, coral reef, fish and blah, blah, blah. And I did a lot of, I loved kind of bodies in motion. So I, any opportunity I had, I would work with, with models or dancers and, and, you know, we bring cloth in the water and mostly just experiment and both in the pool that also, yeah.

In the ocean and most, mostly, um, failures, but, but one thing I figured out is this is something, no, I just loved. I loved the look, this very a theorial this very surrealistic beauty of bodies. In motion underwater. And, um, so that, that got me hooked. That was where I figured, you know, Hey, I’m going to be this commercial photographer, but I’m going to be, I want to be known to be this kind of underwater art photographer.

And it’s probably, you know, you’re talking 1994 ish 95, maybe. Yeah.

Brett Stanley: [00:11:01] And so where you were working photographer at this point already,

Steve Richard: [00:11:04] yeah, I had a couple of gigs and, but one of them was as a, as a commercial photographer. So doing atrophy, I wasn’t in the wedding portrait business, but, uh, but you know, like advertising and, you know, probably some commercial corporate stuff.

Brett Stanley: [00:11:21] And was there a lot of that happening in, in NASA at that time?

Steve Richard: [00:11:24] Uh, not a great deal. I enough, I, you know, there was a wonder, a couple of wonderful companies, uh, that, that I became, you know, the, on the top of the list for them. And so that was enough to keep me at least, um, moving along with the other things I had on the go. But, but it wasn’t, it certainly wasn’t the center of, uh, commercial photography in the world by, by no means.

Brett Stanley: [00:11:45] but maybe in The Bahamas, it was.

Steve Richard: [00:11:48] Yeah, you’re right. Um, you know, and I have to admit, I had some wonderful, unique opportunities because you also had to, as you know, no kind of, uh, a little about many things instead of a lot about few things. So you’d end up. You know, having the opportunity to shoot out a helicopters and someone or water, or, you know, just unique experiences.

Uh, so I was quite happy to be involved with that. And then always, you know, on the side, trying to develop this, you know, as we all do as photographers, you know, have this kind of artist peeking through. And, and, and that was the kind of the Genesis for me, if trying to develop. Kind of a unique voice, something that I could create work that was totally for me and made, made me happy.

Brett Stanley: [00:12:32] And how did you go? Did the, did it come easily to you this voice or was it something that took, took awhile?

Steve Richard: [00:12:38] Well, I don’t think it’s come to me yet, so I don’t think it’s easy. And, uh, so, and, and it’s funny I tell this story, uh, I was, it was, it was kind of ruined for me. It was, uh, I was, I was living in The Bahamas and having this wonderful experience, working underwater and. And great opportunities. And, and, and I thought the work was probably coming along, not too bad.

And it wasn’t until I was actually in Toronto and, uh, they’re doing a visit and I was at this huge bookstore. That’s no longer there. And I always visited them, the photography section and sitting right in front shelf, you know, the cover of this book looking at me and. I couldn’t believe the image I was looking at.

It was, it just blew my mind. And of course it was a, it was a book by Howard shots, his first book called water dance. And I picked this up and looked at it and I nearly passed out. I just went, this is, this is his body of work at that time. Was it beyond my imagination of where I could even be. Let alone what I was doing.

So it was in a way, a bit devastating. Um,

Brett Stanley: [00:13:44] bit of a gut punch

Steve Richard: [00:13:45] I got punched with, uh, with a, with a two by four shot out of a cannon.

Brett Stanley: [00:13:49] in a bookstore.

Steve Richard: [00:13:50] In a bookstore. Um, so of course I bought the book and, and celebrated it cause it, I, you know, I didn’t resent it. I just thought, wow, this is incredible. How could I possibly yeah. Get there, but maybe more important. Right. I didn’t want to copy this. I didn’t want to just go in and say, Oh, well maybe with, you know, a thousand years of practice I can get to this point.

It was, how can I. Kind of, can I steer a little different path and try to find a different voice? So I did, I did, you know, and a bit more time searching and playing with underwater stuff. And until I found another book, I think it was 1998 by this guy called Howard shots. And, uh, and I think. I think this was, I don’t know if it was pool light or it was the second book, which, um, which I always find funny because I love it.

When photographers raise the environment, when they raise the bar on their own work, it’s just. Wonderful. And at that point I just went, okay. This is just starting to get, become insane. Now, um, you know, this work is so far beyond my comprehension. Maybe I should, maybe I should try to find another place to look.

And so I, you know, I kept farting around with a lot of fine art and, and, but, but I S I walked away from it, the water, and the only, the only diving I did, and the only photography I did was back to kind of re fish, you know, and it was more just for my own entertainment, but I did walk away from that as being a fine art.

Uh, I find our to approach except for one day. And I think you’ve probably been to The Bahamas. Have you, you shot in the bumps. Yeah. So you know how clear and calm the water is

Brett Stanley: [00:15:28] Oh, it’s incredible. Yeah.

Steve Richard: [00:15:30] so I had a little, uh, CNC cell book, both at the, you know, at the time for a few years down there, a 26 foot that, that I go out on and, and it was one day that I was diving and shooting some, you know, Coral reef stuff.

And I climbed up in the boat and it was one of those days that the water was perfectly flat and absolute crap date for sailing, of course, cause there’s no wind, but, but you know, the boats anchored, uh, not too far off of a little Island and, and it looked like it was hovering over the sand. It was it’s that it’s one of those days and, and there, but I looked down and there was a, you know, a bunch of the fish that I was shooting.

Through the surface of the water. I went, Oh my gosh, this is incredible. This is like the most beautiful theorial moment. And I took some pictures from the surface, you know, through the wire and the little light bulb went on and said, wait a minute, how can you do this? So it’s not too abstract, but still has that beauty.

And that’s, that’s what started the journey for me into this body of work that became known as Obscura. In fact, uh, I released a book in 2015 with the sporty.

Brett Stanley: [00:16:40] Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s such a different perspective. It’s not something you think of when you think of underwater photography that the, the cameras directly above the water shooting through. It’s like you say, it’s, it’s a very rare scene because the water’s usually too, too choppy to, you know, it’s

Steve Richard: [00:16:57] Oh, yeah, just see it. Yeah. Well it looks and probably, you know, without, without access to such beautiful water, like the bomb, I might not have ever seen the idea. I well, and, and, uh, the irony is, you know, I experimented a little bit with that, but it wasn’t, uh, it wasn’t until, Oh my gosh, it was, I think I had moved back to Canada already and, and I think it was, um, I think around 2003, I was shooting a commercial job back in The Bahamas, but I was living in Canada and we’re at a complex that had pool.

And we had a few extra days and makeup artists at the time. And very good friend of mine, um, was taking pictures of her friend in the pool, but she was doing the same thing shooting through the surface and, and it was a little digital point and shoot. And she came up and said, Oh, you know what? This is really cool.

And I said, yeah, I know it’s really cool. I’ve been experimented for a long time, but I hadn’t thought about it. And she showed me the picture. I went, you know, let’s, let’s, let’s. Do you mind if we shoot for the next couple of days? And we literally, I talked to the owner of, you know, putting some, some support and staging over the pool.

So we, so we could Mount the camera up above and I started doing some really serious testing with the tech and that really got the ball rolling and, and continued on back in Canada where I didn’t have that much. Um, much access to pools, but, um, every, every chance I could, I would experiment with this technique.

Brett Stanley: [00:18:25] And do you, when you first saw it, where would that pool set up? Could you, you could see how it could be done better and how it could work, how your vision could come to life.

Steve Richard: [00:18:36] Yeah, absolutely. Well, and so there was an, there was a couple of things. So in 2003, I think I had, um, I can’t remember what camera I bought into digital fairly early on with a, you know, a $12,000 Kodak, DCS seven 60, which was a six megapixel, you know, and Nikon F five body built on a Kodak. You know, so, yeah, so, so it was, at the time incredible, but you know, in today’s standards, I think, you know, probably someone’s watch has more power. Um, Um, um, but, but, uh, and, and I think the testing we might’ve done with a Nikon D two X or something, I can’t remember at the time. So it had some pretty serious limitations on. You know how much light you needed in the water. And there was a great deal of noise. And so, so the experimenting did, um, did have some technical hurdles that were tough, but there was also some other hurdles.

Um, Um, I’m going to have to maybe take a side step, but, um, and, and this whole, maybe give you a bit more perspective on my approach to photography, but I’m not really interested in capturing. Images and meaning. I mean, I never really had much interest on the, on the fine arts side to jump in the water and document fish or to document dancers.

It was always about creating. Some illusion, creating some scene telling the story. And so having absolute control was really important. And one of the things I learned early on is that when you’re trying to shoot someone under water, that becomes really difficult because they don’t have much control and end to repeat a move, you know, until you have it.

Perfect. Which is typically what I do. Um, you know, so if I’m shooting dancers or whatever, I’m shooting, you know, we might take. 40 to 400 shots of the same kind of thing until I tune it perfectly until it’s exactly right. And that becomes just brutal with someone underwater.

Brett Stanley: [00:20:34] Oh, totally. Yeah. Yeah.

Steve Richard: [00:20:36] and as you know, especially if they’re floating up and down, so even shooting through the surface, this, this came extremely difficult.

So the two things I learned after a bunch of experimenting and failures was that I would have to have someplace I could go to every day and fail day after day after day. That was the big realization for me that just having access to a pool every now and then and going, Oh, this is going to be great.

I’m going to go shoot for two or three hours that this was literally, you know, I’m going to need thousands of hours.

Brett Stanley: [00:21:08] Right. And is that because that’s your, that’s your workflow? That’s how you,

you like to refine that so much,

Steve Richard: [00:21:15] Yeah. So I, I exactly well, and, and I’m not very, I’m not very, I wouldn’t make it very good sports photographer. Like the moment’s already happened before I go, Hey, that could be good. Um, but uh, I, for me, I call it a personal, your personal dog. I think all, I think all artists have to establish this thing called a personal dog, or, you know, a set of rules that really only makes sense to them.

They’re not really rules. There’s no laws of physics that guide them. They’re just rules. And I think for me, that’s really important. And one of the things that’s really important to me is that I don’t do any post-production or I do very minimal, you know, all the blemish kind of removal or, but I don’t, I don’t do any, uh, composite work.

I don’t, if I can’t get it in camera, I won’t do the photograph. And that’s just batshit crazy and I understand it’s insane. And, uh, but, but it’s not, and it’s not that I disagree with it. It’s just, this is my dogma.

Brett Stanley: [00:22:08] No, I totally get it. I have a recently become obsessed with capturing stuff in camera underwater. And it’s that the challenge and the reward to me is, is far outweighs anything else?

Steve Richard: [00:22:22] w well, I, and I agree a hundred percent, but I had, but don’t get me wrong. Anybody listening? That’s it’s not that I think everybody should do that. It’s just what’s right

Brett Stanley: [00:22:31] no, exactly. Yeah. And personally, for me, it’s, it’s a, it’s a personal challenge. It’s for me, it’s something like, Ooh, okay,

Steve Richard: [00:22:38] can you, can I do this? Yeah.

Brett Stanley: [00:22:39] Yeah.

The technical hurdles that you have to get over to make it work. That is what gives me joy. Whereas, you know, even compositing in Photoshop and getting something right in Photoshop still gives me joy.

It’s just a different.

Steve Richard: [00:22:52] just totally different approach. Yeah. Well, so I, and for me, it’s a, it’s a bit different. Do we do it in camera? Makes me think very much about the story and how I’m creating the moment. So I. It’s almost, it’s almost like sculpting in a way where you just do it bit by bit and it develops in front of you, but it needs to be an iterative process.

So I always find it, you know, you know, interesting how some people really can just go out and have their models or their actors or whoever they’re working with just move and they, and they capture these moments and nature and that’s their approach. They try to find. What they’re looking for there. And for me, it’s totally different.

It’s really more like sculpting and trying to create ironically enough, a moment that looks like it was captured.

Brett Stanley: [00:23:42] right? Yeah. So for you, so for you, the, the, the process of capturing it in camera almost forces you to be in the moment a little bit more and to find the storyline that’s in there.

Steve Richard: [00:23:57] well it’s so yeah, absolutely. Right. With a little. Tiny tweak. Um, so I always, I call this personal dogma and I have a whole list of no one is getting into camera, but there’s, there’s other things like perfect body line. Uh, you know, if, if, if the, if the, if the body doesn’t really have this perfect dance line, I won’t accept the image.

If you know, I really like anonymity except ironically enough for this new series I’m working on. But what I really like the sense of that the body is telling the story and not the emotions of the face. So all of these things in a way set the stage. And so I usually have the stage set, you know, I kind of know what the mood of the story is and a little bit of what I’m trying to tell, but, but other than that, no, then, then I need to be working with the model of the dancer to start the sculpture, to begin this process.

And you’re right from, so from there, it is in the moment. But you have to be prepared to just have that repeatability. And as you know, underwater is just Holy shit. Crazy to try to do that.

Brett Stanley: [00:24:59] Yeah. Especially if you’re dealing with, you know, like a, like a swimming pool, which has probably about five or six feet deep, it’s hard to get the same depth every time. It’s hard to be in the same spot every time.

Steve Richard: [00:25:10] and, and your model can’t stay, uh, it’s just not enough depth to get the model down. So they’re not just popping right up to the surface again.

Brett Stanley: [00:25:18] Yeah. So what have you, how did you solve those, those issues?

Steve Richard: [00:25:22] Uh, well, so because I’m a lazy artist, uh, I don’t like I radically enough, I loved shooting through the surface of the water, but one of the, one of the reasons is I got to sit on my Apple box.

In my comfortable air conditioned studio and, and I never got in, in fact, all the pools I had, I only got in once to look for a leak. And, um, so for me, the, you know, w the camera was in, in my case, when we finally started shooting this series in a studio that was a custom built studio. So we literally built a studio in Halifax that, that had.

Um, 18, a little over 18 foot ceilings and the camera was mounted up into the ceiling and it was all at this time. I’m I’m and I have been for a long time using phase one, uh, camera back. So this is medium format. So that’s tethered to computers and, and the camera’s mounted at 18 feet up in the air pointing down at the, at the pool.

So now the problem is it’s not me moving around anymore cause that’s taken care of, uh, so I’m always anchored. So the problem just becomes the water surface has to be perfectly okay. Flat. And the model can’t be right, coming up to the surface.

Brett Stanley: [00:26:34] So

is this an actual, so you’ve built a swimming pool inside your studio or.

Steve Richard: [00:26:39] Three, uh, uh, in fact, uh, so the, the first, the first year that we started the, we, the 2012, I think it was that we started, uh, than the studio was complete. Um, we, we built a pool using, you know, rubber pond liner and, and plywood and two by

Brett Stanley: [00:26:55] Oh, okay. So you’ve built like an above ground, pool

Steve Richard: [00:26:58] but yeah.

Brett Stanley: [00:26:58] on your studio floor.

Steve Richard: [00:27:00] Yep.  and a major learning curve. it was so basically the process for me was having the model sink very close to the bottom of the pool and try not to flow it up and on.

I would capture. An image, but at least I could sculpt. I could literally give directions, say next time you go down and do the exact same thing, except rotate your wrist a bit more, turn your head this way, blah, blah, blah. So it became back into my personal dog. I could do everything that I normally do out of the water.

Um, even when I’m working with dancers or, uh, my last book was all about aerialists and the same process was, was, uh, you know, with this incredibly. Talented group of people who are no longer were allowed to perform, but had to look like they were performing, but have me creating the illusion exactly. Of what, what I wanted.

Brett Stanley: [00:27:48] I mean,

that’s what I love about your, I love about your work is that it looks like everything’s in motion. It looks like it’s not a static image. And what blew me away was when I found out that it was underwater and you were shooting it from above was how is there not ripples all across the surface of this house?

They’re not distortions,

Steve Richard: [00:28:06] Well, So this was a learning curve that was a really steep and it’s so technically, you know, the problems you can figure out, you know, uh, you know, camera. I understand. And, but, but I, um, I learned fairly early on that when you put someone into, um, 19 or 20 degree water and expect them not to move for three hours, it doesn’t work very well.

They, uh, they get really pissed at you. And, and so, so basically a couple of things that I had to learn was how to heat up fairly large bodies of water, which then I figured out grew bacteria and pumped thousands of percent of humidity into my building, which wasn’t designed for it. So you start to figure out.

You know. Okay. Do you, is it chlorine? Is it, how do you, how do you manage these problems? How do you vent that much humidity? How do you hate the water? So there was a bunch of technical things that, um, at least the school of YouTube. Okay. An answer for you. And, and, you know, and luckily I had a friend who was at one time used to serve as pools and, and had some great advice.

Nice. And how to change, you know, the PA and keep the water a certain color and. And, you know, just wonderful, wonderful advice from very supportive people that, that helped me maintain the technical aspect. But, but the aspect of trying to figure out how a model could sink and, and why some models could sink and why are the models couldn’t and then the ripples became.

Really tough. And so we would do really crazy stuff. You know, like if, if we had a bit of cloth in the fall, we might, we might put a, an a, you know, a way to under the cloth and that would give them model the ability to go and just hang, hang onto that for a second and then release. And we could grab this shot, or we would tie it up.

You know, for example, there’s a, there’s a shot. Not that that’s a valid that’s her and her point shoes. So we, we mounted, um, um, what looked like a floor to the side of the pool and put it on a bit of an angle. And I wanted to have this ballet dancer on point. And the pool, but of course you kind of weird the perspective of, of course she’s not actually standing up, she’s laying down in a way.

So we, we just bolted the point shoes to the fake floor. And that way, you know, she could, her feet was Sagard and of course you’d have to come up and breathe. But now when she went down, it took a lot of core strength, but it could look like she was standing, even though she was sideways. So that was part one of the illusions, you know, and, and I just have a hundred illusions and tricks that we used to do to make it look well, like it wasn’t underwater.

Brett Stanley: [00:30:51] yeah. So how deep is this pool that they’re

Steve Richard: [00:30:54] So the one that was most successful was when we purchased from California, it was a portable pool. It literally had a, Kurlik a couple of, of windows that we could light through. So I didn’t have to use underwater strokes so I could use fairly powerful, you know, 2000 watt, second. Um, heads and, and I I’m very much into very soft light.

So ironically enough, soft semi directional lights. So I use a great deal of diffusion, usually three layers in a fusion. So in this case, um, I could actually put some of that diffusion fusion in the water. Um, and, and so all the flagging and reflectors where, you know, just, just hundreds of see, stand on hundreds of tens of sea stands, you know, with, with plastic flags and, and reflectors in the pool to do all the, you know, the manipulating of the light that I like to do.

Brett Stanley: [00:31:45] and deal lighting is that it is now that you kind of explain it, it kind of makes sense to me cause it’s a very, it’s very directional. It’s very side lit for, for the most part.

Steve Richard: [00:31:54] well, yes. So there’s a, for me sidelights very important. In fact, uh, uh, I’m, I’m also a cinematographer and, and, I can’t, I struggle for his name cause this isn’t my original thought, but one of the things he talked about lighting, and I’ll never forget this is, he said, you know, Backlight good front light bad.

And I think that’s all you need to remember when it comes to fine art, you know, front Lake bed back like good. And that’s, that’s a great, that’s it. And so for me, I always use if front light basically lights up the subject and it’s a really good way to document something, but sidelight or back, night’s a great way to tell your story and let light become one of the actors,

Brett Stanley: [00:32:33] I think the other thing as well is that it’s, it gives such a painterly look to it as well. Um, I’m terrible with painters, I’m terrible with names of painters and styles, but the look that you’ve got is very, is it Rembrandty, it’s

Steve Richard: [00:32:47] Well, it’s, it’s more kind of, and on my pronunciations shit of that, but it’s so an Italian painter that really, that I’m, I don’t really admire as subject matter is, but, but his painting style is amazing. And, and, and with obviously Rembrandt is influential, but I, I think probably if I based, most of my work is kind of Azure, which is use a great deal of the darkness.

Um, So for me, that’s, that’s a, a big influence. Um, in fact, from, for me, ironically enough painters are my largest influence, more so than photographers.

Brett Stanley: [00:33:24] Right. I mean, it does show through in your work. It does have that painterly look. And I think even, even the way the water has diffused some of the light hitting the camera has given that kind of soft, soft hue to it.

Steve Richard: [00:33:37] Yes, you’re right. Well, and I think most of us that do work underwater. That’s what you realize is that this is something you can’t really achieve, or maybe you can. I certainly can’t. Cause my dogma wouldn’t allow me to do it, but you can’t achieve outside of the water. And you know, a number of people have asked, well, why do you go all this trouble?

You know, with pools and humidity and trying, you know, nearly drowning your models and trying to figure out how to keep everybody under water and then you don’t want it to look like it’s underwater. And it’s like, yeah, but I want it to look like there’s no gravity and I want to look like it’s this soft and there’s no way the cloth underwater is never would do that in a year.

Brett Stanley: [00:34:15] No. And I think that that also reinforces that painterly thing where, you know, as a painting, you can do whatever you want. You can make things, do what they want, but if you’re shooting this sort of series without water, they’re a bit short of having some sort of wind machine. This fabric is never going to make these kinds of shapes.

Steve Richard: [00:34:34] No, no, not at all. Well, it’s fine. You know, I spent a great deal of time shooting fabric in the air and with fans and all, as you, as you noticed that all the illusions to show emotion when there isn’t any. um, but it’s, it won’t look like this, or at least not in my experience. Um,

Brett Stanley: [00:34:51] So how do you, how do you find, and. And train the models that you you work with. Are they people that have had underwater experience before, or is there a,

transition is there a transition where they’re learning how to do this?

Steve Richard: [00:35:03] Yes, both. I, um, most, most people contact me and of course, w um, when people start showing images of this, uh, this series, I started to having a lot of people, contact me, wanting to become part of it. Um, and ironically enough, Most of the people I shot with for, for underwater were people I’ve worked with before.

So they understood my whole process set. You know, number one, we might work for three hours and not get a single image. And so it will have to come back another day, which is, is, you know, always kind of, one of the things I’m quite adamant about that, where, you know, I might shoot for the whole day and I’m just looking for one image.

If we get two, that’s incredible, but I’m looking for one and we may not get it. We might just get an idea. So that’s kind of the first thing. And then, you know, I like to work with people that know that I can spend, you know, 200 shots on just getting a hand, right. And, um, so that’s really mandatory that I’m only I’m working with people that understand that and are willing to, to kind of go through that process.

So they’re not, they’re not going to be, I don’t know any, I want to say it, but more like the fashion kind of shoot where the flash goes off and the model just changes the pose, you know, that is so far away from what I do, that it would be impossible for me to create anything that way.

Brett Stanley: [00:36:19] And again, I think going back to that painting thing where you’re, you’re kind of treating them like a painter’s model where they have to hold that pose until you’ve created that image

Steve Richard: [00:36:29] Yes,

Brett Stanley: [00:36:30] than changing and giving you a variety you’re after that specific thing.

Steve Richard: [00:36:34] I think it’s right. I think that well, and I think that’s the difference of looking, um, looking at photography from the perspective of an artist. Um, and I, and I had given this a great deal of thought. And at one point I remember being in the Tate gallery and, uh, the tape Britain in the UK and looking at one of my favorite paintings, which is hope by Fredrick, Watts, and, and, and looking at this going, you know, the thing I just realized is every single brushstroke and every bit of color, every dab, it was put on this thing with intent.

And I said, how funny is it that most of us is photographers. There’s not very much intent other than we’ve intended to push the button and point the camera. And I saw, I found that as a, you know, that this was quite a while ago, many years ago, but that entered my hand and said, I’m going to start doing everything with intent.

I’m going to, I’m going to decide on everything. Every single thing. Uh, Uh, unless it’s totally out of my control. And, and I think by the way, when, when you talk about why it’s important to do things in camera, it also reinforces that intent no decisions are made unless I intend them to be that way. So there’s

no chance. Yeah.

Brett Stanley: [00:37:48] for me. Your process is it’s the exact opposite of mine where I am more like a, probably a Jackson Pollock, I think, where I just throw a whole bunch of shit against the canvas and see what sticks. and that is just how it works for me. I’m a knot and better at being reactionary to what happens in, in the moment and, and seeing the moment drive the image as opposed to the other way around.

Whereas for you, I think you’re.

Steve Richard: [00:38:13] it couldn’t do it. Couldn’t do it that way. It would totally go against my dog though, but, but I don’t want to disagree with your way. I just disagree with it for me.

That’s all. So

Brett Stanley: [00:38:22] And yeah. And it’s interesting how every artist has a different

approach to it. Yeah.

Steve Richard: [00:38:27] Absolutely. And actually a very good friend of mine. Renee Robbins is a, really good photographer, a young photographer.

And, we, we joke, uh, that, you know, I spend, I’ll spend three days shooting an image and three seconds in post, you know, and I think she probably spends, you know, 20 to 30 minutes shooting the image in, you know, 300 hours in posts. And we’re both after the same thing. Right. We’re both after creating this unique piece of art, that’s our own story and our own moment.

And so that’s what I find really funny that we were both after the exact same thing. We just have radically different ways of doing it.

Brett Stanley: [00:39:05] Oh, absolutely. And I think it’s, it’s, it’s one of those times where the, the adage of it’s, you know, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. Isn’t really true. I think it’s the, the journey informs the destination.

Steve Richard: [00:39:17] I think you’re right. That’s a good way to a good way to put it. I think you’re a hundred percent, right? Yeah.

Brett Stanley: [00:39:21] and, and part of doing these interviews for me is, is hearing the different journeys that people have to get that. Get that final image where, you know, when I first saw your work and to be honest, it was Renee that put me on to it. Um, and she said it was underwater. And in my mind, I had a whole different way of doing it than what you’ve described and the way you, when we first spoke and you started describing how you did this, it blew my mind because it was not the way that I would have ever done it myself, but it’s just come out so beautifully.

Steve Richard: [00:39:53] I don’t know how, how to do it other way than that approach, to be honest. Okay. I guess I, I think back in life with some of these shots took days, um, you know, thankfully I, you know, I’m lucky to have models that will put up with that. Abuse of me just doing it over and over and over again. And, and they’re, they’re just so dedicated at creating something unique and powerful that they’ll come back in and just continue doing this and, and allows me to work, uh, the way I do, but only by the charity of others, you know, like there’s, there’s, you know, without that, then there’s no way I could move forward with this,

Brett Stanley: [00:40:31] And so what happens next? Once you’ve taken the shot and you’ve done the whatever post-processing you’re doing, um, these, um, is there a financial side to this? Is this a

Steve Richard: [00:40:41] Yeah, absolutely. Well, I, so there’s a, I joke and I don’t joke, but I think, um, so I’m, I no longer and haven’t for a long time, I don’t do any commercial photography whatsoever. I totally look at what I do. As an artist, I described myself as an artist that just uses photography is what’s the tools. And, uh, and so to be an artist, I think you have to have two things.

I think you have to create work with intent. I think every brush stroke, you know, has to have intent, whether it’s intent, your intent is the approach. Like you said, like you’re Jackson, Pollock, you’re throwing stuff and seeing what sticks, it’s still intent. You’re still choosing what to throw and where to throw it.

And, uh, but the second thing I think is really important is you need to take a vow of poverty and, and I mean that jokingly, but not jokingly, but I mean that you can’t, you can’t look at creating art based on whether it’s sells or not. You have to create it. Based on what you want to do and how you want to do it, what you want to say and how you want your audience to feel.

And if it sells, that’s wonderful and you have to prepare that it doesn’t cause this is a shit market. This is really tough. And, and for me, luckily I sell some books and I sell some prints and I teach some workshops and I get to speak at events. And, and I, you know, I, uh, after how many years I’ve been doing this.

Yeah, I can actually earn a living at it, but it’s not, you know, when I have an intern that’s working for me and yeah. And said, well, I really would like to, to, you know, to do photography as art, I just think, okay. Um, let me now you make out. Cause if you can bypass the 20 years of, um, you know, trying to find your voice.

Then, let me know. I think that was one of the questions you asked earlier is, you know, to me, finding, having a unique voice is really, really tough and really, really important for an artist.

Brett Stanley: [00:42:30] Oh, absolutely. Yeah. And I think, um, it’s hard to know whether you’ve even got one. Like, it’s hard to, to look at your own work and go, Oh, I see the voice in there. You know, um, I’ve told this story before, but for me it took me, I was struggling to find my voice for years and years and years. And it wasn’t until I looked back at my work of those years that I realized that I had won a long, I just couldn’t see it.

Steve Richard: [00:42:52] Right. W which is, which is true and intended. So for me, that, one of the things I usually ramble on about is to say having your own personal dogma is a good way to start finding your voice. Like, so if you look back at your work, you would start to find out what your dog was. Are you, you, you already have them.

You just might not have them defined.

And, and that really helps moving forward to say, Oh yeah, no, it at least allows you not to go down the past that, you know, be fruitful. And, and for me, when I’m doing a photograph in a studio, you know, I shoot tethered. Um, and, and once again, very much like a sculpture, but, but I, at the end of a shoot, even if I’ve taken 400 or 300 images, there’s only two or three left on the screen, I delete and edit as we go. And if I create an image that I think is a little closer to what I want than any of the previous ones, I delete all the previous ones. And in fact, it’s my favorite thing to do to a new intern is to be shooting and have them quite thrilled with what they’re seeing on the screen, and then go select, you know, the 50 images previous to image 51 and watch their faces.

I hit the delete

button.

Brett Stanley: [00:44:04] And so you’ll, you’re literally deleting. You’re not just like unselected and

Steve Richard: [00:44:08] no, no, they’re there. They’re gone. Why would I say so you have to remember, this is very iterative and it’s very much like, Oh, this is, this is, this is closer. Now this is starting to tell the story I wanted to tell. So why would I even keep. Any of the others. I’m certainly not my dog. Wouldn’t allow me to take a hand from one image, George, a chin from another image and put them together.

So that’s a no brainer for me. I’m not going to comp anything. So, um, if, if the current image I have up on board is better than, or at least in my mind, better than what I have. I’m why would I keep any of it not going to use? It’s never going to see the light of day. I delete it.

Brett Stanley: [00:44:44] That’s so interesting. And I think the way that a photographer works in that way of do they delete or do they keep says a lot about their personality? I think, and you know, in. In my side of things, I struggled to delete anything because I think, Oh,

Steve Richard: [00:45:01] What if it’s that? Yeah. No. Well, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll true story. I don’t think I have the numbers quite right, but everything I shot. Um, yeah, so I mostly shot slides. I shot medium from, I used to use, well, actually I used for a long time in RSN, or if you’re in the U S and R Z six, seven medium format camera and mostly film, but it, but I started using phase one digital backs, you know, 15 years or 12 years ago, whatever it was.

And now I actually use a face camera as well, but, but you know, up to a couple of years ago, I was still using the RSA. And so I had a lot of film and I even had a lot of 35 millimeter film, a lot of slides and, and a great deal was when I called my fine art, you know, rake back from, gosh, you know, the eighties.

And I remember I had this all in archive. And, and I had what I called outtakes and I had what I called final images, you know? And the final images would still out of a shoot. I might have, you know, 200 images from a shoot that I might’ve shot 600 images from. And I even kept most of the. Outtakes. So finally, you know, a few years before for that, I had went in and literally destroyed all the outtakes.

I put a light table up and looked and said, yeah, well, I don’t know why I kept any of that. Yes. And it wasn’t true. Well, a couple of years later that, um, we were thinking about moving and, and my wife who I’ve been with a long, long time, she’s a great editor. And, and certainly it’s probably noticed my work better than I do.

And she said, you know, all these old images, you probably should go through them. Cause most of it’s shit.

And I thought you’re probably right, but I don’t, you know, I really, and so, so at the, at the new stereo we built, I literally put some white flexi, some translucent plexiglass up and put some Keno, Keno lights underneath and made giant light tables and took my entire archive of old film. And, you know, I, I had no problem to destroy.

Probably close to, I don’t know, 50, 60,000 images. I had no problem. I kept a few binders with Andy and I just went, this was mostly just crap. I have no idea why I kept this.

Brett Stanley: [00:47:08] it because do, do you think you kept it because it was a physical negative that it was, you know, it’s easy to kind of delete a file,

Steve Richard: [00:47:14] I think I kept it cause I had some illusion in my head that it was good. And if I didn’t look at it, maybe it was,

Brett Stanley: [00:47:24] just knowing that it was there and you’ve got it

of

Steve Richard: [00:47:26] well,

so to, to, you know, to anybody who’s ever heard me present will get tired of this whole thing. But I have this, this, this mantra that I came up with a long time ago, it’s really, it’s really. Easy to take a picture of a beautiful thing. It’s really difficult to take a beautiful picture and what’s even more difficult is realizing the difference between them and, and I had binders and binders and binders with pictures of beautiful things, with very few beautiful pictures.

And at the time I probably could, I didn’t recognize the difference between the two and, and. Most of the ones that were just pictures of beautiful things, didn’t have my intent whatsoever. There was no intent. Literally there, it was just me documenting things and yeah, maybe the photograph was, was really done well, but I got to a point where I really wanted to be an artist.

And if they didn’t, if they didn’t have my intent, if they didn’t have my story, let alone my voice. Why would I keep them?

Brett Stanley: [00:48:27] Yeah. Yeah. Why, why would you own it?

If it doesn’t seem like it’s, it’s part of you.

Steve Richard: [00:48:32] Well, it did, you know, so other than maybe some tiny 1000000th of a percent of uniqueness I have in the lighting, um, the rest wasn’t unique. It didn’t have any story. So I just think why, what do I need to get some maybe posting someday and get some Facebook likes for what that’s worth? Like, of course not.

It’s they’re there. They’re absolutely useless. And, and I think the irony is I had already started that approach in my shooting, my workflow. I do that every time I, I shoot. So it was really funny that I had kept this huge archive of film.

Brett Stanley: [00:49:09] Yeah, because your workflow is to not keep the things that don’t speak to you a hundred percent.

Steve Richard: [00:49:15] Nope. And of course, um, you know, the commercial, the commercial side, I, or I used to keep on the commercial side. Uh, they archived just in case you’d get a resale or you’d have the client that would come back and say, Oh, you know, they still have this. We’d like to access.

Um, and even that I no longer keep now. So that’s. That’s perfect.

Brett Stanley: [00:49:34] Yeah. It’s very Marie condo. You’ve you’ve let it go.

Steve Richard: [00:49:38] Yeah, yeah,

Brett Stanley: [00:49:38] So Steve what’s coming up for you. Are you, are you still working on, on this series or are you

moving

Steve Richard: [00:49:44] that, that, so the only is that series, uh, I was, it’s kind of like anybody who’s ever owned a boat, you got two of your best days as the day you buy the day of it. I think when we took the last image for this. And said, I think, you know, I think we’re done. We have enough for a book and we, and we took the pool down for the last time.

Um, that was a wonderful day. I was, I think I was getting tired of, of the process. And then I wanted to move on. In fact, I had already been shooting this project called aerial, which has all to do with Ariel aerialists and, and, um, so it was, I think it was time, um, And of course the Ariel work’s been done and I’ve spent the last two years or more working on a new series, a that’s really about group with ology.

Um, and, uh, but it’s really more, it’s really both current metaphors. In fact, it’s me taking the piss out of a lot of things, but it’s got a lot of humor and darkness in it. Uh, but maybe another, another day we can talk about that, but it’s no, there’s no water involved whatsoever. None. Zero

Brett Stanley: [00:50:40] yeah. So, so how has your relationship with water and underwater photography? Have you, have you moved on and

Steve Richard: [00:50:45] I think I have. Yeah. So, um, I thought about the pool again. And in fact, we sold this studio in December. So I’m now studio lists for the first time, probably in almost my adult life that I don’t have access to a studio other than rentals. And, and, uh, at the time, uh, I got rid of the pools, which was an acknowledgement that I’ll probably never do that again.

I think I’ve already said what I needed to say with it. So yeah, I think you’re right. And for me to squeeze into a wetsuit probably kill myself going underwater is, is not going to happen.

Brett Stanley: [00:51:17] Yeah,

especially in Halifax

Steve Richard: [00:51:20] no, it’s definitely, in fact, after I moved to The Bahamas, I never dove in cold water again.

Brett Stanley: [00:51:26] once you’ve, once you felt the warm

Steve Richard: [00:51:28] No, no, that’s I just, look, I remember the first time in the Caribbean, you know, jumping off the boat and going. What this is incredible, you know, like I thought why this is not, this isn’t an order of magnitude. This is five orders of magnitude greater, you know, like why would you ever jump in this icy cold water?

Uh, when you’re a wimp, like I am,

Brett Stanley: [00:51:50] Right. Yeah. I mean, I have friends who live in Halifax and like professional mermaids and stuff and, and they routinely go swimming in that water. And I don’t, I just can’t understand it.

Steve Richard: [00:52:01] Yeah. It’s it’s

tough. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t know. To be honest, I don’t even like to go outside. Like I don’t like, I don’t like the bugs. I don’t like the heat. I don’t like the cold. I don’t like the wind blowing my hair around. Like I I’m, I’m really comfortable that at 20 degrees Celsius and nice, comfortable studio that’s heaven for me.

Brett Stanley: [00:52:24] this is good. That means at least, you know, that at least he can, you know,

Steve Richard: [00:52:27] Oh, it’s yeah, it’s without question, I celebrate it. And once again, I admire people that are, you know, these kind of go out in the wilderness photographers and, and create this amazing work and, you know, that’s, that’s fantastic. But then they have no, no threat of me ever invading their territory.

Brett Stanley: [00:52:46] Steve, this has been amazing. It’s been really cool just to hear this, this journey, this story, and then how you kind of worked out the, uh, the logistics to, to create these images. That’s beautiful.

Steve Richard: [00:52:57] uh, thanks, Brett. It’s it’s been my pleasure to speak to you about it. I’m happy to talk about this wonderful art form with anybody. So, um, I appreciate you. Uh, Uh, you’ve you searching me out.

Brett Stanley: [00:53:07] Oh, of course. Yeah, no, as soon as I saw your images and, and, and kind of saw how they were being made, I had to had to share this with everyone. So I really appreciate it.

Steve Richard: [00:53:17] no problem. And, and if you want, you can, uh, there’s I think on my site, there’s a little behind the scenes video of, of the, the Obscura process, you know,

Brett Stanley: [00:53:26] I will actually, I’ll put that in the show notes for people so they can go and see the behind the scenes. Cause it’s really a, it really tells how

Steve Richard: [00:53:33] How it was done. Yeah. Yeah. I’m and I’m happy, you know, it’s funny. I’m happy to give away the process. It’s, you know, everything I’ve learned, I’m happy to, I’d love for someone to take it and push it further and further and further.

I mean, that’s how wonderful would that be?

Brett Stanley: [00:53:48] Oh, that’d be great. Yeah. Yeah. To see your baby taken in and see it evolve.

Steve Richard: [00:53:51] It just won’t be me. That’s all.

Brett Stanley: [00:53:56]

Steve, thanks very much. It’s been great to speak to you.

Steve Richard: [00:53:59] You as well, all the best and we’ll talk soon.

Support The Podcast


Merchandise


Buy The Underwater Podcast merchandise and 25% of profits will go to keeping our oceans clean with Project AWARE.