This month we are diving into ocean photography by interviewing a company that knows all about the ocean. Once Ocean One Breath
is an Australian based free diving company started by husband and wife duo, Eusebio and Christina Saenz de Santamaria. They are both professional free divers and record-holders, adventure free diving photographers, and filmmakers. Traveling around the world, One ocean One breath captures breathtaking diving photography while also teaching others about their passion of the ocean. Because of popular demand One ocean One breath is now selling their work through Fine Art America. We asked the company a few questions about their own underwater experiences and breathtaking ocean photography:
“Follow The Fish” by One ocean One breath
Tell us about your free diving business and your experiences with taking photos underwater?
Eusebio and I are professional freedivers, photographers and film-makers as well as husband and wife. We are based on the small tropical island of Koh Tao, Thailand for 6 months of the year where we train and coach at the freediving school, Apnea Total, which is a freediving education organization co-founded by Eusebio and his business partner, Monica Ganame over 10 years ago. This freediving school has certified over 7,000 students to date and the organization continues to expand worldwide with Apnea Total centres in the Caribbean, throughout South-East Asia and the Mediterranean.
For Eusebio and I, freediving is our passion and our way of life. When not on Koh Tao we are traveling and exploring the world and her ocean’s on one breath alone; and we document our adventures through photography and film for our personal business called ‘One ocean One breath’. We often seek unusual and unique areas of the world such as the magical cenotes of the Yucatan in Mexico, through to exhilarating encounters with tiger sharks in the Bahamas or the Spinner dolphins in Hawaii. All our underwater photography is made on breath-hold using only the natural light available. Freediving is the sport that we love, however it is also advantageous to shoot underwater on breath-hold as we don’t have any noisy or cumbersome scuba equipment which means that marine animals are far more curious of us and will approach us very closely. Freediving enables us to have a more intimate experience with the ocean and her marine creatures.
While traveling and not shooting we also compete in freediving competitions and aim for new personal records and depths. Eusebio and I recently achieved a world’s first and world record dive together to a depth of 100 metres in the Caribbean this past September.
How did you discover Fine Art America and how does it work for your business?
Over the last year we have received many inquiries for photographic art prints of our freediving photography, so after much research and searching online I discovered and chose Fine Art America. We chose FAA for the ability to have control over the pricing of our photography, the many different choices of materials and framing as well as the ability to send the prints worldwide.
What kind of underwater camera and equipment do you use?
Canon 5DM3 and Subal Underwater Housing
What has been the most challenging part of ocean photography?
All our underwater photography is made while freediving. This means that we don’t use any artificial breathing apparatus like scuba, we simply take one breath and descend beneath the oceans surface to shoot. There are many challenges to freediving photography! You must firstly be physically able to freedive safely, carry the photographic equipment underwater, think about the shot, the light, the model and work with all the ocean’s variables such as currents, waves, lower lights levels, changing visibility and unpredictable marine creatures. Eusebio and I are well trained in freediving and can hold our breath for extended periods underwater, however we still must surface for air. One such challenge is running out of breath when you have the perfect shot lined up and another significant challenge is working with natural light as we do not use any strobes or artificial lighting.
Watch One ocean One breath dive with Sharks: