Koh Khai, Phuket
PHOTOGRAPHER ATHIT PERAWONGMETHA • INTERVIEWED BY RICHARD HERMES
I took this picture on an island that is popular with package tourists—on the day I was there nearly 30 boats came, all full of people from places like China and Russia. It is a beautiful place with white sand and clear sea, but it felt over capacity to me, and so I wanted to find a way to see it from a different angle. So I got a wide-angle lens, a housing for my camera and a snorkel and mask, and I spent four hours in shallow water trying to get this shot. The best time for landscape photos is usually sunrise and sunset, but for underwater photos the best time is noon, when the light can penetrate the water, so I was there from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. I thought it would be easy but I was wrong; I couldn’t really see my viewfinder through my equipment, my goggles fogged and filled with water, and there were constant waves. I drank a lot of ocean water that day. When I was finished I thought I had something but I wasn’t sure; it took about 1,000 shots to get five good compositions.