A Family Affair Off Curaçao

A Family Affair Off Curaçao

Courtesy of UPY and 2016 Underwater Photographer of the Year Thomas Heckmann, Curaçao.

What is so fascinating to the dryland world is not a surprise to many open water swimmers.

Thomas Heckmann took photo of a shipwreck offshore of Curaçao in the Caribbean Sea that he calls ‘A Family Affair’ because he was swimming with his daughter Maja at the time.

Heckmann’s photo won the Wreck Category in the 2016 Underwater Photographer of the Year awards.

I was unable to descend because I had to take care of Maja, my five-year-old daughter who is unable to snorkel by herself. The only possibility was a shot from the surface under these circumstances. It was too rough for a normal over/under shot. I decided to try a wave and wreck shot with the island of Curacao in the background while swimming together with my daughter. I needed several tries to compose the wreck, the wave and the island in one shot. But at the end I got this real over/under shot with a total other view of the famous wreck.”

Peter Rowlands of the UPY comments on the winning photograph, “Shots like this don’t just happen. They are the result of planning peppered with good luck. That it was achieved whilst snorkeling is very impressive and the choice of the curved split level rather than the traditional horizontal creates a very dynamic image which leaves the viewer in no doubt. Winning images must have everything right and then an ace up their sleeve to make them rise above the competition. This, to my mind, is a perfect example.”

But as ocean swimmers around the world have frequently and repeatedly seen through their goggles scenes like this that capture the mind and are memorable long-lasting images that the eye catches momentarily in innumerable locations around the world, especially in clear, tropical shallow water areas.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association