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BEHIND THE SCENES

25.10.2019

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The protection of nature and of the environment are subjects that no one can avoid today – they deal with our own habitat as much as that of life in the oceans. Plastic garbage, industrial fishing and climate warming are becoming an increasing problem for the diversity of life under water. For his Heroes of the Sea project, the photographer York Hovest worked with people who are battling the threat to our oceans.

LFI: You come originally from the field of fashion photography. What motivated you to take on your Heroes of the Sea project?
York Hovest: My involvement with fashion photography is now a few years in the past; I decided to go into a more investigative direction some time ago, following a meeting with the Dalai Lama. This resulted in my photo book, 100 Tage Tibet (100 days in Tibet), which I photographed with a Leica S2. After that came a project on the Amazon. I've always been fascinated by the ocean, and, being a passionate diver, I've always felt a close connection to it. The fact that a project about the ocean would eventually emerge was inevitable – especially considering the subjects under discussion nowadays. I feel the responsibility that we are all faced with to protect the oceans, and I want to show people the forms that this responsibility can take on.  

What impact is the project supposed to have on the viewer?
Heroes of the Sea aims to draw attention to the fact that many solutions already exist around the globe, but many people don't know anything about them; and that there are “heroes” who have already taken up the challenge to fight for our oceans. Each in their own individual way. They include scientists, activists, visionaries and many more. I want my work to instil hope, and to prompt people to become active themselves.

What was it like to work under water with the Leica SL? What casing did you use?
The thing I appreciate so much about the camera is the incredible breadth of the aperture spectrum. Particularly under water, you need a fast lens camera that can separate one hue from another. The precision is also overwhelming. The results are unbeatable. The casing is a specially made one that was commissioned for this specific camera. (dar)

Equipment: Leica SL with Vario-Elmarit-SL 1:2.8–4/24–90 Asph and Apo-Vario-Elmarit-SL 1:2.8–4/90–280

Photo right: © Alejandra Potter Gimeno
All other photos: © York Hovest
© Corinna-Rosa Hacker

York Hovest

A love and respect for the beauty of our planet are the driving forces behind York Hovest's projects. As an investigative photographer, he always tries to show both sides of the coin: pictures of untouched nature and hidden cultures stand in contrast to all the exploitation and destruction that humanity is capable of. Hovest wants to sharpen people's awareness and draw their attention to the important subjects of our times. His tool is the camera, and his feelings take care of all the rest.

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