Back in 2017 I completed a series of photographs called ‘Paradise Lost?’ taken on the stunningly beautiful Maldivian island known as South Ari Atoll (native name Dhidhahoofinolhu). Some scientific experts say that most low-lying atoll islands could disappear by the middle of the 21st Century due to climate change and the rise in global sea levels. Thousands of islands will be affected by frequent flooding, lack of freshwater and damaged infrastructure and will likely be uninhabitable. It's really important to me as a photographer that we record the beauty of these pockets of paradise in order to promote and educate globally, the real and potential catastrophic loss of a planetary paradise.
All my life I’ve been influenced and inspired by the beauty of the great outdoors. This desire to immerse myself in nature combined with a love for minimalist design, abstract art, muted landscape paintings, symmetry and balance directed me towards a minimalist approach. So it always made sense to me that when composing a photographic composition the image should be simplistic and uncluttered. I try to convey a calm sense of mood and I have a fascination for water, so you will see this appearing in a lot of my photographs throughout my work. I’ve always been more interested in shooting less recognisable locations as it adds more intrigue to the photograph and can offer a more personal interpretation to the viewer.
The photograph accompanying the article is called ‘Time Tells’ taken on the Northern tip of the South Ari Atoll island. The thought process behind the photographs composition was inspired by abstract expressionism and I wanted to document the elegance and fragility with long exposure to look deeper into the soul of the island. The use of long exposure also signifies the time that is passing before our eyes before the unthinkable loss of a such a beautiful place.
I positioned my tripod on the waters edge to indicate the land and water connection, I used some disused CD’s to stabilize the camera as the waves lapped at my tripod legs. Using the leading line of the sandbar, I knew the wind direction could potentially reflect this diagonal and transform a potentially flat composition into something with movement and life. The storms were passing through and for this particular frame I was lucky as the sun broke through behind me illuminating the stunning turquoise waters and water villas for the majority of the long exposure. I do hope that this series of photographs convey the beauty I witnessed in the landscape and signify what we all stand to loose in the not so distant future.