My photography commemorates the crews' lives, the forgotten and now re-discovered stories of trade and change, war and pieace, growth and decay, the progress of technology and the advancement of society.
About the photographer
Every wreck I dive has a name, even if the ship’s name has long fallen into oblivion. I have discovered, dived, explored and photographed ships from every century from the 16th century until today, including warships, sailing ships, merchant ships and submarines. To me, the stories of those who worked and lived aboard matter more than the ships’ names. If nobody tells their stories and fates, they are forever lost to the world. My photography commemorates the crews’ lives, the forgotten and now re-discovered stories of trade and change, war and peace, growth and decay, the progress of technology and the advancement of society. When I started diving in the Baltic Sea, I considered the flora and fauna to be barren and its waters inhospitable. But when I came across previously undiscovered wrecks, my fascination with historical treasures was awakened – the depths of the Baltic Sea presented themselves in new splendor. My attitude towards the Baltic Sea, too, changed. The naval shipworm, Teredo navalis, cannot exist in the dark, cold, oxygen- poor and brackish water. Thus, wooden wreck structures that usually are prone to quick decay are preserved; no organism distorts straight or carved lines. These details allow you to approach and perceive historical context – an angle, an overview, a cabin. Every moment I capture as a photographer is a moment of history. My pictures allow their viewers to experience these ships as they are submerged in water. The algae may have changed the original colors to hues of blue and green, but if you leave the shutter open just long enough to allow additional light in, the details begin to stand out and thus recreate the past. My pictures help us remember the tragedies that occurred at sea over the centuries. The Baltic Sea includes an inconceivable estimated 100,000 shipwrecks – a formidable and huge underwater museum that provides evidence of millennia of distant and hidden history.