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In Deep

Bodies of water bring us comfort, euphoria, life.

Most of my happiest memories involve water. Water is the fundamental precursor of life and one of our most valuable resources, but most of us don’t think of it that way. We think of failed attempts to water ski and boiling hot days. Days at the beach or floats down the river. Water and heat work together to give us excuses to detach, relax, and forget. Soak it up.

Before you take a mental vacation down this page, consider applying to the Hey, Hot Shot! photography competition, closing in just a few days. We’re lucky enough to have Youngna Park from the Hey, Hot Shot!/Jen Bekman Projects team as our guest curator for this showcase.

Guest curation by Youngna Park

Intro by Laura Brunow Miner

Guest design by Sleepover

Published August 18, 2010

North Pacific Ocean

North Pacific Ocean

Since boarding a boat headed up the west coast of America towards the Inside Passage of Alaska, I’d been tossed to and fro by seven foot swells and hadn’t seen a spot of land. I was starting to worry that my week of vacation time would bring nothing but misery. Walking on deck one early morning to find this sight — a cloudy blanket over me, glassy seas beneath, and the first kiss of the sun causing the snow to blush — I felt like Noah must have when he first saw land after the great flood.

Photographer: Hope Kirkendall

I am based in Atlanta and do business development for a living, but would love to travel the world and capture it on my camera.

Mediterranean Sea

Mediterranean Sea

It took us hours to get there. I fell asleep on your shoulder on the train. We climbed down stair after stair, wanting to be there quicker than our feet could carry us. After too long we reached the sand, scattered with colored sea glass. Feet craving the rough touch of sand kicked off their binding straps. We longed for feeling. We looked forward forever.

Photographer: Serrah Russell

Serrah Russell is an artist who lives and works in Seattle but whose heart is in Italy for all eternity.

Caribbean Sea

Caribbean Sea

Key West is special for a few reasons. It’s the southernmost tip of the continent. On a clear day you can see Cuba. Water surrounds it on all sides. It feels like no other place else in the US. We fell in love with Key West, and in 2007 we married there.

Photographer: Naz Hamid

Naz Hamid is the principal of Weightshift, a design, development, content, and ideation studio in San Francisco and Chicago.

Bay of Bengal

Bay of Bengal

While assisting a German photojournalist on an adventure of a lifetime, we travelled across India for eight weeks solid. When we hit the beach at Orissa, India, we knew it was time for a break.

Photographer: Mahesh Shantaram

I’m an independent photographer and artist based in Bangalore.

Dear @Pictory:

The warm Pacific coast of El Salvador, going past the safe zone to be one with the breaking waves at high tide. Burning sand. Love.”

Coral Sea

Coral Sea

The pilot pulled up suddenly as I struggled to hold on to my heavy camera gear, leaning out the helicopter door. As adrenaline rushed through my system, he shouted, “Mate, I haven’t seen water like this for years!” The sunlight reflecting on the mirrored surface of the water masked our low altitude and had made him fly lower than he meant to. As we skimmed the water, the still conditions, the droning of the engine muffled by the heavy helicopter headset, and the rush of wind lulled me into a disoriented state. The traditional burning of the sugar cane fields some 10 miles away brought the pinkish haze of smoke that drifted over the Great Barrier Reef. The crystal clear water below almost seemed like air even as schools of manta rays and the occasional lone shark patrolled by.

Photographer: Juergen Berkessel

A freelance new media consultant now living in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, Juergen studied photographic and graphic design in Athens, Georgia and Cortona, Italy.

Swimming Hole, Great Barrier Island

Swimming Hole, Great Barrier Island

During a hot visit to the Great Barrier Island, the exhaustion of a long walk overpowered our enjoyment of the beautiful surroundings. The minute we reached this gorgeous pool though, smiles came back on our faces. Just what we needed.

Photographer: Romain Perin

I’m a web designer currently living in Auckland, New Zealand. I spend most of my time tending my garden, exploring with my family, and staring at my chickens.

Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca

Today, those six silhouettes are my girlfriend and good friends. At that moment, as the sun set over Lake Titicaca in Peru, they were strangers.

Photographer: Ewen Brown

I’m a print designer based in London.

Dead River Basin

Dead River Basin

I only get a chance to visit my hometown in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan once a year, around the Fourth of July. My favorite time there is early morning, when the lake is perfectly still and there are no boats motoring around to break the spell.

Photographer: Brad Greenlee

I’m a father, husband, and software engineer living in Oakland, California.

Dear @Pictory:

Folsom Lake. My dad found a cool piece of driftwood, took it home to clean off, painted my name on it, and hung it up in my room.”

Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean

I married a surfer years ago. So long ago that now I am the mother of a surfer. Growing up in Los Angeles, it was easy to fall in love with those lanky boys with long stringy hair and blonde eyebrows. Fast forward — I still follow a boy to the ocean. He’s my boy. The soft round baby I once carried on my hip is one of those tall, lanky guys now. He follows the tides, the moons, and the breaks in search of his bliss. I am lucky enough to be able to sit and watch and snap. He’s on his way in this picture. Away from me, and towards his future and first love. The ocean.

Photographer: Teri O'Connor

I am a married mother of three kids, photographer, full time student, realtor in the San Fernando Valley, dog owner, friend, Starbucks addict.

Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay

Getting off the plane from the mainland I can feel the stress of my fellow passengers flowing out on the hot concrete of the Honolulu airport main parking lot. Plane to car to hotel and then directly to the beach. They stand lost between home and away, waiting for the decompression to begin.

Photographer: Daniel Milnor

Daniel Milnor splits his time between the chaos of Southern California and the spiritual landscape of New Mexico. He is happiest with his notebook, Leica and trusty leather boots, sizing up whatever situation is happening in front of him.

Ik Kil Cenote

Ik Kil Cenote

During an adventure through Mexico, my best friend and I stopped at a Mayan Village called Ik Kil. We were told that there was a cold cenote (or sinkhole) nearby for swimming, but since it was pouring rain, we weren’t too excited about it. We opted to go just to photograph the people crazy enough to swim there. The second we saw it, we decided to dive 50 feet into the cold, catfish-filled waters. And then repeat. It remains one of the most magical experiences of my life.

Photographer: Christina McNeill

I am a fine art portrait photographer living in San Francisco. I love film, Hasselblads, flea markets, country roads, and wine. I shoot everything in between.

Guatape Lake District

Guatape Lake District

In the state of Antioquia, Colombia, there is a rock called “El Peñón de Guatapé” After 400 steps up a sketchy staircase, I spotted the lake and islands below.

Photographer: William Gil

I was born in Medellin, Colombia, and now live in Miami. I’m an outdoor junkie and love cycling, photography, mountaineering. By day I’m a business manager.

Cape Fear

Cape Fear

From my hotel window in Wilmington, NC, I stared at the moody, misty, early morning air.

Photographer: Jodi Hersh

Founder of Orange Star Design in Decatur, Georgia, Jodi has over 20 years of experience as a designer and is an avid photographer and mixed-media artist.

Dear @Pictory:

Fisherman’s Cove every Sunday. I was 6; my dad tried to teach me to swim. I’d scream bloody murder; people looked at him funny.”

Mekong Delta

Mekong Delta

While visiting southwestern Vietnam, I got caught in a downpour between the Mekong River and the South China Sea.

Photographer: Sumesh Senan

Capturing life’s subtle moments within a frame is one of the most exciting and profound activities one can ever do. It first started as a passionate hobby and eventually has become a compelling need without which there is a void.

Venetian Lagoon

Venetian Lagoon

Last fall I visited Venice and fell in love. The island city opened my eyes to the beauty of the world like no place ever had.

Photographer: Caroline E

I am a senior in college and a childhood education major. I live in upstate New York and plan to travel the world throughout my life.

Dear @Pictory:

Pine Lake, in MI. Small. Frigid. Once a year, my parents would dump us in and make us swim across, where warm pancakes awaited.”

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan

I grew up on the coast of Lake Michigan, a sprawling and expansive body of water that disappears into every horizon. Summer days were spent swimming in the calm waters; the nights escaping in the sand and stars. And every December, we’d travel around its base to Chicago to celebrate my parents’ anniversary. In the middle of the snow of this past winter, we sat atop the John Hancock amidst the glow of the city and water below.

Photographer: William Couch

Born in Colorado, holding hometown pride in Michigan, developing interfaces and drinking craft beer in the DC Metro area. Constantly reassuring people I’m not a piece of furniture in their living room.

Argentino Lake

Argentino Lake

An awkward and emotional meeting with my long-lost father in Buenos Aires left me unsettled. Somehow my trip to the massive Perito Moreno Glacier, in El Calafate, put my troubles into perspective.

Photographer: Paccarik Orue

My name is Paccarik, which means tomorrow in Quechua. I was born and raised in Lima, Peru, and currently reside in San Francisco, where I am pursuing a BFA in photography at the Academy of Art University.

Atlantic Ocean

Atlantic Ocean

My trip to the northernmost capital in the world, Reykjavik, Iceland, involved under dressing for the cold, eating whale, and contemplating the ocean.

Photographer: Hudson Lines

I’m a filmmaker and live in New York.

Delaware Bay

Delaware Bay

On my family’s annual summer pilgrimage from hot and humid Washington, DC to the Jersey Shore, one of the first signs that life will be sweet for the next few days is the ferry. It’s 90 minutes of gentle bliss that transitions its passengers to a cooler and slower paced beach lifestyle.

Photographer: Jeff Gates

Jeff is the lead producer of new media initiatives for the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and managing editor of their blog, Eye Level. He is also the founder of the Chamomile Tea Party.

Gulf of Mexico

Gulf of Mexico

The oil stopped gushing and the media moved on, but I can’t forget how this whole mess was born. The protests and critics seem to have all agreed to ignore the worst culprit—me. My road trips, plane rides, electronics. We take so much for granted at a cost we can’t pay, and it’s all led to this irreversible mistake.

Photographer: Brian W. Jones

Brian W. Jones is a designer, photographer, writer, and social entrepreneur currently living and working in Belfast, Maine.

Dear @Pictory:

Goaded by a near-drowning experience, I slowly taught my 9 y.o. self how to swim. Alas, the family pool is now full of cement.”

Long Pond, Massachusetts

Long Pond, Massachusetts

Every summer, we fly across the country to an ancestral body of water, a lake that has been a summer destination to generations of my husband’s family. There’s something magical knowing that a century later, we are taking pleasure in the same activities, on the same dock, in the same water.

Photographer: Aline Smithson

Photographer, editor, educator, Aline Smithson lives in Los Angeles and yes, still shoots film. She writes and edits the blog, Lenscratch.

Lyme Bay

Lyme Bay

Ice cream, fish and chips, breezy walks, sea spray, and tangled hair: the scene at the harbor near my grandparents’ house is pretty perfect.

Photographer: Caroline Hancox

I am a photographic technician and photographer from Cambridge, UK.

Mediterranean Sea

Mediterranean Sea

If you happen to visit Dubrovnik, Croatia, don’t miss a walk around the city walls. Leaning over, I discovered a small clique of boys and girls finding relief from the hot sun with a dip in the sea. I instantly recalled what young people do in my hometown in Italy: exactly the same thing. It’s part of the essence of being Mediterranean.

Photographer: Alessandro Melillo

I’m an architect deeply in love with photography. I live in Piombino, on Tuscany’s beautiful shore, Italy, and I go crazy for aniseed, everything indigo, Vespa riding, parkour, and puzzle solving (not necessarily in this order).

Showcase 17 of 37

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