“I’m done bro, I’m done.” With those few words Mike rose to his feet in ankle deep water and began the 10 minute walk towards shore, dodging thick back urchins and sharp reef outcrops while assessing his wounds. Even from behind the waves I could see a stream of blood run down his arm, and t-shirt turn red across his shoulders.
This was in the first hour of a 10 day shoot. We both knew the reefs on the island were shallow; we’d been there before and surfed the waves, but shooting The Underwater Project dictates no boards and definitely no wetsuits — meaning the danger of losing skin was increased tenfold.
With a wary eye watching for rogue waves I watched as Mike left the water, he stumbled on a few urchin spines adding insult to injury; and I wondered if there was something else that I could shoot underwater.
– Mark Tipple, The Underwater Project