Underwater

Stephanie Damoff

While kayaking in rivers, marshes, or Jamaica Bay, I became curious about what I could see under the water—the undulations of plant life, flashes of swimming fish—and about the invasive species that thrive despite efforts to check them. In streams and marshes adjacent to the Hudson River, I paddle through immense fields of untameable water chestnuts with sharply pointed seed pods that endanger harvesting. Wild rice that has survived farming projects waves in the breeze, among cattails and phragmites.

I have been drawn almost since I began working in photography to the abstract possibilities of nature, the lines, patterns, and shifting arrangements. The aesthetic possibilities refer to the mysteries of nature and of the origin of the universe. The underwater camera allows me to peek into the secret world below the surface of the water and reveal a new level of abstract landscape.

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