During COVID, artists made their own work, creating whenever and wherever they could. Kremer Johnson took this time to approach projects a bit differently. “Dive” started with a seed of inspiration, marrying artistry with nature which then grew to this series. Kremer Johnson met challenges with improvisation, viewing them as a means to add more to their creation toolbox, testing their mettle, and turning opportunities into triumphs. Dive won multiple awards from OneEyeland, Communication Arts, and one image, earning a spot in the American Photo Annual awards book. Here’s a little about how they made this project happen.
What did you learn on this project?
Our Dive project reinforced the notion of patience and willpower. On day one of this project, we started shooting from the diving platform but soon found that capturing images of people “falling” wasn’t as graceful as it could be. The lighting was problematic, and the dive is so fast, we needed to work out the timing.
We shot for five days to get 16 images, where we explored how best to capture aerial moments. The moments that made a difference were those of divers on the three-meter springboard when their bodies bounced up and transitioned to going down. We also found that the most human moments were the moments when the divers are standing on the board, just before their dive.
There’s grace and beauty in diving that’s impressive to witness in person. Even more impressive are the moments of focus and determination, and clarity in a diver’s body, mind, and expression when they are on the board. To the human eye, dives appear fluid and graceful. In reality, most consist of an immaculately choreographed progression of awkward, tense, and violent actions which together, create the illusion of grace. We found a great deal of humanity in those isolated moments.
What are some memorable moments you can share?
There is one shot of a girl that is just beginning her dive off the springboard. By this time, we shot hundreds of images. This shot was an accident, but in the moment, we realized we had something special here.
What would you like people to know about you or your work after viewing this series?
This project was no small feat to make it happen, from securing the pool and divers to “ordering” the best weather; this was a challenge to make from every aspect. But, we’ve never shied away from obstacles. Instead, we find a way to bring what we envisioned in our heads, ideas we captured digitally and on paper, into reality. We don’t give up.
Follow Kremer Johnson on Instagram for more story-telling scenes capturing authentic moments.