Freedivers descend to depths of hundreds of feet, testing the physiology, and determination of the human body. Freediving origins began when animals returned to the ocean millions of years ago, but archaeological evidence shows the first human freedivers collected shells and sponges in Korea around the 5th Century BCE. Just like whales, seals, and even crocodiles, the human body does some amazing things when holding it's breath. The heart rate begins to slow and the flow of blood redistributes itself to the heart and brain, rather then waste precious oxygen rich blood on extremities. Also mammalian diving reflex kicks in allowing the lungs of the mammals to endure depth and lack of oxygen in extreme circumstances underwater. Yesterday I had the opportunity to shoot a talented freediver named Tanc Sade, who is the Dynamic Australian National Record Holder with a distance of 218m (US record is 175m). He trains hard every week, improving his technique and breath holding skills. Like most freedivers, Tanc uses weight to compensate for the full set of lungs and wetsuit he wears that make him buoyant. With the weight secured around his neck, Tanc is able to achieve neutral buoyancy allowing him to swim more efficiently and for longer distances. We went through his training exercises and got some great shots of Tanc using is monofin, which is used in the Dynamic competition he is the record holder for.
When athletes from across the globe join together in Rio to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics, Rugby players will be among them for the first time in 91 years. I recently had the pleasure of shooting the US Rugby team that will be competing in Rio. I spent the day shooting their workout and practice. They are an impressive bunch that have a great deal of speed and strength. I look forward to following their progress leading up to the games. Check out some of the photos.