This image of a delicate seahorse dragging a face mask taken by Greek photographer Photographer Nikos Samaras in the waters of Northern Greece has gone viral this past week.
The photo was selected from 3,500 other photographs to be nominated for the Ocean Photography Award 2021, and also landed Samaras a nomination for Conservation Photographer of the year.
For underwater photographer Samaras, his passion for photography is such that his work is not a job.
For him it’s “all about his passion of constantly observing everything around him to find inspiration.”
He says, “Maybe today is the day you will find that little detail that would make everything special.”
And this is exactly what Samaras’s now famed seahorse photo has done, by drawing much needed attention to the global issue of marine pollution, which has been exacerbated even further of late by the sheer volume of medical waste that sadly has ended up in the ocean.
Single-use masks and gloves have been washing up on shorelines and littering the seabed, with an estimated 1.6 billion disposable masks entering the ocean in 2020 alone that will take 450 years to biodegrade.
Waste from throwaway masks have been said to have already created a mass of plastic waste around 7 per cent of the size of the Great Garbage Plastic Patch – a mass that continues to grow.
Nicholas Samaras is an award winning photographer and one of the most passionate and committed underwater photographers in the world.
His love and dedication to the sea and its creatures combined with his efforts to showcase the beauty of the marine world with its unique aesthetics to those of us above its surface has cemented his reputation both in Greece and worldwide.
For Samaras, failure and giving up is not an option.
“A man can turn the world upside down, improve, develop new talents, do anything to grow himself and tackle any challenge,” he believes.
“The most impressive thing about the sea is the continuous movement and evolution, her ability to heal and create life” says Samaras.
“What amazes me the most is that even if I dive in the same place often, the sea gives me something new to shoot.”
Samaras has garnered numerous international awards for his photography including the Festival Mondial De L’Image Sous Marine, Scuba Diving Magazine International Annual Contest (USA), ‘Through the Lens’ SDAA/ MIDE International Competition, ‘Our World Underwater’ International Underwater Photography of the Year, One Eyeland’s ‘World’s Top 10 Wildlife Photographers 2021’ plus many more.
He has contributed to the National Geographic Magazine, Scuba Diving Magazine (US), Australasia Scuba Diving Magazine, Asian Diver Magazine, Through the Lens Magazine, Discovery Channel Magazine and his works have filled the pages of numerous additional diving and photography publications.
Admire more of Samara’s beautiful photography on his website: https://underwater-photography.gr/