Based in New York City, I have an academic and professional background in both fine and applied art. Much of my work has been in sculpture, mostly direct metal and carved stone. When I merged photography with scuba diving, it soon became my most rewarding creative endeavor.
Having a sculptor's eye proved a valuable asset to extend into underwater photography. While diving, I can fuse my physical self into the very flux of 3-D as opposed to forming art into a separate realm. Composition isn't initially sought within the viewfinder, it's revealed by continuously composing myself through interaction with the life around me and taking in the dynamic linkages of the reef. In addition, the physics of diving puts a strict emphasis on the dimension of time, where remaining alive and well requires being fully in the moment.
These facets come together in heightened comprehension once the shutter is released. An acute spatial awareness, as well as being while truly seeing, is essential in creating these images.
I'm also intensively engaged in activism to protect and restore the ocean. As with benefiting me as an underwater photographer, my work as a sculptor has carried over in creating "waterworks" of protected aquatic life and habitat.
In fact, art is the vital element sorely lacking in environmentalism. Original visions and perspectives derived from aesthetic perception are desperately needed. Not art as esoteric or unstructured...it's actually more the contrary. Artistic insight is projective, integrative and precise...a valuable skill set in achieving conservation gains within a culture that values acquisitive lifestyles over life itself.
The emotive quality conveyed with my photography reflects my advocacy for people to take decisive action to restore and protect the precarious balance of aquatic environments. A strong marine conservation ethos must be cultivated for the sake of the ocean's beings and a world that requires their enduring existence.
~ Edward Dorson
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