Just when we thought we’ve seen it all — along comes this unique and unusual image of a cliff diver jumping from a submarine garage into the Adriatic Sea on the island of Vis. Having blown our minds, we decided to get in touch with the photographer himself — Marjan Radovic. Scroll down to get the full story behind this incredible shot, along with exclusive behind-the-scenes snaps!
“This is a photo of Orlando Duque, a Red Bull athlete from Colombia. Duque is one of the greatest cliff divers of today, and one of the pioneers of the sport.
He is the FINA Diving World Cup champion this year, and the runner-up of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.
Though he turned 40 years old last year, he continues to test the limits of his body and mind. I had the opportunity to work with this great, professional person on several occasions before this shooting.”
“Duque visited the island of Vis in Croatia to explore its natural beauty. He saw this place as an opportunity to do an exceptional cliff dive. Vis is full of extraordinary cliffs for diving, as well as beautiful and famous caves. Located 45 kilometers away from the mainland, it is the most remote Croatian island. For these reasons, and because of its half a century of isolation as a military island, lies its charm. Because of its isolation and strategic position, Vis became a military fort in the 20th Century, as evidenced by numerous military facilities.”
“We spent several exciting days filming and photographing Orlando Duque. One of these photos I made then was this. I shot this photo with a Nikon D3 with the underwater housing Aquatica. To create the split image, I used a wide angle lens — a Nikon 16mm f2.8 fisheye lens and 8” Doom acrylic port that is sufficiently distant from the axis of the camera. I often use the extra light, especially when it is a sunny day to highlight the underwater subject. But when I shot this photo, it was a cloudy day, and I wanted to work with natural light.”
“A few minutes after I took the shot, a huge rainstorm struck, so the entire team had to withdraw from the shooting site. I wasn’t 100% sure how the photos turned out, but as soon as I viewed the photo on my computer screen, I knew that we had a winning shoot. In post, I did some basic processing, such as color correction, reduced saturation, and additional lighting.”
Want to see more of his jaw-dropping pictures, as well as get more insights and tips on his work? Read on for our exclusive interview with Marjan!
500px: How did you get started with photography?
MARJAN RADOVIC: I’ve been a photographer, ever since my days studying at the Faculty of Geodesy in Zagreb University. All my life, I’ve been in love with sports. My friends and I were active in sports, especially under water. This gave me the chance to take photographs at sports events that we’ve participated in. I was fascinated by the ability to capture unique moments, and showing off the athlete’s skills, efforts, and capabilities. It was then that my love for sports photography began.
What inspires you to go out and shoot?
I’m inspired by sports and underwater photography. I love unusual conditions, challenges, and adrenalin. I’m a martial arts, scuba diving, and snowboarding instructor, so I understand sports with an insider’s perspective. I enjoy facing challenges and being under pressure, so it’s no problem for me to accept projects focused on that one unique moment or shot. It’s all about planning everything in advance just to catch that unique opportunity. I have no words to express how good it feels when I do things like that!
What is your favorite sport to photograph?
I like all kinds of sports, but my favorite is water sports. I feel like I’m home when I’m underwater. My second favorite to shoot is snowboard photography.