A photographer took a picture underwater and went deeper than anyone else ever has before.

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Photographer Steven Haining and model Ciara Antoski worked together to achieve a remarkable feat. They broke the record for the deepest underwater photo shoot ever recorded. With the help of a skilled team, they went 32 feet below the surface near Tobermory, Ontario, Canada.

The photo shoot happened last year and it was initially inspired by a desire to create something visually captivating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was already experimenting with underwater portraits in pools and controlled settings when the lockdowns and business closures occurred,” Haining shared with us. “During that time, they said we couldn’t work in a studio together because we would be too close to each other and share the same air. As a joke, I kept teasing my team to put on their diving gear so that we could have our own separate air and ensure safety while shooting.”

That humorous suggestion eventually evolved into concrete plans to organize a photo shoot in the chilly waters of Tobermory, Ontario. Haining referred to the location as the shipwreck capital of the world. It was in this remarkable place that his passion project gained recognition from the Guinness World Records as the deepest underwater photo shoot featuring a model.

Haining reflects on how what initially seemed like a distant fantasy for him turned into a tangible reality driven by his desire to do something remarkable during a period in history when he was unable to create art due to circumstances beyond his control.

Haining shares that he dedicated over a month to practicing with one of his favorite underwater models, Antoski, who is also a skilled diver. They trained in pools to help her acclimate to holding her breath in cold water. In addition, they visited and had photo shoots in a few other locations as part of their preparation for the upcoming deeper dive.

Haining emphasizes that he took safety seriously and enlisted the expertise of the best dive safety professional he knew. This individual happened to be a master diver with experience as a professional underwater escape artist for Penn and Teller. Their involvement provided an extra layer of assurance that the photo shoot would be carried out safely.

The photo shoot happened at the location of the W.L. Wetmore shipwreck, which ran aground and sank in November 1901.

“The deepest dive we did with the model was 32 feet for an incredible 30 minutes at depth, with [Antoski] borrowing air and navigating the W.L. Wetmore wreck,” Haining says.

Haining shares that they accomplished an astonishing feat during the photo shoot, going as deep as 32 feet underwater for an impressive duration of 30 minutes. During this time, Antoski explored the W.L. Wetmore wreck while relying on borrowed air to navigate the underwater environment.

Haining shares that they accomplished an astonishing feat during the photo shoot, going as deep as 32 feet underwater for an impressive duration of 30 minutes. During this time, Antoski explored the W.L. Wetmore wreck while relying on borrowed air to navigate the underwater environment.

In the end, Guinness approved the record for a duration of 16 minutes at a depth of 21 feet, specifically in a higher section of the Wetmore wreck. While it wasn’t the deepest spot they had shot at, Haining was still thrilled and incredibly happy to receive the recognition. He mentions that he couldn’t provide sufficient documentation for the deeper dive, such as dive computers and detailed information. However, he expresses that the focus was always on capturing stunning photos rather than solely aiming for the record.

Haining expresses that he is not finished with his deep dive shoots, especially since he believes he went even deeper than what he could prove for the current record. Although the Guinness World Records currently acknowledges the achievement on their website, Haining has plans to ensure an update to that page later this year, providing additional evidence of his remarkable dive.

Haining enthusiastically shares his plans for the future. In September, he and his team, along with some friends from Fujifilm who appreciate his daring photography endeavors, will return to Tobermory once again. Their goal is to surpass their own record by a significant margin, pushing the boundaries even further. Haining expresses his determination and excitement, promising an extraordinary achievement that might seem impossible to surpass.

“This time we’re going to invite Guinness to be there in person to witness it.”

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