TIFA 2023 Events / Sport

Heroes of Freediving

  • Prize
    Silver in Events/Sport
  • Photographer
    Kohei Ueno
  • Agency / Studio
    Kohei Ueno Photography
  • Technical Info
    1/500 / F9 / Iso400
  • Photo Date

A deep blackout in the sport of freediving occurs when a diver loses consciousness while ascending from significant depths, primarily due to hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) or hypercapnia (excess carbon dioxide buildup). In a freediving world championship competition of this level, the role of safety divers are paramount, as they are tasked with a crucial role that could spell life or death for the athletes that pushed too far beyond their limits. Intervening when necessary to bring them up, just like you see here in this photo. The safety divers are the unsung heroes of this epic aquatic sport.

Kohei is an international award winning photographer from Japan, specialising in freediving and underwater photography based out of Asia. He picked up his first camera in 2014 when he quit his job at Google to travel the world, capturing images along the way that won him 1st place at the 2016 Alpha Awards. Since then, he's taken the camera underwater combining it with his passion for freediving. Since then he’s won multiple awards with numerous work published locally and abroad, including 2nd place at the Sony World Photography Awards, and winning the 2019 IPA Sports Photographer of the Year.