I love the sport of diving, especially in my country Indonesia, the largest archipelago nation in the world—with more than 17,000 islands extending more than 5,100 kilometers from east to west.
This photo was taken off Ambon Island, East Indonesia, in 2010. It is one of my favorites, illustrating the free-spirited nature of the children in the rural archipelago. While some children in the big cities may stay inside and play computer games, the children in Ambon with easy access to the water see the ocean surrounding their village as their playground.
To create the picture, I dove under the water and gestured to some children nearby to get close to me. I did not direct them at all. They acted naturally. I can tell they really enjoyed the moment because they have probably never seen a diver taking photographs while they played under the water.
To me, black-and-white photography evokes strong emotions. It allows you to explore the borderlines of light and shadow, the yin and yang. Celebrating complexity in the minimalist. Diving into the spiritual in the physical. This silhouette conveys to me the very spirit of minimalism and simplicity.