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Kurt Arrigo is Malta’s most eminent and one of the world’s finest marine photographers and close associate of Anchovy, Kurt Arrigo, recently conducted the latest in a series of underwater photoshoots in the sea between the islands of Malta and Comino.
The concept behind them was to merge the medium of water and the athleticism and beauty of synchronised swimming in a flowing, fluid way. To bring the concept to life, Kurt worked with Saho Harada and Kanako Kitao – two members of the 2004 Olympic silver medal-winning Japanese synchronised swimming team.
Kurt used a Nikon D800 camera for the shoots, which took place in a number of offshore locations. The most challenging of these was some two miles offshore, capturing one of the models using her expert sporting skills to create an ethereal, mermaid-type look amongst a shoal of tuna.
Additionally, the shoots took place at different times of the year. “It was interesting to see variations in water clarity, along with those in the emotions the models portray,” said Kurt when asked about how the outcomes differed between shoots due to seasonal differences. He added that the models could only pose for relatively short periods on the most recent shoot because of the cold and the currents.
Following her silver medal achievement in Athens, Kanako went on to pursue other ventures while Saho took bronze in the Duet synchronised swimming competition at the 2008 Beijing games. Now retired from competition, she currently resides in Malta in order to, “popularise synchronised swimming in spite of the sport being completely unchartered territory,” on the island.