As a professional underwater photographer and avid diver, I have been travelling on the world’s oceans for more than 25 years. Due to many unforgettable experiences and encounters in the world under the sea, I can now say that my job is more like a vocation. I do not want future generations to know underwater-life only from books. Unfortunately, much of it is already gone.
Project REEFCALENDAR is very near to my heart.
When it was started, I was on board immediately. Only through information we can protect the oceans’ flora and fauna. Sadly, we have no time to waste. Man’s ignorance and way of life have already destroyed much of the life under water. Let us all together fight the raid on the oceans, and help the people to find alternatives to their destructive ways of life.
Already when I was a child, the underwater world did fascinate me – so I built my first diving equipment already with 8 years – unfortunately with moderate success.
It was more a drowning than diving, the first real diving I did meanwhile over 27 years ago. Since then, the underwater world became my great Love and passion. Always interested in the exciting stories of Hans Hass and Jacques-Yves Cousteau the two Grand Sirs of the underwater world and diving pioneers.
So I wanted to honour with my image idea one of the big ones: Jacques-Yves Cousteau also called Il Comandante by his staff and inventor of the legendary “Aqua Lunge”, produced by La Spirotechnique later by Aqualung. In the movie from 1964 the “world without sun” and the experiment Precontinent 2 dragged at that time a record number of visitors in the cinemas.Divers in silver-colored suits, dramatic comments, sharks and exciting screens had helped the film achieve this success. 1965 the world without sunwas awarded with an Oscar as a best documentary.
Sadly, the overexploitation of our seas has caused massive damage to the marine ecosystem, which can hardly be fully recovered. From 1st August of the year, we live in debt – it will be the “Earth Overshoot Day”. According to researchers’ calculations, all the resources that the earth could replace this year are consumed. This day is reached earlier each year.
Our artistic contribution was made in Sudan in 2017 together with my wife, the underwater model Julia Aigner, and the 10 times Apnoe world record holder Christian Redl on Shaab Rumi, arround 53 years after the Precontinent experiment by Il Comandante. A tribute to the adventurer, explorer and world traveler Jacques Yves Cousteau (June 11, 1910 – June 25, 1997). After editing, the picture was brought to 50-year-old photo paper with great effort and then digitized again.
Martin Aigner, born 1971 in Upper Austria, was already interested in children’s photography and the underwater world. His first own developed diving equipment, consisting of a plastic bottle filled with a balloon, he already made at the tender age of 6 years. This device allowed him to take 2 breaths under water. He now has 25 years of diving experience, is CMAS certified dive instructor and can look back on more than 2500 dives in almost everywhere arround the world. Martin is also a commercial photographer and has worked for over 20 years above and under water.