arina de Wit is an award-winning self-taught photographer who picked up a DSLR at the age of 40 and never looked back! Well known for her dark and moody fine art florals which have a distinctive 'painterly' look, Marina has been working on a new collection of work over New Zealand's most recent lockdown which she tells us about here.

Feijoa by Marina de Wit. "The colour combo reminded me of Christmas."

What inspired your new photography collection entitled 'Submerged'

This lockdown has been especially hard, mentally I was really struggling and felt like giving it all up (photography-wise) mid-year. I lost all motivation and dreaded going on social media. All my exhibitions and art sales were cancelled. I personally felt like I had no reason to continue.

I felt like I was drowning… but walking twice a day whilst in lockdown, once again, saved me from totally losing it. One day, after some rain, I stopped to look at a channel next to the road which was filled with leaves. Some were drifting on top of the water and some were submerged. I suddenly realised that this was me, I was finally feeling like I was drifting along and no longer submerged and that this was something I could symbolize with flowers.

I literally started to collect little bits and pieces on my walks, whatever I could find on the verges. I experimented with water in various bowls and one thing led to another and this is how my collection came to life.

After the rain by Marina de Wit.

What does your new series symbolize to you?

It symbolizes life, lockdown, and overwhelm but I am also reminded of the saying that the darkest hours are often before dawn and that our frustration and loss of creativity often lead to incredible moments of inspiration.

Poppies by Marina de Wit. "I found a little bunch in a grocer and couldn’t say no, they are pretty fragile and become totally translucent when you leave them in water, love the happy vibrant colors."

What was your process for creating these fine art photographs?

I will generally sit down and place my flowers, leaves, and fruit in a bowl of water, some totally submerged, others drifting on top. I then take about 30 individual shots (I use a Nikon D750 and Nikon 105mm macro lens) per flower bowl and merge the images in Photoshop. I am naturally drawn to colour and textures so struggle to explain a specific process regarding the arrangement of objects but adding fruit to the flowers really inspired me. Often on my morning walks, I would pick a certain wildflower or weed and look for objects that would compliment it. Post-processing an email can take hours or days, sometimes I walk away and revisit an edit and colours, sometimes it’s perfect in my eyes immediately.

Mandarin by Marina de Wit. "I went looking for some Thistles and again wanted to add some colour, the orange added a bit of spunk to the image, and I  absolutely love the tones."

How would you like to improve this series?

By using a tripod! At the moment I am shooting handheld as my tripod is in storage. All I want for Christmas is a steady hand :)  But also, I think they need to be viewed large and on print to appreciate the details.

Blueberry by Marina de Wit. "This was the first image where I added some fruit. I love the colours and always lean towards the painterly look, they are my “paintings".

What else should we know about this series or your photography in general?

Photography is my creative outlet and my connection with nature, editing, my yoga after a long day. I often get stuck on a theme, as I did with Roses last year, I hope to get this new collection: Submerged, in galleries for 2022. I will continue to grow this collection and may get the series licensed or do something totally different with the images next year.

View Marina's portfolio here.

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