Stefanos Kontos - TEDx Athens

Stefanos Kontos

Adventurer | Freediving Underwater Photographer and Videographer

Stefanos Kontos, is an underwater photographer/cinematographer, who does all his work freedivng – using apnea – without the use of any breathing equipment. Born in Ioannina-Greece in 1972 he has been exploring the Greek seas and documenting his work for 3 decades. He is collaborating with organizations, institutions and specialists, worldwide in an effort to advance and promote the unique perspective of freediving photography. His associations include, The Greek ephorate of underwater antiquities, National Geographic, The KORSEAI Institute of Historical & Archaeological Research and others.

The work of apnea underwater photography is a truly unique and challenging endeavor. It is the absolute manifestation of “action – wildlife photography” and requires effort and preparation by the photographer and the support – team involved. 

As well as requiring sound technical skills and physical abilities, the photographer needs to have a deep understanding and awareness of the marine environment and its inhabitants. Some situations may require stalking skills or the use of the environment for concealment and approach, always, on a single breath. Intensive training and both physical and mental preparation is necessary for achieving a high level of competence in freediving photography. 

However, the element of the “single breath” does not work as a restriction or confinement, it is a liberating factor; the photographs are all–too–real glimpses of the experience and the actual interaction with the deep. 

The photographer –freediver is liberated; unfettered by definition, free to experience his surroundings completely, and without any interference between him and his subject. 

Τhe natural, physical and mental abilities of the freediver-photographer allow Stefanos to capture the pulse of the unique Greek underwater world as it is interacting with him, during his dives.