Photographer Rachael Talibart grew up in West Essex, on England’s southeast coast and often went sailing on her father’s sailboat in the summer. Her fascination with the sea continued when she became a photographer and her new series Sirens reflects that. Each image is named after a mythological-esque figure. This one is called Niobe.
As a child, Talibart spent several weeks each summer on her father’s sailboat, exploring the coastlines of France and the Netherlands. It taught her how to understand the rhythms of the sea and to capture images like this one, Poseidon Rising.
Because she was always seasick, Talibart spent most of her sailing voyages as a youth in the cockpit, staring out at the ocean, rather than inside the boat. That translated into her work on images like Anapos.
Talibart drew on her knowledge of the sea for her new photography series, Sirens. Images in the series are given mythological-esque names like, in this case, Kraken.
The images were all shot at Newhaven Beach, in East Sussex, beginning in 2016. This image is named after Leviathan, the sea serpent of Jewish mythology.
Talibart began making weekly visits to the beach, arriving at dawn and spending hours on her back, taking photographs of the ocean, like this one, titled Loki.
Talibart used telescopic lenses and an ultra-fast 1,000 frames/second shutter speed to capture these sculpture-like images. This one is called Maelstrom.
Talibart shot most of the images in black and white, but she switched to desaturated color when she noticed bursts of green during Storm Brian in 2017. This dramatic shot, Medusa, is one of those photographs.
This dramatic image is called Nanook.
The series has been shortlisted for a Sony World Photography Award and will go on exhibition at the Sohn Fine Art Gallery in Lenox, Massachusetts in September. Talibart named this image Nyx after the personification of night in Greek mythology.
Talibart admits to a love/hate relationship with the ocean admitting “a part of me is still half-afraid of the sea.” She named this photograph Oceanus after the river in Greek mythology.
Talibart drew upon her childhood seafaring experience to help frame and time her photography. This image of a giant wave is named Echo after a nymph in Greek mythology.
As she did in childhood, Talibart can’t help but see the shapes of sea creatures in the waves. This one is named Sedna.
Only by using a fast shutter speed can we see waves this way, Talibart says. Normally they move too fast for us to appreciate their sculptural beauty. This one is named Thetis after the character in Greek mythology.