The ocean covers about 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, serving as a home to diverse and breathtaking underwater gardens and marine wildlife. Truly, there is much to be discovered in the vast underwater world, and 17-year old photographer Ganden Medved-Po will give us a glimpse of its beauty as he unveils his “Life Below Water” ocean photography book.
A joint project with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – Philippines, “Life Below Water” is a compilation of photos featuring scenic seascapes and surreal marine life. The photos in the book were taken between 2020 and 2021 by Ganden during the COVID-19 pandemic under the mentorship of world-renowned underwater photographer Scott “Gutsy” Tuason.
All proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit the sustainable fisheries work of the World Wide Fund for Nature – Philippines.
“I’m proud of this collaborative project with the WWF because it combines two of my passions in life: photography and the ocean. With the help of my mentor, Gutsy Tuason, we were able to capture beautiful images of our marine life in the Philippines. Through these photos, I hope people will have a better appreciation of our oceans and to learn to care for them more,” said Ganden.
WWF-Philippines Executive Director Katherine P. Custodio lauded Ganden for lending his talent, time and effort to promote awareness on marine conservation. “‘Life Below Water’ is a young person’s experience of the ocean, expressed through his chosen art of photography. The book is a reminder of why, what, how, and for whom we do our work of protecting our oceans.” She also added, “To Ganden, thank you for helping our fishing communities and for doing that in a way that is touching and inspiring. It gives me so much hope that young people like you and your peers in the WWF National Youth Council are doing what you can to change what would otherwise be a tragic ending for many people in our country. You are showing us how the power of one can create positive action in many.”
Ganden’s love for the water started at a very young age, and by the time he was eight years old, he was swimming competitively. It was also around that time when he developed a love for photography. “The first time I started taking photos was probably on my parents’ old camera which they would use to document family celebrations and occasions. That was an old Panasonic camera,” said the upcoming photographer, who is the son of Christopher Po, chairman of Century Pacific Food, Inc. and Nanette Medved-Po, founder and chairperson of HOPE and Plastic Credit Exchange.
Currently, his camera of choice is the Sony Rx100, which has been with him on all his adventures.
Now a senior high school student in International School Manila, Ganden expresses his gratitude for his parents for encouraging him to pursue his love for photography and the ocean while advocating for the environment. Apart from being the team captain of the school’s swimming varsity team, he is also active in various organizations including the Photography Club Council where he organizes events and workshops, as well as the Ocean ActivISM council, advocating for ocean conservation and sustainability. In July 2021, he became a member of the WWF-Philippines National Youth Council.