Hans Christian Schink
When the glaciers of the last ice age began to melt about 12 000 years ago, the ice sheet that stretched from the Arctic to the European continent gradually receded, leaving behind a landscape of countless bodies of water in what is now north-eastern Germany.
All of these lakes, ponds and sumps are home to fauna and flora adapted to their respective habitats, which have been and continue to be exposed to various influences, above all through settlement and cultivation. During the political upheaval of 1989/90, it was possible to place large areas of such natural spaces under protection. On the other hand, the industrialisation of agriculture and changes in the climate continue. Thus, the effects of human civilisation remain the greatest risk factor for the existence of these biotopes.
The photographs were taken in 2020 and 2021 in the waters of the Mecklenburg Lake District. I worked for this with an underwater camera, but not on normal dives but according to the principle of "controlled chance". At places that seemed suitable from the top view, I held the camera in the water without being able to check the resulting image in the viewfinder.