Our Islands, Our Future

A Maui resident for nearly 30 years, Helen Kordyl is well-known for her underwater photography as well as her nature photos. With a BA in visual arts, she has an impressive list of competitive photography. Eight of her images received honorable mention in the International Photography Awards, both in 2004 and 2014. Additionally, Kordyl shot the striking photo cover for award-winning Maui musician Lei’ohu Ryder’s hit CD, Love Returns.

Born on a rubber plantation in a Malaysian forest, Kordyl developed a deep connection with nature which continues to this day. She calls her images ‘Conversations with Nature’ as she truly feels a bond with all creation. “I have traveled the world; however, my heart connection is to Maui,” Kordyl explained. “It is said that when one lives ones’ passion, life flows with great ease and joy. I have listened to and deeply followed my intuition. My first passion is being in the beautiful blue ocean and feeling a deep connection with the creatures of the sea; and second, using my creativity, expressed through my photography—a moment of communication captured in an instant.” 

Photography underwater is potentially the most difficult of photographic disciplines, as most techniques that work well on the surface usually fail underwater. Plus, monitoring one’s life support system, buoyancy and sea conditions complicate things even more. “When I am in the ocean I enter an altered state of consciousness and become totally immersed in another world,” Kordyl noted. “My images show my deep unseen relationship with the beautiful cetaceans I have photographed.”

Underwater photographers can create magnificent images, offering insight into their dedication and creative impulse. By learning numerous techniques, Kordyl discovered and developed the artist within. “There is much to consider for taking good photos in the ocean, including field-tested digital and film techniques and underwater photo equipment, such as lenses, strobes and camera systems,” she added. “Through the years I learned hidden techniques which are behind imaginative framing and lighting to achieve new striking results. From wide-angle and fish-eye, to macro photography, to above/below split images, the wonders of underwater photography are immeasurable.”

All of my photography is dedicated to a celebration of the world of nature, a profoundly touching and integral part of our lives.

Helen Kordyl, Maui Photographer