Typically, marine photography is done in rich, saturated color -- the better to show off the riot of life beneath the waves.
But the photographer Christian Vizl has done it in high-contrast black and white, producing eerily intense ways of re-seeing marine life. You can see the work on his site, and in his new book Silent Kingdom.
From his interview with My Modern Met:
Any particular favorite images from the book or a story behind a particularly interesting photo you’d like to share?
It’s hard for me to choose only one because I have so many memorable encounters with marine life, but one would be two giant mantas touching each other’s tips. I observed this behavior for the first time during the first dive we did in a very remote and special dive area in Mexico called Revillagigedo Islands. The two mantas were swimming directly towards each other when, at the last second before colliding, they would move upwards, positioning themselves slightly to one opposite side so they could touch each other’s tip of their wings. I was so amazed by this behavior that I wanted to capture it. I tried many times and finally the last day of diving in the last minute before having to go for the surface I managed to take this picture in the exact time. I felt so happy!
Some of the images are incredibly striking; in black and white, this school of fish looks like the hull of a ship ... Read the rest
An astonishing school of hammerhead sharks surprises divers at Darwin's Arch in the Galápagos Islands in this majestic video from the BBC's Mission Galápagos series. In an article at Wanderlust, Mission Galápagos host and animal biologist Liz Bonnin lists this adventure as one of her "most amazing wildlife experiences":
The hammerheads come from all different directions and gather, swim around each other in big circles in a wonderful sort of balletic association. At the very centre of this big mass of hammerheads are the oldest, most mature females. The younger sharks swim around them. When the males come in to mate, they’ve got to weave and wind their way through this mass of hammerheads, so only the strongest, fittest males will get to mate with the females in the centre.
We are only just beginning to understand the purpose of this mass congregation, so the more scientists dive down there, the more they’re understanding its importance. It’s a very special place, and a very important behaviour, that needs to be protected. The Galapagos is one of the last jewels of this blue planet of ours. It really needs extra protection of ours oceans to make sure that that doesn’t disappear for ever. It was extraordinary.
(via The Kid Should See This)
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is a citizen science project (and app) enabling you to listen to livestreams of audio from underwater microphones off Washington’s San Juan Island. Read the rest
The Nikonos-V is an underwater film camera that many older SCUBA divers learned on, and some still do. Even though it is absolutely lovely, it is a pain in the ass to use compared to digital, and has largely disappeared. Nikon let the trademark go in 2008. Appears they just renewed it.
Another very interesting development: similar to the NOCT trademark, two weeks ago (on July 31st) Nikon also registered the "NIKONOS" trademark which was already expired back in 2008. This is what is listed under "goods and services":
"Cameras; optical apparatus and instruments; photographic apparatus and instruments; digital cameras; camera lenses; digital camera lenses; lens filters; rechargeable batteries for cameras and digital cameras; battery chargers for cameras and digital cameras; straps for cameras and digital cameras; caps for camera bodies; computer software; lens caps; camera cases; USB cables; audio video cables; LCD monitor covers; instruction manuals in electronic format; electronic publications."
A true purpose built digital underwater camera for divers, without a bullshit pain in the ass housing, from Nikon? Sounds like a dream. I use a GoPro now, but I used to dive with a Canon system, and before that a Nikonos V.
Photograph by Rama, Wikimedia Commons, Cc-by-sa-2.0-fr Read the rest
Marine Imaging Technologies CEO Evan Kovacs tested out his new HYDRUS camera in low-light conditions in the Cayman Islands. Read the rest
In certain circles, it's become popular for brides to ruin their wedding dress after the wedding, leading to more and more elaborate and risky photos. Pierre Violle specializes in the genre, and he's captures some amazing underwater couples over the years: Read the rest
Scuba Diving magazine announced the winners of its underwater photography contest and the results are an awe-inspiring glimpse of another world that exists within our own. Above, Kevin Richter's magnificent photo of an octopus in Lembeh Strait, Indonesia, took first place in the compact camera category. Below: Rodney Bursiel took first prize in the wide angle category for this shot of a whale calf breaching in Tavarua, Fiji; Eduardo Acevedo's image of this ribbon eel in Lembeh Strait, Indonesia won second place for macro photography.
See the rest at Scuba Diving Magazine.
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Amazon offers this heavy plastic bag with a locking seal to let you use your phone in the water. Ziploc has long been my favorite beach case for my phone and kindle, wonder how they compare?
This less than $3.00 plastic bag does a great job of keeping the sand and sea water off (or out) of my iPhone 7+. You can easily use the touch screen through the clear rubber surface, and take photos through the material.
Alternatively, there is another better-known brand of plastic, well sealing bag that has served me well for years: the Ziploc Freezer Bag! I use them for sous vide, kids lunches, throwing crap in the freezer, and reading my kindle in a hot tub.
Comparatively, the AmazonBasics is purpose built and will take more impact and abrasion than a Ziploc. The Amazon also has a handy lanyard, the only way I know of affixing the Ziploc to me is duct tape (duct people, duct.) I think the Ziploc freezer bag more reliably activates the button-less haptic button on my iPhone 7+, however.
The price seems to float around on the Amazon bag. For $3 it is worth having around if you are going to spend a lot of time at the pool or beach.
AmazonBasics Universal Waterproof Smartphone Pouch
Ziploc Freezer Bag, Gallon, 28 Count via Amazon Read the rest
Fifty years ago, General Electric Research Lab scientist Walter Robb was on the cover of Science News for creating an ultra-thin membrane that acted like an "artificial gill," pulling enough oxygen from the water to keep a hamster alive in a submerged box wrapped in the stuff. Read the rest
Thalassophobes and NSFW-phobes will want to skip this beautiful short about deepwater free diver Guillaume Néry and the kinds of hypoxia-induced hallucinations he experiences when free diving to depths beyond 100 meters. Thalassophiles who love beautiful underwater cinematography and trippy dream sequences will find the underwater footage hypnotic. Read the rest
A seemingly rational Dutch businessman has transformed his fantasy of a two-person submarine into reality, Elisabeth Eaves
writes from Malta.
Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos has exciting news out today. Apollo mission F-1 enginges have been recovered from the bottom of the sea.
For the last two months, Viennese artist Andreas Franke has had a new show of photographs on exhibition near Barbados. Thing is, you needed to SCUBA dive to see them. The photos hung on the hull of the Stabrokikita, a 365-foot Greek freighter that was deliberately sunk in 1978. Franke's photos of Rococo-inspired scenes are superimposed with underwater photographs, adding an atmospheric surreality to the final image. Seemingly, viewing these images 120 feet underwater would add to their dreaminess. This is the second series in Franke's "Sinking World" project. His first collection of images were displayed earlier this year on the USS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, a massive military ship that in 2009 was sunk to the ocean floor and became the second largest artificial reef in the world. Those photos have since been recovered and displayed at The Studios of Key West art gallery. "The Sinking World" (via CNN) Read the rest