© Franco Banfi / Licensed for use on Colossal
Photographer Franco Banfi and a team of scuba divers were following a pod of sperm whales when suddenly the large creatures became motionless and began to take a synchronized vertical rest. This strange sleeping position was first discovered only in 2008, when a team of biologists from the UK and Japan drifted into their own group of non-active sperm whales. After studying tagged whales the team learned this collective slumber occurs for approximately 7 percent of the animal’s life, in short increments of just 6-24 minutes.
The image, Synchronized Sleepers, was a finalist in the 2017 Big Picture Competition in the category of Human/Nature. You can see more of the Switzerland-based photographer’s underwater photography on his website and Instagram. (via kottke.org)
Bristol-based illustrator and photographer Alberto Seveso (previously) just shared a new collection of underwater ink photographs titled Heavy Metals. Seveso achieves the ethereal forms in his photographs by mixing ink with metallic powders which are then suspended in different fluids. You can see more of his fluid-based photography and illustration in his portfolio.
French freediver David Helder has been diving for over 35 years, and somewhere along the way he discovered a strange ability. Like a dolphin, Helder can blow perfectly controlled bubble rings underwater. While many divers have playfully experimented with blowing these whirling vortexes, Helder has dedicated significant time to perfecting the technique which he uses to perform dozens of different tricks. Watch the video to see him in action, thing get really interesting around the 2:40 mark. (via Sploid)
It seems improbable, but these photographs by Anatoly Beloshchin tell the story of a hidden underwater river in in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula called Cenote Angelita or “Little Angel”. While it appears as though the divers are hovering in the air above a small creek, the photos were shot entirely in a submerged cave formed from collapsed limestone bedrock called a cenote.
The river itself is actually a sort of illusion due to a phenomenon called a halocline, where waters with different levels of salinity form into layers because of a variation in density. According to Beloshchin, Cenote Angelita is comprised of fresh water until about 29 meters when it switches to a 1-meter layer of hydrogen sulfide, after which the entire cave bottom is filled with saltwater from 30 to 60 meters deep. So in reality the “river” is actually just a dense layer of saltwater resting at the bottom of a cave. You can read more over the SeaWayBLOG, and see many more photos in the Underwater Caves section of Beloshchin’s website. (via my modern met)
Underwater photography of scuba divers, coral, or wildlife can sometimes seem commonplace regardless of the remote destination or subject, but Indonesian photographer Hengki Koentjoro (previously here and here) bucks the trend with his desaturated, dark, and often brooding images taken in and around Jakarta, Indonesia. While his landscape photography above ground is often dreamlike and mysterious, as soon as the blue is removed from the ocean it introduces a slightly menacing tone that while deeply beautiful, sets the viewer a little on edge. Oh and also the sharks. Koentjoro is one of my favorite photographers right now and you should get lost in his photos for a bit. Find him on 500px, Flickr, and Art Limited. (via my amp goes to 11)
LA-based photographer and composer Felix Salazar recently captured some wonderful macro photos of several inhabitants in his salt water aquariums. The shocking variety of color makes the coral look like digital renderings, but Salazar assures me each is a unique photo selected from hundreds of attempts to get just the right shot as he experimented with focus and light. You can see many more on his website. (via my modern met)