underwater

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Photography

Underwater Realm: Black and White Photos Capture Breathtaking Moments Amongst Life in the Sea

June 26, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Mexican photographer and anthropologist Anuar Patjane captures black and white moments of life underwater as a way to bring awareness to a part of the world most do not get a chance to see. Patjane searches for awe-inspiring snapshots to connect viewers with images of fish and other underwater animals. He hopes his photographs create an empathy towards these creatures and their environment while also expressing the impact that our choices have on their trajectory as species of the sea.

“With the [Underwater Realm] series, I try to drive our attention towards the beauty of our oceans a a truth usually unnoticed: We are brutally overfishing in our oceans, and our attention should be concentrated on the way we fish, as well as what we eat from the ocean,” he explains in an artist statement about the series. “We see and care when a forest is gone because it is visible to everybody, but we don’t see when we destroy life underwater.”

Patjane not only captures life underwater, but landscapes from all over the globe that may often go unnoticed. You can see more of his series, including images shot in Antarctica and Iceland, on his website and Instagram.

 

 



Dance

Underwater Choreography Performed in the World’s Deepest Pool by Julie Gautier

April 30, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

AMA is a short film performed and directed by deep sea diver and underwater filmmaker Julie Gautier. The work follows Gautier through several uninterrupted minutes of underwater choreography, gracefully performed in the world’s deepest pool near Venice, Italy. She holds her breath as she uses controlled movements to twist and glide through the calm water, eventually rising up to the surface with the release of one giant air bubble.

The piece is titled after the Japanese word for “woman of the sea,” which is also the name for Japan’s traditional shell collectors. The film is a metaphoric nod to these united women, while also representing the relationship that connects women from all over the world.

“For me, this film is a way to say: you are not alone,” said Gautier, “open yourself to others, talk about your sufferings and your joys.”

Gautier and her husband, world champion deep sea diver Guillaume Néry, worked together on the 2015 Beyoncé and Arrow Benjamin music video Runnin, and collaborate on an underwater film company called Les Films Engloutis. You can see more short films by Gautier on her website and Instagram. (via Vimeo Staff Pick)

 

 



Art Science

An 80-Foot Steel Kraken Will Create an Artificial Coral Reef Near the British Virgin Islands

October 18, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

All images via Owen Buggy

This past April a massive 80-foot steel kraken was purposefully sunk into the Caribbean Sea on top of a decorated WW2 ship. The former Navy fuel barge and its monstrous passenger were placed underwater in order to jumpstart a new coral ecosystem, while also serving as a cutting-edge education center for marine researchers and local students from the surrounding British Virgin Islands. The project is titled the BVI Art Reef, and aims to use sculptures like the porous kraken as a base to grow transplanted coral.

The Kodiak Queen, formerly a Navy fuel barge named the YO-44, was discovered by British photographer Owen Buggy approximately two and a half years ago on the island of Tortola. Instead of letting the historic vessel get picked apart for scrap metal, Buggy approached former boss Sir Richard Branson about collaborating on a restorative art installation. Together with nonprofit Unite B.V.I., artist group Secret Samurai Productions, social justice entrepreneurial group Maverick1000, and ocean education nonprofit Beneath the Waves, the project was established as both an eco-friendly art installation, and a philanthropic measure to rehabilitate native marine species.

“It’s envisioned that within just a short space of time the ship and artwork will attract a myriad of sea creatures,” said Clive Petrovic who consults on the environmental impact of the BVI Art Reef. “Everything from corals to sea sponges, sharks and turtles will live on, in, and around the wreck. The ship will become valuable for future research by scientists and local students alike.”

To sink the massive ship, the project sought the help of the Commercial Dive Services who safely submerged the vessel off the coast of the island Virgin Gorda. It was the first time the ship had been in the water for nearly 17 years, and was lead to its final resting place by a bevy of boats and helicopters.

Filmmaker Rob Sorrenti filmed both the construction and sinking of the kraken and its ship. The full-length documentary is currently in post-production, with an estimated release early next year. You can watch a clip from the upcoming film below. For information on visiting the BVI Art Reef, and to learn more about its educational programs, visit the project’s website and Facebook.

 

 



Photography Science

A Photographer Captures the Unusual Way Sperm Whales Sleep

July 4, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

© 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)

 

 



Photography

Heavy Metals: New Underwater Ink and Metal Photographs by Alberto Seveso

January 5, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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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.

 

 



Amazing

Freediver David Helder Possesses the Uncanny Ability to Blow Perfect Bubble Vortexes Underwater

August 10, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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)

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Photography

Cenote Angelita: An Underwater River Photographed by Anatoly Beloshchin

July 29, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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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)