New service called the Catlin SeaView Survey is planning to do for the ocean what Google Street View has done for land. Using a special camera, the joint venture between the University of Queensland, Google, and insurance firm Catlin Group will use a specially designed underwater camera to capture interactive 360-degree panoramic photographs. The purpose will be to carry out one of the most intensive studies of reefs ever, starting with Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It’ll go into full swing starting in September, but some sample imagery is already viewable over at the SeaView website.
You’ve likely seen plenty of images of giant waves from above the surface of the water, but have you ever seen what it’s like to pass under a wave? Photographer Mark Tipple has an amazing project called “The Underwater Project” in which he captures epic photographs of swimmers diving deep in order to survive passing waves, which look like ominous storm clouds rolling overhead. In the interview and behind-the-scenes video above, Tipple shares how he was inspired by a powerful photo by Brian Bielmann, and how he goes about shooting his images.
Here’s an amazing clip from the BBC series Frozen Planet. The film crew used time-lapse photography to capture “brinicle” forming under sea ice. As the beautiful icicle forms, it also becomes deadly — once it touches down, the resulting web of ice kills the slow-moving life on the sea floor. You can read more about the phenomenon here.
Photographer Sharon Rainis recently collaborated with wedding dress designer Erez Ovadia for an underwater photo shoot in which models wearing wedding dresses were photographed 20-meters under the sea. In an interview with MegaPixel, Rainis shares some of the challenges involved in such a unique shoot:
What a model goes through during such a project is, well, A LOT! First, wearing nothing but a wedding dress, the model’s body temperature rapidly decreases, making it difficult for her to keep a natural look and to hold her breath during the shots. The model isn’t wearing a mask and therefore her communication with the divers around her is very limited. In fact, the only diver she can really communicate with is her air provider, who is the only one close enough for her to see. The model has to hold her breath for quite long periods, which becomes more difficult the more time she spends underwater and the lower her body temperature reaches. If that’s not enough, she’s also tied with weights to the bottom of the sea, which doesn’t add much to her sense of confidence.
Check out the behind-the-scenes video above for a better idea of what was involved. The resulting photographs can be seen over in the MegaPixel interview.
Cinematographer Chris Bryan used a Phantom HD Gold camera in a custom underwater housing to capture super slow-motion footage of waves in Sydney, Australia. Water looks amazing at thousands of frames per second. Be sure to watch it full screen and in high-def.
Austrian photographer Andreas Franke chose an interesting photo exhibition location for his project “Vandenberg: Life Below the Surface“: a shipwreck 93-feet underwater. It makes sense though — the project consists of photos Franke took of the wreck last year and subsequently turned into surreal composite photos containing people. The images, encased in 3mm thick plexiglass and mounted on stainless steel, were attached to the ship using magnets that don’t damage the ship or affect the sea life. Read more…
This is the first color photograph ever taken underwater. It’s a hogfish captured off the Florida Keys in 1926 by National Geographic photographer Charles Martin and Dr. William Longley. In addition to some special waterproof camera housing, the duo used pounds of highly explosive magnesium flash powder to illuminate the scene. Read more…
How do you take a picture of something above the surface of the water and below at the same time? Well if you had the “underabove” camera, it would be a snap. The concept design features two lenses; one on the top half filled with air and one on the bottom half filled with water. It sports a flash and even a “time wheel” so you can take an underwater self portrait. The camera then stitches the images together and displays them on the LCD screen.
The design won a Red Dot Design Concept 2010 award.
What’s with underwater photographers getting mugged by large sea creatures these days? Dutch photographer Karin Brussaard was doing ocean photography off the Bahamas recently when a 7-foot-long shark decided to grab her DSLR camera rig and swim off. Luckily, like the other animal thieves we’ve written on in the past, the shark decided to drop the rig a little while later relatively undamaged. What’s even cooler is that they managed the capture the above shot of the klepto shark.