Below the waterline.

I’ve been toying with the idea of buying a new camera lately – yes, I know, another one… but one that can be used underwater when snorkelling or sailing etc.  Mostly I am keen to acquire one because I missed some great opportunities for beautiful photographs when I was up in the Whitsundays recently… but what is putting me off is that the underwater digital camera feels like the waffle iron of the photographic world – the single use appliance that will rarely get used, which, when weighed up against the cost, turns out to be a rather poor consumer decision.  Then I saw all these gorgeous photos on Distractify (No, I will not link to it – ridiculous, bullshit click bait website that it is!) and it is rapidly stiffening my resolve to acquire my own waterproof camera…


Underwater fishes off Sipadan Island, MalaysiaUnderwater Sipadan Island Malaysia Underwater in IcelandUnderwater Iceland Underwater in CubaUnderwater Cuba Underwater in the Caribbean Sea, off MexicoUnderwater Caribean Mexico Underwater in the Flores Sea, IndonesiaUnderwater Flores Sea Indonesia Underwater ice in SwitzerlandUnderwater Switzerland Underwater in BrazilUnderwater Brazil Underwater diver off the coast of SpainUnderwater Spain Underwater at the Palawan Islands, PhilippinesUnderwater Palawan Islands Philipines Underwater in the Blue Grotto, Isle of Capri, ItalyUnderwater Blue Grotto Capri Italy Underwater at Pig Beach, BahamasUnderwater Pig Beach Bahamas Underwater in Green Lake, AustriaUnderwater Green Lake Aust Underwater in The Everglades, FloridaUnderwater Everglades Florida Underwater in Bora Bora, TahitiUnderwater Bora Bora Underwater bathing elephants in Andaman Islands, IndiaUnderwater Andaman Is India Underwater Mystery?Underwater Mystery2 Underwater seal in the Magdalen Islands, CanadaUnderwater Magalen Islands Canada Underwater trout in the Smalblaar River, South AfricaUnderwater Smalblaar Rv Sth Africa Underwater diver in FijiUnderwater Fiji Underwater fishes at Raja Ampat, IndonesiaUnderwater Raja Ampat Indonesia Underwater at Crystal River, FloridaUnderwater Crystal River Florida Underwater Mystery Underwater in Zanzibar, TanzaniaUnderwater Zanzibar TanzaniaUnderwater in Mare, New CaledoniaUnderwater Mare New Caledonia Underwater off a jetty at Nuweiba, Egypt.Underwater Neweba Egypt Underwater off Eilat, IsraelUnderwater Eilat Israel

Underwater in ArgentinaUnderwater Argentina

Underwater at Laguna de los Burros, MexicoUnderwater Laguna de los Burros Mexico Underwater in the Mediterranean Sea, FranceUnderwater Mediterranean France Underwater in Jellyfish Lake in PalauUnderwater Jellyfish Lake Palau Underwater off Danko Island, AntarcticaUnderwater Danko Island Antarctica Underwater in a French LakeUnderwater France Underwater sharks off South AfricaUnderwater South Africa Underwater in Papua New GuineaUnderwater Papua New Guinea

As someone who travels as much as they can (see tag: ‘twavel’ on the right) I think that maybe I might be able to get some good use out of it after all.  I’m off to New Zealand at the end of this year and hopefully off to Japan in the middle of next year… so maybe it would be a good time to buy a photographic waffle iron.

Where to next?

I’ve been home from my travels for about a month and thoughts tend to turn to what amazing place can we go to next?  😀  Everyone has to have something to look forward to right?  So I’ve been looking for pictures of where you can go to see the auroras (north or south, I’m not fussy) and instead keep stumbling onto pics of some The Most Amazing Natural Phenomena in The World!  This is a list of some of the cool stuff I have found so far…

Asperatus clouds – apparently so rare they have only been classified since about 2009, no one knows much about them, so it’s hard to predict where they may occur.

asperatus clouds Bioluminescent waters of the Maldives – can you imagine swimming in this gorgeous phosphorescent sea?  Caused by phytoplankton in the sea, I have seen tiny examples of this in beaches in Australia, but this would be magical! bioluninescent waters maldivesbioluminescent Calcifying lakes in Africa – beautiful and dangerous, with such ridiculously high salt content, that animals that get to close literally calcify from dehydration and look like they are turning to stone.calcifying lakesColumnal basalt rock formations – okay, this is definitely on my list thanks to the Great Puffin Incident of 1995… seen at the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland as well as Fingal Caves in Scotland and created by lava plateaus that cooled and fractures into these unique landmarks. columnar basalt Painted Danxia Landforms – beautifully surreal mountains created by sandstone and layers of minerals shaped by wind and rain into ravines, pillars and rock formations.danxie landforms china

Eternal lightning storm in Venezuela – at the mouth of the Catatumbo River, weather conditions and topography exists that creates an almost permanent storm that creates what is known as Catatumbo lightning on up to 160 days a year, for up to 10 hours a day and 280 strikes an hour.  Would love to see that!Everlasting storm Venezula Fairy rings in Namibia – thousands of circles up to 30 feet across that are apparently made by termites killing off vegetation so that any moisture is available for the insects’ use and not plants.  Looks interesting, but the bugs would out me off looking for this place.Fairy circles namibia fairy circles namibia2 Spider webs in Australia after flooding – thousands and thousands of spiders spinning webs above floodwater level just to freak us out.  Yep, so not ever putting this on my ‘to go to’ list, but it is a cool photo.fields of spider webs 1 Fire rainbows – created by light reflecting from ice crystals in very high clouds, often appearing parallel o the horizon.  Looks beautiful, sounds really bloody rainbows Great flowering desert in Chile – obviously you need to pick to go at the right time of year, because this doesn’t look too appealing.  Second view in spring however, looks amazing.flowering desert chile 1 flowering desert chile 2 Frost flowers – so pretty.  Mostly found in Arctic ares (why is all the pretty stuff in the freezing cold!), the flower ice formations form on thin sea ice when the atmosphere is colder than the ice.  When the warmer air from the ice meets the colder air, funky ice crystals form making fields of frosty flowers.frost flowers arctic 2 frost flowers arctic

Gates of Hell in Turkmenistan – da.da.da!  Sounds dramatic and probably looks awesome.  It’s been burning since 1971 when natural gas emitted from cracks in the land were set alight.  Apparently there is another similar phenomena in Iraq that they claim has been 4,000 years… why does the cool stuff have to be so remote?  🙂Gateway to hell turkmenistan 1 Gateway to hell turkmenistanUnderground glacial caves – ice caves formed by water erodes into the glacier. So beautiful from the blue glacial ice, which is formed by tightly packed ice.  I went to the Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska (bottom photo), but oddly enough, there were no guided tours offered for your average tourist to go adventuring in enormous underground ice caverns.
Glacial Ice caves 1 glacial ice caves mendenhall Blue holes in Belize – these were apparently formed during the last Ice Age when the water level was much lower and the holes were basically formed by erosion.  The sea water rises and the holes filled up, creating a unique scuba diving opportunity and a rare underwater environment.  Very cool. Great Blue Hole BelizeHorsetail Falls – tumbling down the side of El Capitain in Yosemite, these enormous waterfalls have a few days a year in February when the light hits them just so, causing them to light up like they are on fire.  Yosemite is definitely on my list.
jorsetail falls california Lenticular cloud formations – these clouds are created by layers of moist air flowing over a mountain and they pile up into a strange UFO/hat shape.  I saw tiny lenticular cloud forms when I was in Canada an they were way cool – but probably hard to go hunting as a holiday destination.lenticular clouds 2 lenticular clouds Russian light pillars – these pillars of light are formed by natural light reflecting off flat and smooth light crystals but are only visible under extremely cold weather conditions … which I imagine for Russia, is bitterly cold.  So maybe not.light pillars russia 1 light pillars russia Maelstroms – this one is called Saltstraumen, located off Norway.  These powerful whirlpools are created by conflicted tidal flows meeting and can easily suck down swimmers and small boats.   I’d love to see one, but have a feeling going near anything like this is just bloody stupid.maelstomsMonarch butterfly migration – from North America to Mexico, the butterfly migrate 2,500 miles to seek out warmer weather for winter.  Millions of them swarm together filling the sky with black and orange… ooh.  aah.  pretty.
monarch butterfly migration us 1 monarch butterfly migration us 2 Nacreous clouds in the Arctic – these gorgeous formations actually appear very rarely in the stratosphere due to a complete lack of moisture closer to the earth for cloud formation.  Apparently they have been seen in extreme polar winters when there is just enough moisture to form, and occur about 12 miles above the earth.  I would love to see that.  So cold though.nacreous clouds arcticSailing Stones, Death Valley, California.  These are so cool.  Always wanted to go hunting for rocks that creep along the ground by themselves.  For ages, no one knew how they moved, but it turns out that in the winter, tiny ice crystals formed around the rocks and then slide across the moisture in the mud, leaving crazy trails behind them.  Some of them are like, 300kgs!
sailing stones death valley california 2 sailing stones death valley california Now this would be cool – the Sardine Run off South Africa.  Apparently the sardines move by the billions from cool waters at Cape Point to the East Coast of South Africa.  When the sardines are on the move, there are so many of them, they can be seen from satellites in space and sharks in feeding frenzies take full advantage of their sheer numbers.  Scuba diving anyone?sardine run south africa 2 sardine run south africa Sky punch clouds – a sky punch appears in clouds when ice crystals in the middle of a cloud formation begin to evaporate.  No idea how you predict where they would be – but cool natural phenomena.  sky punch 1 skypunch 2 skypunch3Fumarole snow chimneys – normal fumaroles are vents which allow steam to vent from areas of volcanic activity.  If these vents are in Arctic areas, the moisture venting from the fumarole freezes as soon as it meets the air creating funky looking snow chimneys.  Again… why is so much of all the groovy stuff in the areas of the earth where you’re likely to freeze your fricken butt off?snow chimney arctic Fly Geyser, Nevada – this unusual place was discovered accidentally sometime in the 60s when well drilling for geothermal energy sources was being performed on the Fly Ranch in Nevada.  So while not 100% a natural phenomena, the resulting geyser has brought to the surface numerous minerals that have been flowing into 30-40 pools across a 34 hectacre area, enabling thermophilic algae to thrive, which creates the beautiful striped colours on the geyser.  It’s on private property though, so bugger on that front. fly geyser nevada fly-geyser3 flygeyser2Moeraki Boulders, South Island, New Zealand – these rock formations are naturally formed spherical boulders at Keokehe Beach.  The giant balls were formed up to 60 million years ago under the seafloor by compressed sediment hardening into stone.  I have been to these boulders three times – taken pics of my kids clambering on them! – and think they are one of the coolest natural phenomena ever.Spherical Boulders moerakimoeraki-new-zealand-

Spotted Lake, British Columbia, Canada – as the water evaporates from this lake near Osoyoos, various minerals pool together together to form what look like large lily pads.  Each pool of minerals has a different shape and colour due to the wide variety found in the lake.  spotted lake canada

spotted lake candada 2 Steam towers in Iceland – the region of Hverir is naturally high in geothermal activity which sees large towers of steam emanate from the boiling water and mud in the area.  When combined with the ethereal beauty of the northern lights, the steam towers create an otherworldly landscape.   Steam Towers Iceland Hverir striated icebergs antarctica Striated glacial icebergs – the gorgeous stripes form in icebergs in various ways.  Sometimes when crevices fill with water and freezes so quickly that no bubbles form creating bright blue stripes.  Green stripes appear when algae attaches to icebergs as they tumble into the seas, and the brown, black and yellowish lines are caused by sediment, exactly the same way stripes are formed in glaciers.  Very cool… whether at a glacier face or floating along in the ocean as an iceberg.

striated icebergs antartica 1 Supercells – I know a lot of people chase tornadoes and they can be dangerous and exciting and crazy to watch.  I don’t think I am one of those people.  Supercell storms are formed the same way as any other storm, but they have a vertical rotation which allows the storm to sustain itself much longer.supercells Underwater crop circles?  These strange 7 foot diameter ‘crop circles’ were first seen on the ocean floor off Japan and for a long time puzzled divers as to how they were created.  Turns out they are made by tiny male puffer fish, no bigger than 5″ long, and the crazy little guys make them in the hope of attracting a mate.

underwater crop circles japan 1 underwater crop circles japan 2 Volcanic lightning – volcanic eruptions create an extraordinary amount of static and electrical charge, which on rare occasions can cause a violent lightning storm to spark in the volcanic plume.  I think this would be amazing to see!  Slight downside, it probably involves risking life and limb to get anywhere near it…volcanic lightningAnd this must be my favourite weird arse natural phenomena…
Frozen Methane Bubbles!  Methane bubbles form, when dead organic matter falls to the bottom of a body of water and is decomposed by various bacteria.  The methane gas becomes frozen in the water, creating beautiful patterns of frozen bubbles.  It’s really quite stunning, but I don’t think anyone would let me anywhere near them… I’d be sitting there with a lighter waiting for them the bubbles to melt out!   😛

frozen methane bubbles 1 frozen methane bubbles 2Next week:  a look at The Most Abhorrent Phenomena in the Known World.   😛


The Most Beautiful Abandoned Places in the World

I can’t remember where I found this (apologies to OP), but I stumbled on it sitting on my desktop this morning and found myself lost in the images.

Places, once places thriving with industry and activity, abandoned to be slowly taken over again by the earth.  These places have not rotted away or decayed due to neglect, they have revealed a beauty that lays hidden when the tide of daily humanity is regularly maintaining over them.  The world is a truly wondrous place…

Film woven into large format fabulousness.

Holy snapping duck shit.  I stumbled over the work of this amazing Korean photographer Seung Hoon Park who creates his amazing works of art using a very unusual technique.  He takes 8mm and 16mm film and weaves it into a sheet, suitable to put into a 8 x 10 large format camera, and then lugs that thing all around the world taking beautiful images of architecture and interior spaces.

If you’ve never worked in 5 x 4, or 8 x 10 large formats before, let me tell you… it’s a lot of hard work and takes a high level of proficiency to gain quality exposure and good focus.  Especially out of the studio – architecture?  Huge swings and roundabouts.  The level of difficulty here is only equally matched by the level of creativity demonstrated in trying something like this in the first place!

And the results are amazing…


Parkseunghoon_TEXTUS-082_Digital-C-Print_100cmx125cm_2011-480x600 Parkseunghoon_TEXTUS-063-1_Digital-C-Print_100cmx150cm_2011- Parkseunghoon_TEXTUS-165_Digital-C-Print_120cmx146cm_2013-481x600 Parkseunghoon_TEXTUS-159_Digital-C-Print_100cmx200cm_2013-900x451 Parkseunghoon_TEXTUS-156-1_Digital-C-Print_150cmx120cm_2013-750x600 Parkseunghoon_TEXTUS-154-1_Digital-C-Print_150cmx120cm_2013-479x600