Bizarre deep-sea creatures imaged off New Zealand for the first time
Builder’s Pencil, which spans 180,000 square meters off New Zealand’s eastern coast, is one of the largest seep sites in the world. Recently, a joint US/New Zealand research team studying the area photographed and videotaped - for the first time! - a variety of unusual deep-sea creatures, such as the hard-to-pronounce Vestimentiferan worm. Dwelling up to 1 kilometer below the waves, these unusual animals are capable of converting energy-rich chemicals from the nearby methane vents into living matter in the absence of sunlight.
After mapping the sea floor via sonar, the researchers lowered video and still cameras into the deep, dark waters. In addition to the worms, the scientists captured footage of hermit crabs, glass sponges, tube worms, and more. If you want to see what the creatures look like, select footage from the expedition has been uploaded to YouTube. Admittedly, much of the footage features sea floor punctuated by strobe flashes. However, I think you’ll be amazed with the clarity of the footage. Moreover, I’m impressed that scientists are using popular culture to spread their message. Rock on, you deep-sea scientists!
Reminder: Submit to Our World Underwater and DEEP 2007 Competitions
Photographers and videographers! Remember to get your submissions into the two underwater photo contests hosted at UnderwaterCompetition.com before January 7, 2007! With over USD $55,000 in combined prizes, we’re going to send 21 winners on dive trips around the world and shower many more with dive and photo gear. Winning images in the OWU competition will be announced and presented at the Our-World Underwater festival in Chicago between Feb 9-11, 2007, and winners of both competitions will have their images printed in some of the most popular dive magazines in the world (see contest site for publishing partners).
Quick links to the two competitions:
- 2nd Annual Wetpixel and DivePhotoGuide International Photo & Video Competition
- DEEP Indonesia 2007 Underwater Photography Competition
Wetpixel website performance improvements
2007 Bimini Shark Encounter ready for applications
The course is based at the renowned Bimini Biological Field Station (Sharklab) in the Bahamas, and enables you to work with, learn about and film/photograph a range of sharks led by well-known shark biologists Samuel “Doc” Gruber and Dean Grubbs.
You will learn about shark biology and conservation through a number of illustrated lectures and videos by scientists who are actively studying these predators, and have an opportunity to film and photograph them with wildlife photographer Sune Nightingale.
Visit Wildeye Bimini Shark Encounter for more information…
Wetpixel Solomon Islands Expedition, Sep 11-25, 2007
Wetpixel.com and photographer Eric Cheng are leading an expedition to the Solomon Islands aboard the M/V Bilikiki from September 11-25, 2007! The Solomon Islands are one of my favorite dive destinations, and offer everything from tiny pygmy seahorses to huge barracuda tornados. The topography (both topside and underwater) is absolutely breath-taking, and the crew and guides on the Bilikiki are one of the best I’ve encountered.
In addition to the leadership of veteran managers Monty Sheppard and Michelle Gaut, Wetpixel members and award-winning photographers Cor Bosman and Julie Edwards will also be on this trip. Cor and Julie have literally spent months in the Solomon Islands aboard the Bilikiki, and their knowledge of the area is impressive. Eric Cheng will be onboard offering informal underwater photography advice.
To crop, or not to crop?
Wetpixel member Udo van Dongen has started an interesting discussion in the forums on the decision to crop or not. He writes,
My personal philosophy is that you can do almost anything to an image when it comes to colours, contrast, removing dust, unwanted models/turtles etc., because it was your personal experience which you can express in photos in the way you want to.
But cropping is something different to me. When you do cropping you can make any composition you like. Personally I think that, as an underwater photographer, you should be able to make a proper composition during diving and not only during post-processing.
DVExpo West 2006 official Wetpixel coverage
For the first time, we are proud to provide news coverage at this year’s DVExpo West at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Wetpixel video moderator Drew worked hard to provide Wetpixel readers full coverage of this event, highlighting the digital video products that matter to the underwater production studio.
Join Drew as he reports from downtown Los Angeles…
New underwater photography workshops website - DivePhotoFest.com
Professional photographers Simon Buxton, Wetpixel moderator Mike Veitch, and Tim Rock are pleased to announce the launch of a new underwater photography workshop website: DivePhotoFest.com.
The website features all the latest news and information about what to expect from one of their underwater photography workshops. Booking information, pricing, FAQs, dates, and contact details are all readily available for each of five upcoming 2007 workshops.
Forums, a blog, and photo galleries have been added to make this a great interactive website for anyone interested in the workshops or to chat about underwater photography in general.
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