underwater photography

8

Bangkok-based photographer Visarute Angkatavanich (previously featured here) continues to take breathtaking photos of Siamese fighting fish, also known as betta fish. His fascination with their splendid, flowing fins and brilliant coloring is apparent in the extraordinarily detailed portraits he creates. The photos are so perfectly clear and close-up that it’s easy to forget the fish are underwater and not floating in midair.

Angkatavanich recently told Popular Photography that he only started photographing the fish after encountering them for the first time three years ago at a fish show and has since become obsessed with the different species which vary greatly in size, shape, and color patterns.

Head over to Visarute Angkatavanich’s 500px gallery to view more of his gorgeous betta portraits. Limited edition prints of his photos are currently available through La Lanta Fine Art.

[via Colossal]

5

Diving Deep with Real-Life Mermaid @hannahmermaid

To keep up with Hannah’s underwater adventures, follow @hannahmermaid on Instagram.

Mermaid model Hannah Fraser (@hannahmermaid) doesn’t just have a passion for deep water, she considers the ocean to be her workspace. Outside coming face-to-face with whales, manta rays or even sharks, the most challenging part of her job is staying calm and maintaining a natural appearance while underwater. “I need to slow my heartbeat down by mentally relaxing, going into a meditative state where I am not thinking about anything other than where I am and the feeling of being comfortable and at one with the underwater world. This is especially important if I am swimming with wild animals.”

10

Witnessing the Beauty of Marine Life with Photographer @thomaspeschak

To see more of Thomas’ sea life pictures, follow @thomaspeschak on Instagram.

The biggest threat Thomas Peschak (@thomaspeschak) faces when taking photographs of marine life isn’t his close proximity to sharks and other large, potentially dangerous animals. It’s the journey he takes to get there.

“The greatest risks that I face come from traveling to somewhat volatile regions and airplanes seemingly held together by rubber bands and superglue,” says the 39-year-old National Geographic photographer. “Sharks are comparatively safe.”

Still, Thomas has had his share of close calls. During one particular shark shoot, a Bryde’s whale came out of nowhere, missing him by a few feet.

“I was photographing a large school of sharks devouring a bait ball of sardines when I could not shake the feeling that I was being watched,” recalls Thomas. “I had only travelled a few meters when 12 tons of blubber rose like a torpedo from the depths. Instinctively, I curled into a little ball, but not before I managed to sneak a look through my viewfinder to meter and frame the scene.”

Thomas’ repertoire isn’t just limited to sharks and whales, though. He shoots everything from reef mantas to green turtles. Surprisingly, he takes more than half of his underwater photos while holding his breath, without the help of scuba gear.

Thomas, who was born in Germany, had an interest in marine life from a young age, snorkeling at six, and scuba diving from age 12. Soon after, he began shooting underwater pictures, having been inspired by the expansive marine environments of Jacques Cousteau and Hans Hass, and early sea life stories in National Geographic.

“The photographs and films that I remember most vividly from my childhood were those featuring white sharks, tiger sharks, whale sharks and bull sharks,” says Thomas. “The ocean, especially its large predators, was a persistent force that lured me along my life’s path.”


2

In Gabriele Viertel’s photos, female subjects float in a dark abyss. The fabrics of their elegant gowns billow around them, their bodies blossoming like exotic flowers. The German-born, Netherlands-based photographer prefers to shoot the majority of her work underwater. A dramatic, chiaroscuro lighting defines her photographs: her models’ pastel-colored dresses and pallid skin appear to glow against the black background. Viertel’s work is currently featured in the group show “Road to Elysium” at Heist Gallery in London. 

See more on Hi-Fructose.

4

On the Right Wavelength with @minduim

To see more of Fabio’s photography, follow @minduim on Instagram.

Fabio Minduim (@minduim) has a unique morning ritual: He starts almost every day by getting wet in Rio de Janeiro’s ocean. “I have a special connection with water. I shoot waves, surfers, anything in or above the water. That could mean dogs, people and jellyfish,” says Fabio, a 40-year-old photographer who usually spends three hours before work getting creative with Rio de Janeiro’s waves. His passion for water dates back to when he was a kid. “I began surfing when I was six and later started bodyboarding,” he says. “At the age of 15, I got my first surfboard and never stopped.”

Fabio began shooting photos with his father’s camera, and soon enough he discovered photography as a way to constantly be in touch with the ocean. “When I was tired after many hours of surfing, I would shoot my friends and the waves,” he recalls. Today, as a professional photographer, Fabio is paid to combine his two passions. Still, he doesn’t let work get too serious. “Without joy and playfulness, photo shoots get boring and annoying,” he says. “I like to be free to create and have fun while I shoot. Every moment must be shot with pleasure.”

10

io9 recently assembled a dazzling collection of photos of awesomely strange and beautiful sea slugs. The name sea slug refers to a diverse group of marine creatures, particularly gastropods and sea snails. They’re found throughout the Earth’s oceans, but they come in so many amazing shapes and colors that we’ve always secretly hoped they’d turn out to be aliens. Some sea slugs use their colorful bodies as camouflage, while others use brilliant coloration as an aposematic signal, a warning to potential predators that they’re poisonous or at least look like they are.

Photos by Steve Childs, Klaus Stiefel, Bernard Dupont, erikschlogl, Saspotato, Jason Marks, Kehan Herman, and Nick Hobgood respectively.

Head over to io9 for plenty more spectacular sea slug photos.

10

Selections from Sailor Mars
photography by Elena Kalis

Another photoset from Kalis which I like, not surprisingly in part because of the Sailor Moon cosplay aspect. The “walking the shark” shot is particularly amusing. My favorite shot from this collection is the one where the girl look like she’s floating “lifeless” in the water with the hearts.