Monday, May 21, 2007

The art of undersea photography

While scouting out information about the undersea life of the Bay of Fundy I discover the photography of Scott Leslie’s on the Gulf of Maine Times website. Here's what editor, Andi Rierdon, says about Scott's images:

On an icy spring day in Nova Scotia when the sea and sky are the color of pewter, it’s hard to imagine a creature as animated and colorful as the blue morph lumpfish living beneath the surface of the Bay of Fundy. To the untutored eye, Leslie’s undersea images are more likely to conjure up the tropical waters of Bonaire, Cozumel or the Great Barrier Reef. From the iridescent blues andon the magentas of a lion’s mane jellyfish shooting to a sunlit surface, to the translucent rainbow arc of a ctenophore, these portraits convey a kaleidoscope world full of character and surprise ... and testify to the variety and beauty of creatures living within the coves and open waters of the northern Gulf of Maine and Atlantic Canada.

Dive into certain areas along the Bay of Fundy coast, for example, “and within 20 minutes you can pick out five, six, seven different phylums—you are actually seeing all these different planets of life,” Leslie says. The undersea repertoire includes everything from rock crabs, sea ravens and fan worms to northern lampshells, anemones, eel pouts and tunicates. And unlike the more tropical locales where divers and snokelers abound, he adds, “the adventure of photographing in cold water environments is that it is so rarely done.”

Leslie, who lives in Granville Beach, Nova Scotia, has worked for years as a land-based wildlife photographer and continues to publish widely in North American publications. His foray into undersea photography began in the 1990s after viewing the works of National Geographic undersea photographer David Doublilet.

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