National Marine Sanctuaries Media Library (and other web portals)

February 12, 2009

Another addition to the list of online sites distributing underwater media: NOAA has recently released the National Marine Sanctuaries Media Library.

noaa-national-marine-santuary-media-library

In a news release on the site, they write that “The media library is part of a continuing NOAA effort to enhance public awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the marine environment. It was created to provide a resource for numerous audiences, including students, educators, publishers, conservation organizations and individuals looking for compelling marine-related images.” As is common in many of these online underwater photo and video distribution hubs (see also, The Ocean Channel, EarthOCEAN, etc.) the spread of images is itself  framed as a potential mobilizer of environmental action. If we can just see the beauty under the surface, we will be compelled to stop the destruction.

These sites are fairly distinct from underwater media fan sites such as ScubaTube and AquaBank. These sites feature user generated content more prominently, forground the adventure of descending beneath the water, and tend to have images of female bikini-clad divers rather than environmentalist rhetoric on the periphery.

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fresh2o Photographic Campaign by Candice

April 1, 2008

Candice, a pioneer in underwater fashion photography, has produced a series of underwater images of celebrities (e.g. Keira Knightley, below) in order to highlight the lack of clean water in many developing countries. (campaign website)

keira knightly underwater


Hexapus photograph

March 4, 2008

Yesterday in the news: the first six legged octopus. From the BBC article:

“Octopuses need subdued lighting and flash photography can be fatal. But a quick-thinking staff member snapped the best picture he could before Henry found a different resting place with his legs tucked beneath him.”

Henry the Hexapus

This is the picture circulated with the news story: a privileged view of the hexapus’s underside.

What is the effect of our media practices (especially the lighting that we need to render images) on these animals?

Before Henry the most famous six-legged octopus appeared in the B-movie It Came From Beneath The Sea (1955) (noted on CNN.)