Our costs paid by the ocean

27 08 2011

You know, I am getting more and more interested in photography. Trying to understand why it is so, trying to understand what exactly makes me so interested in it, I have decided to learn about it. Recently I was recommended to watch presentations of National Geographic photographers. The first one I watched and got hooked on was Annie Griffiths Belt with her great view on life, catching rhetoric and marvelous marvelous pictures. I watched a stunning presentation of Sam Abell about his way of taking pictures, which is: among others “compose and wait” which means that he first composes the a picture in his mind, thinks through the details,positions himself and then just waits for the moment when all the essential elements come together into a perfect photograph. And I watched the presentation by Brian Skerry which I want to share.

Brian is an underwater photogrpaher. First started taking pictures of the beauty that exists in the oceans. He took celebratory pictures of the esthetics of the nature. Doing that, he naturally came across all the possible environmental problems and started documenting them to raise awareness. I love his work because he manages to show the problem and still helps us to remember the amazing, when still intact, world under the water.

A harp seal

He tells the story about harp seals and the dangers they face. One of them is of course human kind’s direct interference in the blind greed for pelt when only few days old puppies are hunted and killed just because of their soft fur. Harp seal hunt is the biggest mass slaughter of marine mammals on the planet. Even worse as Brian explains is global warming. The new born harp seals can not exist in the water yet cause they can not breath there but many of them end up in the water as the ice that is supposed to hold them breaks up melting. Here on the picture, harp seal mom has to push the little one out of the water back to the ice so it can breath. This one managed. but many don’t.

Helping the pup back to ice/air

And this is something for the sushi eaters. Global fish crisis. 90% of the big fish (tuna among them) has disappeared in the last 50 years. Bluefin tuna is frequently used for sushi. It is an animal that can not be compared to anything similar as there is nothing like that. If it was not fished up at early age, it could live 30 years and grow up to 1 ton weight. It’s growing the whole its life. It can swim across the oceans from equator to poles with no problems because it can generate heat. And this fish is faster than torpedo. It’s a diamond among fish that is to be extinguished pretty soon.

Blue fin tuna fish

Talking about sushi, another favorite one – shrimps. For a handfull of shrimps, 10 kg of other fish are just killed and wasted when they end up in the nets. Which they of course do. The nets (long lines) are huge and grabbing everything that’s in the way.

The cost of a handful of shrimps

Besides that (and this from another source: Naturskyddföreningen), shrimps are often imported from Asia. To keep the “fresh” – eatable, they are injected with antibiothics and dipped in some chemical substances to look good. Besides that, to cultivate shrimps, mangrove trees are often cut out which destroys the natural environment. To see a short movie about in (in swedish), u can click here.

All the pictures in this blog are taken by Brian Skerry. I really recommend to go and see his website. Beautiful pictures with informative description. Enjoy! And love the nature =)

What does it mean “to celebrate”?

6 01 2011

Welcome 2011

This picture was taken on 4th of January 2011. More exactly, 85 hours since we welcomed the New year. Eightyfive hours before this moment was made eternal, the night sky had been decorated by all the possible sorts of fireworks. Various shapes – in red, green, yellow, blue and their combinations were popping up and shutting down on the midnight horizont. Was it beautiful? Yes, some of it. Are the “left overs” beautiful? Hardly. There are many boxes, sticks and variuos plastic parts of the rockets all over in the nature. Eightyfive hours after the celebration of new times coming, it seems, that we do not care about our future actually.  When I reflect on most of celebrations, I see a pattern. We often ruin when we celebrate.

People drink alcohol when a child is born. Why? No logical explantion. People say they drink to have more fun, or to be happier, eventually to deal with sorrow – but isn’t a new born child enough of a reason to be happy? Why is alcohol needed in those occassions? Why are fresh fathers dealing with hangover instead of watching the child?

What do we see after mass celebrations in the streets of towns, after concerts etc? Trash. Hundreds of people gather, they sing, laugh, enjoy and as a sign of appreciation of the moment, there is a dump after them the next day.

And I wonder… why all the joy and happines and laughter and singing can not simply go hand in hand with little bit of  respect and awareness? I believe that there would be even more occassions to celebrate if it was that way.

I think it is really pity that in our culture “celebration” equals “fun + generating/leaving trash” .

About a message written in ash

17 04 2010

I am quite impressed by the nature. Always when I am at sea, I feel huge respect. The vast area of water makes me think about me and my existence on Earth – the huge living perfect system. I feel incredible peace looking at water surface knowing what a huge power it stores but is there in front of me reflecting moon and “waving” friendly. I like the feeling when I dive and am part of that huge mass.


I have a similar feeling of respect these days listening about the volcano “incident”. A cone looking so cold and still just errupts all of a sudden (from our perspective). A small “hill” somewhere in the north part of the world has huge impact on the rest of the world. It blocks half of  Europe from flying. People are taking buses and train on distances they usually fly, agendas are up side down and inide out, very important meetings suddenly do not take place and the world continues spinning. Many of us who were about to fly somewhere got a gift of time – maybe also for thinking about how to reorganize our society so it is more environmental.

planes vs. volcano

It is usually possible to find something positive about a negative happening and in this case it is pretty clear. Hundreds of canceled flights mean a big gain for the climate. The planet arranged her own “Earth hour” action. Similar to people, Earth did not involve everyone in this event, but managed to demonstrate what could be if…

I do not know whether it is coincidence or my thoughts and interest are formed by the current happenings, but sustainable development is taking more and more of my attention. In the previous entry, I mentioned the book “Earth from above” and now I recommend a webpage of the author of the book Yann Arthus – Bertrand where you can find many pictures accompanied by facts in short texts that explain what is going on on our planet. You can find out more about similar projects or recent reportages. It’s worth to check it out!