Andreas Franke’s Haunting And Surreal Series Imagines Underwater Shipwrecks Full of Life

Shipwrecks

Shipwrecks

Shipwrecks

Shipwrecks

Austrian photographer and diver Andreas Franke has created a hauntingly beautiful series of images called “The Sinking World” in which he layers studio photographs over underwater ship wrecks. In 2009, the USS Vandenberg was lowered into the ocean off the coast of Florida to serve as an artificial reef. When Franke encountered the ship while diving, he was inspired by the vessel’s haunting emptiness. For the Vandenberg project, Franke superimposes photographs of recognizable, everyday scenes; the studio figures appear ghostly, as if they are re-enacting scenes that previously took place in a lively atmosphere. The empty ship becomes a site that reveals snapshots of a lost, surreal world, discovering the humanity that lurks among the ships hallways, passages, and decks. Franke creates an unexpected dream world where a viewer is pulled into a strange, new, and fantastical place.

This sunken ship not only provides the setting for Franke’s superimpositions, but also serves as a gallery where divers can swim up to Franke’s work, viewing his photographs in the very place that inspired his images. From the project’s website,

“The pictures engender extreme polarities: the soft, secretive underwater emptiness of sleeping shipwrecks is paired with real, authentic sceneries full of liveliness and vigor, thus creating a new world, equally bizarre and irresistibly entangling…

 

These spectacular underwater galleries make divers fall under their spell and display the work of the ocean itself. During the weeks and months under water the ocean bequeaths impressive, peerless traces to the pictures. It adorns them with a certain, peculiar patina, endowing them with the countenance of bizarre evanescence and transfiguring them into rare beauties.”

Franke has also created two other series of shipwreck images using period piece studio photography, as opposed to the everyday activities of the Vandenberg project. For the SS Stavronikita shipwreck, Franke superimposes photographs of people dressed in clothing and participating in activities evocative of Rococo. For the USS Mohawk, a WWII shipwreck, Franke imagines what life on the ship might look like, and creates a series of images in which the sailors have returned to haunt the ship. (via slow art day)

Alexander Semenov’s Unbelievable Photographs Of 222 Species Of Deep Sea Worms

Alexander Semenov

Alexander Semenov

Alexander Semenov

Alexander Semenov

Russian underwater photographer and biologist Alexander Semenov has created a new series of images that brilliantly captures a variety of deep sea worms known as polychaetes, some of which may be unknown to scientists. Semenov has spent many hours diving in places like the White Sea and Great Barrier Reef in Australia in order to get up close and personal with this creepy, crawly sea life. Altogether, Semenov photographed 222 different species of polychaetes that are currently being studied and documented by scientists.

Semenov first began photographing sea life for fun while organizing the White Sea Biological Station underwater projects. Using basic photography equipment, he’d get a few good shots every few months, and this eventually encouraged Semenov and his team to acquire more professional equipment. Semenov now produces images like the ones seen here, as well as a series of jellyfish and tiny creature images are all just as stunning. (via colossal)

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Unexpected Underwater Inhabitants by Jason de Caires Taylor

 

Located under the sea off the coasts of Mexico, Grenada, and the West Indies, Jason de Caires Taylor’s realistic sculptures of people morph and evolve over time with the proliferation of colorful sea life that inhabits them. Stony human faces are obfuscated by coral, barnacles and seaweed; fleshed out and breathing with new life, the resulting ecosystem textures and transforms these ever-changing, ephemeral bodies. Created with environmentally friendly materials that promote coral growth, the sculptures contain inert, ph-neutral properties designed to last hundreds of years, and to house the creatures that distort and transform them. Taylor’s magnus opus, The Silent Evolution, located in Cancun, Mexico, consists of 400 life-sized casts and forms a permanent artificial reef. Taylor’s body of work provides both an artful method for addressing environmental concerns and the spectacle of witnessing true buried treasure.

Taylor is currently based in Cancun, Mexico, where he is the founder and Artistic Director of the Museo Subaquatico de Arte (MUSA).

Dindi Underwater Photographs

Dindi van der Hoek has some beautiful underwater photographs that you would swear were paintings.