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  • Underwater Photography Blog | Tony Wu
    January 2009 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2008 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2007 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2006 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June Posts in Media Tuesday Dec 2 2014 Something Old Something New Photos of humpback whales in Tonga from 2005 and 2014 Preparing for my upcoming talks Continue Reading Photography Marine Life Media Wednesday Nov 19 2014 Upcoming Presentation About Humpback Whales in Beijing Yup Another upcoming presentation This one will be in Beijing on 13 December and will be 100 devoted to humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae There will also be an exhibit of 27 large prints of my humpback whale photographs If you re going to be in Beijing in December and would like to attend the relevant contact and venue information is in the graphic below Continue Reading Media Events Talks Wednesday Nov 5 2014 Upcoming Photo Talk in Hong Kong Photo talk dinner drinks in Hong Kong on 15 December together with Nauticam Yoshi Hirata Stephen Wong Takako Uno Join us if you re in town Continue Reading Media Events Talks Sunday Nov 2 2014 Upcoming Talk About Humpback Whales in Tokyo I m giving a presentation about humpback whales in Tokyo next January Drop by if you re in town The talk will be in Japanese or some reasonable approximation thereof Continue Reading Photography Marine Life Media Events Talks Saturday Sep 13 2014 Humpback Whales in Tonga 2014 Part 5

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/category/media/P10 (2016-04-26)
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  • Magazine Feature and Radio Interview | Tony Wu in Nantucket
    Policy Contact Me Tony Wu Photo Naturalist ars gratia scientiae Home Journal Nantucket Magazine and Radio Interview Nantucket Magazine and Radio Interview As part of my visit to Nantucket last month N Magazine created a nice three page photo essay spread and morning host Sandy Walsh of FM97 7 in Nantucket was kind enough to have me on her show for a short chat on 8 July Opening page of the N Magazine feature July 2013 It s worth stating that the N Magazine spread was stunning All too often I m disappointed with colour correction and or print quality in periodicals and books but that was definitely not the case with N Magazine The layout is classy and the colour correction print quality of the magazine jaw dropping particularly impressive given the difficulty of reproducing blues in CMYK based printing and the fact that the magazine is not a specialist nature underwater publication Here is the PDF if you re interested in taking a look and following is a recording of my chat with Sandy on WACK audio src http www tonywublog com assets images 2013 08 radio interview nantucket tony wu july 2013 mp3 Wednesday Aug 7 2013

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/nantucket-magazine-feature-and-radio-interview-july-2103 (2016-04-26)
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  • Sperm Whale Pictorial in Focus Magazine Italy
    Italy If you happen to read Italian here is a link to a PDF file of a pictorial on sperm whales that appeared in Focus Magazine Italy s summer issue Focus Magazine Sperm Whale Feature Summer 2011 350kB Sperm whale feature in Focus Magazine Italy Summer 2011 It s the first time I ve worked with this publication I have to say that they are a truly friendly and professional

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/sperm-whale-pictorial-focus-magazine-italy (2016-04-26)
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  • Exploring Palau's Rock Islands by Kayak
    t been documented to date Rounding out the motley crew was Jefferson Nestor who was in command of our support boat and made sure our considerable load of junk made it from point to point every day Jefferson has one of the most infectious smiles I ve ever come across and of course doof that I am I didn t take a good photo of him I tried to make him laugh as often as possible just to enjoy his amazing grin Twists Turns and Tunnels Perhaps the most significant thing I learned on this adventure was that even the most well known places have secrets As I alluded to earlier Palau is one of the most popular and frequently visited dive destinations in the world for good reason The reefs are teeming with life and signature sites like Blue Corner German Channel and others rarely fail to deliver If you re a diving addict it s a must do destination The thing is there s actually a lot more to Palau Places that most tourists never see Heck places that even people who live in Palau don t visit It s to some of these places that Ron took us To access some of Palau s hidden secrets we had to navigate through tunnels sometimes fully submerged sometimes partially so In certain cases the fit was so tight that I felt like a contortionist folding myself into a tube of toothpaste As if that weren t challenge enough I had to drag camera gear through as well Ouch Anyway this photo pretty much sums up what the experience was like Ron and Terry in one of the tunnels we traversed hidden lake visible in the background We had to pick and choose the times we went through and more importantly headed back as being on the wrong side of the tunnel at the wrong time could have turned into a less than enjoyable experience In this case as we crawled through I carried my camera along bit by bit setting it on the rocks as I made progress All those tedious hours in the gym finally paid off There were hydroids covering the bottom of several tunnels which gave Terry butt burn on at least one occasion As you can perhaps surmise both Ron and I thought that was rather amusing though we mostly laughed behind Terry s back out of respect Ron seemed immune to stings perhaps from repeated exposure or just to a thick hide I was always fully covered so managed to avoid getting stung Anyway you might be wondering Why bother going to this trouble Well on the other side of tunnels and passages like the one pictured above were pristine environments Emerging from a tunnel into one of these unspoiled lakes was like finding myself immersed in a scene from the movie Jurassic Park minus voracious prehistoric predators with menacing teeth of course Above water plants draped themselves across the rocks and one another creating beautiful hanging gardens over the enclosed saltwater lakes with birds nesting among the tropical foliage in complete safety Normally shy tropic birds for instance flew low to the water passing right over our heads On one occasion we saw a pair mate in mid air setting new standards for the Mile High Club Beneath the water s surface there were communities of undisturbed corals and sometimes even populations of fish and other marine life that have been largely isolated from their cousins in the open ocean With nothing to disturb them many corals in these secluded environments have grown to large proportions some that we encountered were so fragile and thin that they were translucent There were corals in the lakes so fragile that they were translucent This is the lava like edge of a large Pachyseris speciosa formation Another example of translucent coral Merulina sp in Palau s Rock Island lakes Of course the visibility in these enclosed environments and nearby waters wasn t terribly good But that was in a sense the whole point You see protected places like these hidden lakes other semi enclosed shallow water areas sheltered mangrove forests and the like serve as nurseries for many fish and other species of marine life places of sanctuary In other words a significant part of the reason that that the reefs of Palau are so healthy and such a magnet for divers from all around the world is because there are so many protected pristine areas like this scattered among the Rock Islands where corals flourish young fish grow in safety and marine life gathers to reproduce and disseminate No safe hidden murky environments no healthy coral reefs and tropical fish It s all connected Shallow protected places have murky water but provide a safe environment for corals to flourish and develop into intricate unbroken formations Calm shallow environments provide shelter for many juvenile animals like this baby pajama cardinalfish Sphaeramia nematoptera Teasing Terry Remember I mentioned Poor Terry above Well to give you but one example of what she had to put up with Among our many unique experiences Ron took us to a place where he s often come across piles of banded sea kraits Laticauda colubrina hauled up on the rocks above the water line They seem to enjoy resting in groups of several individuals as they were doing when we visited I know these amphibious reptiles climb onto land to lay eggs so I was hoping to see some eggs or at least some sign of egg laying But nope Ron s never seen any eggs either so it s a bit of a mystery why the animals gather on these rocks Perhaps it s just to take a break from swimming A pile of four or five venomous banded sea kraits Laticauda colubrina lounging on a shaded rocky ledge in the Rock Islands of Palau Anyway to see these animals up close Terry and I had to dismount in a ginger fashion from the bow of the boat while it was sloshing up and down with the surge and then scamper up the rocks with the sea directly below us while carrying camera and lenses in my case So basically we were perched on a steep limestone cliff face surrounded by piles of slithering sea kraits with no escape route if one of the reptiles took a fancy to us or if more slinked up the rocks to join their friends Like other marine reptiles these intriguing animals boast a powerful venom I ve never heard of anyone being bitten and despite their sinister appearance sea kraits are probably too intelligent to even consider wasting their precious toxin on us Sometimes logic doesn t really matter though In case it s not entirely obvious from the photo below Terry was scared Actually just saying she was scared is somewhat insufficient Scared less would be closer to the truth Terry bravely facing down a den of slithering sea serpents Obviously it was too good of an opportunity to pass up While she was moving among the rocks looking for a safe non krait occupied spot to settle down I pointed behind her and belted out Look There re more coming up behind you In rapid succession came squeals of panic from Terry then howls of laughter from Ron Jefferson and Malcolm all of which were audible above the sound of waves smashing against the island Impressive no Of course there weren t any sea kraits climbing up behind her I should ve felt bad but I was too busy chuckling and trying not to drop my camera Poor Terry Life Will Find A Way In addition to the hidden lakes there are other transitional zones nestled among the passages and crevices of the Rock Islands areas that create unique ecosystems and often provide safe havens for marine life One of Ron s favourite places is a formation of multicoloured Lobophyllia coral he s named The Four Corners The Four Corners Lobophyllia coral formation that Ron loves so much I m no coral expert but as I understand Lobophyllia often referred to as brain corals for obvious reasons are hardy animals They re generally found in shallow waters where there is a decent amount of light to support the symbiotic zooxanthellae that impart colour to them and more importantly synthesise food for them Ron has found an area where the conditions shouldn t be so good for these corals but where they flourish nonetheless a place he calls Darwin s Wall as a nod to the cerebral common appellation for Lobophyllia There s not a lot of sunlight that penetrates the canopy of overhanging trees at Darwin s Wall and the water is also murky meaning that the zooxanthallae embedded within the coral polyps probably can t produce a lot of food certainly not enough to support the size and abundance of corals present in the area Instead the large colonies of brain corals that live and thrive here may be relying more on nutrients brought to them by large volumes of water flushed daily through two tunnels that connect a large inner lake and the open water I know not all that exciting to a normal person but if you think about it the Lobophyllia corals at Darwin s Wall illustrate the critical point that Jeff Goldblum s character in Jurassic Park made Life will find a way Terry shining a light on multicoloured Lobophyllia brain coral at Darwin s Wall in the Rock Islands of Palau Another example Ron showed us of life finding a way was in the Patch Reefs a system of shallow water coral reefs situated in both a conceptual and physical manner between the really mucky waters of the inner lagoons and the crystal clear blue of the true open ocean Back in 1998 there was a really bad El Niño event that affected the entire the Pacific I remember reading stories of mass devastation to coral reefs accompanied by a chorus of proclamations that it would take hundreds maybe thousands of years for reefs to recover if ever at all Doom and gloom all around Well here s one of those reefs that was devastated first by El Niño and then by a massive crown of thorns starfish attack that left the entire area a crumbled bleached out wasteland Thriving coral reef in an area that was devastated by El Niño in 1998 and crown of thorns thereafter Sure doesn t look like the perma wasteland that so many divers conservationists scientists and other miscellaneous authorities asserted that it would be does it Of course most people would agree that in a perfect world it s best for reefs not to experience destruction due to El Niño events plagues of crown of thorns starfish or the carelessness of man But what this shallow water reef and others around Palau as well as the entire Pacific region clearly demonstrate is that nature isn t as frail and helpless as humanity too often assumes it to be Under the right circumstances as here in Palau where an intricate web of independent but interdependent ecosystems support one another Life will definitely find a way In fact it ll do more than that It ll thrive as evidenced by the diverse array of colourful juveniles and shallow water current feeders I found amid the nooks and crannies of the Patch Reefs Brilliant juvenile chromis at Fantasy Island in the Patch Reefs Among the thriving Acropora coral at Fantasy Island were many cute yellow coral gobies Gobiodon okinawa Dascyllus carneus a fast swimming fish that typically lives among healthy corals on shallow reefs snatching food from current Learning to Kayak One thing I forgot to mention to everyone before heading over to Palau was that I had never kayaked before Oops I didn t say anything until the first morning when with kayaks fully loaded Ron exclaimed OK We re ready Let s go I raised my hand and said Um how do you get in to stunned expressions from all concerned At that point I had no choice but to fess up and admit that I d never kayaked before Terry laughed Ron looked baffled but took it in stride He gave me the 45 second Idiot s Guide to Kayaking explanation of what to do and off we went I m proud to say that I had no problems It took a few minutes to get the hang of using the double sided paddle but I managed to steer in a relatively straight line and even handled swells and waves with no issue I didn t hit any islands either When we stopped to check things out dismounting and re mounting posed a minor challenge the first couple of times but I did well I have no doubt that Ron was proud of me Ron and Terry striking a pose with gear laden kayaks Until I flipped Before I elaborate I just want to be clear that I did not flip due to difficult conditions I flipped in glass calm water with no current no wind no waves no menacing wildlife nada Even better I flipped twice So here s what happened The first time Ron was showing Terry and me how to glide under a low hanging arch Basically paddle to get a bit of momentum then lean back until you re flush with the kayak and float through the arch to the other side Sort of like doing the limbo but seated in your kayak Ron demonstrated Looked easy Terry went through No problem at all I headed to the arch leaned back Everything was going just peachy until I remembered the sole admonition from Ron During his explanation Ron said that the one thing we shouldn t do is lean right or left Now when someone tells me not to do something I have a tendency to well do it So FLOP over I went Ron sure knows his stuff All I did was lean a really tiny little wee bit to the right and before I knew it I was upside down Didn t even have time to blink Fortunately the water wasn t deep It was barely chest high so I surfaced immediately laughing so hard I could barely breathe Of course all the carefully packed equipment in my kayak was now on the sea bottom so it took a while to regain my composure and un discombobulate myself All Ron and Terry could do was shake their heads as they waited in the distance for me Now once should ve been enough to teach me a lesson but never let it be said that I learn quickly The second time I flipped was you guessed it once again in dead calm conditions We were paddling through a narrow mangrove area called Long Lake It s one of the most beautiful places I ve ever had the good fortune of visiting The narrow tunnel formed by mangroves and other plants the birds the serenity infused me with the same feeling of awe I get when I visit Hachimangu Kinomiya Shrine in Izu that of being at one with nature at peace centered Anyway as I looked up at the trees paddle in hand just floating along basking in the purity of Mother Nature once again Ron s warning came to mind and yup over I went once more this time to the left And once again the water was shallow so it was basically a repeat performance with me scrounging around in the soft muddy bottom looking for everything I d just spilled out of my kayak Sheesh As it turned out I took my spill in a perfect place to take a couple of photos to illustrate the integral role that mangrove forests play in the health of a complex ecosystem and also to show how intricate mangrove tree root systems are Ron explaining the importance of mangroves to Terry Intricate arrays of mangrove roots provide shelter for many juvenile animals I tried explaining to Ron and Terry that I d chosen that specific spot to take a spill because I knew that it d be a perfect place to take photos but they wouldn t have any of it So even though I flipped over twice I got some nice pictures as a result and also got to spend time in the most beautiful mangrove area I ve ever visited Open Ocean Of course a trip to Palau wouldn t have been complete without a visit to some of the nation s world renowned blue water dive sites So toward the end of our trip we managed to do one dive each at Blue Corner the Blue Holes German Channel and Ngemelis The days we had spent exploring the hidden lakes inner lagoons mangrove areas and shallow water reefs of the Rock Islands helped me to appreciate those dives in an entirely new light Kayaking with Ron s guidance through the hidden environments of the Rock Islands had pulled back the veil so to speak and given me an opportunity to see what underpinned the health of Palau s world famous reefs I won t bore you with too much narrative about the blue water dives just a brief mention of the highlight for me of our handful of normal dives which was having the opportunity to spend some quality time with a juvenile spotted eagle ray Aetobatus narinari I ve always been a fan of these graceful animals possibly because of their permanent mickey mouse grin I learned that the Palauan word for eagle ray is the same as that for Audobon shearwater and both are considered gods So basically I photographed a smiling baby god Doesn t get much better than that A baby eagle ray Aetobatus narinari at Blue Corner with dive boats and barracudas visible behind Cavorting With

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/exploring-secrets-of-palau-rock-islands-by-kayak (2016-04-26)
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  • Amateur Photographer Magazine
    Integrity Policy Contact Me Tony Wu Photo Naturalist ars gratia scientiae Interview Amateur Photographer This is a PDF copy 380kB of an interview in the most recent issue of Amateur Photographer magazine in the UK written by Jade Lord She did a particularly good job of distilling some sense out of my rambling and making me seem somewhat respectable Check out more content in the magazine Monday Aug 9 2010

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/interview-in-amateur-photographer-magazine (2016-04-26)
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  • The Importance of Vision Versus Fancy Equipment in Photography
    Photographic Eye The subject of this issue s column is Vision vs Technology I love all the new gadgets and functionality that the camera manufacturers are cranking out these days and I m usually the first in line to play with new stuff But what I try to highlight here is that it s still the basics vision creativity interpretation that produce great images To paraphrase a pithy bit of

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/article-the-photographic-eye-3 (2016-04-26)
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  • How to Take Super-Macro Photos Underwater
    s another instalment 756kB PDF file of The Photographic Eye column from Wetpixel Quarterly The subject of this particular column is the preparation that went into taking a super close up photo of a yawning goby in mid water not preparation as in setting up of equipment but preparation in the context of acquiring the equipment knowledge and skills to nail the shot There are a lot of references to

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/wetpixel-article (2016-04-26)
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  • The Role of Tradition in Environmental Destruction
    to address low red bloodcell count were much more likely to die than those who didn t That s right Giving blood to patients who need it may actually be killing them Recent studies have further underscored Dr Rao s initial findings suggesting that there s something fundamentally wrong with blood transfusions or at least with the way we do them Fortunately Dr Jonathan Stamler and other colleagues of Dr Rao appear to have solved this counterintuitive conundrum As it turns out when blood is removed from our bodies concentrations of dissolved nitric oxide NO drop precipitously as much as 70 within a day The reason this matters is simple NO serves to dilate blood vessels which increases blood f low Without NO arteries don t dilate meaning it s difficult for blood cells to pass or deliver life giving oxygen Worse still NO deficient blood appears to scavenge NO from other places in the body creating a cascade of constricting blood vessels in essence a recipe for strokes heart attacks and other unpleasant life threatening events Armed with this recent insight doctors should be able to address the issue in short order simply by ensuring that sufficient quantities of nitric oxide are added to stored blood before being administered to patients The point of this little anecdote Just because something s been done the same way for a long time doesn t make it right In this example the willingness of one person to re examine something that most people believed to be beyond question will no doubt result in countless lives saved Stop for a moment to consider traditional practices in Asia in this light One of the primary reasons many people give for continuing to consume shark fins seek out concoctions containing endangered animal parts covet tiger

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/article-tradition (2016-04-26)
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