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from Photographers' Blog:

Latitude Zero from underwater

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Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

By Jorge Silva

Once your eyes go below the ocean waterline, you know that there is an immense parallel universe brimming with images.

Ever since I began taking pictures I haven’t discovered anything that grabs me like diving does. Luckily, I don’t have to neglect photography while diving; they are perfectly complementary.

GALLERY: GALAPAGOS POSTCARDS

Photographing underwater is a challenge due to the inherent demands of diving, and the technical difficulties that underwater photography presents.

Diving requires calm and concentration, with control over every variable – floatability, depth, air, and time, while shooting underwater can break that calmness.  Going after an image can require me to swim a little more than expected, and consume more air than calculated. The human body requires more oxygen to move more muscles.

from AxisMundi Jerusalem:

Dead Sea Wonder

deadsea1
The Dead Sea is among 14 finalists in a global internet vote next year to choose the 7 wonders of the natural world, organisers said on Tuesday August 25, 2009.
The famously salty lake at the lowest point in the world is in the running for a place alongside spectacular natural phenomena such as the Amazon River, the Galapagos Islands, the Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef.
The Dead Sea is shared by Israel, Jordan and the occupied West Bank. It was almost eliminated from the contest (www.new7wonders.com) earlier this year when Middle East politics blocked their required cooperation.
But a last-minute compromise allowed the candidacy to proceed to the next stage. Final results are due in 2011, by which time the organisers expect one billion people will have voted online.

Click below for a multi-media ’essay’ on the Dead Sea.

from Environment Forum:

On Darwin anniversary: tourist limits to Galapagos, Antarctica?

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Should the world celebrate the 200th anniversary today of the birth of English naturalist Charles Darwin by working to limit the number of tourists visiting the Galapagos Islands or Antarctica to protect their spectacular wildlife?

Would that help elephant seals like this one above on the Antarctic Peninsula slumber more peacefully? And would it cause less disruption for marine iguanas, below right, on Santa Cruz island in the Galapagos?

from Environment Forum:

“Lonesome George” may cheat extinction

George the giant tortoise is seen at the national park on the Galapagos islands in this April 29, 2007 file photo.So "Lonesome George" might become a Dad?

In lists of endangered creatures such as black rhinos, orang utans, tigers or blue whales, "Lonesome George" has long had the saddest status as the only one known survivor of the Pinta island species of Galapagos giant tortoise.

That has made him the "rarest living creature" for the Guinness Book of Records.

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