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apex grin #2 [Nov. 21st, 2013|07:21 pm]
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Great white shark performing sharp turn, Guadalupe Island, Mexico



Nikon D300 + Nikkor 10.5mm, Sea&Sea YS-250 x 2

Wikipedia reference

Location on Google maps


This image perfectly shows who is in control underwater - witnessing these high-speed sharp turns always makes my heart beating faster :-) Never mess with the Big Boss ! :-)
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apex grin #1 [Nov. 18th, 2013|11:58 pm]
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Great white shark at the surface, Guadalupe Island, Mexico



Nikon D300 + Nikkor 10.5mm, Sea&Sea YS-250 x 2

Wikipedia reference

Location on Google maps


In September I was lucky to spend several days with apex grinning predators in Mexico. We had really cool encounters I will never forget - in perfect clean blue water of Guadalupe Island with 30m viz ! I plan to go back for big project next year, meanwhile enjoy some of current shots ! :-)
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охотники за адреналином [May. 21st, 2013|12:58 pm]
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Отличный короткий фильм про дропзону Пущино где я учился прыгать с парашютом в апреле -


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rock'n'roll is dead [May. 18th, 2013|09:40 pm]
like with many things - you don't appreciate fully insane beauty and complexity of things until you connect to them yourself. Skysurfing is one of the toughest sports on the planet - and one of most beautiful ones. And one of the top names in the world come from Russia - amazing Valery Rozov.



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по стопам белки и стрелки [May. 4th, 2013|03:43 pm]
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Закончилось мое московское приключение - и я снова в Гонконге, по пути в Сингапур. Рад был видеть старых друзей в Москве и завести много новых !

Гений космической промышленности СССР в свое время запустил на орбиту простых собак Белку и Стрелку, а гений потрясающей команды дропзоны Пущино сделал так что я сдал курс АФФ и даже после этого попрыгал соло.

Дропзона Пущино меня очень сильно впечатлила. Труд огромного количества людей - координаторов прыжков, пилотов, инструкторов, укладчиков парашютов, механиков и других - позволяет в считанные дни научиться тому чему раньше учили месяцами - и сделать это в крайне комфортных условиях. Снаряжение, оборудование, помещения - все на высшем уровне. На территории есть уютная гостиница и вкусные кафешки, приезжать можно на несколько дней. Я считаю что москвичам страшно повезло иметь такое под боком - я даже боюсь расхваливать Пущино сильнее т.к. рыбные места как известно надо сохранять для себя ;-)

Ниже тренировочное видео которое снял мой инструктор с крайнего уровня основного курса AFF - седьмого. Сальто хорошо не получаются, но это и не главное - главное восстановить равновесие. Лажаюсь каждые 5-10 секунд но приземлившись узнаю что прошел ! За кадром инструкторской камеры остались навигация и приземление без корректировки по рации - первый раз... Ура, теперь можно прыгать самостоятельно (пока только в рамках AFF 8/1) - край для деятельности непочатый, т.к. продвинутые ребята на дропзоне творят невероятные вещи и разжигают желание двигаться дальше. Так что я скоро приеду снова - пятый океан становится полноправной частью моей жизни ! ;-)

Да - и еще я полетал в аэротрубе aerotruba.ru для отработки необходимых для стабильного полета упражнений. Для "деревянных" людей сидящих как я за компьютером очень рекомендую - позволит сэкономить время на дропзоне где перепрыжки заваленных уровней (у меня их было 3 !) отбирают много времени, нервов и материальных средств. Ну и конечно-же аэротруба - это просто потрясающе ! :-)






А тут я позирую со своим инструктором, Виктором Пашниным. Спасибо сенсею за мастерство и терпение - надеюсь мы скоро полетаем вместе опять !



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we flying high ! ^_^ [Apr. 29th, 2013|05:13 pm]
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Кстати да, действительно, слухи вас не обманывают - я в Москве до пятницы. В субботу сдал пятый уровень AFF, в воскресенье сидели на земле в силу плохой погоды, в среду и четверг я снова на дропзоне - надеюсь что удасться добить курс до отьезда. Пока хвастаться нечем кроме скучной учебной видеосьемки которую делает мой инструктор для исправления многочисленных ошибок - но процесс покорения пятого океана только начинается ! ;-) - Уверен что теперь стану частым гостем этого замечательного места - дропзоны Пущино ! ^_^



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humpback whales #4 [Dec. 31st, 2012|07:02 pm]
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myself getting closer to the humpback whale, Wild Coast, South Africa



Photo by Dave Caravias


Many asked me about "behind the scenes" of whale photography. Well, Two words describe process best - patience and endurance. Most of time whales are not exactly interested to socialize with you, and for them it takes only couple of tail movements to swim away from you very far. Most of the encounters are very brief 'fly-by' types, with very little actual interaction happening in the course.

For good results you have to find special situation - static whales occupied with something. We found two big male humpbacks this season in South Africa, doing some sort of dominance game on the surface. Huge bulls, making loud scary sounds like excited elephants. Of 6 people on the boat I was only one willing to get into water and approach them - such powerful was spectacle of splashes they created, people were bit afraid.

Well, visibility was not perfect too - about 6 meters at best. I jumped into water and started to make my way towards those giants. I could raise my head on the top and clearly see them on the surface. Put it back into water - only to be back into greenish milky substance - and some obscure shadows in front. I was moving very slowly since I was afraid to be hit by their pectoral fins - each about 3 meters long.

This is when something really scary happened. Remember - I told before that Sardine Run 2012 was without sardines. They failed to show up - but sharks, dolphins and photographers all came into area. I was suddenly hit into my leg above knee - quite hard. I sharply turned and saw huge 3.5m dusky shark - it came to check me out out of frustration - since I - and whales - were making splashing sounds, and sharks often associate them with fish on the surface.

I hit shark very hard with my camera. I think it was hardest blow I ever delivered on the shark - and I dove with bulls in Fiji many times ! Dusky turned, made circle and went straight at me again. After third hit I raised my hand and called skipper loudly, who was staying on zodiac about 50 meters away. Hearing engine sound shark went below me and disappeared.

In the end I managed to get close to those two males - and it was magnificient experience. Problem - I don't have very clean shots of them, since water was milky, but believe me - I was just 1 meter away from an eye of 16m long animal, biggest humpback whale I saw in my life, and I saw a few of them !

Those kind of adventures is the reason why I keep going into ocean. I feel alive and happy doing these kind of things. 2013 is promising to be interesting ! I will keep you posted on my adventures - and Happy New Year everyone ! ^_^

Also - if anybody interested - I posted story on my dusky shark shot from this year on Tetis - http://forum.tetis.ru/viewtopic.php?t=75620 - and it is in Russian ! Crazy shit ! Enjoy ! ^_^
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humpback whales #3 [Nov. 28th, 2012|02:21 pm]
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Breaching humpback whale, Wild Coast, South Africa



Nikon D300 + Sigma 80-400mm

Wikipedia reference

Location on Google maps


Sometimes when I see image above and symmetric undewater one - http://pats0n.livejournal.com/339845.html - I can't stop thinking that humpback whales are great dancers, with signature moves constituting their own GangnamHumpback style ! ^_^

It's always incredible to see these 35 ton animals throwing themselves in the air with no seeming effort. I just don't want this to happen when I'm in the water next to them ! ^_^

In next post I will write about getting close to whales, since so many of you asked for it !
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humpback whales #2 [Nov. 27th, 2012|02:24 pm]
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Breaching humpback whale, Wild Coast, South Africa



Nikon D300 + Sigma 80-400mm

Wikipedia reference

Location on Google maps


After heavy rain, storm and flood we had on our second, third and fourth day in Port St. Johns when we finally went to the sea on fifth day sky was interesting. Remains of storm clouds combined with low winter sun produced unusual hue - reddish colors on this photo are not photoshopped, they are real.

On that day we had several breaching humpback whale encounters, which resulted in some unusual images, like one above.
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humpback whales #1 [Nov. 26th, 2012|12:37 pm]
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Humpback whale showing his belly, Wild Coast, South Africa



Nikon D300 + Nikkor 10.5mm, natural light

Wikipedia reference

Location on Google maps


Sometime ago I published theme dedicated to my encounters with sperm whales in Japan - http://pats0n.livejournal.com/tag/week015 - now it's time for humpback whales to take spotlight in my photo-stream ! ^_^

Humpbacks are without doubts the most photogenic whale specie. They have unusually long pectoral fins which they like to put to use while showing various acrobatic stunts on the surface or in the water. They like to breach throwing themselves completely into the air with just several movements of the powerful tail. Finally they are incredibly talented singers too, with their songs bearing very complex nature and serving various ritual and communication purposes.

This image was taken in July in South Africa - when one friendly specimen decided to stick with us for about 50 minutes, showing off his beautiful underwater dance.
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japan mon amour #5 [Nov. 25th, 2012|11:00 am]
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Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Japan



Canon EOS 350D + Canon EF-S 10-22mm

this is three exposure image tonemapped in Photomatix and color corrected in Photoshop

Wikipedia reference

Location on Google maps

Today I indulge into healthy dose of photo-kitsch with this "HDR" treatment of Imperial Palace in Tokyo - along with iconic and beautiful Nijubashi, "glasses bridge" as it popularly known among Tokyo residents.

On normal days Emperor Palace premises are closed for the public, and only once a year, on December 23rd, Emperor Akihito and his family welcome all well wishers to come inside and pay respect to the ancient monarchy. It is also good opportunity to observe beautiful inner garden of Emperor's Palace - very impressive sight especially for Japanese landscape gardens buffs like myself ^_^
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japan mon amour #4 [Nov. 22nd, 2012|11:23 am]
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Acid lake Yugama, Gunma prefecture, Japan



Nikon D300 + Nikkor 12-24mm, polarizing filter

Wikipedia reference

Location on Google Maps

Japan is not only home to many cultural treasures, it has incredibly beautiful and diverse nature. Image above is not from Mars, it was taken in mountainous area near hot spring town of Kusatsu - just two hours away by train from Tokyo. This is real acid volcanic lake called Yugama - apparently if you step into it your boots will melt instantly ! So I decided not to dive and to take topside photo instead ^_^
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japan mon amour #3 [Nov. 21st, 2012|01:32 pm]
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Entrance to Yamamoto-tei garden, Tokyo, Japan




Canon EOS-350D + Canon EF-S 10-22mm

this is three exposure image tonemapped in Photomatix and color-corrected in Photoshop

'Go Tokyo' reference


While Tokyo can't compete with Kyoto when it comes to beautiful gardens - Yamamoto-tei is one of the hidden gems in the Japanese capital. Located in obscure Katsushika-ku, it is virtually unknown to tourists. Even so it is probably finest Japanese garden in whole city. It is consistently rated as one of top 10 in the country as well.

It is famous for the green tea which is served on the premises - it helps to meditate in relaxed state while observing carefully crafted miniature mountains with little waterfalls, stone lanterns, beautifully shaped pine trees - all traditional elements you expect to see in the Japanese landscape garden.

However most striking thing for me in Yamamoto-tei is the entrance - which looks like portal taking you from the busy concrete town into the magic land of beauty and peace. I think it beautifully summarizes essence of modern Japan as place where old and new coexist in wonderful harmony.
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japan mon amour #2 [Nov. 20th, 2012|08:45 pm]
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Phoenix hall at Byodo-in temple, Uji, Japan



Canon EOS 350D + Canon EF-S 10-22mm

Wikipedia reference


Byodo-in temple is the only surviving authentic example of Heian architecture style in Japan. Phoenix hall on the image above was built in 1053, which makes it 950+ years old and one of the oldest surviving wooden buildings in the world. Being one of the most iconic Japanese cultural properties it was placed on the 10 yen coin - symbolizing it's importance. Inside Phoenix hall sacred image of Amida Buddha is kept, which can be viewed only during designated hours - and it is not possible to take photographs of it.

I made many, many photos of Byodo-in during different seasons. This one is one of the best, which I took in April, just before sakura blossoms...
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japan mon amour #1 [Nov. 19th, 2012|12:29 pm]
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Autumn walk in Koko-en garden, Himeji, Japan



Canon EOS 350D + Canon EF-S 10-22mm

this is three exposure image tonemapped in Photomatix and color corrected in Photoshop

Wikipedia reference

These days I'm barely interested in top-side photography, my mind is fully occupied by underwater activities. However while living in Japan since 1998 to 2009 I used to take a lot of pictures of this incredibly beautiful country, using different processing techniques for final presentation. Sometimes I feel nostalgia about that I consider one of the my favorite places in the world - especially during autumn, time when Japanese landscapes are especially beautiful. I decided to publish sequence of old photos I took at different years in new 1150 resolution - diversifying my photo stream a bit with completely different theme !

Image above is taken in Koko-en - beautiful landscape garden in the town called Himeji. It is not very old garden, actually it was created in 1992 by Kyoto university professor as his project of bringing several traditional styles into single place. Result is quite impressive and barely carries any kitschy qualities often characteristic for modern replicas of old style...
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