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A couple of sea slugs or a Wavy Bubble, anyone?

January 27, 2010

One thing I love about being an artist/designer is that everything can always always qualify as Inspiration, hence it’s work so you have to buy it even if you can’t really afford it.

See that photo? Since last night when I was doing my usual pre-cinema bookshop loitering, I have a new hero and I’m going to engage in some serious breach of copyright.

(How can you NOT buy a book with that photo in it? Especially if you – like me – already suffer from a strange-sea-creatures-addiction. And once you own it, and you’ve got a blog dedicated to spreading the good news about extraordinary people and the beauty of the planet and the urgency with which we need to act  – not showing it would almost be criminal, don’t you agree?)

The man behind these extraordinarily beautiful images is Roger Steene, an Australian underwater photographer with 45 years experience, specializing in close-ups. Despite doing a lot of work together with marine biologists he’s so prolific that many of his subjects still remain unrecorded and unnamed!

Just looking at those two sea slugs, the nudibranchs and the Wavy Bubble (!! Don’t you just love descriptive scientific terminology?) above, brings up stories and ideas for projects in me. I think Roger and his peers are doing such an incredibly important job – if people don’t know or understand what’s being lost with loss of biodiversity, how can they ever get inspired to change their habits?

A friend of mine insists that the sole reason Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth was so successful, was the polar bears. People could not stand thinking of the cuddly polar bears drowning for lack of icebergs. And while they might be a fair bit closer to our own genetic make-up and therefore easier to relate to than sea slugs, I’d hope that the sheer wonder and beauty of these creatures would bring a realization that there is a whole world under the surface depending on us to stop the warming.

Profound , I know, but these 8 photos of burrowing clams still mostly remind me of going to the shops and trying to choose a t-shirt – they all look almost exactly the same with only the tiniest variations between brands making it impossible to decide which one you like the best.

(Please please, if you are intending to break the law too, credit Roger for the images – but better still, go here to buy the book, Oceanic Wilderness.)

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Ari permalink
    February 3, 2010 9:31 pm

    My 8 year old daughter went snorkelling for the first time this summer and saw a purple and orange sea slug. Afterwards she sat on the beach holding her head. She said her head felt like it was bursting because it was full of the sight of the slug and it was so amazing to see and made her think of so many things … so I do believe you’re right – sea slugs can be as inspiring as polar bears- in fact a good look at a sea slug just might blow your mind.

  2. February 14, 2010 11:45 am

    hey Ari,
    i LOVE that story!! I wish us grownups would let ourselves be that open to the world as well – cause when you actually do it, you feel so ALIVE, don’t you agree?

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