Underwater

  • Floating Sand

    Image of sand floating underwater after a passing wave.

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    Messing around in the waves of Kua Bay while trying to capture the backside of a wave, I wasn’t having much luck. The water was flat and there were tons of people around. Every once in a while a large set would come in and energize everyone in the water as they all setup to body surf the wave. With all the commotion a lot of sand kicked up and then as the wave passed more sand would kick up, but I tried to photograph the wave anyway. What I found was a lot of out of focus images. I left the beach thinking it was a loss, however, it is always nice to get in the water.

    When I loaded the images into Photoshop Bridge I found a lot of beautiful images of sand with amazing streaks of sunlight beaming through the water. I edited this image with an abstract/design quality in mind and accented the colors and light values. In the end I think this would be a very cool accent image on a wall blown up really big.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • The Show Off

    Turtle doing a hand stand while eating.

    There were a lot of turtles around Mahaiula bay this past Sunday when arriving early morning to relax on the beach. The water was beautiful. Several shades of blue decorated the bay. And then there were the dark figures of turtles swimming around and feeding. I went to join them.

    Immediately I found a large turtle that didn’t seem to mind that I was around. For over an hour I watched and photographed, looking for different perspectives and a way to capture the character of this amazingly delicate yet rugged animal. We were battling the increasingly building waves that would push us around, more me than the turtle, and at times I would find myself floating away; fighting to return. This forced me into a new approach. Instead of hovering around at a short distance, I needed to swim further away and allow the distance to buffer me into a better position for focus and composition while the current pushed me toward the turtle. That is when I started to notice the struggle the turtle faced as well. With every passing wave I noticed it gripping to the rocks, swaying and twisting around. Nearly flipping over with a couple larger swells… and thats when I took this image. Even though the turtle struggled to stay put to eat, the still photograph contrasted its determination with more of a playful and comical look. As if the turtle was showing off by doing some hand stands.

    It is moments like these that I think about what it would be like if humans had to endure the elements and forces of nature that animals do. If while we sat to eat at the table we needed to grip tight to the table or we would suddenly be pushed aside. Our food was constantly swaying as we picked at it with our faces because our hands were busy holding us still… all while holding our breath. Not to mention the threat of being attacked by a predator.

    © Christopher Johnson

     

  • Hawaiian Turtle

    Hawaiian green sea turtle swims near the surface of the water.

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    Every time I go to photograph underwater I realize how difficult it is. Everything is moving constantly, the light is always changing and not as bright, and whatever you swim towards swims away. Not to mention how hard it is to see the camera screen because of the reflection of the sun creating a mirror over the screen. Most of the time I find myself aiming in the direction of what I want to photograph and most of the time I either miss or crop the object in half. Then there are the times I get lucky.

    I was swimming around looking for turtles, but couldn’t find one. Instead I though to capture some patterns and sun rays when this turtle swam under me as if to say hello. The spot I was wasn’t very deep. I could stand up and have my head out of the water, so it was that much more exciting to have that close of a visitor. I followed her around for a little bit and then as sudden as she arrived, she was gone.

    The photograph I came away with is one where she came up for air a was slowly beginning to dive back down to feed. I love how the shell is reflected in the underside of the waves as they pass by.

    © Christopher Johnson

    www.fromhereonin.com

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  • Green Sea Turtle

    Overhead view of a Green Sea Turtle swimming over the sandy beach bottom of Mahaiula beach. I followed this turtle for some time as he swam back and forth across the shoreline. At first I thought he was running away from me, but he would then swim back around me. Almost like he was playing with me.  At one point he swam through peoples legs as they shrieked and shouted I think I noticed a smirk and a thumbs up. It was then that I let him go on his way. Swim on Tilly the turtle… Swim On… I will never forget you.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Bending Light

    Photograph of sun rays shining through the murky turbulent ocean water.

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    An underwater photograph shot toward the surface of the water as the sun shines through the ocean water makes for dramatic image. Photographed at Mahaiula beach just north of Kailua Kona, Hawaii.

  • Surfacing

    A view of the sun from underwater.


    © Christopher Johnson 

  • Old Turtle in Kiholo Bay

    Kiholo Bay was extremely windy the day I decided to go and enjoy this prized location on Hawaii, however, it was beautiful and offered it’s own unique counteraction to the weather. The wind rippling the surface of the vibrant turquoise water created a nice design by the distortion. I had to be careful though not to be taken off guard by the sudden gust of wind. Nearly pushing me off the rocks at times. I had to find a place to snorkel fast before one was chosen for me. A dark silhouette of a large turtle was the deciding factor for me and I readied myself to enter the water. As I went to enter the water the turtle was gone from sight. I proceeded with the hope that luck was on my side.

    The water was nothing I have ever seen before. The sandy bottom was stirred up and laid milky, preventing me from seeing anything past two feet. It was a rather eerie feeling. Especially when the turtle I was searching for began to rise up out of the fog below me nearly gave me a heart attack.

    I had never seen a turtle this big in Hawaii. It was almost as big as I am. I snapped this picture then decided to just observe and that was when I noticed two anomalies. The extremely large tail, which I wonder if this can determine their age.  The other was a shiny object under its front flipper. I couldn’t tell what this was until I was out of the water reviewing the pictures that I saw the fish hook tangled around the flipper. If only I was brave and knowledgeable enough to free it of this man made entanglement. This is just one small example of the effects that our trash has on other species.

    Photograph by Christopher Johnson – www.fromhereonin.com

  • Surface Bubbles

    A design of bubbles on the surface of the water from inside the water looking up.

    by Christopher Johnson – www.fromhereonin.com

  • Honokohau Harbor Coral

    Snorkeling at the Honokohau harbor I was excited to see the amount of life that exists around the harbor entrance.

    Photography by Christopher Johnson – www.fromhereonin.com

  • School of Black Goatfish

    School of Black Goatfish taken at Kahaluu beach park.

    Photography by Christopher Johnson – www.fromhereonin.com

  • Sandy Bottom At Mahaiula Beach

    Snorkeling just under 8 inches of water is entertaining, especially at Mahaiula beach. The incoming waves push and pull around with ease. Sometimes leaving you high and dry on the beach as you flop around like a turtle to try to get back into the water. Here I shot an image of the backside of a wave that kicked up the sand as it was breaking. A cool design.

    Photography by Christopher Johnson – www.fromhereonin.com

     

  • Underwater Sun Ray Design

    The sun rays dance across the black sandy bottom at the shallow end of the shoreline at Lone Palm.

    Photograph by Christopher Johnson – www.fromhereonin.com

     

  • Lone Palm Honu

    Lone Palm. Between Kiholo bay and Waikoloa, traveling on HWY 19, there is a turn off with a single palm tree in the parking lot. Here is the start of a pathway that cuts through the treacherous A’A lava field that takes you to a black sand beach with a lone palm tree. Hence the name… Lone Palm. Here is where I have camped several times with my family and knew the reef was still alive and not yet destroyed by the presence of careless people.

    I am completely fascinated by turtles, Honu in Hawaiian, and was fortunate to find one swimming nearby. I think I followed him around for a good hour, photographing and watching his habits. As big and bulky as they seem they are quite graceful in the water. Gliding up and around the rocky shore. I shot this last photo of the turtle before leaving the water, which became one of my favorites of the day.

    Photograph by Christopher Johnson – www.fromhereonin.com

     

  • Underwater Bubble Design

    Using my AquaMarine underwater housing at One Palm beach, I decided to play in the shallow water as small waves crashed overhead. I have become fascinated by the views and events at the shallow end of the beach. This photograph is the tail end of a passing wave as bubble are dispersed everywhere. I love the design with the blue hue.

    Photography by Christopher Johnson – www.fromhereonin.com

  • Kahaluu Honu #3

    This Hawaiian turtle peers back at me as I photograph him swimming along the surface at Kahaluu beach park.

    Photography by Christopher Johnson – www.fromhereonin.com