My feature story for National Geographic Georgia, illustrated with Viktor Lyagushkin’s photography, about the Black Sea dolphins and dedicated scientists. During the work on the material I was deeply impressed with Professor Natia Kopaliani from Elias University in Tbilisi, who heads the program for studying and counting marine mammals of the Black Sea. There are only seven people in her group, but they manage with a huge amount of work: this includes counting dolphins and analysis of tissues of dead sea mammals for dangerous viruses and genetic analysis, assessing the diet of dolphins based on fish otoliths found in their stomachs, a lot of samples and so on. And finally, accurate and literate work with the obtained data, which then builds the most interesting scientific publications.
The work of the group made such an impression on me that I changed my original idea to devote an article to Black Sea dwellers only, shifting the emphasis to the work of scientists.
The story about the world’s first under the ice exhibition, Until The Ice Melts, can be read in the German online magazine HEINZ for May 2019. It tells about the exhibition of photographs by Nikon ambassador Viktor Lyagushkin, which was exhibited under the ice of Kandalaksha Bay of the White Sea from February 19 to 5 April 2019 on the basis of the Diving Centre and Lodge “Arctic Circle”.
The issue is available in English and German.
under ice photo exhibition
February 17, 2019 – April 5, 2019
isle of Big Krestovy, Nilmoguba Bay, White Sea
The world’s first exhibition of photographs under the ice is opened to visitors 19th of February 2019 beyond the Arctic Circle in the White Sea. Martians and space ships, Eywa the Wood and alien brain, aquanaut traveling across the sea on balloon – this is how photographer Viktor Lyagushkin showed the underwater world of the White Sea in his photographs. A wide-angle macro shot taken with a fisheye lens is a new photographic technique invented by Viktor. The invention allowed the author to do something that no one had managed before him: to show the tiny inhabitants of the underwater Arctic in their natural environment.
The exhibition “Until The Ice Melts” is part of a large project by Viktor Lyagushkin on documenting the animals of the White Sea.
Viktor Lyagushkin is a world-renowned photographer, winner of countless contests, Nikon Ambassador, National Geographic photographer. For almost 10 years, admirers of Viktor’s talent are surprised with his projects, such as the “Orda Cave. Awareness”, dedicated to the longest gypsum cave in the world, located in the Urals, “Princess of Whales”, where a naked woman swam under the ice with beluga whales and others.
The world changes before our very eyes, the Arctic ice is melting, the climate is changing, species are disappearing. My goal is to show people this wonderful world under the ice so that humanity understands what we will lose in the near future if we do not turn our attention to this problem. – Viktor Lyagushkin
The exhibition will last until the beginning of the ice melting.
Sponsors and Organizers
The general sponsor of the exhibition – Nikon,
The organizers of the exhibition – Dive Centre “Arctic Circle”, PHOTOTEAM.PRO
This year PHOTOTEAM.PRO took part in the Moscow Dive Show 2019 with the exhibition “Under the Ice.”
The pictures presented on it are not the complete exposition, but only a part of the world’s first photographic exhibition under the ice. This is not an exaggeration and not a metaphor – from Moscow the works by Viktor Lyagushkin will go to the Arctic Circle and will be put under the thick ice sheet of the White Sea.
On the final day of the Dive Show, Viktor Lagushkin delivered a lecture on the main stage of the event, speaking in detail about the project. “We live at a time when climate change and the melting of the Arctic ice become increasingly threatening phenomena, – says the photographer, – My goal is to draw public attention to these problems, and capture the amazing creatures of the White Sea while they still exist.”
The general sponsor of the Under the Ice exhibition is Nikon, partner – the Dive Centre Arctic Circle.
Let Everyone Saves One Tree! – is the main message of my article about Colchis boxwood, published in the November 2018 issue of National Geographic (Georgia) Magazine.
Boxwood is a special plant for Georgia. In just a few years, the Colchis boxwood almost completely disappeared from the wildlife of the Caucasus, eaten by an invasive insect – a boxwood moth brought from the Far East.
The article describes what kind of plant it is, and what is its main enemy, what are the ways to save boxwood, and what has already been done.
Photography by Viktor Lyagushkin.
Many thanks to everyone who helped in the photoshooting and writing of the article.
See the Amazing, Ethereal Creatures Living Under Arctic Ice is the title of a story which is now live on National Geographic site. It features Viktor Lyagushkin’s photos and text includes my answers and captions.
Viktor is proud to have his work being so highly estimated and I am happy that my captions have been preserved almost in its original form, with only minor editing.
Thank you, Sarah Stocke, for good questions and thoughtful work!
A permanent exhibition dedicated to the biodiversity of the Caucasus was opened at the National Museum of Georgia (Tbilisi) a couple of days ago. The National Geographic (Georgia) Magazine took part in the creation of the exhibition. The visitors will admire dioramas, read and listen to information about the fauna and flora of the Caucasus. Among the most valuable exhibits of the exhibition are stuffed animals, some of which had been made 150 years old. It is sad to realize that already many of these species are not to be found in the wildlife.
In the National Geographic educational corner which is located in the second hall of the exposition, films are unspooled on two screens. Among them there is a documentary about the expedition into the National Park of Vashlovani. It was an assignment from National Geographic (Georgia), during which me and Viktor Lyagushkin spent a couple of months collecting material, making pictures and capturing video about this wonder of nature.