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Swirling Kelp

Swirling Kelp
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-12-29
Categories: Water Plants, Seascape
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon EF 300mm f2.8 USM IS
Exposure: f/4, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-03-20 1:38
Viewed: 5899
Points: 46
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I am going to South Africa tonight until 8 April, so this may be my last posting until then. I thought I would post a shot from my last trip - which I like because of its abstract qualities. This was taken from Nuggets point, close to the lighthouse. This mass of kelp was probably between 4 and 5 meters wide.

Nugget Point is one of the most iconic landforms on the Otago coast. Located at the northern end of the Catlins coast, this steep headland has a lighthouse at its tip, surrounded by rocky islets (The Nuggets). The point is home to many seabirds, including penguins (on beaches leading to), gannets and spoonbills (colony at start of path from car park to point - look down), and a large breeding colony of fur seals (just listen).

Kelp are large seaweeds (algae), belonging to the brown algae and classified in the order Laminariales. Despite their appearance by some they are not grouped with the normal aquatic or land plants (kingdom Plantae), but instead are included in either kingdom Protista or Chromista. There are about 30 different genera. Kelp grows in underwater forests (kelp forests) in clear, shallow oceans, requiring nutrient-rich water below about 20 C. It offers protection to some sea creatures, or food for others. It is known for its high growth rate the genus Macrocystis and Nereocystis luetkeana grow as fast as half a metre a day, ultimately reaching 30 to 80 m.

Through the 19th Century, the word "kelp" was closely associated with seaweeds that could be burned to obtain soda ash (primarily sodium carbonate). The seaweeds used included species from both the orders Laminariales and Fucales. The word "kelp" was also used directly to refer to these processed ashes.

I think this is most likely Durvillaea antarctica which is the dominant algae on the southern New Zealand and Chile. D. antarctica is found in exposed shores. The holdfast of D. antarctica is large and is very difficult to remove. D. antarctica has to resist forces equivalent to 1100 km/h on land . The blades are golden brown with a leathery texture. D. antarctica does not have air bladders. D. antarctica achieves flotation by a honeycomb structure within the alga's blades. This honeycomb structure helps the kelp from sustaining mechanical damage when being exposes to oscillatory wave motion. This novel structure is thought to be responsible for the wide distribution of this genus. The kelp is able to float when the holdfast fails. It is possible that the algae can colonise other coastlines in this manner. The holdfast failing is usually the result of worms and molluscs which feed on the tissue because of the sheltered habitat it creates. Recruitment rates of this species is very low, therefore the ecological impact of harvesting this species is too great.

goldyrs, rousettus, nkasot, haraprasan, jaycee, eqshannon, CeltickRanger, bahadir, xTauruSx, mickey, albert, angela926, Alex99, JPlumb, Bass, cataclysta, ramthakur, degani has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

I find this shot terrific.And the notes are very informative.

Hello James,
Nice capture of this interesting swirling kelp. TFS. Regards,

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2008-03-20 6:59]

Hi James,
are you sure that's not hair of a mermaid?
Very nice shot, great detail and excellent color.

Hi James,
A nice capture of this beautiful sea weed. Excellent sharp details and a very good composition. Nice notes too. Thanks a lot for sharing.

This is a wonderful sharp image with great natural color and sharpness. Sadly it was one of the last images for that lens before stricken with catastrophe. What happened to it?? I like this image a LOT.

TFS and Bon voyage!! (does this mean we get to go on safari??) : )
Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-03-20 8:45]

Hi James,

If I look at this at a certain angle I see a bird with his beak opened and his body and wings. Very artistic shot of this kelp floating in the water. Excellent details and artistry.


Not sure if this is Canon specific or just your good controls...but Canon at best does real well with blues and greens...or better put it does well with colours in the similar spectrum...finely defining! Very interesting image of what many might consider passing without notice..!

hello James

excellent shot of these Water Plants, i love your POV
and the excelent density composition's colours,
excllent sharpness and details, bon voyage, TFS


Hello James,
Great composition . TFS and regards,

Hello James,
Excellent shot and nice composition of this kelp. TFS and regards,

Hello james, nice note and nice shot. The view is very good. TFS Ganesh

Hello James
Interesting photo with excellent focus
Well seen and captured
Have a safe trip to RSA

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-03-21 7:47]

Hello James! So you're going on another great trip! Do you need someone to hold and transport your lenses? :-) I'm a little bit jealous :-) Hope you have a great one. Very good picture of that kelp, good details and exposure, well done again! Bon voyage!


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-03-21 22:04]

Hello James

It almost looks like a living creature there.The way it flows in the water.
Excellent sharpness and detail.
I really like the richness of the water detail.
Wonderful colour saturation.

Hello james,
lovely colors and contrast, good sharpness and superb details, nice composition and pov.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-03-23 10:41]

Hi James.
What an interesting subject and creative idea. And I am impressive with quality of its realization. Water-plants create an amazing impression by their hair. Water surface is reproduced brilliantly (I mean the colours and texture). Sharpness of the image is razor and light is superb. Composition is the best too. My compliments and best regards.

Hello James
very nice capture for this interesting object. It looks like a dead human's hairs. Not good similarity. Nicely composed. Nice colors, POV and focus. good notes always. TFS, well done

  • Great 
  • JPlumb Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
  • [2008-03-27 13:55]

Hi James, an excellent shot of this kelp on the loose. You have good sharp detail composed with a great background with the swirling sea. This, tied in with your excellent notes, gives us a lesson on this brown algae that many would not have even heard of without this posting of yours. Very nicely done.

Thanks, John

  • Great 
  • Bass Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 173 W: 0 N: 233] (974)
  • [2008-03-30 9:04]

hi James,
very strange shot... i think that is not something we can see everyday in TN, so my compliments to show something new. An excellent note, let me say, I learn quite a lot!!! so, thank you so much!!
This "hary" thing is very well centered, I like how it resalt from the green/blue water. Lovely details over the water too.
very nice work!
Have a nice trip to south africa! ill be expecting your pics from there!! Buen Viaje!!!
regards and enjoy your vacations

Hi James
It is a very interesting presentation. Floating kelp could be a vector for species dispersal (polychaetes, crustaceans) and D. antarctica is one of the most important drifting species

When I looked at the thumbnail version of this picture, I thought it was some mysterious denizen of the deep surfacing for a moment to be photographed by our itinerant James :-).
Great shot, technically, and truly an abstract shape of this algae.
Your note educates us very effectively about it.
Now we look forward to your latest images from South Africa.

Hello James,
Once again a very educational contribution.
If you already back, I hope you enjoyed your trip to South Africa. You made me curious...
This kelp looks mysterious as if the ocean has revealed one of its deep secrets.
You photographed it very sharp. The form of the kelp is fascinating; almost a cap n bells without bells from a jester.
Well done

  • Great 
  • degani Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 130 W: 0 N: 322] (2607)
  • [2008-04-20 11:03]

Hi James,
this is a wonderful image, it looks like an abstract painting, really a beautiful picture, bravo James
kind regards

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