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Best underwater shipwreck photographic book ever!

Discussion in 'Wreck Diving' started by Kay Dee, Apr 4, 2021.

  1. Kay Dee

    Kay Dee Contributor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: East of Woodstock, West of Vietnam
    392
    288
    For all you wreck divers out there, and as a matter of fact anyone who appreciates truly great photography, I HIGHLY recommend the book 'Ghost Ships of the Baltic Sea' by Jonas Dahm, Carl Douglas & Max Strom. I would even go so far as to say it is the best book ever produced of underwater shipwreck photos, and might even venture to say the best book of underwater photographs ever produced. I know that’s a big statement to make, but as a photographer myself I collected many photographic books over a period of 50 odd years, many by some of worlds best u/w photographers (and terrestrial photographers). So, without blowing my own horn, I do know a good photo when I see one. As an example of this books quality, one of my old friend Chris Newbert’s magnificent books - admittedly being seascapes / fish orientated (no wrecks) - was chosen / used as a ‘Presidential Gift of State’ (I believe is the term?); that is it was used as a gift to visiting dignitaries by President Reagan (on one occasion for instance "On May 4th, 1986, President Reagan gave copy number 85 to Emperor Hirohito of Japan, on the occasion of his 85th birthday and the 60th anniversary of his reign."), and this book easily, repeat easily holds its own or possibly surpasses that, depending on your persuasion (i.e. shipwrecks or seascapes / fish orientated). Even more so given the conditions these photos were taken in. All photos are full page colour in a ‘coffee table’ size book measuring 32.5 x 24.5cm (12.75” x 9.75”) by about 3.5cm (1.4") thick.

    (For those of you who may not know who Chis Newbert is, check this long outdated website, and if you only read the first para, that should tell you enough about the quality of Chris's photography. Biographies But alas we digress.)

    I simply just can’t recommend Ghost Ships of the Baltic Sea highly enough, words don’t do it justice, only seeing is believing. No expense, and I mean no expense, has been spared in its production, yet it is very reasonably priced at around 35 Euro / 50USD, depending on where you live. If you buy it though, especially on-line, just make sure you order the English language copy, unless of course you read Swedish. (I believe the English copy, which I have, has ISBN 9789171265371).

    And no, I am in no way connected with it / its sales, etc, just passing on ‘the word’ as such.

    SIMPLY A MUST HAVE FOR ANY OCEAN LOVER!

    Ghost Ships.jpg

     
    Jared0425 and umhlangan like this.
  2. OceanEyes

    OceanEyes ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Hollywood, Florida
    353
    372
    Thank you @Kay Dee for bringing this book to my attention. I’d not heard of it before, and your recommendation carries substantial weight. I ordered a copy this morning, and await its arrival, (hopefully by the end of the month), as it is being shipped from Australia. I only hope that the shipment is not routed through the Suez Canal as that may prolong my wait to see it.
     
  3. aue-mike

    aue-mike Contributor

    737
    330
    Definitely agree Ghost Ships of the Baltic Sea is brilliant...the composition and quality of the images is breath-taking.
     
  4. Kay Dee

    Kay Dee Contributor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: East of Woodstock, West of Vietnam
    392
    288
    Australia? May I ask why, as would assume inc the postage that would push price up above the Amz USA price. Or is Amz really that 'on the nose' so to speak that you'd take the risk of buying something from an Ozzie? :gas:

    No worries about it getting stuck in Suez though (I hope), but literally anything could happen to it if it somehow, unfortunately, had to pass through New Zealand (a little 'dig' that only an NZ'er may get :stirpot: ).

    Oh, and please do let me know if your not simply stunned by the book.:cheers:
     
  5. OceanEyes

    OceanEyes ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Hollywood, Florida
    353
    372
    I’m not in the least bit concerned about purchasing the book from an Aussie. Both of our countries are populated by arch villains, so I expect to receive a bit of professional courtesy.:cool: When I did my search he only new copy in english was offered by the Aussie retailer and the price including shipping was, as you suggested, a touch below $50.00 US.

    During past visits to the Land Of Oz, I’ve purchased several books. As I was traveling with dive gear and cameras, I opted to have the books shipped to the states rather than incur the extra baggage/overweight fees charged by the airlines. The wait for delivery was not too long, and now I’ve got something to look forward to in the coming weeks.
     
  6. OceanEyes

    OceanEyes ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Hollywood, Florida
    353
    372
    I received my copy of Ghost Ships of the Baltic Sea last week, approximately two weeks after placing my order. It arrived in pristine condition.

    Upon my initial perusal I was supremely impressed with all aspects of Jonas Dahm’s photography. I could compose a list of positive adjectives to lavish on his efforts, but don’t have a large enough vocabulary or thesaurus to do justice to the work.

    I’ve yet to read most of the text, but presume that it will prove to be extremely informative and perhaps inspiring.

    The only mystery that first entered my mind while looking at the images was, “Where are the fish?” Those folks have been harvesting that sea for millennia, but could they have been so successful in gathering every single swimming creature?
     
  7. Kay Dee

    Kay Dee Contributor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: East of Woodstock, West of Vietnam
    392
    288
    As a departed wreck diver friend used to disdainfully say "Fish? They just get in the way of a good wreck photograph."

    As can be told he wasnt much of a 'fish guy' as as we know fish can make (or break) a photo.

    But good question you raise as I haven't seen many fish on Baltic Sea dives myself, but then again I never did a lot of those. But I did a lot of dives in Asian waters over a ten year period, admitedly almost entirely on wrecks, and never saw a single shark except the odd whale shark.

    PS. I knew you'd like the book. Who couldn't?
     
  8. Rick Brant

    Rick Brant Registered

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Kaua'i
    58
    38
    I'm working my way through this book now. The images are really good, and the accompanying text is good also. One thing that jumps out though, is the amount of stuff that is still left on the wrecks. Many of them have bells, wheels, exotic trim and even a lot of china and glassware. It seems like here in the US it common for people to raid or "collect" that stuff. As a result, accessible wrecks are picked clean. Wouldn't it be better to leave that stuff where it is? That way divers for the next 500 years can enjoy the same sense of discovery that these photos convey. It would be nice if diving could enjoy the same ethics that hiking and most other outdoor sports currently enjoy -- don't take anything.

    Outside of that I would be interested to learn how they corrected for backscatter or any solid matter in the water. Most of the photos are flawless -- no sign of anything in the water. I know the Baltic helps a bit with that but surely there was some elaborate post-processing going on. Just wondering if any of that can filter down to everyday use.
     
  9. Kay Dee

    Kay Dee Contributor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: East of Woodstock, West of Vietnam
    392
    288
    Very strict laws in Finland (and Sweden), and enforced, re removing artifacts from wrecks, and a population who very much believes in following rules, in most aspects of life, in my experience. Besides, pretty much only core groups doing the regular deep / exploratory dives and they (seem to) stick by the rules and work closely with the Maritime Museum and / or authorities.

    While I was once a big believer in "Take only photos, leave on bubbles" (or none if on CCR), after witnessing firsthand the wholesale destruction / complete removal of historically significant wrecks throughout Asia I only wish more items had been taken and saved from the salvors claw only to be melted down for scrap. But, again generally, most divers I know in the Baltic seem to have the ethic of leave items in situ for others to see (which may or may not be the case if the law wasnt so strict) and a populace (in general) being so law abiding / honest.

    IIRC, I think towards the back / last page/s it talks about some post production being done on some of the images. But while it might be dark as a coal mine at depth in the Baltic, the clarity of the water, generally, has to be seen to be believed. A photgraphers dream, as long as you got powerful lighting

    Well I dont recall it saying exactly what program / tools they used but already programs such as Photoshop can do a very good job of removing backscatter. But make no mistake, Carl Douglas, one of the authors would have spared no expense on the production / publishing of that book. A true labour of love. I am stunned it doesnt sell for at least double the price.
     

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