Aquatic environments videos

1 09 2015

While developing and revising “ENVS 3450 – Aquatic Environments”, I’ve been discovering quite a few good aquatic environments videos, animated GIF files & interactive pages.  Inspired by Meghan Duffy’s Dynamic Ecology post on videos for teaching, I thought I’d compile a list of useful aquatic environments videos and share those here. Many thanks to Dr. Andrea Kirkwood who passed along great links!

The videos must illustrate an important scientific concept related to aquatic environments, and be useful for undergraduate and graduate classes. Beautiful photography and compelling storytelling also helps!

I’ve added another important criteria which is overlooked too often. The videos must be accessible through the use of subtitles and captions, published scripts or other visual cues within the video itself. This symbol (cc) indicates high quality captioning / subtitling already included in the video.

The list is far from complete. If you see missing videos or gaps below, please do let me know in the comments or send me a message via Twitter / email. I will continue updating this list. [New links will have a date next to them.]

Now, the videos and animated GIFs, loosely organized by category:

Water Science (physics, chemistry)

The Water Cycle


Limnology & oceanography (science & conservation)

Lakes & other aquatic habitats of the world

Plankton & microscopic organisms

Macroalgae (seaweed)


Macrophytes (aquatic plants)







How humans use & impact upon aquatic resources

Fisheries & overfishing:


Ecosystem impacts & manipulation

Series & Collections

Do you know of any other aquatic environment videos and animated GIFs which should be included in this list?


Portfolio 5 – Hall’s Harbour Lupines

14 07 2013

The second image in Portfolio 5 – Vertical Blue is an image I took at Hall Harbour on Bay of Fundy two weeks ago.  This one is from a cliff overhanging the Bay of Fundy with a lovely view.  The lupines, which typically bloom in June, but have been blooming late this year, were in evidence everywhere. While not originally native to Nova Scotia and the Maritimes, these introduced plants are now widespread throughout the province and typically have flowers ranging from a deep blue to pink to white.

To my delight, the deep-blue flowers have a nice false blue colour with the in-camera white balance, while the white and pink flowers both reflect IR in bright white tones.  As a result, it is fun to take IR images of multi-coloured patches of lupines! This unusual image was taken on a foggy day which is not ideal if one wants to take crisp sharp IR photographs (the brighter the sun, the more sharp the image will be). Even so, photography rules are meant to be broken (smile), and I liked the soft foggy effect in this image as the overcast soft light resulted in a delicate IR photograph.  Furthermore, the strong IR reflectance of the lupine flowers and leaves against the fog resulted in a surreal effect, almost like an x-ray image. A rather nice and serendipitous surprise, don’t you think?

Hall Harbour Lupines (Bay of Fundy)

Portfolio 3 – leaving Moncton on a bright day

19 02 2013

After spending the weekend in Moncton (and having fun exploring infrared possibilities in “surreal” approaches to street photography), it was time for us to return to Halifax.  The route between Moncton and Halifax goes through the Tantramar Marshes of the Isthmus of Chignecto connecting Nova Scotia to the rest of Canada. It is a flat windy place surrounded by beautiful wetlands and historical sites, not to mention the famous CBC Radio Canada International short-wave radio towers and of course, the wind farm with its 15 turbines.  It’s an amazing place, but unfortunately, we had to race through the Tantramar Marshes to get home.

The wind turbines were on my side of the car (rest easy, Cosmoboy was driving while I was taking this image), so I was admiring how they stood out against the sky.  The large advertising billboard appeared very small beside the turbines on the vast landscape. I quickly opened the window and timed the camera in an effort to capture the scale of the billboard and the turbines. The propellers on the cluster of turbines and the advertising poster on the billboard face opposite directions, providing a sense of detachment to the image taken at over 100 km per hour.  Furthermore, the reflective blue of the advertising billboard poster has come through in infrared, providing an unexpected splash of colour in a monochromatic image. This also provides a counter-balance to the starting image in this portfolio, also taken at high speeds from a car.  The difference is that the sun is so high that there are no observable shadows — the entire landscape is full of light.


Light & Shadow Road Trip.

Tree shadows and windows.

Icy shadows & reflections.

Dancing sprites.

Half in, Half out.

Portfolio 3 – Icy shadows & reflections

11 02 2013

The next image in the Portfolio 3: Light & Shadow Road Trip series is of a skating rink in downtown Moncton.  I enjoyed this image for the interlacing of tree shadows on the front part of the rink and the tree reflections on the back.  The ice surface has a similar colour as the sky in this infrared image. The big conifer next to the house certainly grabs attention, but if my gaze lingers, I begin to see all the patterns on the icy surface itself.  The lacy cuts from skates weave in and out with the tree reflections and shadows on a bright day. And my own shadow as I take this photograph provides a dynamic tension with the parallel tree shadow and the big conifer.

Own & tree shadows & reflections  on skating rink

Previous images in Portfolio 3 series

Light & Shadow Road Trip.

Tree shadows and windows.

Portfolio 3 – Light & Shadow Road Trip

6 02 2013

Having finished the Winter Tulips portfolio series, I was at loss for what theme to use for my next series in the Portfolio 26 project. Luckily, I joined Cosmoboy on a weekend trip to Moncton, New Brunswick where I was able to quietly work on my papers and walk around the lovely downtown Moncton on my break.  Saturday morning was very chilly but there was brilliant beautiful winter sunshine lighting up the  downtown area, so I was able to take my battered IR camera along (after I bundled up in several layers of clothing against the cold).

I found myself looking at patterns of shadow and light on this stroll, which resulted in the theme of this series, “Light and Shadow” (but I added “Road Trip” to the title just for fun and accuracy!) The first image is actually of our car driving along the highway from Nova Scotia towards Moncton NB the day before. The low late afternoon sun flowed almost parallel along the ground, nearly perfectly casting our car’s shadow against the berms along the highway.  I liked how the car’s shadow almost appeared cartoon-like, with the transparent windows and our profiles being apparent against the infrared brightness of the grass.  The speed-blurred tips of the dried grass plants just edging into the sunshine from the shadowy ditch seem to lend a feel of pacing and movement, while the still bare trees on the top of the hill provide a contrast in textures.  The little cloud over the hill and the bare patch in the grassy hillside provide interesting counterbalances to the car’s rushing shadow.

Shadow of car along the highway in infrared

Portfolio 2: Ghostly Tulip or Alien?

25 01 2013

The second image in the Winter Tulips portfolio is an infrared image of the tulip’s pistil and stamens emerging from among the petals.  Usually when I take infrared photographs of plants and flowers, the entire plant, no matter what colours it has on the visible spectrum, is white.  So to my surprise, the central black portions of the petals attached to the ovary showed up as a beautiful cyanotype shade of blue among the whiteness., which made for intriguing images. Is this what a bee would see?

I photographed this peripheral to the sunlight streaming through the window which emphasized the pointiness of the stamens surrounding the tri-lobed stigma. In a flight of fancy, it’s almost like a Hollywood space alien with blue-rimmed tentacles reaching out… The shadows cast by the stamens and a petal in the right of the image seems to emphasize that feeling of curling outwards into the sunlight.

Tulip flower in infrared

First image in Portfolio 2: Winter Tulips.

Starting Portfolio 2: Winter tulips

23 01 2013

Over the weekend, I was given a pot of fiery red-and-yellow tulips by a friend who came over for dinner. The tulips provided a brilliant splash of colour in the house, which was very welcome during the winter.  On Sunday, the low sun streamed through the window, inspiring me to try out some macro photography using the tulips as a subject.  Originally, I was planning to use an old and cherished macro SLR lens (which has very high quality optics) on both my infrared-converted and conventional 4/3 digital cameras. During the experimentation, I learned (the hard way!) about “infrared hot spots” which can occur with conventional lens calibrated for visible wavelengths especially those with high quality optics. So much to my disappointment, I wasn’t able to use those lens for this project. It was still interesting, as the hot spot is clearly related to the aperture (see this linked image), and at wide-open apertures, the hot spot results in a lovely image with a dreamy quality – so I’ll be experimenting with this later on.

So instead, I used my clip-on Raynox macro lens, which I’ve used before, for this project to explore the quality of the afternoon winter sun reflecting on the lovely tulips, both in infrared and colour.  For this portfolio, I’ve started off with an infrared photograph of two tulips standing out in contrast to the dark background. I liked the old-fashioned look of this image and how well the reflected infrared light captured the silkiness of the tulip petals.  I adjusted the white balance slightly, but chose to kept the yellowish tinge as I liked the way it reminded me of old film images captured in the early 20th century turning sepia with time.  This image also reminded me of Edward Weston’s still life studies and inspired me to go through his images as a part of my learning process.

Two tulips in infrared