Joseph Michael Capturing Moments of Magic
Joseph Michael, New Zealand photographer, spent hours capturing the light from glowworms in limestone caves, a photographic feat for the low light and freezing temperatures.
Because the glowworms are found above water, Michael stood hours in cold water to freeze the worms’ luminosity. The photographs were taken inside caves in Ruakuri, Waipu, Spellbound and Nikau.
“Being inside the caves is an interesting experience,” Michael said. “The moving water echoes through the cave system, which creates quite a loud ambient noise level.” The immersive experience in the dark meant that he needed to use extended periods of camera exposures to capture the worms, some taking up to an hour.
“Like most things in this spectacular country, I thought it was just a regular thing to see,” Michael said. However, he’d “never seen a photographer capture the glowworms the way [he] wanted to see them portrayed,” which led him to take the project on himself. “I’ve been wanting to do a project on bioluminescence for some time now, so it was nice to immerse myself, literally, in the caves.”
“The vision is just to portray something exciting the natural world has to offer,” Michael said. “A moment of magic.”
Michael’s current project is an encompassing international installation. A cinematic and atmospheric collision of nature and architecture, celebrating the profound, untouched beauty of Antarctica. The resulting imagery will be projection mapped onto significant buildings across the globe from 2016.
Original article by Euna Park, The Weather Channel, July 2, 2015.
Photo by Joseph Michael.