Alex Rosenberry: Best of Web Fall 2016

Alex Rosenberry: Best of Web Fall 2016


Video:  Watch this mesmerising underwater sandfall

Credit video and photo:  Daan Verhoeven

The video and still images here are capturing a geological phenomenon sometimes referred to as a sandfall.  These images were captured offshore of Long Island, in the Bahamas in an underwater sinkhole known as Dean’s Blue Hole.  The sandfall phenomenon in Dean’s Blue Hole is a result of seasonal water currents pushing very fine sediment into the submerged sinkhole.  Because the sand is denser than water, it cascades off into the hole in a fashion reminiscent of a waterfall.  The sand in this part of the Bahamas is particularly fine, giving the sand flows a very “liquid” appearance, as some of the particles become suspended in the water.

Daan Verhoeven’s images feature a substantial human element to them, nearly all of his videos and photos of this phenomenon contain a diver interacting with, or providing context to the sandfalls.  While this can be distracting, the addition of a diver in the image provides a sense of scale to the viewer.  I believe this is also an effort to make images more visually interesting in a very difficult photographic environment.  Not only did Verhoeven have to capture his images with underwater photography equipment while scuba diving, he had to deal with very cloudy and unclear water conditions as a result of the very sediment movement he was trying to capture.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Daniel Bateman
    Sep 2, 2016 19:10

    Second Place: I love the amount of action in this picture! The gravity driven flow is seen developing in turbulence and dispersing through the image which makes it fascinating to look at. The Human element makes the image more relatable, providing a sense of familiarity and scale. The back lighting illuminates the sand plume well, while shading the person mysteriously, giving the image a cool feel.

  • Brett Sibel
    Sep 2, 2016 10:18

    Second Place. The juxtaposition of the human and the fluid flow of the smoke flume really sets this photo apart. It makes the viewer seem small which is artistically so creative. Also the clarity of the water really makes the color of the swimmer and plume quite unique.


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