Images that dive into the blue

Updated: 2013-07-29 10:19

By Zhang Kun in Shanghai (China Daily)

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Images that dive into the blue

Russian Olga Kamenskaya photographs a Baikal seal. Provided to China Daily

Visitors to the Lake Baikal, A Kingdom of Water and Ice exhibition at Zendai Zhujiajiao Art Museum can gaze upon "the Blue Eye of Siberia" - another moniker of the show's namesake lake - in Shanghai's Zhujiajiao water town.

On show are more than 40 photographs by Russian Olga Kamenskaya.

She wasn't present during her first China solo exhibition, and the curator says she's probably busy shooting the lake.

Images that dive into the blue

Seals and dolphins swim in her pictures, while icebergs crown the water.

The images are not only visually striking but also invoke environmental concerns.

Kamenskaya is a diving and underwater photography instructor, who has been snapping shots under Lake Baikal's surface since 2003. It's the world's deepest lake.

The photographer's works focus on the relationship between humankind and nature, and the beauty of the world beneath the waves, curator You Zefeng says.

Ice coats Baikal five months a year. Its average temperature is -38 C, Russia's deputy consul general in Shanghai Alexander Pavlov says.

But such extremes haven't deterred Kamenskaya.

"This is her very own way of calling on people to care about nature and the Earth," Pavlov says.

Images that dive into the blue

Photo Provided to China Daily

The lake contains about 20 percent of the world's unfrozen surface freshwater.

It hosts 1,085 plant and 1,550 animal species, the consul general says. More than 80 percent of the animals are endemic. The legendary "lake monster" also adds mystery to Baikal.

Photography and environmental protection lectures will complement the show.

Kamenskaya's photo collection Baikal, The Kingdom of Water and Ice won praise upon publication. She has earned myriad national and international natural and underwater photography awards.

Her underwater work covers the White and Barents seas, and Norwegian fiords. She has also shot wildlife and landscapes in the Americas, Southeast Asia and the Antarctic.

But it's Baikal Lake where she has truly immersed herself - and made waves that are now reaching China.

Li Rong contributed to the story.

Images that dive into the blue

Images that dive into the blue

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