Nature's Palette: Emerald Sea - Tonga

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Ian Stehbens on October 30, 2010

Hi Bulbas,

I received some beautiful spam from a car hire company in Denmark this morning inviting me to come to Denmark to enjoy the colours of autumn - and they would have a hire car waiting for me. Their spam included some stunning photos of Fall in Denmark. I was tempted to book one of their cars!

All the best for the coming winter!

Warm Greetings from summery Tonga.


Ian Stehbens on October 30, 2010

Dear Maja,

Your colourful landscape deserves the mirroring pools and streams that the dark bottoms provide. And your photos of autumn exemplify this truth.

Thanks for enjoying your camera, and walking with your daughter in such glorious surrounds.

Maybe you and she will gaze into the emerald pools of the South Pacific, one day, and see this different beauty.


Maja Weidemueller on November 1, 2010

Isn't it wonderful to have such an amzing wish ahead dear Ian? And if we belive in our wishes, I am sure they will come true one day. Thank you for your compliments to my autumn impressions dear dear friend ~ I will show you and Margaret all this different beauty ~ one day ~ take care of you meanwhile ~ love from the other side of the seven oceans ~

~~~ Maja ~~~

Hazel Coetzee on November 4, 2010

How beautiful this soft turquoise gauze is, Ian.

It rivals precious stones for clarity and shimmer, and one can hardly believe that it truly exists! I zoomed in, to appreciate it in all its exquisite detail.

Thank you for showing us this awesome liquid!

I have one question that is puzzling me: Is this photo not perhaps upside down? My reason for asking is that the foam bubbles have their shadows uppermost, and not as one would expect them to be, which is under the bubbles?

It is really not of any consequence, as it is such a superb photo, but I am just curious....

I wish you and Margaret many blessings,

and hope you are enjoying good health and lots of happiness in Tonga!

Warmest greetings from

Hazel (on the western side of the pond)

Potoka on November 26, 2010

Do not know very well what is in the picture but is a very beautiful color. LIKE. Greetings.

Ian Stehbens on December 1, 2010

Dear Potoka,

Thanks for your interest. This is a view hrough the clear water of the Pacific to the white coral sand below which is being illuminated by direct sunlight. My view is through a hole in the reef platform. At high tide the surge of the waves forces jets of water up through the hole that I am peering into, for this photo.

Does that help a little?

All the best,


Ian Stehbens on December 1, 2010

Dear Hazel,

I must respond to your comments, for they are both appreciated and observant. What you observe in the bubbles is true, but the photo is not upside down at all. The shadow that you recognize is actually a reflection of the roof of this blowhole. In other words the darkness is above and the light is coming from below!

Out on the edge of the reef platform, the sunlight is seen on the white coral sand and gravel below as I look down through a hole in the reef platform. So what you observed so well is correct but the explanation does not require the photo to be inverted. I hope instead the visual ambiguity enriches the image.

Warm regards from Sydney,


Hazel Coetzee on December 8, 2010

Thank you for your reply Ian - I understand perfectly and am amazed at this photo - in its colours and beauty.

I do appreciate you taking the time to explain it all. The colours remind me so of the swift flashes of electric turquoise blue in the inky darkness that we saw in the Blue Grotto, Isle of Capri. That is a sight that I will NEVER forget. It was so awesome. No camera could ever hope to do justice to that "electricity"...!!!

With warmest wishes to you & Margaret

and welcome back home,


Ian Stehbens on December 8, 2010

Thankyou Hazel for the warmth of your friendship. Colour is a speciality of yours so I glad this one obliged your love of colour.

And yes it is good to be back in OZ after so long away this year.

Warmest regards,


Olga I. Yakovenko on January 2, 2011

A marvel!

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on October 14, 2010
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens