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Diving to new depths of design

27 March 2018

Whilst marvelling at the marine underworld from the comfort of your settee, have you ever considered the design engineering and technology needed to capture these beautiful oceanic creatures?

Keen amateur photographer and diver, David Alpert, wanted to be able to capture the beauty of the ocean whilst diving so enlisted the help of the design engineers at GX. David was particularly keen to add macro effects to his pictures whilst under the water. To be able to photograph interesting and exotic marine life he asked GX to design and build a bespoke funnel which could create a ‘tunnel of joy’ effect when attached to his camera.

Based on a sketch from David, GX developed the ‘tunnel of joy’ so that it could be attached to his camera. They also designed the system to have interchangeable parts so David could choose different colours, either orange, silver or white. The design team also overcame the difficult challenge of incorporating glass spheres which would look like bubbles on the final photo. This was achieved by bonding glass spheres onto disks which screwed into the bell end of the tunnel of joy.

Having developed this tunnel vision system for his camera, David asked the design engineers to consider how he could he could take photographs with glass crystals added to the scenes. GX designed a frame that enabled the crystals of various shapes and sizes to be suspended and adjustable in position. The team designed and built a Bokeh Bar for David, which had up to thirty lines of crystals suspended from three individual bars.

“It was a great project to work on,” commented Gary Ross, GX’s design director. “Like many clients David had an idea which he needed our help to develop into functional reality.

It is even more gratifying to know that one of the photographs that David took using this equipment was entered into National Geographic’s Photographer of the Year Contest 2017. Whilst David was not the overall winner for the underwater section, his picture “Spiralling Spirograph” was chosen by one of the National Geographic editors as their favourite entry of the week for Nature Photographer of the Year.”