Friday, June 03, 2011

John H. Harding - Wow!

Original hand colored advertising glass slide - story here.

I must confess, I did not know who John H. Harding is.
I've just stumbled upon him by pure happenstance and it has taken me quite a while to find a short bio and a recent picture on his Taiwan blog.

But what totally blows me away are his other blogs!
I cannot thank John enough for having taken the time to publish his priceless collection of memorabilia.
There are TheJohnHarding and SeaUW that showcase people and scenes from the heroic old times of Australian spearfishing, diving and marine cinematography featuring legendary icons like Ron and Valerie, Rodney Fox and Stan Waterman but also a plethora of other folks I've never heard about, likely equally very much owing to my own ignorance. Keep in mind that in the 60ies and 70ies, I was a little kid collecting butterflies in the mountains of land locked Switzerland!

Click for detail!

And then, there are the simply stunning pictures of early encounters with charismatic animals. Those were completely different times and those encounters often resulted in death, especially in the case of Sharks that were regarded as the ultimate cowardly villains and executed.

Yes, totally incomprehensible by today's standards!
But, all those surviving early pioneers have now reverted to Shark conservation - with one exception. I cannot begin to tell you how much I despise that creature and was actually hoping that he had finally disappeared - but fear not, the clock is ticking!

And then, there's FathomOz.
It features Underwater photographs by John Harding from his time as Editor of Australia's best marine magazine and once again, all I can say is WOW! I've obviously searched for Sharks and cannot believe my eyes!
My very favorite picture of all times - this one, for obvious reasons!

Anyway, I am clearly getting sentimental.
Please, do take the time to explore this totally amazing treasure trove of Ozzie diving history.
Totally and utterly amazing!



OfficetoOcean said...

Brilliant find! I love all that stuff, it's amazing how much things have changed in such a short time

Anton said...

I came across his pages some time ago; 8 months or so, and i too spent a couple of hours indeed browsing the pictures and archives. Very interresting!

Wolfgang said...

Fantastic blog, Mike! Thanks for sharing it. Brings back so many good old memories.

Yes, OfficeOcean - it is indeed amazing to see how our attitudes have changed.

Back in the sixties and seventies killing a tiger shark with a powerhead would have been the ultimate thrill for me.

Now, I would defend a tiger shark from being slaughtered in my presence with nails and teeth...