More and more through social media and other image sharing platforms we are exposed to captivating photos of hidden gems around the world. These photographs from such remote locations often stop us in our tracks and fill us with an almost colonial sense of mystery and wonder. Take a moment to revel in these photos taken by 21-year-old photographer, Jason Landis, who has truly mastered the art.
Recently Jason traveled to Palau, an extremely small, remote island part of Micronesia. Micronesia is a small grouping of islands, too small to show up on a map. Palau lies north of Australia, east of the Philippines, and south of Japan just a few degrees off the equator and Jason does not hesitate to call Palau the 8th wonder of the world. He has memories of his father telling stories of this magical place, making such a small location larger than life.
“I can remember my father telling me about Palau since I was young,” Jason recalls, “he traveled there in the 80’s and ended up having a beer with the step son of the high chief of the island, Sam Scott, or as Palaun’s say, the Ibedul.” It’s not difficult in such close quarters, for lasting friendships to be built from these types of chance encounters. Jason’s father and Sam remained friends, and when Jason was 12 both families were brought together in Palau for the first time. At such a young age and with a blossoming interest in photography, Jason was frustrated by not being able to capture Palau with the spellbinding beauty and integrity his mentors of photography could.
” I always told myself one day I would return, so nine years later, just before I turned 21, with over a year of preparation, I returned to Palau, living on Sam’s sailboat for about a month, adventuring, sailing, and scuba diving every day. These are the pictures I took.” Jason’s images capture what words cannot. The low whispers in the deepest darkest of waters, the vastness of the ocean contrasted against the intricately crafted details of some of nature’s most strange and beautiful underwater creatures. Each photo reveals an underwater secret of a faraway place you just now might be thinking of buying a ticket to.