September 21, 2023


How Art Works

These underwater pictures show the ocean is essentially the most mysterious place on earth

6 min read

“I’ll always remember this interplay with a humpback whale and her calf in Tonga,” the character photographer Chun Chau tells me. “Whereas the mom rested at a deeper depth, hastily, the child calf swam up from the underside at full pace and breached—a number of ft in entrance of me—to play.”

Gentle giants by Chun Chau on

Moment I will never forget. by Chun Chau on

For Chau, environmental advocacy goes hand-in-hand along with his images follow. Whether or not he’s documenting sharks in Tahiti, dolphins in Honolulu, or damselfish in Thailand, the aim stays the identical: most of us won’t ever get to see a humpback whale mid-breach, however via photos, we will find out about these otherworldly animals and their weak habitats.

“Photographers can play a job in elevating consciousness in regards to the points going through marine ecosystems,” Chau explains. “Each photograph, caption, and share counts.” With that concept in thoughts, we’re sharing only a few jaw-dropping encounters with wildlife in an enormous array of marine environments, from a tucked-away archipelago within the Indian Ocean to the coral reefs of Mexico.

Meet curious mammals, and uncover the great thing about just-hatched sea turtles. Discover magic in a tiny worm that resembles a Christmas tree. Dive right into a 12,000-year-old jellyfish habitat, and rise up shut with a child squid. And eventually, a once-in-a-lifetime second: Christian Miller had the chance to return face-to-face with the most important animal on Earth.

Squid in its egg by Jocelyn Ho on

Visiting the portfolio of the character and wildlife photographer Jocelyn Ho is like touring to an alien world. On the time she photographed this child squid in Tulamben, Bali, he was mere hours away from hatching. “As I photographed him, I watched one in all his siblings break away,” she explains. “This was positively one of many more difficult topics I’ve ever photographed. The eggs, relying on the angle, had been at occasions translucent and different occasions opaque.”

Cavern Cuteness by Joost van Uffelen on

Joost van Uffelen, an underwater photographer and advocate for ocean conservation, encountered this sea lion pup in Los Islotes, an island off the coast of Baja California Sur. These curious sea lions stay in a protected space, however as Joost has witnessed repeatedly, human exercise has a ripple impact all through our planet’s marine environments.

“Feminine sea lions alongside the Californian shoreline presently have a tough time offering for his or her younger since adjustments in sea temperatures appear to have an effect on the presence of prey like sardines,” he wrote in 2015. In consequence, the pups had been being underfed. By sharing the tales behind their photos, photographers can draw consideration to the threats going through these magical animals—and pave the best way for a extra sustainable future.

Croc Chaos  by Leighton Lum on

Bubbles by Leighton Lum on

“I feel one in all my most uncommon underwater encounters was with American crocodiles down in Banco Chinchorro, Mexico,” the Hawaii-based panorama and nature photographer Leighton Lum tells me. “There’s one thing completely different about being within the water with these residing dinosaurs. Realizing how highly effective they’re and but studying to work together with them of their pure habitat was past something I’d ever carried out.”

Whereas on location, Leighton at all times follows leave-no-trace rules. “As a photographer, it is very important be certain that we depart our taking pictures places in the identical situation or higher than once we confirmed up, leaving no hint of our existence,” he says.

Christmas Tree Worm, Bonaire by Warren Lo on

The photographer Warren Lo noticed this Christmas tree worm whereas visiting the island of Bonaire within the southern Caribbean. These tiny, tropical creatures stay in coral reefs and have a lifespan of as much as 40 years.

Whale shark - Requin baleine (Rhincodon typus) by Vincent Pommeyrol on

“My encounter with whale sharks close to the Isla Mujeres in Mexico was extraordinary,” the underwater nature photographer Vincent Pommeyrol tells me. “Their conduct and the interactions I had with them touched me very a lot: they flip their heads towards you whereas taking a look at you. I discovered myself close to their tail fins a number of occasions due to the turbulence whereas swimming, however they gently prevented me, taking care to not stumble upon me. These are animals of uncommon magnificence.”

Two of Thousands by Lachlan Dunwoodie on

“The ever standard Jellyfish Lake in Palau [is] a saltwater lake reduce off from the ocean for the final 12,000 years, which has allowed this really lovely and distinctive state of affairs to happen,” the photographer and scuba diver Lachlan Dunwoodie shares. “1000’s of jellyfish fill the lake and feed on a specific algae and are in flip preyed on by the anemone inhabiting the perimeters of the lake.”

Symbiosys by Peter Pinnock on

Cleaner shrimp and moray eels take pleasure in a symbiotic relationship, as seen on this {photograph} by Peter Pinnock. “Right here, a cleaner shrimp removes parasites from the mouth of a moray eel and positive aspects a free meal,” the photographer shares. “In return, the eel doesn’t eat the shrimp. As a substitute, he has a complimentary dental remedy.”

life of Mayotte lagoon by Serge  MELESAN on

Serge Melesan calls Mayotte, a French archipelago nestled between Madagascar and the coast of Mozambique, “the misplaced paradise.” He hopes his work helps to share the story of this lovely place and advocate for its safety amid threats wrought by local weather change and overpopulation. This explicit fish isn’t any greater than a grain of rice.

Great Hammerhead by Kadu Pinheiro on

“The enormous hammerhead shark is among the most admirable creatures I’ve ever had the chance to dive with,” the photographer Kadu Pinheiro tells me. “They’re majestic and imposing predators able to looking saltwater crocodiles that may attain as much as 5 meters in size. I encountered them in Bimini within the Bahamas.”

He continues, “Underwater photographers tackle the mission of showing this underwater world to those that don’t have the chance to admire it with their very own eyes. It’s our responsibility to lift consciousness in regards to the significance and safety of those environments.”

Hairy Frogfish by Nadia Aly on

“I feel that is my all-time favourite photograph that I’ve taken,” the award-winning wildlife photographer Nadia Aly admits. “It is a furry frogfish within the waters of Lembeh, Indonesia, taken with a snoot at night time. I used to be fortunate to search out this lovely animal and return on an evening dive to get this shot. He/she was sitting at a depth of 70 ft, with a slight present that helped raise the hairs the best way they’re proven.”

Emerald Green Garden by Jacques de Vos on

The photographer Jacques de Vos reveals the astonishing magnificence and variety of the False Bay kelp forest in South Africa. “As unbelievable as it’d sound, you do not want to be a ‘diver’ to take pleasure in scenes like this one,” he says. “Kelp forests are by their very nature proper in opposition to shore, and one thing like this may be present in shallow areas of lower than two meters (6.5 ft) depth, solely a stone’s throw from the coast, good for snorkeling.”

Mediterranean Jelly by David Antoja on

Within the Mediterranean, you may be fortunate sufficient to search out the so-called “fried egg jellyfish,” photographed right here in Begur (Catalonia) by David Antoja. “This jellyfish, some of the colourful of the Mediterranean, is known as so due to the form of its hat,” the photographer explains [translated from the original Catalan].

Baby Olive Ridley Sea Turtles Before Release by Ian Rock on

The journey and conservation photographer Ian Rock had the chance to witness the work carried out by the Osa Conservation Sea Turtle Hatchery in Costa Rica, capturing the second simply earlier than these Olive Ridley sea turtles had been launched into the ocean. “In 2018, the Osa Conservation Sea Turtle program relocated 451 Olive Ridley sea turtle nests to their hatchery, defending them from predators and poachers and permitting 1000’s of infants to hatch in security,” Ian explains.

The first time I was flying over a blue whale I was so nervous and excited I thought I’ll crash ! by Christian Miller on

The photographer Christian Miller noticed blue whales in particular person whereas working with SnotBot, a modified shopper drone that collects whale “snot,” thereby offering invaluable details about the whales and their well being. This non-invasive technique means the whales don’t even know that knowledge is being collected, so it has no impact on their well being or conduct.

“Being nose to nose with the most important animal which ever existed is tough to prime,” Christian explains. Then, he tells me, “Marine conservation is what I exist for. To ensure that us to create the adjustments we have to make to cease impacts on our oceans and marine life, we have to act from all completely different angles. Storytelling is a necessary a part of capturing individuals’s feelings, each love and grief. We defend what we love—and what we concern shedding.”

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