British marine life

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The images that didn’t quite make the cut for my MCZ selection. I love these though, the colours, and the lighting, however they didn’t quite fit into my series, and ultimately the images have to always work as a set.

The stalked jellyfish (top) is probably one of my favourites in this more fine art style of photography. Despite the fact it’s probably just out of focus, I absolutely love blurring and the backscatter here. The sand particles with this narrow DOF look like snowflakes, and I’ve mentioned this before with another image, how I think it really works and only compliments the ethereal scenes you come across underwater.

The second image is a female black faced blenny, and I was happy to achieve this image without any major editing; the spotlighting created from the strobes, and the black background from the aperture. Simple, and effective.

I like these two as a pair, the colours do reflect eachother, and fit with my common theme of black, darker images. The square crop turned out much better than anticipated too, in my next post I’ll try and share a comparison of the crops.

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Fish skull photography

A fair few months ago, whilst on a dive, I came across a fish skull on the seabed. I thought, this is great! I can take this into the studio and take some more fine art imagery with it, to contrast against my usual more documentary/editorial style of working.

So…about 6 months later, I finally got round to it. My original plan was to use some 5×4 film for making these images, but due to the kit being unavailable at the time I changed to a macro flash set-up, which proved probably the better option to start off with.

It’s been a long while since I’ve done any studio or still life work, and I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would. I’ve been getting pretty frustrated at not being able to take the underwater images I would like to recently due to lack of diving, but this shoot definitely cheered me up!

A lot of people seem to have this slight fascination with skulls, I’m not sure what it is about them that appeals to us, I think it’s related to our interest in death. Either way, I am also one of these people, and very much enjoyed scrutinising the form of this fish skull.

There’s a few things I love about this style of photography; primarily the fact that using such slow shutter speeds means there’s an element of unpredictability, and you can never be sure how your image is going to turn out, (something that’s unusual to a lot of us in this digital age). This also means a lot of the images don’t work, and therefore when they do it’s even more exciting. This reminder of analogue photography is replicated a little through the sepia colours too.

I think the smoky textures around the skull create the impression of a dragon, something that I find quite pleasing. Who doesn’t like dragons!

I’ve got to rush now so won’t say anything more, but here’s the tech specs for the first image below for those who are interested:

NIKON D800, 60.0 mm f/2.8 (& 2 external macro flash)

1.0 sec;   f/29;   ISO 100

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Exotic Invertebrates

Today I had the opportunity to photograph a variety of tropical insects, which belong to someone as pets. This was so much fun! My favourites were the tarantula and the giant malaysian jungle nymphs (pictured below) We also were lucky enough to witness the preying mantis attack and eat a live cricket, although it tried about 5 times to catch it before it actually succeeded, and unfortunately I didn’t manage to capture the kill on camera. Still, amazing to watch 🙂 I can’t remember all the names of the insects, but I do remember that the female jungle nymph, which incidentally is the second largest insect in the world, was called megatron.

So, this is the preying mantis with it’s food-

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This second image is a tailless whip scorpion (Damon diadema). Which is part of the arachnid family. It’s a pretty interesting creature.

The next image is of one of the prickly stick insects (Extatosoma tiaratum)

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This green insect is the female jungle nymph, megatron, (Heteropteryx dilatata). It’s hard to convey the full scale through photographs sometimes, but I think the fish-eye lens worked best at showing the insect’s size.

This is only a selection of some of the images I took, these few and more will all eventually be uploaded to my 500px. So check back there some point if you want to see more!