3rd Place Blackwater Ocean Art Safe Under The Sea

3rd Place Blackwater Ocean Art Safe Under The Sea

Jeff Molder

"Blackwater Galaxy"



The Story: Blackwater diving... drifting through the night, surrounded by millions of moving points of light, it is easy to imagine yourself floating through space as strange creatures drift by…one after another like a freak show parade of aliens. One of the most common caste of characters that “shows up” on blackwater dives in Kona are siphonophores….every shape, colour and size imaginable from 1 inch to 100 feet or more in length.  I find they are one of the more challenging subjects to try and capture with a still camera as they swirl, jet and spiral their transparent bodies through  the inky black water column in their quest to feed and survive in the open ocean.   This siphonophore, a Sulculeolaria Quadrivalvus  corkscrews through the water to cast out its array, forming a long spiralling net “fishing” for prey and then instantly retracts  it upon being disturbed by other bigger creatures (especially ones shining ten thousand lumens of light on it).  This game of cat and mouse or hide and seek between photographer and siphonophore can go on interminably until one or the other drifts out of sight back into the black.   This shot captures the moment the net was cast, spiralling and spinning through space like a blackwater galaxy.

Location:  Kona, Hawaii, USA

Equipment Used:  Nikon D500 Camera, Nikon 60mm Macro Lens, Nauticam NA-D500 Housing, Dual Sea & Sea YS-D1 Strobes, Kraken 5000 Video Light, Sola 1200 Focus Light

Camera Settings: 1/160 sec, F20, ISO 400

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