HM Macro Ocean Art 2015 Richard Barnden

Honorable Mention Macro

Richard Barnden

"Aliens From The Deep - (Pelagic Squid)"



Richard won a gift certificate with Bluewater Travel!


The story:  After driving  5 miles offshore at night where the bottom is around 1000 meters deep we stopped and  hung our lights. Descending down to 12m we waited, drifting in the open ocean in hope to see if some rare creature would rise from the depths and let us photograph it. On this particular blackwater dive it had been fairly slow for the first 20 mins and then a lot of juvenile not fully formed reef fish become attracted to the lights.

Out of the corner of my eye just in the distance I noticed something interesting it was just hovering in the dark waiting for something to unwittingly pass by. As I approached I realized it was something special, a pelagic squid I had never seen before, something that looked alien like and from the deep. I managed to get within shooting distance as the squid displayed several different possible threat postures before  beginning to retreat back into the depths.  I knew I couldn't follow it for too long as I continued to shoot and it continued to display. I made a few quick checks into the viewfinder and everything looked reasonable.

I looked back to see a small light shining in the distance as the unknown squid disappeared into the dark abyss and I slowly returned back to the boat, it was only a brief encounter and it was not until I downloaded the pictures that I was able to see how detailed and colorful the squid was, with its web like tentacles and transparent body, a true alien from the deep.

 Location:  7km Offshore Blackwater Night Dive in Palau

 Camera:  Nikon D800 - Nikon 60mm - Nauticam Housing - 2x Sea&Sea 250 Strobes


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