1st Place Macro Ocean Art 2018 Jeff Milisen

1st Place Macro

Jeff Milisen

Kona, Hawaii, USA



Jeff won a 4D/3N diving trip for 2 at the Atmosphere Resort in Dumaguete, Philippines


The Story: One of the things that makes guiding a blackwater dive so rewarding is the chance to spread my passion to the 6 eager customers. But even guides have to let loose, and for that we find empty boat seats and tag along to hone our skills. On this night, I was going holo holo (for pleasure) when I found this sharp-eared enope squid just under the surface. Most enope squids are small and thus difficult to shoot. As they mature, the difficult paralarva comes into its own. Every detail in the arms, organs, and chromatophores blasts to life in radiant color. Such was the case with this gem of a specimen. At around 3 inches in length, it was easily the largest and prettiest sharp-eared enope squid I recall finding.

I caught the guide’s glance and let him show it to the nearby customers, but soon the animal fled down, so I followed where the guide couldn’t. We descended past forty feet, fifty feet, sixty feet while I continued watching, studying, and shooting. Anywhere else and these would be shallow depths, but the middle of the ocean at night is a lonely place. I cruised slowly by seventy feet, the guide’s torch watching me. At eighty feet the kraken’s dancing and squirming still entranced me. Finally, at ninety feet deep, it was time to leave my new little friend at peace. 

Location:  Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, USA

Equipment Used:  Canon T1i Camera, Ikelite Housing, Canon 60mm, Dual Ikelite DS-51 Strobes, Dual Sola Video Lights

Settings: F13, 1/200 sec, ISO 400

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