Ocean Art 2023 - 1st Place Compact Macro

1st Place Compact Macro

Imogen Manins

"Underwater Fireworks"



Imogen Manins won a 7-night dive package for two from Alami Alor Dive Resort!


The Story: 

In the shallow waters of Naarm (Port Phillip Bay), sparse colonies of Tubular Hydroids poke their heads out of the sand in cold, shallow water. There are hundreds of individuals, but at just 4cm or so tall it's easy to dismiss these tiny animals which are endemic to the Great Southern Reef of Australia. Each individual here is either male or female and extend their outer tentacles to catch passing plankton. 

Blairgowrie Pier is a sheltered site, well known to local divers for the spectacular colours of sessile and invertebrate creatures. After 90 minutes in 12°C water, my fingers were becoming numb. Usually, I exit the site at the dive platform, but this time I began a shore exit, noticing tiny hydroids on the sandy bottom. After inspecting several groups, I chanced on this beautifully arranged colony of ‘Underwater Fireworks’. Trying not to disturb the sand was challenging in this environment. I watched the tentacles move delicately in the water, making small adjustments until I was happy with the composition.


Mornington Peninsula, Australia

Equipment Used: 

Camera Settings: 

  • Aperture: 13
  • Shutter Speed: 1/50 sec
  • ISO: 200



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