A wonderpus makes an appearance, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
For some of us, an affinity for the ocean takes time to develop, but if exposed to it enough, the sea eventually casts its spell. Photographer of the Week Aaron Halstead is a perfect example of that. Growing up, Aaron lived far away from the ocean, but after moving to southern California he found himself intrigued by nudibranchs from a feature in National Geographic magazine. In 2012, he realized the diving opportunities in the region and quickly sank below the waves to explore—clutching a compact camera on just his second immersion.
Aaron rarely dives without a camera these days. A video game programmer by day, he has been diving as far north as British Columbia, Canada, and as far east as Indonesia. Over the years, he has melted, flooded, and rebuilt housings. Undeterred by all of the roadblocks, he keeps on creating. With a clear preference for the small stuff, Aaron has a great knack for documenting the ocean’s most miniscule residents, and is prudent in photographing his subjects at eye level.
I particularly like the image of the mosshead warbonnet below. We are often encouraged to remove backscatter, whether through the “proper” placement of our strobes or if need be, in post—but the inclusion of the backscatter really works here. The scatter appears to be a starry night’s sky or snowflakes falling, and the warbonnet seems to be relaxing on his windowsill enjoying the view.
A mosshead warbonnet peeks its head out from the safety of his glass bottle home, British Columbia, Canada
California sheepshead with kelp backdrop, Catalina Island, California
Flamboyant cuttlefish, Lembeh, Indonesia
A frogfish flashing its lure, Anilao, Philippines
A stationairy eel waiting in the sand, Lembeh, Indonesia
A scalyhead sculpin in a bed of strawberry anenomes, Monterey, California
A blenny relaxing in soft coral, Bali, Indonesia
Anenome with a reef backdrop, Bunaken, Indonesia
A red octopus in a soft clay wall at the edge of the La Jolla submarine canyon, San Diego, California
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