With a body just 5mm long, the immortal jellyfish (Turritopsis sp.) is barely visible when it moves with its tentacles folded, but it can instantly deploy those appendages to try to catch small prey, Tahiti, French Polynesia
This week’s featured photographer Fabien Michenet resides in Tahiti, and his eye-popping portfolio serves as a fabulous advertisement for diving in the South Pacific—and the diversity of underwater life that can be photographed there. Head on over and take a look at his website, and you will find stunning images of humpback whales, sharks and rays alongside perfectly executed blackwater shots of juvenile cephalopods, nudibranchs and bizarre microscopic fish.
Although he has evidently dived in other popular destinations, most of Fabien’s images were captured while diving or freediving back at home, and it is clear that he has spent many hours underwater working on a variety of different photography techniques. Unsurprisingly, for the last several years, this dedication has been rewarded with a number of high-profile competition results for both his wide-angle and macro work.
For me, it is the stark contrast between the weird, alien-like creatures that appear from the deep and the more-recognisable species that we all know and love that really makes Fabien’s collection stand out. Well lit, bursting with color and nicely composed, the entire portfolio makes me want to hop on a plane to French Polynesia and join him for a dive or two in his backyard. But until the day I can make that long trip to Tahiti, his work will continue to inspire me to further explore my own local dive sites and look for new critters and different ways to photograph them.
Rough-toothed dolphins with their massive playmate, a humpback whale, Tahiti, French Polynesia
Gray reefs sharks school in Tahiti, French Polynesia
The diamondback squid (Thysanoteuthis rhombus), Tahiti, French Polynesia: Without doubt, one of the most fascinating animals for the lucky photographer that crosses paths with it on a blackwater dive
A pelagic bioluminescent nudibranch (Phylliroe sp.)—with strange red dots, Tahiti, French Polynesia
An unusual pink mollusk (Oxygyrus inflatus), Tahiti, French Polynesia
As it matures, this juvenile deep sea fish (Gibberichthys latifrons) will lose the curious extensions of its fins, Tahiti, French Polynesia
The larva of an abyssal sea urchin, Tahiti, French Polynesia
The grin of a filament-finned parrotfish, Tahiti, French Polynesia
The leafy seadragon, Rapid Bay, South Australia
A spectacular reefscape shot in the south of Raja Ampat, Indonesia
A juvenile green turtle off the Fakarava Atoll, in the western part of French Polynesia’s Tuamotu Archipelago
Check out many more amazing photographs captured by the talented Mr Michenet on his website, www.fabienmichenet.photoshelter.com.
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