This four-inch-long brotula makes for a photogenic subject, but grows up to be a bland brown deepsea cusk eel
If you need any convincing that we have explored less of the ocean than the moon, just take a look at the otherworldly images of Photographer of the Week Joshua Lambus. The Hawaii-based photographer captures the largest mass migration on Earth, as every night trillions of microscopic critters rise from the depths of the ocean to feed.
His stunning images have graced the pages of National Geographic and the Smithsonian Magazine and nabbed awards from the Nature’s Best competition. Joshua currently creates for theMAKAproject, filming and following inspired lifestyles. He also works occasionally as a camera operator and liaison for filming projects, including jobs for National Geographic Television, the Discovery Channel, Travel Channel and NBC.
But all of the accolades and photo credits aside, it just takes a pair of eyes to see how unique Joshua’s images are, not just in the underwater photography world—but out of this world, too.
Larval stage Callistoctopus sp. is one of the most iconic critters to see while on a Kona black water night dive
A deepwater squid hangs out in the photographer’s focus lights. It’s certainly a bit odd to see an animal commonly associated with reef life so far from a reef
Strangely, the pelagic seahorse, Hippocampus fisheri, is entirely opaque, an odd contrast to the near-transparent appearance of the other denizens of this pelagic environment
This diminutive blenny is a small but vibrant critter that later moves to the reef and becomes a common sight on Kona dives
A shrimp hitches a ride on a pyrosome, a symbiotic relationship that shows teamwork in the pelagic realm
Tremoctopus sp. is also known as a blanket octopus. The female of this species can grow to over six feet long, while the males are at most three or four inches long
A chain of salps, also known as tunicates, which are filter-feeders that live off organic matter they suck in one side of their bodies and pump out the other—giving them their common name “sea squirts”
A larval ribbon fish: Although the species has never been identified, some scientists have said it could be very closely related to the rarely seen oarfish—the longest bony fish in the ocean
Another species of deepwater squid occasionally encountered on Kona black water night dives
Pyrosomes are some of the most brilliant organisms seen on black water dives. They maintain a sustained glow due to bioluminescent organs
A larval shrimp being examined by a diver
Joshua takes a break from the black water to check out the surf
To see more of the eye-popping work of Joshua Lambus, check out his website, www.jlambus.com. Learn how to capture tiny pelagic critters on a black water dive in Joshua’s instructive technique article.