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Photographer of the Week – Neal Hoogenboom
By Daniel Norwood, April 4, 2019 @ 05:00 AM (EST)

Bobtail squid, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
 

Having grown up diving for abalone and spearfishing in California, this week’s featured photographer Neal Hoogenboom now spends his time looking for marine life to photograph, and is one of a dedicated group of locals who have mastered the art of blackwater diving on the Big Island of Hawaii.

After first becoming a divemaster and then instructor at Jacks Diving Locker, Neal decided to move to the island for good in 2010 and has been working for the company ever since. When not teaching, or guiding dives looking for manta rays and sharks, Neal spends his nights diving miles offshore in complete darkness taking photographs of plankton, juvenile fish and transparent cephalopods.

Many of the subjects encountered on these night dives are still in the larval stage and quite often look nothing like the creature they will become if they survive to adulthood. Looking through Neal’s portfolio, it is hard to identify some of the critters he has captured so well, but most of them are tiny and require perfect technique and patience to get the shot.

Over time, he has put together a collection of well-executed blackwater photographs that make me want to plunge into the open ocean at night for the first time, although I’m sure it will take many hours in the darkness before I can get images this good!
 

Pelagic squid, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
 

Paper nautilus, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
 

Cusk eel, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
 

Sargassum frogfish, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
 

Young ornate octopus, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
 

Pelagic seahorse, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
 

Divers in lava tube, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
 

Pelagic squid, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
 

Cusk eel portrait, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
 

Pelagic nudibranch, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
 

Neal in the field, Chuuk Lagoon, Micronesia
 

To see more of Neal’s images—including some other more recognizable marine life photographed in Hawaii—check out his Instagram page.

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Pierre Villeneuve
Apr 4, 2019 6:58 AM
Pierre Villeneuve wrote:
Beautiful !
Titus Livingston
Apr 4, 2019 4:50 PM
Titus Livingston wrote:
Awesome.
Doris Gouez
Jun 25, 2019 2:55 PM
Doris Gouez wrote:
So cool
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