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Short Film: “Planktonium” Offers a Mesmerizing Microscopic View of the Ocean’s Tiniest Organisms
By Ian Bongso-Seldrup, November 18, 2021 @ 09:00 PM (EST)
Source: DPReview

Tunica larva (Oikopleuridae)
 

This one is for all you blackwater photographers out there. Meet Jan van Ijken, a Dutch photographer and filmmaker who has turned his passion for plankton—the miniscule “drifters” of the ocean—into a fascinating short film, Planktonium.

“Under the water surface of every pond or ditch is an unseen world of invisible tiny creatures. They seem to come from another planet, with their bizarre shapes and complex structures. The film is a journey into an unknown universe inhabited by alien-like creatures,” says van Ijken in his Director Statement. “Since I discovered plankton, I’ve become addicted to it. Every time I go out with my plankton net, I am curious about what I will find and I am always amazed by my finds. Every sea, ditch and lake have its own biotope and there are also major differences per season.”

In the short version of Planktonium (below), which is accompanied with a sound composition by Norwegian artist Jana Winderen, van Ijken offers a taster of the full 15-minute 4K version (available for rent or purchase as a streamed film). Also make sure to check out his mind-blowing photomicrography series that is part of the project.
 

“Planktonium” (short version)
 

Water fleas (Chydorus sphaericus) carrying eggs
 

Ophiopluteus larva of a brittle star
 

Heliozoean
 

Pleurosigma diatoms from the mud of the Dutch Wadden Sea

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