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Photographer of the Week – Ariel Mei
By Matthew Sullivan, April 19, 2024 @ 10:00 AM (EST)

'Octopi My Heart'- An itty-bitty ruby octopus perched atop an encrusted rock, Washington, USA

 

As a prominent member of the bustling diving community in the Pacific Northwest, new DPG Photographer of the Week Ariel Mei has a huge portfolio of the wonderful critters to be found in those chilly waters! Ariel’s underwater journey began early, she was scuba certified at the age of 11 and hasn’t slowed down since. Her passion for the marine world saw her pursue that further and she holds a degree in oceanography.

Puget Sound in Washington, where Ariel resides, is home to some of the world’s best cold-water diving and some of its most fantastic critters. Just about daily, she can be found critter hunting, and in her feature here you’ll be treated to some truly wonderful animals—from the Pacific spiny lumpsucker to a horde of gunnels.

On the rare occasions that Ariel isn’t underwater, she hosts the “What We Sea” podcast. If you caught and enjoyed the pun in the title, you’ll enjoy Ariel’s image titles, which have been included in a Photographer of the Week feature for the first time. She freely admits she spends a not insignificant amount of time coming up with the silliest puns possible for her pictures! You can find the podcast on Apple, Google, and Spotify. Please enjoy’s Ariel's images, the characterful critters featured, and her witty puns!
 

“Mossing Around”: One of the fanciest hairdos in the ocean belongs to the mosshead warbonnet, Washington, USA
 

“Tuna Turner”: Also making a case for best hairdo is the larger decorated warbonnet, Washington, USA
 

“Stubby Face”: The wonderful eye of the stubby squid, Washington, USA
 

“Snug as a Bug in a Rug”: A diminutive snailfish huddled in some red kelp, Washington, USA
 

“Prince of Barkness”: A dogfish looking for crustaceans and cephalopods at night, Washington, USA
 

“O-FISH-ially Spring”: A gorgeous copper rockfish, surrounded by big plumose anemones in the green springtime waters, Washington, USA
 

“My Sole-Mate”: The Pacific Northwest’s most famous fish, the spiny lumpsucker! Washington, USA
 

“Leonardo Da-Pinchy”: A fantastically colored juvenile Puget Sound king crab, Washington, USA
 

“F-EEL-ing Grumpy”: Despite their common name, wolf eels are actually the world's largest blenny, Washington, USA
 

“Eye Sea You”: The intricately detailed and patterened eye of a buffalo sculpin, Washington, USA
 

“Dolla Dolla Billz”: A shallow water sand dollar garden, Washington, USA
 

“Divine”: An aptly named sea angel cruising just beneath the surface, Washington, USA
 

“Eggsalent”: A nudibranch preparing to devour some unfortunate fish eggs, Washington, USA
 

“Gunnel Rainbow”: An entire clan of gunnels holed up together beneath a discarded piece of wood, Washington, USA
 

To see more of Ariel’s work from around the Pacific Northwest, please give her a follow on Instagram or visit her website, www.thelittlebrrmaid.com.

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