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Dive Photo Guide


Photographer of the Week – Gabriel Jensen
By Matthew Sullivan, September 21, 2023 @ 06:00 AM (EST)

Everybody loves Shawn the Sheep! Especially this week’s featured photographer, Gabe Jensen. Shaun is his self-proclaimed favorite critter, Florida, USA

A photo naturalist based in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida, Gabriel Jensen has an absolute love for all the boneless, tiny, and charismatic microfauna found in the Tropical Western Atlantic. In 2015, Gabriel started his underwater photographic journey, as many do, with a GoPro, while trying to take better pictures of the community of mermaids and freedivers that make their homes in the North Florida springs. Since then, he has only upgraded twice from the venerable Sony a6000 in a Seafrogs housing with a fixed port, to a competent (and well loved) Sony a6500 in a Nauticam housing.

Everybody has their favorite genre of wildlife. For Gabe, that genre is sea slugs and nudibranchs. He credits his fascination with memorizing and classifying colorful sea slugs to a childhood gift of a Gameboy, and many hours spent playing Pokémon, whose characters he says resemble the many fascinating and colorful creatures that inhabit Florida’s local reefs. Gabe likes to capture the human side of very non-human looking subjects, and considers it a win whenever he can get a viewer to consider a mollusk or crustacean as “cute.” A true connoisseur in underwater magnification, you’ll never find Gabriel underwater without a selection of magnifying lenses—his favorite being the Nauticam SMC series.

A true weekend warrior, Gabriel shore-dives three times a week at his local sites while working in-person and full-time as a Sr. Quality Manager in the Life Sciences. When he’s not crawling through crocodile mud pits or under urban bridges looking for sea slugs, Gabriel is an evangelist for local diving, giving presentations at local dive clubs and malacology groups on how to spot sea slugs in any body of salt water close to home. As a board member of the South Florida Underwater Photography Society (SFUPS), Gabriel upholds their mission to advance the art and science of underwater photography. You can find some of Gabe’s sea slug images featured in the new second edition of Suzan Meldonian’s An Underwater Marine Life Guide of the Blue Heron Bridge.

An unfortunate doctorfish meets its end in the unpleasant mouth of a sand diver, Florida, USA

Rubbing their claws together conspiratorily, a pair of squat urchin shrimp eyeball the camera, Florida, USA

The captivating blue eyes of a bay scallop, Florida, USA

A Caribbean spiny lobster standing guard in front of a sea fan, Florida, USA

A Caribbean reef octopus mother guarding her developing eggs inside an old pipe, Florida, USA

The beautiful rainbow skin of a Felimare olgae sea slug, Florida, USA

An Atlantic longarm octopus caught in the spotlight, Florida, USA

A male bluethroat pikeblenny putting on a show of aggression towards a rival, Florida, USA

Soon-to-hatch baby banded jawfish develop inside eggs in their dad’s mouth, Florida, USA

A beautiful lined seahorse clings to a spongy perch, Florida, USA

A much sought-after critter, the bumbleblee shrimp: This one is crawling across the bumpy skin of a cushion star, Florida, USA

To see more of Gabe’s slugs and other critters, please give him a follow on Instagram or buy some sea slug pants off his Etsy!


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