Hybrid Japanese and Chinese giant salamander, Kyoto, Japan
Not infrequently do we discover fresh photographic talent through a breathtaking award-winning image, and so it was with our latest Photographer of the Week, Sayaka Ichinoseki. The photo in question is an extraordinary capture of about-to-hatch anglerfish eggs that deservedly got top honors in the “Faces of the Sea” category of the 2021 United Nations World Oceans Day Photo Competition, which is hosted by DPG.
As it turns out, we’ve discovered two additional things after seeing Sayaka’s wonderful portfolio: first, that her winning picture is actually part of an amazing quartet of images showing the stages of anglerfish egg development (see below); and second, that this avid traveler has not one but many high-quality captures to show off, not just from her home waters of Hokkaido, but also from various corners of the globe, from Australia to Indonesia to Mexico.
“Since I was a kid,” writes Sayaka, in Japanese, on her website, “I felt that just knowing that there is a world I don’t know gives me hope to live.” While there might well be something lost in Google translation, her “self-introduction” explains plainly enough what motivates her explorations and her photography. Indeed, Sayaka’s fascination with the underwater world’s more-unusual suspects is obvious in her images, especially those from Japan’s chilly waters, whether it‘s fish eggs, giant salamanders, or mind-boggling geological formations.
Sayaka’s work is as refreshing as it is inspiring, and it also encompasses perfectly the enthusiasm of underwater photographers everywhere hungry for adventure—the sheer excitement of capturing something intriguing and unfamiliar and beautiful.
Clockwise from top-left: Developing anglerfish eggs, Shakotan-gun, Hokkaido, Japan (click for individual images)
Megalopa and butterflyfish, Kume Island, Okinawa, Japan
Fringed blenny, Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan
Columnar Joints, Shakotan-gun, Hokkaido, Japan
Filament-finned prawn-goby, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia
Oceanic manta ray, Isla Soccoro, Mexico
Weedy seadragon, Eaglehawk Neck, Tasmania, Australia
Juvenile Taranetz’s lumpsucker, Shiretoko Peninsula, Hokkaido, Japan
Atka mackerel, Shakotan-gun, Hokkaido, Japan
Cherry Anthias, Tago, Izu Peninsula, Japan
Juvenile antlered sculpin, Shakotan-gun, Hokkaido, Japan
Sayaka, enjoying a relaxed surface interval
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