Alexander Semenov has built quite a reputation for his photographs of undersea wildlife. Recently, he created another underwater series depicting rather common creatures, but changed the perspective to come up with an exceptional view. Turning his camera upward, Semenov was able to create some captivating images of jellyfish. Seen from this angle against the contrasting sky, Semenov came up with some rather interesting effects. Pictured against the clouds and various sunsets, the jellyfish at times even seemed to be in airborne. In many images the water was so transparent that the jellyfish looked as if they were creatures of the sky, rather than the ocean.
Jellyfish are the major non-polyp form of individuals of the phylum Cnidaria. They are free-swimming sea animals that are made-up of a gelatinous umbrella-shaped bell as well as trailing tentacles. The bell can pulsate, causing them to move, while sting capable tentacles can be utilized to capture prey.
Jellyfish exist in all oceans. They can be found on shallow surfaces, and in the deepest depths. Some species also inhabit freshwater. They can be large, and are often colorful as seen through Semenov’s shots. They have been around for at least 500 million years and are the oldest known multi-organ animal.
Semenov is a 2007 Moscow State University graduate from the department of Zoology. He specialized in the study of invertebrate animals, concentrating on squid brains. He works at the White Sea Biological Station (WSBS) as a senior laborer. After four years working there, he became chief of the dive team. Semenov organizes all WSBS underwater projects and dives at every opportunity, always with a camera.
“When I first began to experiment with sea life photography I tried shooting small invertebrates for fun with my own old dslr camera and without any professional lights or lenses…After two or three months of failure after failure I ended up with a few good pictures, which I’ve showed to the crew. It has inspired us to buy a semi-professional camera complete with underwater housing and strobes….Eventually I began to get interesting photos — one or two from each dive. Now after four years of practice I get a few good shots almost every time I dive but I still have a lot of things that need to be mastered in underwater photography,” relates the passionate Semenov in his website. He is quick to add one most important element. “And the most important thing — I love Sea.”