We have a long standing obsession with what is up there in outer space. Space exploration has always been a dream that consumed the imagination of scientists and fiction writers alike. We are right to look beyond our world, as the earth is finite with its space and resources, and new frontiers truly must be discovered. Journeying to the deepest depths of the sea however, is just as pioneering. What lurks at the bottom levels of the ocean are still very much a mystery to us, even so to seasoned sea explorers. A great deal remains to be discovered and much of earth’s untold history lies deep in the recesses of our oceans. One such adventurer is photographer Joshua Lambus. Lambus is a veteran diver, and has logged many hundreds of hours combing the depths of the sea for both commercial and personal reasons. He is particularly engrossed with deep dives, plunging thousands of feet into the dark, mysterious waters.
These explorations are usually done in total darkness under the cover of night. Lambus’s penchant for choosing these conditions to immerse himself into the ocean’s depths is made evident by his wonderful photos showing sea creatures in their luminous splendor, glowing radiantly against the pitch dark sea backdrop. Quite aptly, the series is called Blackwater.
“My photos are to show people things they haven’t seen before… or maybe things they see all the time… in a way they’ve never cared to look,” says the Hawaii based Lambus, who assembled the Blackwater series using high-end Canon and Nikon DSLRs in special deep underwater shells. In an interview for Underwater Photography Guide, he likened shooting the glow-in-the-dark creatures to taking a photo of a piece of aluminum foil or plastic wrap with the lights off. In other words, the sea creatures are difficult to photograph.
“Does your camera focus well in low light? If not are you good at manual focus? Which is better? Next is lighting. Best positions for strobes? How do you light up your subject without lighting up the rest of the plankton around it? Do you expose for the reflective part of your subject or the transparent part? How do you do both? How comfortable are you with knowing where the controls are on your camera? Because at night you can’t see what you’re doing, and you better have a good hold on that camera because if you drop it you don’t get it back. Trust me. “
Obviously he has got his technique down pat, based on these striking images of rarely seen creatures lurking deep in the ocean.
See his work over on his website.