As a Marine biologist that specializes in invertebrates, Alexander Semenov is no stranger to unusual sea creatures. He also happens to be the head of the divers’ team at Moscow State University’s White Sea Biological Station, so he often finds himself diving in difficult conditions.
Along with that impressive list of titles, he also happens to be a professional photographer with nine years of experience. His primary interest is in scientific macrophotography in natural environments. “This practice makes it possible to observe animals that cannot be properly studied under laboratory conditions, such as soft-bodied planktonic organisms or stationary life forms living on the seafloor,” the diver explained on his Flickr profile. “My personal goal is to study underwater life through camera lenses and to boost people’s interest in marine biology. I do this by sharing all my findings through social media and in real life, through public lectures, movies, exhibitions, and various media events.”
In the video clip that you see below, Semenov is showing all of us just what the ocean has to offer. The video was taken when he was diving under the ice in the White Sea in Russia. A creature, known as a Sea Angel was recorded. It’s a tiny slug, but it is absolutely beautiful. Check it out in this video:
Incredibly beautiful Sea angels (Clione limacina) almost disappeared from the sea. Yesterday I met one under the…
A popular science project, known as Aquatilis has also been created by Semenov and his team. He said: “The aim of the project is finding, studying, and photographing the most interesting and unusual denizens of the ocean.” They do more than photographing animals and telling people about what lies under the sea, they also are science ambassadors who talk about exploring the ice in the frozen North and how to stay enthusiastic and open during the process.
It was Jacques Yves Cousteau who inspired him and his teammates, as well as the books of Jules Verne and Thor Heyerdahl. Semenov now says that a new generation of explorers should step up to the plate to tell their adventures to their children.
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Semenov is the head of the divers’ team at Moscow State University’s White Sea Biological Station. He is often found diving under the harshest of conditions.
After a month of pretty heavy and exhausting dives without much success, we finally started to get everything we need….
Semenov gave an interview with EIZO, saying: “Even the most modern cameras go crazy – white balance and colors are always shifted, some colors in the spectrum just disappear because of light absorption by the seawater. That’s why it’s almost impossible to get a good image without proper editing (sometimes, really heavy editing). The main goal is to get not only proper colors but to make your picture shine and look natural, without over-editing – that’s what every wildlife photographer wants. As a final result, all these images will be in the books, exhibitions, galleries, and magazines, so you need to be sure that your pictures look great not only on the screen but as physical prints too.”
He has been a professional underwater photographer for almost a decade.
I have a few hundreds of new photos, but almost no internet connection at the White sea station. This is so weird in the…
This weird dragon with dog head is actually a polychaete worm Chaetopterus from the Sea of Japan. They live in tubes and…
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Sea angels aren't the only pteropod molluscs. Sea butterflies Limacina helicina are another fascinating planktonic life form that play one of the most important roles in Arctic marine ecosystems. Unlike angels, they are quite tiny – just a few millimeters in size. But these creatures come in numbers. In certain seasons, so many sea butterflies appear in the sea that their biomass exceeds the total biomass of all other ocean inhabitants combined in a given area. They are the main food for sea angels, but they are also loved by ctenophores and jellyfishes, and even by whales who cross the Atlantic Ocean from South America to the Arctic for this feast. ⠀ ⠀ In the pictures they look bright and colourful because we use very powerful light that goes through the shell and help to reveal everything, but for the naked eye they are quite dark, mostly black and brown. Underwater, they look like small dark dots here and there that wiggle occasionally. When they are in numbers, the sea turns into a living soup of moving black dots. And finally, there have been cases when the amount of sea butterflies turned the sea water black! It happens quite rarely, but even with their average number it is a very spectacular scene.⠀ ⠀ #Aquatilis #Education #Marinebiology #Biology #Plankton #Blackwater #Diving #Underwater #Underwaterphoto #Underwaterphotography #Underwatermacro #Macro #Subal #SubalUnderwaterHousing￼
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Beautiful Lion’s mane jellyfish from yesterday's dive captured by Alexander Semenov ￼@narwhal_season : “On average, I get about 100-140 photos per dive, and yesterday I came up with 265! At first I thought I forgot to format the card, but it turned out that I really pressed the shutter button so many times.” There are a lot of Cyanea capillata of all forms and sizes in the White sea now. With eggs, without eggs, with long tentacles and completely bald ones. Some of them are incredibly beautiful, some are usual and a few can be even ugly. It’s just amazing how different they may look like. Shot in the White sea with Nikon D850, Zeiss Milvus 25/1.4 and Subal Underwater Housing. Edited on EIZO CG319x with Capture One Pro 12. #subal_underwater_housing #EIZO #CaptureOne #Zeiss