Photographer Joshua Lambus has put together a beautiful series of photographs showing luminous creatures of the deep glowing with light against a pitch-black background. The project is titled “Blackwater.”
The photographs were captured in the ocean during the Hawaii-based photographer’s deep dives. “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,” Lambus writes.
Lambus is a veteran of deep dives, having logged hundreds of dives for both personal and commercial purposes. The dives are held in the darkness of the night in water that is thousands of feet deep. Lambus ventures deep under the surface to photograph the animals as they float by.
In an interview with Underwater Photography Guide, Lambus compares photographing the faintly glowing creatures to taking pictures of a piece of aluminum foil and a piece of plastic wrap in a your closet with the lights out. If you can photograph them in focus and well exposed, then you’re fit for this type of underwater photography.
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. [#]
In terms of gear, Lambus uses high-end Canon and Nikon DSLRs protected by various underwater housings.
Here are some of the beautiful photographs found in the series:
Image credits: Photographs by Joshua Lambus and used with permission