Whispers from the Sea: Aglantha


I have many photographs of tiny sea jellies that I’ve been meaning to post. Simple studies of their beautiful forms and details. I find converting them to black and white  emphasizes these details nicely and I like the way they almost look like drawings here. (Some of them are indeed working their way into drawings.)

This first set is Hydromedusae Aglantha. The jellyfish pictured here is only about 1cm long. If you look closely you will notice the tentacles are mostly contracted into tight spirals in these images. I have previously posted images in colour here, but for some really beautiful photographs of Aglantha (with extended tentacles) go to Alexander Semenov’s flicker page. And if you have a bit of time to get lost in the sea, visit his incredible website.

[These photographs were made in Cape Breton in the spring of 2012]

© Karen McRae, 2013

60 thoughts on “Whispers from the Sea: Aglantha

  1. Karen – these are beautiful images, so simple on first look, then more complex. I remember the shots that you’d previously posted in color (they are among my favorites of your work) and it is so interesting to see how much different the character of the organisms is in color v. b&w.

    1. I’m glad you like them, Melinda, thank you.
      It does change them quite a bit – because I was working with them in some drawings I thought they might be worth a revisit. (Plus, I have many variations I didn’t post that I find interesting)

  2. The variations could be your own, Karen, in drawing them and imagining others. I am sure that even if you drew imaginative ones they might be close to the real thing. A whole other universe out there it seems. Lovely, tiny little photos. Alexander’s website was fascinating as well. I think it is great that people spend time learning about these things and share with others.

  3. Hi Karen. I love these shots, and not only because they are interesting photos nicely made, but because I grew up around jellyfish as my dad studied/s them and I used to catch them for him and his colleagues for their research. Aglantha was one of them. Nice to see these photos!

      1. Ha, I mentioned it already! Well, that shows that my brain cells are aging. Yes, I helped catch jelly fish for that research, 1 cent each, later 2 cents each. I made quite a bit of money over several years. My dad on the other hand did not pay me, I don’t think anyway. But it was fun to catch them and I enjoyed it.

      2. No, I need to keep that one at the front of my mind. There is probably all kinds of stuff. But I would need to bring it home – that rig is not really suitable for outdoors use, too prone to movement, and clumsy and complicated to move around.
        I should take a bucket down to the seashore at the end of the block.

  4. Wonderful work as always, Karen, you’re so gifted! The link is a gem, wow! Thanks a lot for presenting Alexander S. to us.
    Have a great time.
    Love and big hug
    Dina

    1. They really are barely there, and difficult to spot in the ocean! I’m glad you like the black and white.
      I don’t imagine they do a lot of thinking since jellyfish have no brain! : ) But if they did … ?

  5. What lovely little objects! They are begging to become drawings, I do hope we get to see them! (Have been away so not keeping up with your posts, just skimmed through the last few, beautiful work as always – love the progression of the flower heads.)

  6. These photos are great – I’ll be looking out for more. And as the other bloggers have said, thanks for the introduction to A.Semenov. I have painted & drawn microscopic sealife, plankton and diatoms, this year and in the past – so it is very exciting to see how someone else does it. And in an original way. Brilliant 🙂

  7. Wonderful, Karen – I might have guessed these were drawings you had made, too! Possibly (in part) because I had no idea how you would go about photographing these fascinating creatures (so I really enjoyed finding out a bit more in the comments above). Amazing work! 🙂

  8. They do look like scientific illustrations – when you use a really hard pencil on vellum. Delicacy defined. I enjoyed the color photos, and Alexander’s website – wow – the jellyfish against a starry sky – I don’t usually like that kind of thing, but that is such a great image, and anyway, how different are the sky above and the oceans below? Thanks for the links!

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