All photos by Tobias Friedrich. Used with Creative Commons permission,
If you were fascinated with the surreal sea creatures photographed by Tobias Friedrich during one of his blackwater dives, he’s got more to satisfy your curiosity. In his latest snaps, he showcases the diversity of tiny critters in tropical waters of Indonesia, training his macro lens on creatures both weird and wonderful. If you have a keen interest in marine life, or simply find blackwater diving intriguing, this collection will surely be worth checking out.
According to Friedrich, he photographed these critters of the night using a Canon 1DX Mark II with a Canon 100mm macro lens and a SEACAM diopter. He spotted them during his blackwater dives in various locations across Indonesia, such as North Sulawesi, Bali, and Raja Ampat. If you’re hearing about blackwater diving for the first time, he described it in his previous series as night dives into deep waters to observe pelagic marine creatures and those in their larval state as they swim to the surface to feed in shallow, nutrient-rich waters. This particular kind of diving proves to be a perfect opportunity for underwater photographers to observe and document the most massive vertical migration of animals on Earth.
Friedrich’s previous blackwater diving photos depict mesmerizing creatures demonstrating bioluminescence, but this series is just as dramatic. Even the seahorse and the Mimic octopus, which are not at all strange to us, looks otherworldly. Others, like the Rhinopias Scorpionfish and Cleaner shrimp, appear totally like something out of a sci-fi flick. The most noteworthy for me, however, is his snap of an Anemonefish (better known as Clownfish) with a Cleaner shrimp on its side and a tongue-eating louse, a parasitic isopod, inside its mouth. It’s one of those photos that prove our deep waters are home to some of the strangest creatures known to man.