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Old 12-23-2018, 10:07 PM   #1
xoxoxoBruce
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Dec 24th, 2018 : Things That Go Splash In The Night

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Eight kilometers off the coast of Palm Beach, Florida, with the city lights a constellation on the distant horizon, I roll backward off the side of a boat and am immediately enveloped in darkness. Only my flashlight slices a path through the inky water, and I feel like an untethered astronaut on a spacewalk. It can be spooky to be suspended in liquid night with restricted vision, especially when the water is murky after a storm.


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We embark on these nighttime excursions, known as blackwater dives, to photograph small, free-floating marine organisms that migrate up to the ocean’s surface after dark, along with their predators. This type of extreme wildlife photography—at night and in deep water—originated in Hawaii and is now popular worldwide including off the southeast coast of Florida, where the narrow continental shelf, deep water, and powerful Gulf Stream current provide the right ingredients for an abundance of marine animals.


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When I find my elusive subjects, the fun begins. Challenges include illuminating them with my flashes (most of the organisms are transparent or shiny and easy to expose incorrectly); focusing (my lens has a shallow depth of field with no room for error); and most importantly, maintaining situational awareness (not going too deep or too far from the group, which uses a large illuminated buoy as a reference point for safety).
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Old 12-23-2018, 11:21 PM   #2
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Man, some of the stuff that comes outta the deep blue sea is just not of this Earth.
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