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Underwater Beauty

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Published May 2, 2018 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 32 Contributors

    32 photos selected by

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    The Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet with great triumph at the southern tip of Africa. The Two Oce...

    #aquarium #travel #southafrica #kids #capetown #nemo #clownfish #twooceans #underwaterbeauty

    Thanks to all the wonderful adventurers that shared underwater beauty with me. I know this assignment presented many challenges, so I am absolutely astonished by the innovative approaches some of you took to be able to participate! Some of the images made my heart stop, transporting me to a place that humans rarely get to see, and others evoked warmth and beauty that inspired me immensely.

    Laying in the ice cold water, knowing that i want to photograph this iceberg but i want the Gento...

    #nature #landscape #wildlife #animals #underwater #penguins #antarctica #splitphoto

    Editor's Note

    What a beautiful capture, from personal experience I know how incredibly difficult it is to document in such harsh conditions - as you said it requires patience, alertness and a lot of luck. I abso... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    There is a small pond in The Bahamas which was recently discovered to have the highest density of...

    #beauty #underwater #endangered #seahorse #conservation #plankton

    Editor's Note

    I agree with Your Shot photographer Rose Ungvari who commented, "This is the most magical image of seahorses Shane! The back lighting created such beautiful silhouettes. I am saddened to read about... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Sometimes beauty is in the little things.

    #sweden #ocean #diving #scuba #nikon #starfish #kelp #seastar #uwphoto

    Editor's Note

    I completely agree with you Anna - there is so much beauty in the little things. The way the light falls, the way the kelp moves and this little starfish. This image creates a sense of joy for me ... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    These plants were taken from my own garden and placed in an ordinary fish tank-aquarium and photo...

    #underwater #fishtankaquarium #bubbles_abstract #string_of_beads_plant

    Editor's Note

    This is a wonderful example of using the tools you have available and creating something absolutely stunning! I love your innovative approach! A fish tank, beautiful light and a great eye. The lit... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    Detailed macro shot of a betta fish reveals an abstract landscape.

    #fish #beauty #nature #closeup #macro #underwater #details #scales #fins #betta

    Editor's Note

    The tones and the textures within the images are just divine - it looks like the fish is bathed in beautiful bronze light. This is a wonderful interpretation of "Underwater Beauty " and fulfils the... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    What falls from the sky ends up below and flowers grow between. The sun may shine while rain does...

    #water #photography #rainbow #orchids #underwater_beauty_assignment

    Editor's Note

    What a wonderful interpretation of this assignment. I love the composition and how the elements work together especially the colours of the rainbow mirrored within the orchid

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    Cycling around Stanley Park in Vancouver, we stopped at the aquarium to look around. I always lik...

    #animals #vancouver #underwater #jellyfish

    Editor's Note

    It's always a great challenge to attempt to photograph through glass! The jellyfish really do look like they are floating through endless space. My underwater journey also started in an aquarium m... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    Many dolphins are living around Mikura-jima island, Tokyo, Japan. We can enjoy swimming with the...

    #nature #underwater #japan #dolphin #dolphin_swimming #mikurajima

    Editor's Note

    It is indeed an incredibly precious to be able to experience the environment with such amazing creatures - Dolphins are intriguing and intelligent animals. Just like humans, dolphins live in tightl... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    An upwelling event brought this deep sea dweller to the surface waters of Catalina Island, off th...

    #plankton #siphonophore #underwaterbeauty

    Editor's Note

    Thank you for sharing this image and your comprehensive caption Kate. It is hard to believe that this creature usually lives about 2,297-3,281 feet, or 700-1,000 m deep and I love that you were abl... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    Finding a Pygmy Seahorse is a huge challenge. They blend in so well with their surrounding enviro...

    #philippines #seahorse #anilao #soft_coral #pygmy_seahorse

    Editor's Note

    Congratulations on such a special capture J. I can imagine just how challenging this scenario would have been. Being only about ¾ of an inch they are one of the smallest of all species of seahorses... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    Looking up from forty feet below I admired the view and texture of the ice above me. It was surr...

    #ice #underwater #canada #freediving #freedivephotography

    Editor's Note

    My heart stops while looking at this image! What a beautiful capture of a world we rarely get to see - I love seeing the two figures float between the ice galaxy - it showcases the scale of the vas... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    Tridacnidae has much color pattern, but the blue dot pattern is beautiful in particular. I met th...

    #nature #wildlife #underwater #goby #primary__colors

    Editor's Note

    I absolutely agree with you Kei - those colours are out of this world! I love how the blues melt into each other thanks to the shallow depth of field and the small goby pops out of the image unexpe... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    A curious and quite playful humpback whale calf comes in for a close look in an amazing few secon...

    #nature #ocean #underwater #whale #conservation #humpback_baby

    Editor's Note

    There is so much detail in your capture - you can see the curiosity in the whale's eye, the small bit of skin rolling off just above the eye and even a handful of whale lice. It's a very intimate p... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    Nature provides us of beautiful surprises. To meet the giant of the oceans is an unforgettable mo...

    #blue #nature #animals #underwater #whale #deep #sperm_whale #underwaterbeautyassigment

    Editor's Note

    Wow. This is an epic photo Fabrice, but what I love is after reading your caption, after learning that these sperm whales are half asleep, I love the moment even more. Thank you for writing a detai... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    A green turtle enjoying the fleshy body of a jellyfish after eating all of the stinging tentacles.

    #feeding #turtle #ocean #jellyfish

    Editor's Note

    This green turtle looks like she's in jellyfish heaven! A beautiful capture despite of it being unfortunate one for the jellyfish. I love seeing the fish shelter underneath as the turtle snacks on ... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    Its hard to keep yourself together with a nice sunset and a beautiful turtle swimming around you

    #australia #beautiful #wildlife #turtle #reef #ocean #underwater #life #natgeo #yourshot #ladyelliot

    Editor's Note

    Beautiful capture both below and above water! There is a wonderful flow within the image. It's also a fantastic reminder to explore underwater at different times of day as creatures do become more ... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    Photographing wild dolphins off the coast of California is always an enchanting experience. In my...

    #sea #wildlife #ocean #california #pacific #dolphins #conservation #oceanphotography

    Editor's Note

    Your beautiful capture calms my soul too - I love the glimmer of light reflecting off the surface. It's such a privilege to witness dolphins in the wild open ocean. Just a glimpse of them provides ... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    A behind the scenes view of a surfer sliding across the face of a wave while the sunset refracts ...

    #surf #ocean #tropical #underwater #wave #surfer

    Editor's Note

    This is a special point of view - the surfer seems to be flying towards the sun. There are so many wonderful textures in this image which light can bounce off. I can feel the energy of the ocean an... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    Fish feeding at sunset of the protected reefs along the Southern Attols in the Maldives, with a c...

    #fish #ocean #underwater #waves #oceansunset

    Editor's Note

    Beautiful image highlighting the importance of marine protected areas. It's so great to see such a healthy part of the ocean and reminds us just how much we have left to protect both above and belo... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    The flight of an angel in the middle of a cloud of sardines. Panagsama beach, Philippines Nikon ...

    #fly

    Editor's Note

    What an incredible cloud to fly through! I love the way the sardines twirl around the frame creating a thick cloud the sun can barely push through. The diver creates a wonderful energy shift within... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    This octopus came out of nowhere and put on quite a show for me! I was a little unprepared as I n...

    #underwater #scuba #southafrica #scubadiving #portelizabeth

    Editor's Note

    The octopus and the coral garden look like a vibrant artwork - an eclectic mix of wildlife. It's so wonderful to see a healthy reef from such a beautiful part of the world

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    Switching to manual exposure I was able to get a sharp shot of the undulating anemone, bathing i...

    #underwater #flora #anemone

    Editor's Note

    Stunning capture Mato, the colours and the sway of the anemones make it look out of this world - I enjoy not having a sense scale and your use of natural light. It must have been wonderful to float... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    Clownfish hiding in an anemone in Indonesia

    #clownfish_and_anemone

    Editor's Note

    What a vibrant image! The clownfish looks safe tucked inside his anemone home and it makes me want to learn more about the symbiotic relationships in nature. The colours of the underwater world are... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    This image was captured during a morning underwater shoot of a friend of mine. It stood out to me...

    #nature #ocean #underwater #photography

    Editor's Note

    I would agree with your statement Troels - it stands out to me too. The shallow depth of field is beautiful - it creates a feeling of fireflies floating around your friend in a night sky. Keep on d... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    Evening light paints undulating rays of light and dark as it refracts through the surface of the ...

    #estuary #grassunderwater #underwaterbeauty

    Editor's Note

    Indeed Mesmerising! I love how the image is reflected back just under the surface. The colour and the texture make it look just like a beautiful underwater painting.

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    The ice cracks and frozen bubbles in the frozen Lake Baikal reminds me of curtains in the wind. L...

    #abstract #nature #landscape #travel #places #straightoutofcamera #yourshotadventure

    Editor's Note

    I love how disorientating this image feels - it's difficult to tell the scale and the frozen pathways create a dynamic monochromatic mosaic

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    Hundreds of baby anemones lined this tide pool on the northern California coast

    #water #nature #macro #wildlife #ocean #wild #animal #underwater #protect #natgeo #tidepool #anemone

    Editor's Note

    This image is just the most wonderful explosion of texture and colour. It's like a looking through a kaleidoscope of the ocean

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    Abstract conceptual photograph I created with water, oil, soap and ice . I placed the glass cup w...

    #abstract #water #nature #macro #ice #oil #soap

    Editor's Note

    What an innovative approach to this assignment! Absolutely beautiful. I just want to keep on exploring and seeing what I can find inside the bubbles - the ice adds another interesting element. Than... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    Multiple world champion and record holder - Alexey Molchanov

    #light #free #deep #yoga #dice #freediving

    Editor's Note

    Beautiful calm moment. I love how the light wraps around the diver as he navigates his way back to the surface guided by the rays of light

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    A group of teenagers were playing in the transparent water of the river in a summer day. They wer...

    #portrait #under_water #childhood_adventure #under_water_portrait

    Editor's Note

    What a fantastic portrait, and wonderful submission to our "Underwater Beauty" assignment. Your question is so thoughtful Milton. I love it. I agree with Your Shot photographer Rory Sagner who comm... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    This is an image of a scuba bubble floating up from the deep, captured freediving about 2 meters ...

    #ocean #underwater #love #air #bubble

    Editor's Note

    Beautiful interpretation of the assignment - this is a unique image of something so simple yet so beautiful - an air bubble! I love that you spent a bit of time experimenting and focusing on just t... More

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker

    This assignment has showcased our deep connection to the sea, our desire to explore it, and the feelings it evokes. We humans have what we call a mammalian dive reflex — an evolutionary adaptation we share with other creatures such as dolphins and seals that allows us to dive underwater for extended periods of time. Once we immerse ourselves in cool water we experience a decrease in heart rate and diversion of blood from extremities, and we feel an overall sense of calmness. It becomes a form of meditation. There is a certain kind of energy that vibrates through the ocean as we get to experience the presence of aquatic creatures one breath-hold at a time.

    In the words of Sylvia Earle: “Even if you never have the chance to see or touch the ocean, the ocean touches you with every breath you take, every drop of water you drink, every bite you consume. Everyone everywhere is inextricably connected to and utterly dependent upon the existence of the sea.”

    What a beautiful place it is to slow down, explore and document, and remember our unique connection to our blue planet.

    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer and Filmmaker

    Click here to read Michaela's Editor's Insight blog post.

    About the Editor
    Michaela Skovranova
    Photographer & Filmmaker
    Michaela Skovranova is an Australian based filmmaker, photographer and Olympus Visionary. You won’t find much in the way of bright colours in her photos but while desaturated, her images are dripping with emotion, drama and a certain respect for the duality between beauty and raw power that exists in the ...

    Photographers Published In the Story