Sea life: Up close and personal with octopuses, seahorses and jellyfish
Acclaimed National Geographic photographer David Liittschwager has captured three notoriously mysterious sea creatures and their enigmatic beauty, showcased in his new book.
Scientists estimate that 90 per cent of species in the ocean have yet to be classified. While researchers continue to explore the oceans, they are in a battle with time as the planet loses species to human activity such as oil spills, global warming, plastic waste and other pollution.
In Octopus, Seahorse, Jellyfish, acclaimed National Geographic photographer David Liittschwager has been able to capture three notoriously mysterious sea creatures in amazing detail.
Liittschwager has spent 12 years working on this book. During this project he traveled to more than 28 locations around the world. The images in this book are edited from the 135,000 exposures of nearly 500 specimens he photographed, using a white background and a portable studio setup to capture the smallest of details, including small hairs and translucent tissues.
Paired with Liittschwager’s extraordinary photography are essays by bestselling science writers Elizabeth Kolbert, Jennifer Holland and Olivia Judson, which further explain the biology of these surprising creatures and how they navigate their world.
"The world is an amazing place." Liittschwager tells Science Focus. "A pregnant male seahorse, a shape-shifting octopus, and a jellyfish that can cleave off a piece of itself to make another are all wondrous." But his project is by no means finished with the publication of this book. "I am now 60 and I have been working on this since I was a teenager. I have always been interested in trying to see more. More resolution, more fidelity."
With this book, he aims to highlight what we could lose if we fail to protect our oceans from pollution. Take a look at some of our favourite images from the book.
More image galleries from Science Focus:
- The world's largest tokamak begins to take shape
- A Bobcat claims his prize as the winner of the WildArt Photo Competition
- 8 incredible images of octopuses
Octopus, Seahorse, Jellyfish by David Liittschwager is published on 26 May 2022. (£30, National Geographic)
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James Cutmore is the picture editor of BBC Science Focus Magazine, researching striking images for the magazine and on the website. He is also has a passion for taking his own photographs