The Incredible Undersea Photography of Alexander Semenov
Alexander Semenov is a trained scientist but behind the camera he is also a wonderful artist. He has a special talent for capturing the beauty and grace of tiny sea creatures. His photography work is incredible and there is little more important to conservation than showing the beauty of the world and the creatures with whom we share it.
Alexander was born and raised in Russia and graduated from Lomonosov's Moscow State University in the department of Zoology in 2007. Currently he is working at White Sea Biological Station (WSBS) where he studies the northern marine environment and also writes about the beauty of sea creatures for his blog and scientific papers. He is also chief of the diving team at WSBS. The WSBS is located near the Polar Circle on the coast of Kandalaksha Bay of the White Sea.
As for his scientific side he writes a blog in Russian about the stories behind his photos, and also has a portfolio site in English that teaches more about the animals in the photographs, including the life cycle, feeding, behavior and other aspects of their lives. But Alexander does not view himself as a typical marine biology scientist.
He describes himself in this way, "I'm not a scientist in the modern meaning, I'm more a naturalist, like Linnaeus in the 18th century. I study all marine life and try to illustrate it and show to all people who are interested in environmental sciences and nature at all. My underwater job at the station and my education as marine biologist are connected in this way."
He also see himself as a messenger to how our civilization is affecting marine life. When asked if he sees any negative impacts of human activity on the ocean when he dives, he states, "In the White Sea there are so many extremal conditions that there are not so many tourists and divers. But sometimes I see some anthropogenic trash at the sea floor. That's bad, but not critical - animals can live on it and in 3-5 years it disappears totally under the biomass. But if there would be any toxic waste, marine life will stop in this location for many years."
"People from all around the globe need to learn how to recycle waste. Our oceans are very big and can contain a lot of trash and waste without any damage, but it's only a question of time when it will become full. It's not a trash can -- it is a place where life was born and everybody needs to understand it."
But it is the graceful beauty of his underwater photography that speaks the loudest of his love and concern for the oceans and the creatures that live in them. Enjoy some of his exquisite work below.
Сyanea capillata sun
Photo Credit: Alexander Semenov
Hyperia inside cyanea
Photos Credit: Alexander Semenov