My OBT

My daily quest for One Beautiful Thing (OBT)

Over/Under

32 Comments

bluebottle Portuguese man of War Matty Smith o'war

The photographer writes that this man o’war somehow wrapped itself around his camera and stung him on the nose. Ow! ©Matty Smith

Matty Smith is really committed to his craft. He is a nature photographer specializing in ocean and wildlife photography, and he has spent much of his career following around and photographing one of the most deadly species in the sea – the Portuguese man o’ war.

His website divides his photos into three categories, based upon the camera’s position in relation to the water: “Over,” “Over/Under”, and “Under.”  His Over/Under photos are the ones for which he is best known. He has developed a special technique involving a waterproof camera housing and an 18″ wide dome of his own design which is especially effective at capturing his favorite beautiful-but-dangerous creatures as they are generally found, half in and half out of the water. The photos are really memorable, especially when you consider the peril he puts himself in to get close enough to take them.

“What I really like about an over/under picture is that it gives an underwater image a sense of place. It marries the underwater world with our own familiar world, it links the unknown with the known.” – Matty Smith

His stunning photographs have won him many awards, including BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Australian Geographic’s Nature Photographer of the Year, Ocean Geographic 2014 Pictures of the Year (1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Prize Winner), and many others. As much as I enjoyed exploring his website, I strongly recommend you check out his Instagram, since it not only includes fantastic photographs, but most are accompanied by some information about the creatures shown, where he found them, and anecdotes about what he had to do to capture the photographs.

Hypseldoris bennetti nudibranch sea slug Matty Smith

©Matty Smith

mourning cuttlefish Matty Smith

©Matty Smith

bluebottle Portuguese man of War Matty Smith o'war

©Matty Smith

silky shark requiem Carcharhinidae Matty Smith

That’s a bit too close for me! ©Matty Smith

waratah anemones Matty Smith

©Matty Smith

bluebottle Portuguese man of War Matty Smith o'war

©Matty Smith

weedy sea dragon Matty Smith

©Matty Smith

crocodile Cuba Matty Smith

Matty doesn’t limit himself just to siphonophores. ©Matty Smith

silver bream Matty Smith

©Matty Smith

nudibranch Chromodoris Splendida Matty Smith

©Matty Smith

Glaucus Marginatus frilled Blue Dragon Matty Smith

Frilled Blue Dragons are one of the very few creatures who can actually eat Portuguese man o’wars. ©Matty Smith

black margined glossodoris nudibranch Matty Smith

©Matty Smith

White's Seahorse Matty Smith

©Matty Smith

tunicate Matty Smith

©Matty Smith

crocodile Cuba Matty Smith

Check, please. ©Matty Smith

biscuit sea star Matty Smith

©Matty Smith

bluebottle Portuguese man of War Matty Smith o'war

©Matty Smith

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

32 thoughts on “Over/Under

  1. ‘check, please.’. XD

    quite beautiful and… really far out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! I’ve never seen his work before. Thanks for sharing this! Is it okay if I reblog this?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! What a spectacular series of vivid photos – Kudos to the man!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on GettingrealwithPTSD and commented:
    These pictures come from a terrific blog and are so special I just had to share. Hope they make you feel as good as they made me feel 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ….wow oh wow o wow! soooooo intriguing and so so wonderful. thank you for sharing them!

    Liked by 2 people

    • They really are gorgeous. I have always found them lovely, but I had all but forgotten them when they started appearing on Long Island beaches last week. So during my hunt for more information, I came across these amazing photos. So glad I did!

      Like

  6. These images are absolutely stunning. Smith is clearly an incredibly talented photographer and a motivated, determined one. I love drawing jellyfish in ink so his jellyfish photos particularly appealed to me but all of them are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. These are incredible photos and he obviously will suffer for his work. Stung on the nose by a man o’war!! That would keep me out of the water.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow those are gorgeous. The colours are stunning too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. These are so special! My mouth was hanging open with the wonder of it all! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You succeeded in finding MANY beautiful things here. And I love that whole concept, by the way. This is one BRAVE photographer.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Such rich beauty in his photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh, the white fish with black ‘trim’–so Chanel, isn’t it?! Gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. These are wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Amazing. I would give my right arm to hear Smith lecture about his work. Or just to have a conversation with him!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: A Farewell to 2015 | My OBT

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