With meticulous detail, Japanese photographer Ryo Minemizu captures the beauty and complexity of plankton afloat in the sea and large bodies of fresh water. Apart from bacteria, plankton – a diverse collection of organisms – are the most abundant life form on earth. Unable to swim against the current, these minuscule creatures play a critical role in the marine food chain.
Minemizu’s images are the subject of Jewels in the Night Sea, a solo exhibition presented by Canon Marketing Japan Inc., opening today in Tokyo.
After two decades of photographing underwater, Minemizu remains awestruck by the magic and mystery of marine life. “Plankton symbolize how precious life is by their tiny existence,” writes Minimizu in the press release.
To photograph these colorful organisms that are invisible to the naked eye, Minemizu regularly spends 2-8 hours underwater. In the darkness of the night, he stays as still as possible, trying to predict the planktons’ unpredictable movements. His method of photographically arresting the creatures involves setting a stage underwater and lighting it with strobes.
For Minemizu, the wide variety of shapes and colors of the world’s smallest sea animals exemplify “life in its perfect status.”
Jewels in the Night Sea is accompanied by a photo book published by Nikkei National Geographic. Prints are also available for purchase.
Jewels in the Night Sea
By Ryo Minemizu
Canon Gallery Ginza Tokyo, August 20-29, 2018
Canon Gallery Nagoya, September 6-12, 2018
Canon Gallery Osaka, September 20-26, 2018
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