The rainbow jellyfish

Pelagia noctiluca | (Forssk√•l, 1775) 

Top of Page" It was the winter of 2023, I was alone in the deep blue, the water was cold and the time at the -3m level was long (15 minutes), each second passed counted hours for me, suddenly a jellyfish appears out of nowhere, “oof!” finally some company! “. I started to photograph it but I didn’t want to have just any photo, I wanted to have a special photo, an original photo... so I started looking for the ideal position of the jellyfish in relation to the sun’s rays, everything changing the angle several times, I did at least thirty shots, until the end of the decompression. Once I started viewing the photos at the processing station, it was the big surprise; a rainbow-colored jellyfish!!! never seen before, the magic has worked, and the photo is simply extraordinary!

 

Born in 1978 and originally from Jijel, a charming little town in the North East of Algeria, I had the opportunity to discover the joys of the sea from a very young age. In fact, I did my first internship scuba diving in 2003. In 2008, some diving friends and myself established the scuba diving club "MANTA RAY. I have been serving as its president to this day. In 2015, I became a CMAS level 1 diving instructor. In 2018, I received one of the greatest gifts of my life: a pro compact camera (Canon G15). I then learned the basic rules of photography and the different adjustment techniques. The year 2019 marked the start of my evolution from beginner to semi-professional underwater photographer. Thanks to wonderful, friendly and inspiring encounters, I improved my skills in artistic underwater photography. My credo is the presentation of underwater animals in their natural environment, without causing them stress, while respecting their way of life. My underwater photography technique is improving through perseverance and multiple dives. I then signed up for various online underwater photography competitions. To my great surprise, I won a few prizes, which, in all humility, brought me a lot of pride. In December 2021, I won first prize in the photo competition of biodiversity in Algeria (among 115 photographers). The French Development Agency AFD (Embrassade de France en Algeria organized this competition).

In order to introduce the general public to the rich biodiversity of the seabed of the Algerian coast, I decided in 2020 to open my own Facebook page, called FATES Yacine Photography, from its creation I received a lot of feedback from many followers, their numbers continue to increase, now there are more than ten thousand following my publications around the world.

I dedicate this page to lovers of underwater fauna, which I strive to magnify through my eye as an underwater photographer, as well as lovers of artistic photos.

Whether you are a scientist, a sea lover or a simple visitor, I hope you will enjoy discovering my images and appreciate the beauty of the Mediterranean and its marine creatures. I am delighted to present them to you. If you appreciate my work, please share it.

 
CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE
 

The great CHAPON of the Kabyle bench

Linnaeus, 1758

I remember well this scorpionfish that I came across at the ‘’banc des KABYLES’’ at -20m depth, it was gigantic and as always, very well camouflaged and immobile, but when you are a photographer, it is impossible to move on to side without seeing it! Knowing that the scorpionfish trusts its camouflage and sometimes remains motionless even when you approach within a few centimeters. It then simply raises its dorsal fin with a series of venomous spines. This species is, because of its size, the most impressive Mediterranean scorpionfish. It is easy for divers to approach, so they know it well.

 

Fireworks at the Salamandre

Flabellina affinis | (Gmelin, 1791)

It’s always a pleasure to come across sea slugs underwater but meeting a purple flabelline is a highlight, a unique moment because this species is simply magnificent...The larger its size, the more we appreciate its beauty as the case of this little marvel that I came across at the site called: Salamandre, it was well over 5 cm. At first I thought there were two flabelline mating but as I got closer, I realized it was just one, I spent at least a good fifteen minutes photograph her because I knew that it’s not every day that you come across a flabelline of that size! I will never forget this brief moment I spent with this extraordinary beauty.

 

The Blue Garden

This photo is considered one of the best photos I have taken since I started practicing underwater photography. It was in 2021 at the site called ‘Ras EL-Afia Lighthouse’ (Jijel) in the heart of the TAZA marine protected area in Jijel, I took it at a depth of -51m, defying narcosis and all risks that we can have when we dive in the area and exceed -40 meters. The photo shows a giant Axinella, on which a gorgonian whale is attached, forming a bouquet of very rare beauty...around which we can see several gorgonians of different colors, which gives the impression of evolving in a large garden aquatic, thus showing the rich biodiversity of the seabed of the TAZA reserve (Jijel). And this is the reason why I chose this photo to participate in the photography competition “Algeria and its Biodiversity”, organized by the French Development Agency in Algeria, on the occasion of the celebration of the 80th anniversary of the AFD. And I did very well! because this photo that I named “Blue Garden” was designated as the winning photograph by a professional selection jury. It was presented on December 9, 2021 at the French Institute of Algiers for an exhibition dedicated to Algerian biodiversity, which continued at the French Institute of Algiers until December 16, 2021. The other French institutes of Algeria (Tlemcen, Annaba, Constantine, Oran) also exhibited it later. The AFD gave me a book of photographs offered by the French Conservatory of the Coast and produced a box in which my photo appeared.

 

Journey into the abyss

NEOTIMA (neotima lucullana)

Great encounter with an incredible species!!! When I saw him next to me (probably attracted by the light of my headlight) I felt like I was floating in the abyss. She stayed for two minutes and then she left... she was so beautiful and so fragile, a real gem.

 

Beautiful

Serpula vermicularis | Linnaeus, 1767

The serpula is a sedentary, tube-dwelling worm, which can reach around ten centimeters on average, often smaller (7 cm long). It produces a rigid limestone tube. This limestone tube, approximately 5 mm in diameter, 10 cm long, more or less tortuous, displaying a white, sometimes pink color, which can be spiraled, plays a protective role. The color of the plume is variable, often pinkish or reddish. This plume can be partially ringed or striped with white or even be completed with light patterns.

 

The alien from the deep

Astrospartus mediterraneus | (Risso, 1826)

It was in 2020 at -40m depth in the bay of TAZA (Jijel) that I encountered for the first time this strange creature, straight out of a science fiction film, the famous ‘gorgonocephalus’. or Medusa head (Astrospartus mediterraneus) and it was the only time I came across a gorgonocephae with fully extended arms because it generally deploys them at night, in the dark and perpendicular to the current, although it was a dive day, luck!!!

Knowing that this monster of the seas forms a cluster, a gray lace formed of ten filiform arms whose ends cling to their support. These arms are used to capture suspended particles and their winding is similar to animated hair. Its size can vary from 6 to 20 cm closed and up to 80 cm deployed.

 

The Queen of the Mediterranean

Felimare picta | (Philippi, 1836)

It was at the very end of the dive (there were barely 50 bars left in my tank) at only 0.5m depth that I came across this little gem, probably the most beautiful Giant sea slug that I have ever encountered on the screen,

I spent a good fifteen minutes photographing her and before leaving her alone; she tilted her head and gave me this look that no one could know her message. For me, it was a pretty pose that will last forever!

 

Hypnosis

Salpa fusiformis | Cuvier, 1804

It’s always nice to come across these extraordinary species when decompressing. In fact, I met this colony of Salpe last September at a depth of -5m off the Ras EL-Afia Lighthouse (Jijel). This wonderful meeting allowed me not only to kill time to decompress but, above all, to take very nice photos! Although difficult to see when diving or in photos, nine muscular bands run through the body of this magnificent animal. These bands meet in the dorsal part and are interrupted in the ventral part. This particularity associated with the position of the nucleus makes it possible to orient the animal and define the front, back, top and bottom. Thus, the muscle bands are numbered I to IX from front to back. Bands I, II and III merge dorsally, as do bands VIII and IX. The others are independent. The anterior and posterior muscles contract alternately, thus allowing the animal to move and the circulation of a current of water within it. This current takes part in the respiratory and nutritional functions of the salp.

 

HERVIA

Cratena peregrina | (Gmelin, 1791)

The hervia is recognizable by its whitish color, measuring 3 to 5 cm, with dorsal papillae arranged in 8 to 10 bouquets in orange to purple colors. It also has orange spots on the ocular areas (eyes) and the “antennae” (rhinophores). With its “tongue” (the radula), the basking slug grazes on the hydroids on which it attaches (notably the genus Eudendrium). According to studies, the hydroids having consumed the most zooplankton are preferentially chosen by the slug, compared to other polyps. By feeding on cnidarians, this mollusk accumulates stinging cells, which it uses in the event of attack through these dorsal papillae.

 

Biodiversity in the Mediterranean

This photo, which closely resembles a Walt Disney drawing, was taken in August of the current year 2023, at a depth of -7m at the Ras EL-Afia Lighthouse (Jijel): In the foreground of the photo, we see a beautiful starfish in the middle of a Posidonia herbarium, in the background, there are Girelles and sea bream, typically Mediterranean fish, creating a beautiful atmosphere which is really a pleasure to watch!

 
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