Aaron Ansarov and the Siphonophores
Aaron Ansarov started photographing washed up jellyfish as part of his My Backyard series, a project he started with his son, looking for photographic inspiration close to home in Delray Beach, Florida. “Portuguese man-of-wars are not jellyfish, they’re siphonophores, which mean’s they’re actually a group of organisms, called zooids, who depend on each other to live,” Ansarov has said. The collection of Zooids has taken on a life its own and have spread around the Web like crazy. It’s easy to see why, the images are intriguing.
To photograph these fascinating creatures, Aaron uses a light table, lit up by an Elinchrom Ranger RX pack and triggered by a PocketWizard Plus III. He says he got his hands on the Plus III’s right before starting the Zooids project and that “their low profile and light weight make them very easy to work with.”
From there, Aaron brings the photos into Photoshop where he copies, pastes, and flips them to create a mirrored effect. He feels that by creating symmetry with his images, he makes these alien creatures seem more recognizable. People have seen all sorts of things in his images, from angels to demons to aliens.
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