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Ryo Minemizu’s Jewels in the Night Sea

Megalopa larva of Eplumula phalangium © Ryo Minemizu/ Canon Japan Marketing touring exhibition.

Plankton "symbolise how precious life is by their tiny existence," says Japanese photographer Ryo Minemizu, who has been photographing them for 20 years

“Plankton are intriguing and beautiful creatures,” says Japanese photographer Ryo Minemizu. “They symbolise how precious life is by their tiny existence.”

He’s been shooting plankton for 20 years, spending between two and eight hours underwater everyday recording the tiny creatures, which can be plants, animals, or other types of organism. Drifting in the ocean, unable to swim against the current, plankton are the most abundant life form on earth after bacteria, but measuring 2mm-40mm in size, are invisible to the naked eye. Minemizu has registered his own technique to photograph them, which he’s called Black Water Dive, and which involves setting a stage underwater using flashes and other forms of lighting.

At one time specialising in shooting for science journals, Minemizu decided to take his images to a wider public and in 2016 entered – and won – the Nikkei National Geographic Photo Award. His new series, Jewels in the Night Sea, is now going on show in the Canon Galleries in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka, and has also been published as a book.

www.ryo-minemizu.com Jewels in the Night Sea is on show at Canon Gallery Ginza Tokyo from 20-29 August, Canon Gallery Nagoya from 06-12 September, and Canon Gallery Osaka from 20-16 September. https://cweb.canon.jp/gallery/index.html Jewels in the Night Sea is published by Nikkei National Geographic and costs ¥2700 + tax in Japan.

The paddle of zoea larva of Lysmata © Ryo Minemizu/ Canon Japan Marketing touring exhibition.

The Paralepididae © Ryo Minemizu/ Canon Japan Marketing touring exhibition.

Larval fish of Dendrochirus © Ryo Minemizu/ Canon Japan Marketing touring exhibition.

Unknown a larval Gymnapogon © Ryo Minemizu/ Canon Japan Marketing touring exhibition.

Hyperiidea on Nausithoe jellyfish © Ryo Minemizu/ Canon Japan Marketing touring exhibition.

Batesian mimicry, larval fish of Soleichthys © Ryo Minemizu/ Canon Japan Marketing touring exhibition.

Megalopa larva of deepwater carrier crab © Ryo Minemizu/ Canon Japan Marketing touring exhibition.

Larval Tripod fish © Ryo Minemizu/ Canon Japan Marketing touring exhibition.

Larva of Pleurobranchaea © Ryo Minemizu/ Canon Japan Marketing touring exhibition.

Larval Barred soapfish © Ryo Minemizu/ Canon Japan Marketing touring exhibition.