Culture, Features

Down Under: Keith Ellenbogen’s Life Aquatic

Our splaces in NYC transform into a canvas upon which fascinating encounters and experiences materialize. Sometimes they transcend beyond the physical space and take us to unexpected realms. This Friday, Fulbright NY hosted an invite-only Salon in a beautiful SoHo based loft with this year’s Alumnus-in-Residence Keith Ellenbogen and his collaborator, Dr. Merry Camhi. They discussed their current project, which raises awareness to New York’s underwater life, aiming to show the vibrant density of life we tend to never consider.

Our magazine is delighted to feature Ellenbogen’s work, with images taken as part of his U.S. Fulbright Fellowship in 2006-07 in Malaysia.

To inspire your way into the gray December weather, here are some moments he captured while most of us were absorbed in our urban concrete jungle:

At a depth of 55 ft, the tube from which these two tufts of tentacles spiral is just 1 cm in diameter. The great number of tentacles provide a large surface area for filter feeding and respiration. Protula magnifica uses its radiole to filter out small drifting organisms, which it directs toward its mouth, located at the center of the crown. When it is disturbed, it can quickly pull in its radiole into the tube

At a depth of 55 ft, the tube from which these two tufts of tentacles spiral is just 1 cm in diameter. The great number of tentacles provide a large surface area for filter feeding and respiration.
Protula magnifica uses its radiole to filter out small drifting organisms, which it directs toward its mouth, located at the center of the crown. When it is disturbed, it can quickly pull in its radiole into the tube

Within the beautiful and vibrant turquoise colored water an adult Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) slowly swims over healthy coral reef seascape covered with hard and stony corals; Sipadan Island, Malaysia. Green Sea Turtles are listed by IUCN and CITES as an endangered species.

Within the beautiful and vibrant turquoise colored water an adult Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) slowly swims over healthy coral reef seascape covered with hard and stony corals; Sipadan Island, Malaysia.
Green Sea Turtles are listed by IUCN and CITES as an endangered species.

These women are referred to as ‘Sea Gypsies’ or Bajau Laut — a group of nomadic sea faring people who spend their entire lives on small boats off the remote islands surrounding Southeast Asia. Their culture and traditions are intricately connected with the marine environment and the challenges of adapting to a rapidly changing world.

These women are referred to as ‘Sea Gypsies’ or Bajau Laut — a group of nomadic sea faring people who spend their entire lives on small boats off the remote islands surrounding Southeast Asia. Their culture and traditions are intricately connected with the marine environment and the challenges of adapting to a rapidly changing world.

A close-up view of a slow moving Common Lionfish (Pterois Volitans) within the coral reefs of Raja Ampat, Indonesia. Lionfish have long, delicate, "feather-like," reddish-brown pectoral fins and venomous spiky fin rays. Lionfish are native to the Indo-Pacific region. Environmental Threats: Within the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea the Lionfish are an invasive species.

A close-up view of a slow moving Common Lionfish (Pterois Volitans) within the coral reefs of Raja Ampat, Indonesia. Lionfish have long, delicate, “feather-like,” reddish-brown pectoral fins and venomous spiky fin rays. Lionfish are native to the Indo-Pacific region.
Environmental Threats: Within the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea the Lionfish are an invasive species.

With its tail curled around the branch of the sea fan, Hippocampus denise has mastered the art of camouflage by imitating the light orange color, and smooth texture of the gorgonian sea fan it in habitats (Acanthogorgia sp.) and (Annella sp.). This species of gorgonian sea fans have the ability to fully retract their coral polyps. Hippocampus denise is extremely small (1.5 cm) and difficult to find within the branches of the sea fan.

With its tail curled around the branch of the sea fan, Hippocampus denise has mastered the art of camouflage by imitating the light orange color, and smooth texture of the gorgonian sea fan it in habitats (Acanthogorgia sp.) and (Annella sp.). This species of gorgonian sea fans have the ability to fully retract their coral polyps.
Hippocampus denise is extremely small (1.5 cm) and difficult to find within the branches of the sea fan.

Keith Ellenbogen is also a Senior Fellow with The International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP), a Fellow with the Explorers Club, and an Assistant Professor of Photography at FIT/SUNY.