The ‘planktonium’ offers a fascinating microscopic view of the smallest organisms in the ocean

Short film: “Planktonium” offers a fascinating microscopic view of the smallest organisms in the ocean

By Ian Bongso-Seldrup, November 18, 2021 at 9:00 p.m. EST
Source: DPReview

Tunic larva (Oikopleuridae)

This one is for all Blackwater photographers. Meet Jan van Ijken, a Dutch photographer and filmmaker who turned his passion for plankton – the tiny “vagabonds” of the ocean – into a fascinating short film, Planktonium.

“Beneath the water surface of every pond or ditch lies an invisible world of tiny invisible creatures. They seem to come from another planet, with their bizarre shapes and complex structures. The film is a journey into an unknown universe inhabited by alien-like creatures, ”van Ijken said in his director’s statement. “Since I discovered plankton, I have become addicted to it. Every time I go out with my plankton net, I’m curious about what I’m going to find and I’m always amazed by my finds. Every sea, ditch and lake has its own biotope and there are also big differences between seasons.

In the short version of Planktonium (below), which is accompanied by a sound composition by Norwegian artist Jana Winderen, van Ijken offers a taste of the full 15-minute 4K version (available to rent or buy to stream) . Also be sure to check out his stunning photomicrograph series that is part of the project.

“Planktonium” (short version)

Water fleas (Chydorus sphaericus) carrying eggs

Ophiopluteus larva of a brittle stars

Heliozoan

Pleurosigma diatoms from Dutch Wadden Sea mud


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