One of my favourite ways to enjoy nature is by exploring under the surface. Our blue planet has always mesmerised me. However, it was only after I got into paddle boarding and invested in an underwater camera that I really began to explore into the blue. Now, delving into the depths has become one of my most favourite experiences. As the month of June rolls in, so does jellyfish season, and I find myself eagerly anticipating the opportunity to photograph these mesmerising creatures. In this blog, I'll be shedding light on the beauty of jellyfish and let you in on my top tips on how to safely observe and capture their magnificence.

To me jellies are one of the most beautiful creatures to photograph

There are five main species of jellyfish regularly seen in the UK: the Compass, Moon, Lion’s Mane, Barrel and Blue.

Jellyfish often get a bad rap, so I’m here to share what makes them great with some hints and tips about how to see and photograph them safely during jellyfish season.

  1. Hint, lycra will protect you. So lycra up! It will also help to keep you safe from the sun so you can stay in the water for longer. I wear a rash vest which is SPF50 alongside neoprene gloves and boots.
  2. Jellyfish don’t move quickly like other aquatic creatures, it’s almost meditative to watch them. I often find I slip into hyperfocus when I do and before I know it, an hour or more has passed. My camera battery running out is the signal it is time to get out of the water - ha!
  3. You don’t need a fancy snorkel set to see them goggles will suffice, just hold your breath.
  4. Be mindful of the tendrils, that can stretch for a really long distance from the medusa of the jellyfish. All jellyfish sting but we don’t always feel it. You don’t want to be stung by a Compass or Lionsmane jellyfish, they’re the worst!
  5. Wade in so you can see them from the surface first and how they move in the water (and where their tendrils are). You can capture their magic by shooting below the surface without putting your face in, and you can still be standing up.
  6. Join local coastal groups on social media to see if there have been any sightings (a mega bloom is my dream).
  7. Don’t touch them or try to move them, they’re fragile.
  8. Take a UV light. Anemones and Moon jellyfish glow under UV rays so this is a magical way to see these beauties in the dark.
How to stay safe during jellyfish season: Image shows a jellyfish underwater at Walpole Bay Tidal Pool

If you’re interested in exploring beneath the surface, check out what I’ve got in my underwater kit...

My Jellyfish Kit:

  • Lycra for full body coverage, including gloves and boots
  • Waterproof bumbag
  • Waterproof phone case
  • GoPro or camera in underwater housing
  • UV light

Don’t forget to give your kit longevity by washing off the salt water, if you don’t, it reduces the sustainability of the product.

Want to learn more about underwater photography? Head here!

Click here to view my underwater gallery or to purchase my jellyfish prints, head to my shop. They really are incredible.

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