Washed Up…

Washed Up…

Summer seems to be pushing on right through autumn this year. The warm weather and clear water is certainly a blessing given the surf has been tiny. I’ve been spending a bit of time collecting interesting things that have washed up along the beach from crab shells to bluebottles and barnacles, these creatures rarely rate a second look most of the time. However if you take the time to (carefully) bring them back to an environment where they can be kept alive and photographed the results can be incredible…

Enjoy your day,
Joel Coleman…

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These are pelagic gooseneck barnacles.
I found the colony washed up on the beach,
1000’s of barnacles and many other creatures,
including an awesome little crab.
They’ve built their home on a plastic bottle.
This plastic is breaking up
and becoming part of the food chain.
Wake up people, the plastic age must end.



Physalia utriculus, also called blue bottle or Indo-Pacific Portuguese man-of-war, is a marine hydrozoan of the order Siphonophora found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. A gas-filled bladder allows it to float on the surface, propelled by currents, tides, and by a sail at the top of the bladder. A single long tentacle of venomous cnidocytes, hanging below the float, provides the animal with a means of capturing prey.


They hurt like heck when they touch your skin, but you have to admit, they are one beautiful creature.

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Nudibranchs are a group of soft-bodied, marine gastropod molluscs. They are noted for their often extraordinary colours and striking forms. This one is a Glaucus Atlanticus about 35-40 mm long that I found washed up on the beach tide line. After photographing this little critter, I put him back in the sea…

If you go sifting through the rockpools of your local beach you will often find what look like dead crabs. What you are actually seeing is the exoskeleton, or ‘shed shell’ of the crustacean as it has moulted and grown. To find a complete, undamaged shell is quite rare, but this little guy was perfect so I took him back to the studio and did some very detailed close up photography of these incredibly intricate and beautiful creatures.

I’ll end this post with a few underwater photographs from around the Northern Beaches. The water has been warm, clear and very inviting… In fact I think I am going to go for another swim right now..

  • tom-paul jagg
    Posted at 02:04h, 12 April Reply

    Joel, Once again mate, FantasTic work.
    More people should be one with nature.
    Peace out, tp

    • Joel Coleman
      Posted at 22:18h, 12 April Reply

      Cheers Tom, you always have such positive feedback about my work and I am forever thankful for that,

  • Peter Matthews
    Posted at 04:33h, 12 April Reply

    Your work is outstanding Joel! The plastic bottle with the barnacles attached should be a billboard. And the macro of the barnacle tentacles is stunning!

    • Joel Coleman
      Posted at 22:15h, 12 April Reply

      Thanks Peter, I would love nothing more than a plastic pollution billboard! You’ve given me something to think about!

  • Sarah Smaje
    Posted at 04:54h, 12 April Reply

    Love it Joel! So beautiful :))

  • Annie Payne
    Posted at 06:46h, 12 April Reply

    Hi Joel
    Your photos are soothing and stimulating.
    Thank you so much for including me
    Annie Payne

    • Joel Coleman
      Posted at 22:14h, 12 April Reply

      Thanks for the kind words Annie,

  • Jenny Wilson
    Posted at 05:17h, 16 April Reply

    Some of my favourite shots you’ve taken so far – especially the blue bottles

    • Joel Coleman
      Posted at 05:26h, 16 April Reply

      Thanks Jenny, it’s a lot of fun putting these shots together.

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