Home > Animals, Jellyfish, Nature, Seascapes, Wildlife > Go with the Flow.

Go with the Flow.

Downward Spiral, Chicago, IL 2006                          Natural Design, Monterey, CA 2004

In 2004 I visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. One of the most compelling features of this living shrine to marine life was the magnificent jellyfish tank with floor to ceiling glass panels. The Pacific Nettle jellies undulated around the tank with mesmerizing grace and beauty. I was immediately struck by the artistic nature of the species’ form. I set out to capture an intimate portrait of a single jelly by freezing it’s motion, a difficult task considering the low light and constant movement.

This was to be the first of many such portraits. In addition to finding animals to photograph during landscape shoots, I routinely find the closest aquarium that houses jellyfish. The Shedd in Chicago, the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta and the Newport in Louisville, KY, just to name a few.

Images from this ongoing series, which is entitled FLOW, have been exhibited in numerous Gallery Exhibitions throughout the United States and have appeared in publications such as COLOR Magazine and Silvershotz Fine Art Journal, Brisbane/London. Recently one of my jellyfish portraits was featured in PDN’s Photo of the Day, to correspond with the opening of an exhibition at Camera Obscura Gallery in Denver, CO.  http://bit.ly/fLvuaf

  1. April 8, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I think this is the first time I have heard the jellyfish described with words like “grace and beauty”. Great shots!

  2. April 8, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Those are very beautiful…even though they scare me when we swim together.

  3. April 8, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Stunning photo’s. They certainly are graceful until they sting you. 😉 Congrats on Freshly Pressed.

    • April 10, 2011 at 4:25 pm

      Graceful, yet dangerous…great combination. FP has provided significant exposure to the work. Thanks.

  4. April 8, 2011 at 9:59 am

    There is something so peaceful and mesmerizing about jellyfish — or at least as presented in that exhibit. I’ve seen it too, and my children and I just stood there, transfixed, for what seemed like an eternity!

    GREAT shots — thanks for the trip down memory lane!


  5. April 8, 2011 at 10:05 am

    I was here a couple months ago – such a beautiful set of displays! Great work with the photos and the blog!

  6. April 8, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Beautiful shots! Glad to see you on Freshly Pressed and getting other recognition too.

  7. April 8, 2011 at 10:20 am

    I would not want to touch those things 🙂 You have some really nice photos of them!

  8. April 8, 2011 at 10:21 am


  9. April 8, 2011 at 10:49 am

    It was very nice to see a very familiar picture on Freshly Pressed. I live in California and visit The Monterey Aquarium at least twice a year, I think one year I took my niece and nephew six times. The Jelly Fish are always a favorite. They have a new exhibit featuring sea horses, it’s definitely worth the trip.

  10. April 8, 2011 at 11:33 am

    What incredible images! The first one, when I saw the thumbnail, looked like a pirate ship floating through the sky.

    Congrats on being freshly pressed!

    • April 10, 2011 at 4:36 pm

      That’s why the Beauty of Art is in the Eye of the Beholder. Thanks, FP has been outstanding.

  11. April 8, 2011 at 11:41 am

    I think that aquariums are one of the best places to take pictures. I always get great shots in them.

  12. April 8, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Hiya! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    I’ve been to the Monterey Aquarium and felt the same way. That display truly took my breath away. I could have spent all day just standing with the jellyfish, watching their gentle maneuovres and sweeping motions.

    And the seahorse exhibit is amazing too!! So incredible to see those tiny creatures up close like that.

    Thanks for bringing back great memories and posting such lovely pictures.

    Drive on,
    – M.

    • April 10, 2011 at 4:39 pm

      Thank you, FP has been great. All the great descriptions of the Aquarium make me want to return.

  13. April 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    jelly fish are so fascinating. cool pics, congrats on freshly pressed!

  14. artbychiana
    April 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Incredible photos!

  15. April 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Great photo. What it would feel like to be a jelly fish.

  16. The Compulsive Writer
    April 8, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    These are really really awesome photos. But, am I the only one that gets hungry looking at them? They remind me of the shrimp tempura rolls I just read about.:)

    Great blog site too btw.

    • April 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm

      Thanks for the comments on the Blog, more to come. I hope I am not thinking of Sushi next time I’m shooting for this series:)

  17. April 8, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Beautiful captures…I love jellyfish. And great photography. 😀 (The Shedd is going to be starting an exhibition on them soon, I hear.)

    • April 10, 2011 at 4:48 pm

      Thank you. The Shedd is a great Aquarium. Terrific nightime view of Chicago from across the water as well.

  18. April 8, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    How stunningly gorgeous! I was recently in Miami for a weekend at the beach and found myself taking photos of the MANY jellyfish that had washed up on shore. It was so beautiful the way they interacted with light.

    Congrats on being freshly pressed!


  19. April 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    beautiful! jellyfish are the most fun to photograph at aquariums. they’re always so wonderfully lit and the shapes they create swimming around are always so interesting.

  20. April 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    great images. Thanks for sharing!!



  21. April 8, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Oh My!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Those pics are GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t believe how beautiful they are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. April 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Amazing. Must have been a fairly difficult capture, as well, based on most jellyfish tanks I’ve seen.

    • April 10, 2011 at 4:54 pm

      Absolutely, very difficult. The lighting varies as each location. With the constant movement and usually low lighting, it has become an unpredictable science. Significant effort goes into each one. Thanks.

  23. April 8, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Absolutely stunning. Thank you.

  24. April 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    I recently visited Monterey Bay Aquarium, and took some pictures of the jellies, (not nearly as great as yours), but their exhibit is really neat.
    Congrats on FP!


  25. April 8, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Wow those are some really great pictures. The one on the left didn’t look at all like a jelly fish to me at first. Almost like a basket with a little tree in it lol.

    These are some great shots though. I always felt that jellyfish were both weird and cool and the same time.

    I remember about a month ago I read that jellyfish have no respiratory system, instead they use their entire bodies to breathe. I don’t know how true that is but I find it fascinating.

    Great Pics Barry

    • April 10, 2011 at 5:20 pm

      You are correct, they do not have a respiratory system because their skin easily defuses oxygen in and out of their body. No brains either, maybe that is the answer to lasting for hundreds of millions of years:) Thank you Mr.FB, more to come.

  26. April 8, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Stunning…thanks for sharing.

  27. April 8, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Oh, nice! I do believe I’m going down to the Long Beach Aquarium with my new camera to take some awesome desktop wallpaper shots myself! Thanks for the excellent idea!

  28. April 8, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    It’s amazing how beautiful these creatures are. I only ever see them washed up on the shore or from above on a boat. They are magnificent in their element, thanks for posting these!

    • April 10, 2011 at 5:28 pm

      My pleasure, look for a couple more on Monday’s post. They also look amazing lined up on a Gallery wall.

  29. April 8, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    this is nice, lovely photos 🙂

  30. Danielle C
    April 8, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    These photos are absolutely beautiful. I think people have a hard time realizing that art is everywhere. In the sea creatures that swim below us, in the sky as the clouds take shape. The camera you were using must have been a high quality because when I have taken pictures through the glass of a tank, they turn out pretty blurry. I loo forward to seeing more of your photos!

    • April 10, 2011 at 5:35 pm

      Thank you very much for appreciating the process. My equipment has improved over time, as has my technique. Even today, it is a difficult process which depends on the location. More to come on Monday. Also, your appreciation for the existence of Art in everyday life is refreshing. I try to capture that in all of my work. Thanks.

  31. shanmala
    April 8, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    amazing pictures!

  32. April 8, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Beautiful pictures! There is something mesmerizing about jellyfish. I’ve always been so intrigued by them. Thanks for sharing!

  33. April 8, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Wow – those are incredible pictures! Wish I had your skill or artistic ability . . .

    • April 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm

      I’ve been doing it for a long time, always learning and with intense passion. I appreciate the appreciation.

  34. JJ
    April 8, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    I absolutely love the pictures. Great job.

  35. April 9, 2011 at 6:13 am

    Indeed fantastic picture

    Thanks for sharing

  36. April 9, 2011 at 6:15 am

    nice post my dear
    I like your every pictures It’s really very nice dear
    thanks for the sharing it’s very natural photos

  37. April 9, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Nice Photos! Congrats on being FP!

  38. Kas
    April 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Beautiful photos! I’ve never been to the Georgia Aquarium but I’ve heard that it’s just stunning. Looking forward to following your blog!


    • April 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm

      It is an amazing Aquarium. They also have two Whale Sharks, the largest fish in the world, in one huge tank. Definitely a must-see when in Atlanta. Thank you very much for following.

  39. April 9, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Awesome photos

  40. nylacrystal
    April 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I LOVE jellyfish and can watch them for hours. Such beautiful creatures. Gorgeous pics. Thanks for sharing them.

  41. stylistnc
    April 9, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Beautiful and colorful. Great pics.

  42. Modern Funk
    April 9, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    You are an extremely skilled photographer…I’ve never seen shots like that before. Beautiful work!

    • April 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm

      Many thanks for the kind words. It is my passion and I will continue to show work from various series, so stay posted.

  43. April 9, 2011 at 8:40 pm


  44. April 9, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Words simply cannot describe your stunning work! I also checked out the awesome shots you took at Yellowstone. It’s so nice to see animals in their natural environment! I just posted my first blog about some of the environmental issues facing us here in Florida. I hope you get a chance to stop by.

    • April 10, 2011 at 5:51 pm

      Thank you for your kind words. I did stop by and thank you for your efforts to help preserve the natural beauty and wildlife of Florida. More images of FL, Yellowstone and elsewhere to come.

  45. April 9, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    Beautiful in the water….icky on the sand. Amazing shots! Congrats!

  46. April 9, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    They are such elegant creatures, I love them and your photos are lovely

  47. April 10, 2011 at 12:38 am

    Ahhhh beautiful and serene. Amazing!!

  48. April 10, 2011 at 1:31 am

    That exhibit rocks! The lighting makes all the difference.

  49. April 10, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Beautiful images.

  50. April 10, 2011 at 2:48 am

    Such beautiful works of nature.

  51. April 10, 2011 at 2:53 am

    As I read this post, I’m actually looking at the glass jellyfish sun-catcher that I got from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. What a gorgeous facility, and your photos are stunning!

  52. April 10, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Amazing shots…and through thick glass, too.

  53. April 10, 2011 at 7:19 am

    WOW..GREAT SHOT!!! Keren banget!!!

  54. Kim
    April 10, 2011 at 7:25 am

    Jellyfish are so beautiful!!!

  55. April 10, 2011 at 8:13 am

    This post reminded me of a poem called ” A Jellyfish” by Marianne Moore I had to study in my literature classes…and the picture is the added flavour…i loved it!!! 🙂

  56. April 10, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Thanks for the share the photos are amazing.

  57. April 10, 2011 at 11:24 am

    These are brilliant. You’ve captured both the vibrant colors and the movement in such a graceful fashion. The Long Beach Aquarium also has a fine jellyfish exhibit if you get the change to see it.

  58. April 10, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    oh they are just stunning photos. I love the etheral gradeful beauty of jellyfish. They are such …alien creatures.

  59. April 10, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Great photos of these mysterious jellyfish, they are one of the most beautiful creatures of the sea, amazing!

    • April 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm

      That is why I became hooked on producing this series. Since they have been so popular, I will post a couple more tomorrow. Thank you.

  60. April 10, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Beautiful images! “Natural Design” is stunning, and strangely reminiscent of Alison Jardine’s abstract oil painting “Interference”, which was on NotCot a few days ago:


    • April 10, 2011 at 10:20 pm

      I see the linear resemblance. Thank you very much for your kind words.

      • April 10, 2011 at 10:33 pm

        The linear forms, but also the color palette. Your colors are exquisite. Do you adjust them with filters or post-processing, or are they all natural to the jellyfish themselves?

  61. thefreethinker
    April 10, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    I love the photographs! Nice work!

  62. April 10, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Lucid colors; very pleasant to look at.

  63. kokay
    April 10, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    ah, I’ve seen some jellyfish exhibit, I believe it was called “genius bar” where jellyfish are inside tank aquarium where colors change in the tune of classical music (yeah, like a jellyfish disco scene playing chopin’s symphonies). Really dizzying and hypnotic experience. I was like stung when I got out. It was like hallucinating. I wouldn’t say it was an unpleasant experience but it was magically weird!

  64. April 10, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Wow… Nice colors and nice shot!

  65. April 10, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Such a good technique you have. I wish could be like you.!

  66. April 10, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    WOW! Incredibly beautiful.

  67. April 11, 2011 at 1:13 am

    Nice shot, something that can be deadly but looking beautiful..

  68. April 11, 2011 at 3:06 am

    My pleasure, the descriptions have brought back my own memories, thanks.

  69. April 11, 2011 at 4:16 am

    Amazing pictures.

  70. April 11, 2011 at 5:13 am

    Love your work… Kudos on FP

  71. April 11, 2011 at 5:58 am

    Great idea on your photo series of jellyfish. I saw the jellyfish exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and more recently at a temporary exhibit at the Baltimore Aquarium. I was amazed watching these creatures move. These exhibits shifted my perception from disgust about the creatures stinging me when I’m in the ocean to wonder about their color, structure, and movement. Great job capturing these two photos — and congrats on your gallery exhibits and other journal/magazine inclusions.

  72. April 11, 2011 at 6:32 am

    How cool! Like some space-age hot air balloons!

  73. vanimator
    April 11, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Really majestic creatures.
    And wonderful photography too.


  74. April 11, 2011 at 8:59 am

    I lived in Monterey for 3 years–going to the Aquarium all the time was a major perk of living there (I always kept an annual pass). The Jellies exhibit was new back then and they totally fascinated me! There is something so incredibly relaxing about watching jellyfish move slowly and gracefully around their habitat…it’s almost like music.

  75. April 11, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Fabulous pictures, outstanding quality and congrats on FP 🙂

    • April 14, 2011 at 1:37 am

      Thank you. FP led to other sites picking up the work leading to some 7,000 new visits. Quite amazing.

  76. April 12, 2011 at 2:39 am

    I would not want to touch those things 🙂 You have some really nice photos of them!

  77. adrianduque89
    April 13, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Amazing photos

  78. April 13, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Those are very beautiful

  79. April 14, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I kind of have a jellyfish phobia, but they clearly make awesome photo subjects. Just, you know… keep them behind the glass. Because I am afraid for my life. 😀

  80. April 14, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    For my series: FLOW, they are definitely behind the glass:)

    You can see less phobia inducing images at my web site: http://www.barrystevengreff.com and by connecting at FB: http://on.fb.me/dFOCUU and Twitter: @barrygreff

    Thanks for stopping by.

    • April 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm

      Cool, thanks Barry! I’m having a great time looking at your facebook photos… your website link isn’t working for me, though… it’s taking me to a placeholder site. Thought you might like to know. 🙂

      • April 14, 2011 at 5:53 pm

        I checked the link after I replied to you and did see that it was not working. I just had it fixed, I hope you return and enjoy the additional work. Thanks.

  81. April 20, 2011 at 6:03 am

    Thanks Rufus, the recognition is greatly appreciated

  82. April 21, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Thank you Toyota, Thailand.

  83. April 22, 2011 at 5:10 am

    These photos are absolutely beautiful. I think people have a hard time realizing that art is everywhere. In the sea creatures that swim below us, in the sky as the clouds take shape. The camera you were using must have been a high quality because when I have taken pictures through the glass of a tank, they turn out pretty blurry. I loo forward to seeing more of your photos!

  84. April 22, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Thank you, I appreciate that you also realize that Art can be anywhere. Today I posted a 3 minute multimedia presentation entitled “Mother Earth” featuring many of my iconic sea and landscapes set to a beautiful piece of music. Please stop by at: http://bit.ly/dJnv0o and join me at FB at: http://on.fb.me/dFOCUU

  85. April 26, 2011 at 6:22 am

    It is an amazing Aquarium. They also have two Whale Sharks, the largest fish in the world, in one huge tank. Definitely a must-see when in Atlanta. Thank you very much for following.

  86. June 3, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    You are welcome. Thank you for viewing my photography.

  87. December 14, 2011 at 1:45 am

    I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as Im looking to create my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. thanks a lot

    • December 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm

      Thank you very much. I designed it together with Alison Zavos who has a link on my Blog Roll. She is great to work with and very reasonable. Tell her I sent you.

  88. March 27, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Hi Barry, great photo. Thank you for sharing it!!

  1. April 8, 2011 at 12:50 pm
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