Compass at Porth y Rhaw

Compass jellyfish in blue sea, just off Porth y Rhaw, near Ninewells in St David’s.

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Compass jellies have been super-abundant this year (2022) The seas around St David’s have been awash with these mysterious ethereal individuals. This – the bell-shaped medusa – is the adult stage of a life cycle that begins with free-swimming larvae, which eventually attach themselves to the underside of a projecting surface (usually a rock). Here, they develop into a tiny branching tree called a polyp. In response to environmental conditions (the warmer water of early summer), polyps bud and ‘pop’, releasing a stack of tiny baby jellies that have been said resemble the tiny toothed cogs of an old watch. In turn, these tiny ephyrae grow into delicate, easy damaged adults that with luck will live long enough to spawn the next generation.

Print: 20 x 30cms. Mount: 30 x 40cms to fit a standard-sized frame. Printed at 300ppi on 308gsm Hahnemuhle digital fine art paper with pigment inks for longevity.

Maggie Studholme

I have been in Pembrokeshire for a few years, moving here from Gloucestershire via Liverpool in the Autumn of 2017. I came to photography seriously around 2009, in the interstices of a busy life. Between university teaching and lone parenting, walks with my camera were a form of relaxation that quickly became an obsession. I have had no formal tuition in photography, but in no sense claim to be self-taught. I have learned from books and from the advice and critique of an online community of photographers, as well as by returning to subjects – over and over – to take the shot again if the results don’t match my aspirations. From 2011, with cataracts in both eyes, I could see the world more clearly through the viewfinder and my camera became a constant companion. Several years on, I still point it at everything and anything even though my cataracts have been fixed. Taking photos in wild and unspoilt places gives me time and space to be still, and to see up-close and in detail the phenomenal beauty of the natural world. I have kept the habit of returning many times to a subject to get a shot. It makes me happy when people enjoy my photos.

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