Speeding Squid

Songda Cai's Image

Floating in the dark sea during his night dive, Songda waited for something interesting to photograph. Then he spotted this diamondback squid. Using his underwater lighting, Songda revealed the squid’s head and the membranous fringes of its suckered arms. A long exposure allowed the passing animal to paint its own path across the frame.

Diamondback squid are normally slow movers, gliding unhurriedly through the water. But they can also produce a burst of jet-propulsion speed by contracting the soft, muscular cavity around their body – the mantle – and forcing water out through a funnel. They can then direct the jet by moving the funnel, accelerating towards prey or away from predators.

Behind the lens

Songda Cai

Songda Cai


An interest in exploration from a young age led Songda to pursue black-water photography. He has since won numerous awards in international photography competitions and has been published in many renowned magazines. For Songda, being able to explore the ocean is one of the most wonderful experiences in life, and he hopes to show its unique beauty through his work.

Image details

  • Nikon D850
  • 60mm f2.8 lens
  • 1/5 sec at f20  •   ISO 400  •   Seacam housing  •   Seaflash 150D strobes  •   Scubalamp lights
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