Cloud of Tadpoles, Canada, 2012

On the memorable day of July 28th, I was “diving” in the swamp margin of Cedar Lake just north of Campbell River, British Columbia. This meter deep area of the lake is filled with Yellow Water Lily and Water-shield plants, as well as lots of logs and tree trunks. For an hour or so I was swimming around happily shooting abstract images of the reflections of the lily leaves in the underneath surface of the water.

While I was poking along through a gap in the stalks of the Water-shield plants caused by a fallen log I glanced to my right and saw a surprising sight. What looked like a cloud of locusts was coming towards me through the water. It was the beginnings of a group of tadpoles.

The leading edge of this swarm headed right towards me and then followed the same log I was using as a pathway. I quickly got my camera into action and started shooting. Little did I know that I would take a photo that day that would help define my photography path. The tadpoles kept streaming past me for what seemed like five minutes, in a column that resembled an army marching into battle. Eventually ending I followed them to their destination. This turned out to be a couple of tree stumps right at the edge of the lake shore where they started to feed on the algae growing there.

Later I found out that these were the tadpole stage of the Western Toad (Anaxyrus boreas). This is a boreal toad living in higher elevation forest areas. It comes down to sources of water to breed in spring.

Location: British Columbia, Canada
Photograph Date: 2012
Medium: Chromogenic Print
Edition: 200
Available Sizes: 70cm 100cm 150cm

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About the Photographer

Eiko Jones

While growing up in New Zealand, Eiko acquired his first SLR camera at the age of fourteen. He quickly discovered his passion for capturing images of animals, especially birds, in their natural habitat. During extensive trips along the West Coast of British Columbia and Alaska in the early 1990's his focus shifted to coastal landscapes above and below the waterline.

The catalyst that drew Eiko deeper into underwater photography were two shark diving expeditions in 2011.
Whether exploring the ocean or alternate bodies of water, such as marshes and rivers, Eiko has developed a dramatic style in which he celebrates the corners of our world which are seldom seen. He captures the surreal through constant awareness of lighting and unique angles. He has won awards and has been published in numerous international magazines, including National Geographic, British Columbia Magazine, Diver, People!, Submerge, Ducks Unlimited, and Orion to name a few. His Fine Art Photography has also been sold around the world. While a big part of his work focuses on Salmon and local watershed issues, other underwater and topside subjects round out his collection. Eiko is a proud member of the OCEAN ARTISTS SOCIETY.

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