Surreal Ocean Photography Turns the World on Its Side To Create Alluring Otherworldly Scenes

Surreal Ocean Photography by Dan Legend

Freediver and photographer Dan Legend captures the magic of the ocean in his alluring underwater images. His photos showcase swimmers as they're submerged in the cerulean water and interact with the creatures within it, offering a look into a world that many of us might never have the chance to explore.

While these pictures are sure to inspire the wanderlust in all of us, some of Legend’s most compelling pieces feel like they are not of this world. They turn the landscape topsy-turvy—literally. One particular image is oriented sideways to show the ocean as a wall that a diver is attempting to penetrate. Legend snapped the photo just as the sun was casting—and the water was reflecting–fiery rays. The effect looks less like water and more like lava, which adds a surrealist quality to the image.

Legend’s popular Instagram account is full of ocean views. “I live in the Caribbean so I am pretty lucky to be surrounded by crystal clear waters,” he tells My Modern Met. But though he lives in a prime location, Legend is strategic about how and when he captures photos. “I try to shoot at first light or dusk for the best colors and choose to shoot people most of the time.” These decisions offer a fresh take on the beloved genre of underwater photography.

Scroll down for some of Legend's beautiful work. You can also buy prints of these pieces in his online shop.

Photographer Dan Legend captures the ocean in alluring underwater images.

Surreal Ocean Photography by Dan LegendSurreal Ocean Photography by Dan LegendSurreal Ocean Photography by Dan LegendUnderwater Ocean Photography Dan LegendSurreal Ocean Photography by Dan LegendSurreal Ocean Photography by Dan LegendSurreal Ocean Photography by Dan LegendUnderwater Ocean Photography Dan LegendUnderwater Ocean Photography Dan LegendUnderwater Ocean Photography Dan LegendUnderwater Ocean Photography Dan LegendUnderwater Ocean Photography Dan LegendUnderwater Ocean Photography Dan Legend

Dan Legend: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Dan Legend. 

Related Articles:

Interview: Top Underwater Photographer Shares the Secrets of His Success

Ethereal Underwater Photos Capture Young Woman’s Deep Connection with the Sea

This Giant 826.9 Megapixel Photo is Named the World’s Largest Underwater Panorama

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

Want to become a My Modern Met Member?

Find out how by becoming a Patron. Check out the exclusive rewards, here.

Sponsored Content