At the tail end of the dive, I am following a very good and patient photographer. She pushed her big rig into place and took some shots. She moved and pointed. It was an empty discarded bottle – trash. She kept pointing. My kids make fun of the fact that I don’t see so well anymore. I see fine. But in the water there’s always some backscatter and the mask lens has some distortion. So I did what I needed. I aimed the camera in the direction of the bottle and hoped for the best. Later I found out it was the bottle I was to shoot. I never did find that spot again. But this shot is an example of blind luck. Maybe the kids are right after all.
I found this one. I was following my dive buddy to shallower water. The long antennae are the tipoff. They reflect the flashlight. You may shoot a series and only one shot will do. Fortunately the shrimp was cooperative and I got this with the claws open.
This is a very hard coral to see. It resides deep and underneath ledges so that getting a shot is a technical challenge. You keep looking into the crevices and sometimes your camera can fit. It’s a nice shot anytime you can see it.
Another day another night dive. Right as we dropped to the bottom there on a coral outcropping was a starfish. This is an unexpected pose. Maybe it was settling into place. I shot quickly because my buddy was headed to 100 feet and I was behind. Never leave your wingman.
I was diving with two advanced photographers. The big rig heavy duty cameras were impressive. I don’t use one. It would break my heart if I got water damage. So I am content to use my Canon G12 and natural light. We were headed back. Suddenly one of the photographers pointed and then twisted and turned into position to shoot. I white balanced and peered into the blue. There were two fish circling. The loss of detail made them hard to identify. Tuna? No jacks. They were jacks. Predatory fish, they were circling but we couldn’t see why. Meanwhile I just shot instinctively. At this distance no amount of flash was going to make to much difference. Photoshop enhancement and it is easy enough to make out. They are jacks because I was told so.
I had a very productive series of dive in which I saw octopi in the open many times. After more than one hundred dives the best I had before was the mere glimpse of a body or tentacle. What I was seeing was very special. National Geographic will only publish one shot. But I have no restriction. This series was at the end of another dive and I was on low battery power warning. Every thing held together. We chased this guy down and kept following him as he flowed over the coral. You can see multiple camouflage changes. The natural color is a chocolate brown. The color changes are accompanied by texture changes within seconds. I wondered why he didn’t squirt ink. Meanwhile he was accommodating and let me get images of all his changes.
Experience teaches you that some things are special when you find them. You just never know when you will see it again, if ever. Ordinarily octopi are very shy and hide inside coral so you see some texture and the rest is left to imagination. I was having a very good dive week. This one was sitting in the open and letting me shoot from all angles. Sometimes the wildlife is very skittish and sometimes they just sit and let you have at it. The problem is when you have all the shots you need and the octopus is still posing. So I got a movie and kept changing angles. Some shots work and others don’t. I like being able to see the tentacles and suckers. This octopus was very cooperative. He finally moved and I got motion shots.
Some days are like that. It was a magical dive.
Okay another but it’s different than the other. My dive buddy kindly pointed this one out. It’s the size of a penny. At 60 feet color is not good. I tried flash but no good. It was uneven. I took my best shot. The focus was dead on. You can see tuft and one horn. Not too bad. This one is not common on the reef. I have only seen one other.
I have been told there are no sea snakes here. It makes sense. Snakes breath air. This was a spotted eel. He was going along the bottom when we found him. I was stuck. I had just caught another puffer in my left hand. I had my camera in the right. That left me with no way to adjust the camera. And I needed another hand for the flashlight. Yes I could have used help from the octopus. This is a very rare find. The kids saw one in December but we only got a small part of the body – no head shot.