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Archive for October, 2015

Open Mouth


Everyone thinks moray eels are dangerous. The teeth are not as large as shark teeth. The fish is always in under a coral opening. It does not charge around. You really don’t see it in open water swimming. It shrinks back when confronted. I don’t need to touch a hot stove to know it’s bad for you. But I do take liberties. I get in close now with my camera. So far so good.

IMG_7475The open mouth shot is dangerous looking. After all the shots I have made I now look for the teeth and an open mouth. I can choose to be picky.

Waterfall – High Road, Low Road?


So here’s the story…. There was this sign at the fork in the road. One way to the waterfall and the other to who knows. We went to the waterfall. And it was uphill and then very very down hill. I guess we had to get to the bottom of the falls. It seems the best view is always from the bottom. Hmmmm…not Niagra? And after we got there the light was poor. Even with checking and with my spiffy see in the dark camera, it was hard and I did not really get a good pic of Jules.

_DSC3164 Too bad. We got some images. I can show you something. I’d do this photo op again just to get a proper picture. But it seems that this was another of life’s one way trips. You don’t go back in time or distance.IMG_6986Got a selfie. High road, low road? Life’s full of choices. If I knew, would we have stayed to get a better picture? No backs.

Striped Pajamas


Pyjama chromodorid – doesn’t matter that I don’t know the name. I have taken many photographs of it and still don’t know the official name. It is a nudibranch. Colorful. Dangerous. Do not touch (of course). And don’t eat. Didn’t I say dangerous? This is one of the most common ones I see on the reef. They don’t move fast. There’s a rule. Don’t move them. No one stages them. You don’t touch and put it where it will be more picturesque. Why? I don’t know. It’s sort of unwritten among photographers. But the other knuckleheads are probably eating them. Yes, there are a lot of idiots who think that the reef belongs to them and that killing the wildlife has no consequence on what we see.IMG_7488



No telephoto and it was shady anyway. Jules wouldn’t let me lure the bird by feeding it. So I had to rely on patience. Drat (she says that). I used the fast spiffy see in the low light expensive lens and got a shot. Yes digital is very forgiving. At least I come away with an image most of the time. It’s not up to National Geographic standard, but it’s better than iPhone. And no photo, no blog post. _DSC3085



Pustulose wart slug. Really? To be honest it does look like pustules there. Look close; it’s the horns you try to get in the picture. I did. And this one is small. The adults are longer. They don’t really become too large. But this guy is teeny. I do see this frequently enough to be blasé about another one. IMG_7520But like everything else, anything rare s a photo op. Ignore the name. It’s in the nudibranch family. And I was just as disgusted when I found the name in my book. Cute, I’ll go with cute.

Camp Life


Eat sleep, oh, forgot – cook. Fire? You are not allowed to cut down the forest. It is not wild. So no leaves, no branches, twigs, and definitely no felling of trees allowed. It’s camping in a campground. You bring in everything and you take out your trash._DSC3015 A good fire is hard to beat for warmth and I love a good barbecue. It’s not fancy but the eating is good. And we made it in a single pan. Yum is good.

Red Sea Nembrotha


It’s not a great shot. I have better ones. This one I took on a night dive during Ramadan. The dive buddy I was with pointed to this spot and I just shot the area. The camera and flash knew what to do. And here we are. This buddy was a pretty good finder. He did not look like he knew what he was about. But this was not the first subject he found that evening. I admit that I did not see the subject well. Hey, night dive, it’s really dark! My light was not set up well to see things. It is now. But then was when I was learning. Still am. I’m cool.



Technically it’s car camping according to Jules. I haven’t done it since Boy Scouts. I’ve gotten neat and like a shower and flush toilets and… Well, I did not pick the itinerary. And we going camping. Jules rules._DSC3003 Under the redwood trees, lucky, we got an assigned campsite right under the redwoods. It’s actually semi civilized. It was July but the evenings are cool and you do need a fire to cook. No, we did not hunt for our dinner._DSC3029And yes, you bring all you need. It means that there is semi comforts of home. Shower? You buy a token – $1 and you get 4 minutes. Soap fast and rinse right away. Remember what I said about the same clothes. Don’t shower, don’t change?

Face to Face


Coral hind, does the name really matter? I encounter these fish on the reef. They avoid me. They see me swim up and they scoot. Do fish scoot? Anyway, it’s near impossible to get head to head.IMG_9267 They just give me a flick of the tail and I don’t get anything. I’ve found that if you don’t breath and drift up … And the other secret is that they think they are invisible under the coral overhang. Tally ho.IMG_9269Face to face. Eye to eye. Challenging. Dueling eyes. Who will blink? Anyway I try for both eyes looking straight at me. Do fish smile?

Jump Again

_DSC2923Yes. Photoshop is my preference. No tripod or remote. Go for it. Please don’t say anything that we are wearing the same clothes as in the prior jump picture recently. It’s the same day. If you did not notice all the better. I’m old and don’t get high off the ground. The trick? Just bend your knees. You look so much more athletic. Nope, one of the kids taught me the trick. Yes, Pfeiffer Beach again.

Sleeping Parrot Fish


Parrot fish are hard to photograph. They see me coming and head away. But at night, I have been told they sleep. Fish sleep? Eyes open? But they weave a membrane around themselves under the coral. A bubble – I was told. Well it seems that there is a membrane. It’s incomplete. What I understand is that is you touch the membrane the fish will move. I decided to let sleeping fish lie. He did not respond to the flash of light. Both of us were happy.



Well I was at Pfeiffer beach with this neat hole in the rock wall. Somehow it was not too picturesque. My fallback was a good shot of Jules. Priceless.


Peacock Grouper


It says in my book that these fish are not shy. Around here there are pretty shy. They swim away and hide in the coral whenever I’m about. Then there are the times when they are less skittish. IMG_7550I occasionally get close enough to grab some images. Flash photography is distance dependent. More than three feet away and you are in big lighting trouble.IMG_7546 And once again I am trying to salt the fish’s tail. Mostly I get a tail view. Sometimes I get a side view. IMG_7537And only rarely do I find myself face to face. The main thing to remember is that I will be back next week to dive so the opportunity will eventually present where I can get that shot I wanted.

Red Sea See?


Where does the name “Red Sea” come from?IMG_7792 It’s the red coral that is there. IMG_7200And why is the coral red. Interesting, because red light and color fades the deeper you go down. IMG_7344So why then is the coral red? And do fish see red color? Is it a matter of survival and adaptation? It is an easy yes, But why?IMG_7209

Ok ok, yellow? Don’t know either. IMG_7233But the colors are striking. Yup, distinctive! Not enough to call it the Yellow Sea.

Pfeiffer Beach


Named after? Someone named Pfeiffer. Duh? I was here many decades ago. I don’t remember the name. So I looked it up on the ‘net. Great! Now I know the name. And I could even look up Pfeiffer is I wanted. But I just wanted a shot…that hole in the rocks. _DSC2815Jules wanted to clamber among them. We each got what we came for. The tide was shifting so it was a bit tricky. Come to think of it, Jules had a bad ankle. Bad Dad!_DSC2824

It didn’t happen if no one tells, right? Shhh, don’t tell mom.

Hermit Crabs


The picture is confusing. I’m still doing shots from the time of Ramadan a couple months back. The hermit crabs are hard to appreciate. Look for the eyes. They are hiding in shells. They don’t want to be seen. You don’t see them during the day. So this was a night dive. It’s dark all around you. Big fish are out there in the murky night waiting to eat you. The soundtrack for the movie “Jaws” is running in your head. I was with five other divers. No, we did not get lost or separated. But I was hanging with a guy I had never buddied before. I did not know he was good. But! Yes!! Good! He was seeing stuff in the dark (well, with a flashlight) and I was shooting what he was seeing. At the very end of the dive, we were all waiting to go in. We were at the decompression stop. He looked down and then pointed and then we all went nuts. Flashes were popping.IMG_8613 Two! Count ‘em. Two hermit crabs were scuttling away trying to avoid capture and eating. Yes, that was the exclamation to the dive. Thank you!IMG_8615

I could not quite get color balance perfect. But the crabs are distinguishable, even though they are ugly.



I think there was a movie with this name. It’s the name of a restaurant in Big Sur too. It was a place Jules planned for lunch. Wonderful. The clouds rolled in over the mountains and provided a photo op as we ate. It was special. Jules knew her way around and knew what makes dad happy. Great clouds – no rain. Drought, remember?_DSC2666


Clouds or daughter, lunch or picture? Gee it was a tough call. I figured it was better to stay in the family.

Christmas Tree Worm


I promised Carol not to have so many fishies. Sorry. But it is my passion of late. I could show gory operations but blood is red and it’s hard to distinguish things. I love these guys. They come in many colors, blue, yellow, brown… I don’t know who decided they are worms. I fished with worms and they are not like these. They do not wiggle and jiggle. They sit there on the coral and will disappear at the hint of danger. So there is something that must like to eat them. They stick up like an upside down Christmas tree. There is a horn like structure in the middle. There are always two trees straddling one horn. I like yellow and blue not brown and green. But I don’t get much choice. They are tiny and hard to photograph. But then you might not know that. So I’m telling you so.

Willey’s Dorid


How dry! What’s in a name? Will you remember tomorrow? Seen it? Bored? Too many fishies? Well the trick about salting a bird’s tail – you get close enough with the salt and you can catch it. Got it? It’s not cooking lessons. So rarely… yes there are things you may take for granted…but certain things are rare to find during a dive. This is instant, “AH!!” Yes, at least two exclamation points worth. Yes, I have seen these before. And they are still a thrill to find. If you are bored because you have seen this before, then stick to the book where I found the name. Leave this post. So it was a find graciously pointed out to me. IMG_1633And as I took picture after picture of the single, my buddy pointed about a foot to the left. Two!!! Mating? Ah!!! That’s unusual too. No, this was not product placement. They were there actually as we found them. Cool! I’m charged! It was a very good dive. Yeah, I’m happy.

Another buddy missed this. He was so jealous he told us he saw a shark! Not. What to note? The horns in the front and the frond in the back. That’s part of the standard shot. Or if you don’t care, then the pattern and pretty colors should catch your eye. We joke in the operating room. Who was “Willey?” And that would always be Dr. Willey who invented the instrument or operation named after him. Who knows? Don’t care? Willey was the first to spy this. Thanks, Willey.

Hard to See


Want something? Want to laugh? I get to dive with a photographer. He’s good. By that I mean he has a good rig. By rig I mean he has equipment in the water that would break my heart if salt water got in it. Thousands of dollars – if you have to ask you can’t afford it. Three of us were underwater. He was not using a camera. His rig was set up wrong. So he just was acting as fish finder. He pointed things out and my other dive buddy and I shot the images. Subject? Well, he has better vision. We both wear glasses. There are bubble corals seen all about. And once I saw a shrimp pointed out to me by another photographer. It was the only one I ever saw. I’ve been looking since. Nada! IMG_1782So Amr points and I know what he’s pointing to. It’s a shrimp! I can’t see it. Emperor’s new clothes? I shoot. Shoot again. Adjust the flash. Change angles. Can’t see a blessed thing. I finally blow up my image in the LCD. Ah! Eureka! Yes! Do I look enthusiastic? Sound? Yup! Got it. My dive buddy moves in. He doesn’t have the faith that I have. He can’t see a thing. He doesn’t even know where to point his camera. He doesn’t get the shot. I had faith. Yes!! Got it. Not the best. But no image no post here. So you get the benefit of a low res shot. Hey, it’s invisible, tiny, hard to see….and probably not even good to eat. Oh, see the tiny claw! I swear Amr has x-ray vision. He smiles.

Hard to Get


Big fish little fish, there are a lot of choices. The distance to the subject and the size of the subject (AKA fish) is important. Little fish, baby fish, they are hard to shoot. They are hard to see. They move around a lot. Ah, what the heck. Some days you are not inspired to write and post. I missed yesterday. Life is coming a bit quick. What’s my point? There are small tiny fish in the sea. They are hard to see. In fact I am amazed that my camera picks them up and I can actually show them to you. IMG_7795So here. This one’s so small you can’t see it easily. And to photograph it is a challenge. You may or may not think so. But I’m here to say it ain’t easy. And what’s this? A baby something…

With Without


Shooting scenery or shooting family? Tourist shots often leave you with too small a shot of the loved one or not enough scenery. The choices are simple. Execution is hard. Maybe not.


Foreground? Flowers or family. Depth of field. Confused?


Under the circumstances if I am alone and without another person, landscape is a good shot. And foreground flowers give depth to the image. And if I have someone in the foreground, then Jules needs to be bigger than a dot. It works. Which? Ha! I didn’t say did I?



I first encountered these fish swimming lazily on the reef. They were skittish. I got a few shots. Boy I was thrilled. Lately they are commonplace. Spadefish, they are pretty tame now.


There have been several or more hanging around the dive platform. So I have gotten images almost at will. The fish are not afraid. And they mooch bread when the divers come to feed the fishies.


Common or not, it is not a fish you see anytime anyplace. They are probably not good eating. I don’t see them in the market.


_DSC3255 a

It’s fun. We’ve been doing this for years now. I don’t jump too well. Old man. The secret is to bend your knees. You look a whole lot more graceful. We were stopped along the road to take some pictures of the rugged California coast.

_DSC2564It was a crisp clear day. Photo ops were everywhere. Gorgeous. Too much beauty, we were on overload. So details here and there made things interesting. _DSC2517And then there is always jumping. If you do it right it looks like you are over water and it’s really dangerous looking. No we were not that good.


Someone expected we would be by. They left messages in rocks down below. It was as if they knew we’d be by for the view.