Word and Image

Archive for February 18, 2016


IMG_6431 a

I’ve posted about these fish in the past. The swim in loose schools. Seemingly ubiquitous to the reef I hardly take notice of them. About once a year now they school in a tight bunch. And even more amazingly they swim in circles with their mouths open. They look spooky like monsters out to eat everything in their path. Then they slow down, close their mouths, and dissemble peacefully once more. Shooting tips: With my strobe setup I am not prepared for a ambient light image. I have settings ready to go. But it takes seconds. This school waits for no one. The water was not exactly crystal clear which made for another problem. And then the fish are not close nor would they come to close to me. So as they call it, aim the camera, point, and shoot. And I do and I did.


Next trick is in Photoshop. On the camera the image is washed out and barely discernable. I know what’s there but anyone else would be less than impressed. The trick: Jules taught me when we were editing our dives together. On a Mac: command- shift-L, it is auto level. Magic. Color correction and bringing up detail is done magically. Hey, I’m not into complex layers and nuances. I just want to admire something in a few seconds. Maximize your effect in the least amount of time.I cannot adjust levels the way that autolevel does its magic. I’ve tried; it doesn’t work fast for me.


I provided a before after shoot. And the others are here because I was too undecided to just pick one image. Fascinating fish behavior made graphic by the luck of being on site and with the help of Photoshop. It all happens infrequently.


I was happy to be there when the school went round. There’s a rule. Don’t swim with anything bigger that has potential to eat you. The big school swirling around with mouths open is intimidating.

IMG_6433In case you were wondering it’s done by opening your mouth and spreading your gills. Don’t try this at home.