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Brown Edged Glossodorid

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Another new one! I have never seen this. Actually it looked more like a random coral. It actually photographs quite well. But the muted color underwater fooled me. Now that I made you look, it resembles a party dress.

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I would never have noticed it except for my dive buddies. Everyone had a shot at getting an image. Then they moved off along the reef. The problem with subjects is that they move and you don’t see them again. So take your best shot. You might not get another for a long time if ever. The nudibranch moves slowly as measured in millimeters a minute. But they move. And this guy moved under the coral.

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Bad for my shot, so… I played with the wildlife. I moved it gently and got more shots. Ok, I thought I was free but Marie asked me if I had moved it after she swam away. Don’t ask don’t tell. You must admit the name is pretty clinically boring for a rare subject. Technical note: if you shoot underwater, and most of you don’t – I now understand strobe lighting better and how it makes better images. How did I do without it? Here I used a fast shutter and increased the F stop. The lighting was really nice. Maybe next I go over to two strobes.


One Spot Demoiselle

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I have not seen this until now. Interesting color pattern, the large spots make you think the tail is the front end of the fish. It reminds me of a cartoon. Who thinks up these patterns anyway? Nature and genetics, it makes you wonder how this pattern was adopted.

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To me this is colorful little tidbit. So the story follows. We were at the end of a long cold dive and doing the three minute stop. I’ve learned not to put my camera away at the end of the dive. There is always something that shows up when your camera is secured. And this time I was not disappointed. This little guy was just flitting in and out and under the coral. He was tiny and skittish. We played peekaboo. I got shots.

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My spiffy camera let me enlarge the image and still be serviceable. I love seeing things right at the end. When I looked up, everyone else had hustled out of the water and was warming in the sun. I never noticed the final cold minutes. Um? Read the title and tell me which is the one spot?


Quit While You’re Ahead

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Prayer time and everything comes to a halt. The open air market is no exception. The shops close their doors. The outdoor vendors mostly follow suit. Not all, but they mostly do. So I headed for a seat. I had sat out the thirty minute hiatus here a few nights ago. The bench was full. But I’m brave. It’s like the Egyptians at the cornice right? Go for it. I sat next to the two old guys. Hey, I’m old too! And they left after a bit.

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And across from me was a photo op. Gee, even sitting down and cooling my heels, I get to take pictures. So while checking on what I had, I also shot images too. The last one was the keeper. And I promptly quit. No waves, please.


Late Night

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Well, it was quitting time for me. I was headed to the car and wandering the streets to make my way back. I was going up and down random streets and walking toward lights. There was a late café serving a classic dish. It is like burgers and fries. The dough is pulled into a square. Then, a sheet of dough is added, liquid looking egg batter, and another layered sheet is added. It is folded into a square. Grilled, it is served hot to a waiting group sitting at tables inside.

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I got a single shot, it’s not great or even fully understandable till I explain. It’s a barber. His dad is holding the kid down.

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And I guess it is not an exactly cooperative kid getting his hair cut. Lastly, I passed one more place. Somehow I was brave, made eye contact, and shot a few images. I heard someone in the café behind me say, “Camera.” That was my cue to beat it. It’s grilled flatbread and quite popular by the looks of it.


Café

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The end of my evening was the start for someone else. I chanced to pass this very active social night scene. My first pass was a failure. The camera had reset itself and the exposure was blurred. It was interesting. But I considered it a failure. In a rare moment for me I turned around and made a second pass. I was not quite as invisible but did get a better shot.

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No women! The men were talking and drinking coffee and playing dominoes. Night life! No alcohol. No women. Oh boy! Well, a sports bar it ain’t. And the waiters are not dressed like Hooter girls either.


Turnabout

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Open mouth. Lionfish are common on the reef. They are considered to be pestilence in some places because they eat all the reef fish. To aquarium owners they are a rather striking addition to the collection. And I have seen them often enough that you almost ignore them. Usually shy I am usually pointing my lens at their back and tail. So it’s not much of an interesting shot anymore. The newbes love them. First time underwater and all that… but me, I’m pretty much bored with the subject. We were cold and near the end of the dive. A stately lionfish was drifting in open water. They never swim fast but always swim away when I approach. Huh, I’ve told you that most fish don’t like big things (me) blowing lots of bubbles and swimming toward them with something pointed in their face.

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This one challenged me. He stayed at 90 degrees watching me with one eye. And then he turned. My shot! Head on straight and I looked into his eyes. You can see the bubble of his fish eye lens. Yes, that’s where the term comes from. I have this shot too. Many times over…but! He opened his mouth. Fish don’t do that! Occasionally maybe sometimes I have seen this. But he opened his mouth right as I was aimed and focused and exposed. Oh shoot! Got it. A single frame. Yes, there are so many unusual shots people are no longer amazed and they are truly jaded. Well, I got it and it’s my image and I did it. Proud! And my dive buddy in a turnabout proudly showed me his frame in profile. Right place right time, I scooped him on this shot. Yeah, turnabout. Yay!


Flying

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It’s a gold spotted flatworm. Names aside, it is a black flat thing with golden spots. The name – duh! I have never seen it move. Any time I ever encountered it was a black leaflike thing that just was a curiosity and a few images. It’s got a head! Well at least there are horns.

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And it flies! Imagine that! The dive was going along and I was seeking things to image. If I say shoot, people think I’m using a gun. Yes, I got that question once. An elusive trunkfish was swimming away under a coral and as I gave pursuit, there in front of my eyes… a flying gold spotted flatworm. No! They don’t fly. Right. It’s not possible. Read: Disbelief! Yes, I love finding unexpected things.

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The first time someone pointed this worm out I thought it was just some black debris on the ocean floor. I image everything and discovered it was a creature later. They don’t fly! But, to my utter amazement this guy was undulating in open water and headed for the coral to land. Yes! I got pictures. Great! I called over my dive buddy and he got a spectacular shot. Yes! I’m embarrassed. He shot a couple images and got a true Nat Geo image. No, you don’t get to see it. It’s his image and this is my blog.

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But the image was exposed perfectly and showed my camera lens aimed at the flatworm from the opposite angle. Phenomenal! I thought I had a good shot but his was a learning experience for me. So, now I’m experimenting with technique and getting better. New and improved.


Lulu and Badi

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Pearl and marvelous – Arabic names. Cats. I’ve named them. They adopted me. I’m a free meal ticket. I started with rolls. They are not vegetarian and finicky so they ate sparingly. Then I used canned tuna. I wasn’t sure if they would be back. So I did not invest in cat food.

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Cats around here are stray and pretty much abandoned to the whim of people. They are painfully thin and pretty much know how to work a trash bin. There’s not much.

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Two nights after I fed them from the tuna can – they licked the empty can – I found three bounding up to me when I opened my door. Pet food is located with the kitchen supplies at the grocery. There is even dog food. They are large (relatively), medium, and small. The little guy runs if I look in its direction. The large – now Badi – and medium, Lulu are braver. Badi let me touch him almost at once and Lulu is pretty ok. She will nip and scratch at me. At this point I have fed them about a week. And they now eat from my hand. They came into the villa for a visit.

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Badi is dumb and started to meow and whine and climb through my curtain at the window. He doesn’t get the concept of a door or how to use it to get out. Lulu was in and out without a problem. Girls are smarter.

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I finally got pictures of them both. The third guy is still missing. There are other cats lurking about. These three have adopted me. So we are getting to be buddies. I’m teaching them sharing. Everyone eats.


Pickin’

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Look closely. There are tubular structures on the side of an octopus’s head. They expand and I assume this has some respiratory function. It surely isn’t the mouth. That would be a single structure. I think most animals have one mouth and two nostrils. Hey, maybe I’m wrong and there’s one nose and one mouth. But fish have gills and they are paired. Right? Well, the point is for you to look. I sure did. I have too many octopus pictures to put in another post. Except, I’m fascinated.

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This guy has his tentacles in his mouth and nose? Both sides and I count six tentacles. For me this is a first. I don’t know the behavior but I can tell you that I have never seen a girl admit to or pick her nose in public. It’s a boy octopus.


Snowflake Moray Eel

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I can’t tell you how many times I have taken an image and missed another. That is to say, a fish I would love to have a picture is chased while an equally great fish is there in the periphery. I saw a trunkfish. They are extremely shy. And they are wary. So I pretty much never get a shot. While chasing down this fellow I pretty much stumbled upon a snowflake moray.

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No trunkfish today, the moray is much more rare. I’ve only seen one once for an instance. Off on a quest, and this guy was on the move. I chased him up and under and around coral. I caught the attention of my buddy who joined in. But I had the inside edge. I got a few headshots. Yellow nostrils, ugly, just like the picture in my book. Right about that moment my dive guru returns and checks on the two of us and discovers we are in decompression mode….


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