I imagined this shot. I looked for it. I wanted to take it. Oh, by the way, I’d like a mermaid too… a redheaded on named Ariel would do…But really, I was thinking this morning before we dove, I’d like to go back and see the fish eggs I saw the past two weeks and see the fish inside the eggs developed so I could get a picture with the fish not yet hatched. Wish! Granted! And I found it! Wow! Yes, another wow moment.
We were swimming by the anemone and as usual the Nemos were out front guarding. But there was something on the coral wall. Shiny, tiny, and being guarded too. I got a few shots. Got wide, got close, and shot detail. Amr swam past and signaled to move on. I grabbed his fin as he was leaving and pointed out this subject. He stopped, hovered, and started taking shots. He took my camera too. He was using wide angle and I had the macro lens ready to go. I got the same images. His are better. Credit: Amr. He keeps raising my bar. Note to self: Don’t give up on a subject till you get the image you seek. Macro subjects don’t move away fast. So work the subject, get a better image. Mine were lacking in focus and exposure. Decent but not like Amr shot. Darn, I want to get better in a hurry. But that’s the point, hurrying makes you miss.
I’ve been shooting clownfish since I’ve had an underwater camera. They are easy. They are gullible. You approach their anemone and they protect it. So they don’t swim away. Sometimes they even nip at you. Up until now exposure has been an issue. I am always overexposed. Can’t seem to get detail. The highlights are always washed out.
Ah! Eureka. Learned a new trick and it is paying off. I’m so happy when I learn a new trick! Old dog and all that… but it is what is so much fun. My day job is challenging. Yup! But my hobby is self-taught. I learn on the fly watching others and not taking lessons. Yes, it’s a new breakthrough lately and I’m still tickled about it. And I will readily admit that I am out of the box ready to post image. So lately there has been no need to do much in the way of post processing. Laziness has made me better at composition, cropping, and exposure.
I suddenly have a lot of clownfish images. I’d like to have a head on view with the eyes bulging out. And I want good color and sharp focus. It ain’t easy.
But a strobe goes a long way to helping. I am in my second learning curve. I learned to shoot by natural light and custom white balance. Now I have a lot more shots that are simply better. I can now chase the elusive pose.
Today it is not about the light as it is composition. Lighting is a component. In this case it’s nice to have a well exposed shot in focus. But the fish has got to be in the right place for this all to work. The clownfish and anemone are symbiotic and here they are with the fishie wrapped up in a warm blanket and protected. Yeah, Nemo! Everyone loved the movie.
I cannot say whether flash lighting helped here. The fish color is stronger. The image is sharper. There is a mouth on the anemone? I am still working on catch lights in the fish eyes. The color cast of the coral is light dependent. I would say that this is still a work in progress.
We were swimming along the reef in a group. I saw an anemone. They are always good for a shot or two to catch the guarding clownfish. It turns out they were guarding more than the anemone. I spied the antennae. Aha! Boxer shrimp. Two! Now to get a shot… The clownfish made life hell. They kept swimming into my shot. And the boxers were shy. But there was a little trick. The other side of the coral had a hole. So as the boxers retreated I could poke the other side and they would reappear. Nice! I got a few nice shots. This just illustrates that there were two and the anemone was just to the left in the image.
Nemo! I haven’t posted one in a while. The anemone has a mouth of sorts. It is well covered by the tentacles. Usually I can get a shot of the mouth but usually there is no clownfish on guard. I happened to get one today.
The clownfish and anemone are symbiotically linked. I didn’t realize that the anemone is an animal and it has a significant sting until I began to read about them. Also I’m used to seeing one type of anemone with closely arranged tentacles.
But what I usually see is always worth a photo stop.
Lately I’ve been catching a lot of ‘Nemo.’ (Note to myself – go online and watch the movie again.) With clownfish it’s a matter of close focus. Most of my shots have been out of focus mainly because the fish is so close and moving toward me to defend it’s symbiotic partner the anemone. It’s a nice shot when you get it. I like the head on shot best.
The colors are intense and the eyes are darkly colored so that it’s difficult to pick up catch lights from the cornea. The best part is that they stay around to defend their home so you can swim up close and they don’t swim away.