If you have ever tried to shoot an image through a window or worse yet through a screen window, then you have encountered the problem with auto focus. Auto focus saves me about 99 out of 100 times. But even the computer can be fooled.
So here you see the screen though it be out of focus it is still discernable. Ok! Now try focusing on a moving jellyfish. My buddy was suddenly looking up at the sun while we were near the end of the dive. I thought he’d gone mad from the cold water. I looked up and saw what else? The sun! Ah! Aha! A jellyfish. They are rare to see around here. And even more difficult is trying to shoot an image near the surface. Everything is moving in 3D. Does that make it 6D if the subject and the photographer are both moving? Do you count the camera too? And I’m dizzy. Yes, the motion is making me dizzy! Shoot! Keep shooting and hope for the best. Nope, it ain’t gonna happen today. Some days you lose. The autofocus does not work on things so translucent. Blind luck. I shot enough. But nope, not a single keeper. Yes, yes, National Geographic comes back with the shot. We were at the end of the dive. I was cold. Now I was dizzy. And I could not see the darned thing well enough to focus. Nope, it wasn’t happening on this day.
Another rule: never put your gear to sleep till you leave the water. As we swam to the stairs I swam over a collector sea urchin. Yup, broad daylight. Usually they are seen only at night. Surprise! And the waves tossed me but I got a shot. This might not seem to special either. But it is something we don’t see frequently. I’m still happy to say it is something different. Yeah, been there, done that…..
These urchins show up here and there. Unlike the spiny ones, this one doesn’t look dangerous. No matter. Don’t touch anything. It’s a rule. Every time I brush something by mistake I pay later. I now wear a wetsuit just to keep the coral from giving me skin rash. I was late to start wearing one. But I swear by it now. Compared to other things on the reef this urchin is not a common find. And it hides during the day. So this urchin also can move about. There no eyes. So this appears an easy photography target if you find one.
The book calls it that. It is said that it collects pieces of coral to provide camouflage. I’ve only seen it once before on a night dive. This one was about five feet from the stairs to enter the sea. Sometimes things are no further than a step away. We see things in close to the entrance when you take the time to look all around.