Okay, here’s my first dividend with the new flash. This little guy is elusive. I have very few good shots. And I only got a single frame this time. He is shy. Which is to say, that every time I encounter one, it is headed away and hides under the nearest coral. So this was a grab shot. It was not even ideally exposed. But it was good enough to see the texture of the black spots and the green and blue color, which I have struggled to show in the past. Yes this was a good shot. Not great, that will come later.
I have seen these fish once last summer. They are large and swim gracefully. I thought they were shy. But here they are under the platform teeming with beginner divers.
You know you are on the right track when an instructor is shooting along side you. I am told these fish have been here a while. I got my spiffy flash working. There is a difference between macro and wide-angle work. Here I am more wide and the lighting is flash and ambient light. But my images are sharp. Horray! The fish are large but drab. The point is that they are sharp and focused too.
It might be Willow. The two cats are brothers and they look alike to me. The point of this picture is that it represents a new change for me in underwater photography. Willow actually likes water. But this is not a series about cats swimming underwater. I bit the bullet and got a dive strobe. This is a considerable expense and a big step up in commitment. It is one more piece of equipment to potentially ruin with salt water. My recent trip home was so busy that I did not experiment for four days. Then I got the thing working in about ten minutes and in about 10 wasted frames. Now I needed a willing subject. Aha! The cats – and off I went. They were pretty tolerant. A bright light flashing is no fun. Nellie, my dog, invariably blinked and I would get closed eyes more than 90% of the time. Go figure.
Okay! I got this whole thing figured out. I was pretty smug. When I got back to Jeddah I experimented again. In all I shot about two hundred images and pretty much knew what to do. It’s like swimming on dry land. You need to be in the water.
The first problem I encountered was the batteries were in wrong. Somehow a pair slipped and were backwards going into the flash head. Dive one – a bust. No flash. Dive two – there was water in my housing. Once the camera is exposed to water (it was not wet) the flash stops working. No flash again. Third dive – a charm – I switched cameras and all went according to plan. Finally! Fourth dive – an orgy – we did four that day – it was a night dive!! And the flash and the camera were in sync and I got some good shots. There were no great subjects. But the thing worked as I had practiced. There is still a steep learning curve to get comfortable. But at least I am getting images now. It’s all good from here.
I never see lionfish hurrying. So it is a mystery to me how they ever catch anything to eat. They swim in a sedate manner befitting their dangerous reputation. I usually do not see them in the open. And I do not often see two or more together. The shot to get is head on. Most of the time even though they are fearless, I am always looking at the tail end. Which mean…you are looking at shots I usually don’t capture in my camera. If you look, the shots looks easy. And I laugh.
They are brave. A couple of photographers clustered around with some big cameras and shot this guy for quite a few minutes. Then I drifted in and got a shot too. The enlargement is a tribute to the camera and its resolution. The big cameras get the enlarged image right off. I am beginning to have camera envy.
The point and shoot has pretty good resolution. Certainly it is good enough for an average blog post. And I having serious strobe light envy too. But along with envy is a serious price tag. A dive buddy flooded her strobe immediately as she entered the water recently. That was painful. It started as a hobby…
Yes these guys cannot scratch their nose either. And yes there is no need. They have no nose. But the cleaning is free and included in the service that the little fish perform. And I happened to click at the perfect moment. Doesn’t it look easy taking this image? If you only knew…
This is the male version of the fairy basselet. I know this from reading the book. Otherwise they would all be the same to me. The fish is tiny. So it is no surprise that my noisy bubbles and my size make them swim for the coral as soon as I come along.
Rarely, then, do they hang around. But… once in a while and it was this day that they were brave and almost challenging. Perhaps it is mating time. I drifted up close and shot away. Dumb fish, I could have eaten them all… in a single gulp. So much for male stupidity when there are girls around.
Oh, the girls are golden seen above. They vastly outnumber the males on the reef. So maybe my theory has merit.
These are very small and skittish fish. So it was a rare event that they would pose. And even more rare is for me to catch one with it’s mouth open. Yes, yes they do this all the time. I can tell you that it is not common to get it on film. With all the amazing photography around these days we take unusual images for granted. All I say is that what is not common remains so.
I like the fish calendar. Most people have a mask on their face. I assume the food police insist upon it. No one actually wears it. It’s kind of like seat belts. They are optional till the police give you a ticket. Well in conclusion of my fish market tour, I did see lots of lobster, which I have not seen alive in the Red Sea. There were lots of other fish not seen by me during my dives. It seems that the lack of color indicates that the tasty fish are rather drab. I’d like to know where they net shrimp in such large numbers. And in a random sampling, it appears that squid and octopus are not in demand nor available.
Only a few stalls at the fish market had shark. I guess it is some sort of specialty fish. They were small. Who knows where they were caught or how? Oh, and there were small tuna here and there too. Don’t ask me…” it tastes like chicken” – my stock answer.
There was this one, though, that I have not seen – white spotted guitar fish?