I have a lot of dive time logged. And I’m still learning. For instance, my equipment is old enough to need service. My BCD inflator is malfunctioning. Don’t worry if you don’t understand, it’s not important to the story. I have noticed it but did not fix it. It did not affect my dive. Until I figured out that it does. It slowly inflates my BCD. By the end of the dive the air in the tank is less and you float a little. The extra air in my BCD makes you float more. I did not put it together that this was occurring because of my malfunction. I automatically compensated. The upshot? Well, now I will have to fight less at the end of the dive. I fixed the problem. Buoyancy – always an issue – solved.
Open mouth? Well for a change I have several. Your mom told you not talk with your mouth open when you ate? It is not too common. I’ve been diving long enough to realize that certain behaviors are not commonly seen. I don’t see fish actually eating one another. I don’t see starfish eating the coral. I see stuff and probably don’t recognize its significance.
No picture? It didn’t happen. Right? I see lots of fish. They swim and are very skittish. Can fish be skittish? Well, they certainly slip away and hide in the coral whenever I swim by. But to be honest I see fish poop in the sea but never really see them eat one another. Still there are scrapes and bruises that I assume are not from playing rough. Nope, I can’t say that I have seen to much eating going on.I think it’s gotta hurt. There is no fish aid station. Do scales regenerate? All I know is that this allows me to tell one fish from another.
So here is a flatfish. The eyes are on one side and barely visible. In fact the whole fish would rather wish you to never seem him at all. I usually have a dive buddy spy him first. So the camouflage works for me.
Then there is the technical problem of color balance. I was lucky enough to shoot this subject on two different dives.
Same set up and same strobe gave me two different results. I could not seem to expose and get out the green tint. The green is more natural to what I actually saw underwater. The first set is more natural color to my eye. Ether way the fish is just trying to avoid my plate.
Side view – regal angelfish – yes, they eye matters. You’d never accept a tail view. Head on is better. But the fish generally avoids a big air bubble blowing diver. This is more a catalog shot for ID. Ok, the mouth open gives some interest.
Goatfish. Don’t ask. I don’t know why the name. The eyes are wide. The pattern of them resting on the bottom is not too common for me. They were just holding there. I swam up slowly and got a couple shots. It was the behavior that struck me. …all nice and calm resting on the bottom. Fish rest?
There are several types that I see. This one is a pebbled sea star. The other is a Ghardaqa sea star. Arabic does not follow the convention of “u” after ‘q” so it is disconcerting to type, especially names.
Nice. Cute. Solitary. Frequently found under coral. They aren’t too special to me since I have seen lots of starfish in the aquariums I have frequented. But I’m still having fun finding them during a dive.
Natural light does not make the background fade. It gives an overall tint of green with reds washed out. Digital white balance can compensate. Flash gives a more natural look. But then again, why are the animals red at all. At depth the natural color fades and red is not really seen. Or it is dull. So why then be red? There’s a question here somewhere. If you can’t see red are you invisible. Or, does sea life adapt anyway and not see red? Or are fish color blind? I’m not wiki so I will let you look this fun fact up.
Night dive. Told you, they are fun. These colorful guys are attractive snacks so they stay hidden. Well I wouldn’t know. They seem to be all shell to me. But they are impressive. Of course the veteran divers are pretty blasé about it. To me they are still a thrill. But I’ve shot a lot of them too. Still, I’m excited because they are not easy to spot and hard enough to shoot. No, they are not snack material for me.
I couldn’t resist another shot posted. There’s a lot of color and the antennae are striking. My ability to get a close up does not permit an eyeball view. I live within the limits of my gear. It’s pretty neat anyway.
Each dive brings something interesting. And on night dives, which happen infrequently usually something spectacular happens. After a while you get used to the unusual. No big deal. I’ve done more than 250 dives. That would be a lot for someone who only dives on vacation. But there are divers with more than 5000 dives. It was during Ramadan. People don’t dive much during the day because they are fasting. So this group showed up to dive at night. How wonderful! We did two this night. That is unheard of. We only do a single night dive. But they came to dive and were doing two. They were gracious as they broke their fast. I was invited to pot luck dinner. Everyone brought stuff and I shared.
Two photographers I knew well. The other two were new to me. And then the last guy showed up late. He arrived as we were ready to go into the water. All the others ribbed him but we all waited patiently. He smoked a cigarette and then we were off. Down around 70 feet we found this nudibranch. It’s relatively bigger than what I am used to seeing. And everyone got shots and video and …. One guy hovered and video lights blazed for a good 15 minutes. And two guys wandered off in the other direction, got separated, and missed this subject entirely. It’s big! I have not seen one since and never before. It was special. And here we are. A single shot among many I made. One. Pick one. I refrain from showing all the other nice images. But then among them, I had to choose one…oh the agony. I look at this one image and the memory of that spectacular dive comes back. It was pretty special that night.
There are certain fish you just wait to photograph. Which is to say, you see them but you can never get a shot. Too shy, too fast, too far away, whatever the reason, you just don’t ever get a shot. There are one or two fish that also do this to me. The Picasso trigger fish is one such guy. They are often in a group of four or so. They have tiny side fins for maneuvering. So they look slow enough to swim after. But they never let me get near. I have tried. Patience is not big for me. So mostly I see them and don’t try too hard. Eventually the opportunity presents itself. Patience! I have learned to take the shot when it is available. There are more in my head but not on my memory card yet. Well, there’s also that redhead….
Colorful mouth. Look closely.
See? It’s easy. Huh? Well, I didn’t see it. The group of divers I was with went nuts. Everyone was taking pictures. I thought is was because he had his mouth open this is unusual behavior by itself. I did not know the fish has inside lips that are colorful. Neat!
Whoa! I mean, whoa!! On my computer screen there is a fish inside. He ate him whole. Why did he swallow him head first. I guess tail first is not as tasty. But it would have been a nicer picture. Meanwhile the fish never moved as he attempted to swallow his meal whole. Would that be like hook, line, and sinker?
I think that this is an eel. Snakes do not breath underwater. I missed this too. It was hardly moving and appeared to be a branch. Certainly it is colorless and featureless. It is hardly moving. It was more or less just drifting along. This was another first on the reef for me.
I know that this does not look like much. But really, the fun here is to see something entirely different. I’m a veteran diver. Sort of….and there is still the wonder of finding something new. And this qualifies as fascinating and new. So… pardon my enthusiasm!