Word and Image

Posts tagged “Nudibranch. Pyjama Chromodorid



Someone I know loves green. So here are color patterns that seem to go together. I would say I’m partial to red. It’s the color of the Red Sea. Red coral – Red Sea – duh! I was struck by the color when I edited. And I could not resist posting it. Otherwise this is just another pajama nudi on the reef. Oh boy! Like they are always just sitting around for a picture. Actually they move, Not fast but they cover territory and move from one dive to the next. Someone has seen them mating. I’d like to see that to photograph. You won’t see that here. I’m strictly G rated. HA


Big Pajama Nudi


How big? Everyone was laughing after the dive. These were the largest any of us have seen on the reef. We are all experienced divers. For this pajama chromodorid, these were quite large. As if a nine-foot tall person would be noticed above the crowd.


But my pictures are all showing close ups and full frame images. So how to prove or how to make the reader realize these were large specimens? Well, fisherman always lie about how large it was, the one that got away… There were four.


You see three. The other was not next to the others. Were they mating? That would have been neat to see too. The images here are uncropped. So, you can appreciate that my macro technique is a whole lot better too.


The equipment doesn’t make the photographer. But it helps to have good euipment. Hmmm do we need a bigger fishing rod?

Work In Progress


This nudibranch is pretty common where I dive. It means we see it. It’s not as though you don’t have to keep a sharp eye. And it is usually small. And it is not moving fast. And it is usually partially hidden. If no one is looking I might move it a bit to allow me to get my camera into a better position Shhhhh! Don’t tell. Charlie, a friend a buddy, a pilot with whom I flew, likes to get the whole subject in the frame. I find that I’m sometimes influenced by his notion. Though I had rationally discounted his idea much of my work is of the whole creature.

Lately, I’m trying for more detail. The rhinopores (horns) have striations. At high mag in macro, the depth of field is so shallow that focus is a problem And then this guy was truckin’ along. Yes, they move. Not fast, but they do. It ain’t easy to get a shot. And I would love to manual focus on the horn. But it’s not something I can do underwater. In a way it’s like getting all set and then the last thing you do is close your eyes and press the shutter. Unlike someone I know, I do not shake my finger when I press.



This is a close-up of the nudibranch that started the series of hermit crab shots. When you are in focus, you are. There’s no way to fake it. And so you know pretty much whether to keep an image. I could have done better. But while I was shooting this guy, a shell twitched. I’ve learned to watch for movement. Actually it is a primitive sensory input for defense. Anything moving is a potential threat. You knew that, right? And so the eye picks up movement first. Anyway, I saw the shell move. No kidding. That led to a chase and a half. And I was shooting the hermit crab, this nudibranch all but forgotten. See, there was a story somewhere to tell.

IMG_0503I see this particular kind from time to time on the reef. So it’s always fun but not extraordinarily special. Never pass up a shot nature provides.

More Details


The green are not fish eggs. My buddy told me it is an anemone. Beautiful! And the nudibranch – look at the serrations on the rhinopores.


Ok, maybe you are not suitably impressed. But it sure is detail that I did not suspect till I got a real close up look. Yeah, I like to find new things and be impressed. I looked and I have more than 300 dives in this area – mostly on this reef. Many divers want to try something new, go somewhere different, see new stuff. Yes, me too. But I have to admit that I see new things all the time. If you have to be here, it’s not half bad.

I’m still treading water here… the wedding is done by the time this post is up. Now to edit a few pictures. Who knows the future? All I am reasonably sure about is that they are still married. Happily? So far!



It’s all in the details. And perhaps you read yesterday. The ribbon of eggs? Macro lens. This image ain’t sharp. It could be. Maybe it should be. Aren’t the details the important thing? Or is it art? Who knows? When I edit lately, my first pass is for images that appeal to me. This one has enough detail combined with a painterly quality that it qualifies as art. Otherwise I am doing catalog work for a book. Been there and done that elsewhere.


IMG_6990Pyjama chromodorid – the official name in my book. Yes, I spelled it like it was spelled in my book. I know how to spell PJ. It’s a nudibranch.I bet you wanted to know.

And I have shot this subject on many a coral. It was tiny. I like the graphic. It’s on a Red Sea coral. Get it? Oh! Yes look. It has stripes like a pajama. I think you would have figured that out. Every time I shoot on I go for the rhinopores and the gills. (psst… those thing sticking up from its back) And since I discovered lighting I am using less ambient light. I think this is their true color but you would never know because at sixty feet everything does not look so bright and colorful. Why not just be a neutral shade of putrid green? The color means – don’t eat me, I have something bad or I taste bad. Maybe it’s because I have bad taste?

Striped Pajamas


Pyjama chromodorid – doesn’t matter that I don’t know the name. I have taken many photographs of it and still don’t know the official name. It is a nudibranch. Colorful. Dangerous. Do not touch (of course). And don’t eat. Didn’t I say dangerous? This is one of the most common ones I see on the reef. They don’t move fast. There’s a rule. Don’t move them. No one stages them. You don’t touch and put it where it will be more picturesque. Why? I don’t know. It’s sort of unwritten among photographers. But the other knuckleheads are probably eating them. Yes, there are a lot of idiots who think that the reef belongs to them and that killing the wildlife has no consequence on what we see.IMG_7488