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Posts tagged “Underwater



We rarely get to see a turtle. This guy leisurely swam toward us and then around me. He easily was faster and I simply spun around in place. I was fumbling for the right camera exposure. Lots of things are done by anticipating and by repetition. I needed to switch from flash to natural light. I’m better. The color balance is not quite right. The turtle was a little farther away than the strength of my flash. What the heck! I got a shot close up and good enough that I can tell this story. This is the usual way I capture an image. Unlike the recent story where the group had captured the turtle, this is their house and I am a guest. I suppose in the extreme, turtle soup; but I hope not.

Crown of Thorns Starfish


This is a starfish that eats the reef and kills it. So it is destructive and should be killed on sight. You can’t cut it up. Each piece will generate a new starfish. It is colorful because strobe lighting will make it so.


Otherwise it is drab gray underwater. I dragged this guy out from under the coral and laid it over an outcropping. It then lazily unfolded and moved away. This is only the second time I have seen one in this area of the reef. So I guess most of the coral is still safe.

IMG_7919No, this is not the one I missed a few days back. These guys are hiding. They must know that there is a bounty on them.

Blue Spotted Ray


For the purpose of a book the whole ray in the picture is fine. For the purposes of illustration I find that a cropped image and more close up detail provides better graphics. I would like to have a little action. So let’s get this guy on the move. They tend to be sedentary until provoked. I don’t do anything. I just get in close and then they move.




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.


Feather Duster Worm


It retracts very rapidly to threat. The strobe makes it a lot easier to light and get a focused image. My problem is that I am still struggling to get the exposure perfect. I tend to get close and then the worm retracts. So I am getting fewer shots. But the ones I get are better than what I was getting before. I have to say this is so because the strobe cost me so much to get.

Cardinal Fish


They are described as having two dorsal fins. The book is not entirely complete. I like the head on view with the teeth just so. Mostly the fish tail is what I get in the viewfinder.


But very occasionally there is a fish who challenges me. This is the moment to take advantage and get your shots. The last image is hard to interpret. Was there a bite taken by another predator?


Looking Sad


Mouth down this guy looks sad. He hides under the coral. Shy. It’s still a challenge to get a face on pose. Most fish fear the big noisy object blowing bubbles is going to eat them. I guess hiding under coral gives a measure of security.

Electric Ray


This is a rare fish to find on the reef. It is said to have an electric charge to stun its prey. It is also known as a torpedo ray.


Fun facts? I have had a very limited opportunity to get a proper shot of this fish. The last try my camera was not working properly and I bare got a passable shot. This time around I had everything clicking. The fish did not shock me. I kept away from the electric sensors. I got my shots. Everyone was happy. He swam away safely.

IMG_7990I was so happy to get shots. And my gear was right. The exposure, the focus, the white balance, all perfect. Trust me on this, it ain’t easy.

IMG_7988Oh! And no shock. My dive buddy was horrified to see me so close. But nope, no shocks.



I realize that there are different stonefish. This guy is colorful cute and cooperative. I see them for the details in the eyes and mouth. Otherwise it is entirely easy to miss them. And believe me this fish is not interesting in being detected. This group is dangerous and venomous. Familiarity may be dangerous. But these fish are pretty sedate. They don’t bother me as long as I don’t bother it. I can get in close with my camera. Just follow the rules. Don’t touch anything.


Hector’s Goby


This is a very small fish. It challenges me to get an image. Focus is a big issue. I cannot manual focus effectively. It is always on the move – skittish. Flash/strobe helps. You get good color and stop action. And when it all comes together you have a keeper.IMG_8004-2


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