Monday, February 23, 2009

Shapes and patterns

Think ‘Shapes and patterns’ was one of the tips the editor of a dive magazine gave me when we talked about my competition entries and what makes a winning photograph. On my next dive trip I started paying more attention to this.
I remember photographing an emperor shrimp on a seacucumber and waiting forever until it moved and was nicely framed on a white band in between two brown patches. I managed to take a few shots before it moved and the results were far more interesting than the photos I took while only concentrating on the shrimp. The Anemone shrimp pictured here is a similar story. A common species I photographed many times before but this time around I positioned myself so I could get a clear shot of the centre of the anemone and waited for the shrimp to move into the frame.

Periclimenes holthuisi, Misool Eco Resort House reef

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Pygmy Seahorses

This species of pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus pontohi) was a recent discovery when we visited Manado some years ago. Due to their size of just about one centimetre and their incredible camouflage they blend in with the background so well they went unnoticed on the walls of Bunaken for many years. Our guide Vanus knew where to find some on a divesite called Lekuan II and took us there on the first day of our stay. He found us an individual and I tried my luck, however its size and the fact that I only owned a 60mm macro lens didn't make it an easy subject. However I was happy to have seen the new species and gave it my best.

Two days later we returned to Lekuan II and found a few individuals in the same area. One of them was feeding on the hydroids they live in and I watched and took some photographs. At 21 meters depth and on the 3rd dive of the day, my computer soon warned me my no-deco time was running out. I knew I had to go up, but stayed a bit longer to watch the feeding behaviour.

Just when I started to go up I saw something move near where the Pygmy I'd been watching was. I looked again and couldn't believe my luck when I saw another seahorse had joined the first one. With my computer still beeping I repositioned my camera and managed to take 3 or 4 more shots before I had to join my buddy already waiting for me a few meters up.