dancingfish news

Thu, June 29, 2006

Lembeh ‘06 Favorite of the Day, June 29, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

Today’s favorite is another critter interest shot.  I have seen these cute little ringed pipefish in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Indonesia.  Frequently you will see them in groups or pairs.  Once in a while you will see that the male is carrying eggs, as is the one in this photo.  They carry the eggs on their belly, not in a pouch.

Ringed Pipefish


Sun, June 25, 2006

Lembeh ‘06 Favorite of the Day, June 25, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

This is a shrimp called Vir phillippinensis. They are very tiny and live in bubble coral such as that seen here. If you inspect bubble coral, you will frequently see them, but most of the time they are overlooked, as they are very small and transparent. This one is missing one of its front claws, but it is very pretty anyway. There are some variations in stripe pattern and color in the ones I’ve seen in Indonesia and Thailand.

Bubble coral shrimp


Thu, June 22, 2006

Lembeh ‘06 Favorite of the Day, June 22, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

Today’s photo is a semi-closeup of a threadfin hawkfish. Hawkfish are lovely little fish, and threadfins are commonly found on barrel sponges.

Threadfin Hawkfish


Mon, June 19, 2006

Lembeh ‘06 Favorite of the Day, June 19, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

One of my very favorite subjects to shoot is the tunicate. They come in all different sizes, shapes and colors. Some are translucent, and some are opaque. Some only reveal their beauty when touched with light. Some of the prettiest ones look like glass sculpture to me. This photo has many tunicates of different colors and some different types as well.



Sat, June 17, 2006

Lembeh ‘06 Favorite of the Day, June 17, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

Here’s an interesting behavioral shot for today’s photo. This crab is holding a fire urchin on top of his shell, as protection. If you look closely, you can see some of the crab’s legs holding on to the urchin. I’m sure the fire urchin is a very effective deterrant!

Crab with Urchin


Thu, June 15, 2006

Lembeh ‘06 Favorite of the Day, June 15, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

Today’s favorite is an ordinary reef squid. I like cephalopods, to the extent that I refuse to eat them any longer. They’re intelligent, ya know… Anyway, I’m not sure this one was a rocket scientist. We were on a night dive and he came swimming right into our group. We surrounded him, just looking, when he got a bright idea and decided to do the old puff of smoke magic trick escape. He inked and shot off into the distance. Or rather, right into Leslie’s mask, head-on collision, literally. Leslie looked a bit stunned, but I put my light on the squid, and he was all splayed out and frozen in a strange posture, like “I don feel so gooooood…”. Then he seemed to come around and looked intently into my spotting light, which is when I took this photo (two, actually), before we let him go on his merry way.

Reef squid


Tue, June 13, 2006

Lembeh ’06 Favorite of the Day, June 13, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

Here’s another of my favorites (and if I’m not careful, I’ll use up all my favorites, way too soon!). This one has a beautiful painted frogfish with a color coordinated orangutan crab standing on his nose. I didn’t see the crab when I first took a couple of photos of the frogfish, which I was framing from one side. Then as I watched, the crab emerged into view on the frog’s profile! I was rather surprised! Not sure what the relationship is here, but the frog did not seem to be interested in eating the crab.

Frogfish with Orangutan Crab


Sun, June 11, 2006

Lembeh ’06 Favorite of the Day, June 11, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

Here’s a photo of the day selection from my recent Lembeh trip. The photo that I’ve chosen is a rare creature, highly sought after by underwater photographers because they are generally beautiful and come in many different colors. Before going to Lembeh, I’d only seen a black Rhinopias aphanes in PNG, and a purple one on my Thailand trip. In October, there was a pretty violet-red one in Lembeh. This time, there were several sitings all over Lembeh of various colors. We got to see two of the Rhinopias frondosa type, which is more of a solid color, without the stripes or spots of the aphanes, and one was a beautiful violet-blue, and the one in this photo is a gorgeous vivid clear red. This guy was at a depth of 107 feet, and I descended to photograph him, first taking a closeup portrait from the front. As I was adjusting my position, he started to yawn, which took me by surprise, and I scrambled to position and get the shot. I knew I had failed as soon as I took it, and his mouth closed again, and I was slapping my forehead at having missed it. I waited for a bit, as they frequently will yawn multiple times in a row, but he was done. So I took a few more photos and waved goodbye to him. Afterwards, I looked at the yawn photo, and realized that I actually liked it quite alot. It’s got an abstract look caused by the clipped off framing, and though the focus is on the mouth and not the eyes, I think it works for me. Art is in the eye of the beholder, after all!

Red Rhinopias


Sat, June 10, 2006

Lembeh – There and Back Again…    [ Diving,Nerd stuff,Photography,Travel,Website updates ]

I was off last month to Lembeh for a quick trip and back. Unfortunately, our cottage at the end of the beach was not within wireless range, which limited how much I was able to connect, so I decided to focus on sleep and diving rather than uploading images. I took my new Macbook Pro with me, and it proved to be up to the task of downloading, sorting, culling and browsing photos. I didn’t do any editing on the trip, however; I left that to do at home. I was actually done working through the photos very quickly. This was an all-digital trip for me, my first, even though I’ve been shooting digital for four years now. I needed to trim my luggage down to the minimum, and that meant just one camera. Since KBR doesn’t have E6 chemicals right now, I decided to go with the digital. I did miss my Subeye though!

Anyway, I was able to stamp IPTC info into my images as I downloaded them (using Photo Mechanic), and just added caption information when I got back. I then wrote a new Imatch script to populate my normal Imatch properties with the EXIF and IPTC info, which I then can export to SQL using my other custom scripts. This SQL can be imported into my gallery database (Exhibit Engine). I was also fussing with the slideshow, since I was fairly uninspired about the music for it, but I’ve now found some music that I thought was a fit. Couldn’t get Liveslideshow to behave this time with my photos, so I only have a PC side slideshow for now (I can run these using Parallels on my Mac, but it makes it less convenient for others if they don’t have a Windows VM or use Bootcamp), but I’ll update the page later if I can get a QT slideshow created. Soooo without further adieu, the gallery and slideshow are finally ready.

Lembeh May 2006 Gallery

Something I thought would be fun to do would be for me to post a favorite from this trip, periodically, to this news page over the next few weeks or so. Here’s the first of my favorites:

Xeno Crab

This is a Xeno crab, which is a tiny critter that lives in camoflauged comfort on a wire coral. They are usually found fairly deep and all the ones I’ve seen before have been monochromatic. This is the first one I’ve seen that was rather colorful, and it appears to be due to the coral polyps that he seems to be wearing on his shell. I’ve have to research this more; I wasn’t aware that they did that.


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