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!
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