From a couple of days ago..
When I indulge myself in shooting clownfish, I’m just as enamoured of the beautiful negative space of the anemones as with the fish themselves. And sometimes the anemone is the primary subject. So many different types, jeweled glass sculptures.
There’s a lovely site in the Solomons called Mirror Pond where I have lots of little friends that I have made over the years. In fact, there are hundreds of them. They are little coral hermit crabs, also called burrowing crabs. They live in the holes that were previously occupied by christmas tree worms. Some of them live quite close together and I imagine them having neighborly chats daily.
There are pygmy seahorses in the Solomons. Most of the pygmies I’ve seen there are the Hippocampus denise. I’ve seen the bumpies (bargibanti) there, but very rarely. The denise pygmies tend to be very small. This guy in particular was really tiny, and shy, but seemed rather interested in me. I have several photos of him checking me out, and he was very cute.
I have flowers blooming all over the yard right now, and a lens that I wanted to try out, so yesterday I had a seven minute shoot in the waning light before dusk. Here are a few of the results.
This little guy has been popular on Stumbleupon lately. He’s one of my favorites too. He’s a juvenile boxfish, which looks like a small, squarish bright yellow balloon with black spots and teeny tiny propeller fins.
Hmmm, I think I might have messed up last week’s favorite of the day, and not made it public! It’s corrected now.
And now, for the Solomons 2006 Favorite of the Day, March 18, 2007:
This nudibranch (Nembrotha kubaryana) is trekking across what looks like moonscape. In reality, it’s a lovely lavender colored sponge, and I spotted him (her? it?) on a very current swept dive at the fabulous Solomons dive site called Velvia (aka Babycakes Reef in Newbert-speak). In fact, I got just this one mediocre shot of the nudi, before the current peeled it off the sponge and up into the water column, exposing its soft bluish underwear. Of course, it landed in a crevice with no worthwhile negative space and an awful angle. Ah well :).. At least I have this one shot of the nudi doing a moondance..
A funny little crab with a funny name, that’s the orangutan crab. And they do look like primates. These little crabs mostly live in bubble corals or mushroom corals, though I have seen them in other kinds or corals as well. They are a decorator crab, and gather red algae to embellish their skinny little appendages, which then looks like primate fur. This one is sitting in a mushroom coral.
I’ve always had great fun photographing the various anemonefish in the Solomons. I have seen Clowns (Percula), Pinks, Clarks, Orangefins, Red and Blacks, White Bonnets, Pandas, Oranges and Spinecheeks there (using imprecise common names). Among my favorites are the spinecheeks. Spinecheeks usually dwell in bubble tip anemones, also a favorite. Normally there is a pair, with a larger female and a smaller male, and there may be some juveniles present as well. This photo is of a male spinecheek in a bubble tip anemone. If you look closely, you can see the tiny spines coming out from his cheeks, one on each side.
There is a wide variety of coral hermit crabs in the Solomons. You will likely see many of them show up in my favorites of the day for a while :). I was hoping to catch this one with the crab and the christmas tree worm both as points of interest. The depth of field was so shallow, that I think it was an impossible quest, but the crab was cute anyway…
There is beauty in some of the most common creatures on the reef.
The galleries and slideshows are up for my recent trip to the Solomon Islands and Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia, where the leafy sea dragons live. I was even able to once again create a slideshow that works on the Mac. It’s Flash based, and a larger download than the PC slideshow, but I’m happy to be able to support that platform again!
Here’s the link to the main gallery page, which has links to the slideshows as well:
Did I do a calendar this year?? Actually yes, though it was a bit delayed. I created a quick one before my trip to the Solomons in December, just so I could get a couple printed for family before I left, since I knew it would be well into January before I was back. But I wanted to have photos from the Solomons included in my final calendar, so I did not post it on my site at that time. I’ve now integrated some photos from the Solomons trip, so it is done and available. A little late for those who like to have their calendars in January, but available nonetheless!
I am busily working on my Solomons and Adelaide galleries, and hope to be able to launch them very shortly.Â In the meantime, here is the first of what will be my series on favorites of the day from that trip.
This is a juvenile spinecheek anemonefish, in a fluorescent bubble tip anemone.Â The anemone looks neon red to the eye in ambient light, but the strobe light saps out the fluorescence in the photo, leaving the golden brown color.Â Sometime I will have to try taking an ambient light photo that does it justice.
We are in Adelaide, doing some diving and wine touring.Â Barossa Valley yesterday and diving the Rapid Bay Jetty the day before.Â I was able to see leafy sea dragons for the first time.Â Here are a couple of photos:
Live from Brisbane.. We got in from the Solomons yesterday. I shot all macro with film on the charter, so the only digital photos I have are from my few wide angle dives. This is a shot of a school of barracuda at Mary Island, between the Russell Islands and Marovo Lagoon in the Solomons.
We are headed to Adelaide tomorrow to find leafy sea dragons. I’ll probably shoot them with film, so may not have photos to share until I am back home, but I may be able to post another of the WA shots from the Solomons. Stay tuned!
Rhinopias scorpionfish are some of the most beautiful fish in the ocean. They come in all kinds of colors and patterns. I’ve been lucky enough to see several, and each one was lovely. This Rhinopias was only the second one I’d ever seen, and it was very unexpectedly seen on our Thailand trip.
I’m about to head out to dive for a bit, so I’ll pick back up on favorites of the day in January. Have a very merry holiday season!
In 2001 I made my first trip to Papua New Guinea and got to see many cool critters and behaviors. I like the Risbecia tryoni nudibranchs and had seen them in the Solomons, but in PNG, I saw one with an emperor shrimp on it for the first time. This shrimp seems almost too large for the nudibranch!
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