dancingfish news

Sat, April 21, 2007

Solomons 2006 Favorite of the Day, April 21, 2007    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

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.

Anemone Mouth


Sat, April 14, 2007

Solomons 2006 Favorite of the Day, April 14, 2007    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

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.
Coral Hermit Crabs


Sat, April 07, 2007

Solomons 2006 Favorite of the Day, April 7, 2007    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

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.



Sat, March 24, 2007

Solomons 2006 Favorite of the Day, March 24, 2007    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

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.

Juvenile boxfish


Sun, March 18, 2007

It’s a marvelous night for a moondance..    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

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..

Nembrotha kubaryana


Sat, March 10, 2007

Solomons 2006 Favorite of the Day, March 10, 2007    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

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.

orangutan crab


Sat, March 03, 2007

Solomons 2006 Favorite of the Day, March 3, 2007    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

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.

Spinecheek anemonefish


Sat, February 24, 2007

Solomons 2006 Favorite of the Day, February 24, 2007    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

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…

coral hermit crab


Sat, February 17, 2007

Solomons ‘06 Favorite of the Day, February 17, 2007    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

There is beauty in some of the most common creatures on the reef.

Crinoid detail


Tue, February 06, 2007

Solomons 2006 and Leafy Sea Dragon Galleries    [ Diving,Photography,Travel,Website updates ]

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:




Sat, February 03, 2007

Solomons ‘06 Favorite of the Day, February 3, 2007    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

I am busily working on my Solomons and Adelaide galleries, and hope to be able to launch them very shortly.  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.  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.  Sometime I will have to try taking an ambient light photo that does it justice.

Juvenile Spinecheek


Tue, January 09, 2007

Leafy Sea Dragons!    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

We are in Adelaide, doing some diving and wine touring.  Barossa Valley yesterday and diving the Rapid Bay Jetty the day before.  I was able to see leafy sea dragons for the first time.  Here are a couple of photos:

Leafy Sea Dragon

Leafy Closeup


Thu, January 04, 2007

Teaser from the Solomons…    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

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.
Barracuda at Mary Island
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!


Sat, December 16, 2006

Favorite of the Day, December 16, 2006    [ Photography,Travel ]

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!



Sat, October 14, 2006

Lembeh ‘06 Favorite of the Day, October 14, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

Risbecia tryoni is one of my favorite nudibranchs. I like the dark purple spots and skirt edging, and the shades of brown coloration. These nudibranchs frequently are “tailgaters” in pairs, and sometimes have commensal shrimp aboard.

Risbecia tryoni nudibranch


Sat, October 07, 2006

Lembeh ‘06 Favorite of the Day, October 7, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

Pegasusfish or Pegasus Sea Moths are very small and very well camoflauged fish that dwell on sand bottoms, blending in so well that if you look away from them for just a moment, you frequently have to re-search the bottom to find them again. This aids in their survival, as they are also slow and clumsy. So low to the bottom, they are a difficult subject to photograph as you can’t “get under them”.



Sat, September 30, 2006

Lembeh ‘06 Favorite of the Day, September 30, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

How about another cephalopod?  One of my favorite marine animals is the cuttlefish, which, as octopus, come in a wide variety of sizes and colors.  The reef cuttles in Lembeh are fairly friendly, but cautious.  Some of them hide in the sand.  This cuttlefish was high in the water column.  You can tell by the coloration that it was relaxed and not threatened, yet did not let me get close enough for a face portrait.



Sat, September 23, 2006

Lembeh ‘06 Favorite of the Day, September 23, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

Lembeh has wonderful octopuses. I have seen the mimic, wonderpus, long armed, and starry octopuses there, along with this guy, the coconut octopus. The coconut octopus takes shelter in coconut or mollusc shells, and frequently carries them around with him on his travels of the day.

Octopus with shell

Walking Octopus


Sat, September 16, 2006

Lembeh ‘06 Favorite of the Day, September 16, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

There are lots of interesting nudibranchs, and many in Lembeh just seem to want to pose, especially the Hypselodoris bullocki:

Hypselodoris bullocki


Sat, September 09, 2006

Lembeh ‘06 Favorite of the Day, September 9, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

One of the approaches I like to take (and which I learned from Chris Newbert) is to look at an ordinary subject, such as this Chromodoris quadricolor nudibranch, and try to show it in an unordinary way.  Still working on this tactic…

Chromodoris quadricolor


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