dancingfish news

Sat, September 02, 2006

Lembeh ‘06 Favorite of the Day, September 2, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

There are many, many frogfish in the Lembeh Strait. Lembeh has the reputation of being the frogfish capital of the world, and I have to believe it. I’ve certainly never seen so many frogs as I’ve seen there. Some are large, some are tiny, some are ugly, and some are very beautiful. This one had a lovely face.

Frog

09:55:22

Sat, August 26, 2006

Lembeh ‘06 Favorite of the Day, August 26, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

This is a pair of Moon faced Euselenops, which I’d never seen before. They are a type of pleurobranch, small (less than 2 inches in length), and very fast moving for a branch. I watched these two come swirling together in a dance before settling down to mate. This is another photo that is more about critter interest than about the aesthestic.

06:24:57

Mon, August 21, 2006

Lembeh ‘06 Favorite of the Day, August 21, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

I’ve seen Chinese Dragon nudibranchs in several Indo-pacific locations, but the ones I’ve seen in the Lembeh Strait have been especially ornate and pretty. This one was in a lovely pose.

Chinese Dragon Nudibranch

21:05:10

Sat, August 12, 2006

Lembeh ‘06 Favorite of the Day, August 12, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

I am not sure why this particular photo appeals to me.  I think I like the form and flow, and the fact that the two slugs look a bit like mother and child, though I am sure they are not.

Sea Slugs

06:16:16

Fri, August 04, 2006

Lembeh ‘06 Favorite of the Day, August 4, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

I like thorny seahorses and think they are one of the more photogenic seahorse varieties.

Thorny seahorse

06:19:07

Fri, July 28, 2006

Lembeh ‘06 Favorite of the Day, July 28, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

This is a spiny waspfish, one of several species of waspfish that I have seen in the Lembeh Strait, but this is one of the less common ones. Its pale color made for a nice contrast with the dark green sponge.

Spiny Waspfish

07:20:11

Sat, July 22, 2006

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

I have difficulty telling the difference between juvenile cuttlefish and full grown pygmy or other tiny cuttlefish.  I need to do more research into the distinguishing factors, but I believe this one was a juvenile (about 2″ in length).

Cuttlefish

07:24:05

Sun, July 16, 2006

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

Fingered dragonets are funny little fish. They have claw-like pectoral fins, and walk about on the bottom with deliberate, lurching movements. They look very nondescript at first glance, but have some beautiful blue markings on their face and fins, well worth a closeup.

Fingered Dragonet

09:51:28

Wed, July 12, 2006

Lembeh ‘06 Favorite of the Day, July 12, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

No, I haven’t slacked off, and I have yet more photos that I want to post, but I’ve just been very busy. It’s time to look at Rhinopias number two from this trip. This is again a Rhinopias frondosa, similar to the yawning red one I posted earlier, but this one was a beautiful lavender color. He seems to have lots of friends attached to his face (I think I counted at least five isopods (amphipods??) on him). I hope they aren’t bugging him…

Lavender Rhinopias

17:51:18

Thu, July 06, 2006

Lembeh ‘06 Favorite of the Day, July 6, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

Clowns are always great fun to shoot. ‘Nuff said! :)

Spinecheek

21:25:18

Sun, July 02, 2006

Lembeh ‘06 Favorite of the Day, July 2, 2006    [ Diving,Photography,Travel ]

Lionfish are very common in the Indo-Pacific; however, I never get tired of shooting them. They can be very curious and bold, approaching divers and bumping into their reflections in the housing port. This lionfish seemed enamored of his own reflection, and I’m posting two favorites that I took of him. We were off the bottom and in the water column, and I was able to shoot him without any distracting background.

Lionfish face

Lionfish

11:33:20

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

08:44:07

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

10:53:25

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

07:25:22

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.

Tunicates

08:52:02

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

07:41:52

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

17:46:07

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

16:39:47

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

12:02:18

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.

17:41:32

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