Jul 222013

Dancing shrimp

About the site

After realising last week that I hadn’t talked about diving Richelieu Rock aboard the MV Giamani, I shared a couple of my favourite wide angle shots from the dive with you. And the view across the dive site was pretty spectacular. Beyond the view in great vis I really enjoyed was the two dives I did with my macro lens, because every crevice I looked into, a critter was looking back out at me. Richelieu is covered in critters from lionfish to clownfish, dancing shrimp to decorator crabs, with spotfaced, honeycomb and white-eyed moray eels jostling for position.

About the dive

The abundance of photogenic critters presented a bit of a dilemma. Instead of being able to focus on getting the best shot of the critter that I had found I would take just a few shots before getting distracted by the creature in the crevice next door. The upside to this was seeing a lot of critters, and the downside was that I didn’t get to any particularly artistic outputs. Next time I shall try to stay focussed!

Spot faced moray

About the photo

When I dive under piers around home I may only see three or four photo subjects that I want to photograph. This leads to photographing animals in less-than-photogenic spots, because that’s where you find them. I’ve picked this shrimp shot out to show you because I was really happy with the background I found him on. Shrimp are complicated creatures with see-through bits, eyes that always look out of focus and appendages sticking out of the plane of focus in every direction. Finding an uncluttered backdrop is essential to a recognisable shot.

The shrimp above was hanging out in the spines of an urchin and felt safe there. This meant I could come in very close (this shot is uncropped) and he just sat there and waved his antennae at me. I couldn’t convince his buddy next door to leave, as you can see from the additional feeler in the shot. Even so it’s easy to tell that you’re looking at a shrimp and his shapes and patterns are interesting rather than confusing.

The second photo is one of the gorgeous and tiny spot-faced moray eels. I’m used to seeing large green morays gulping water, and we’d already seen large honeycomb morays on this trip, but Richelieu was the first place I saw tiny eels in so many different varieties. This little guy was very cute.

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