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Tag Archives: Alex Mustard

After disappointing weather at the outset that had us all shooting macro, the sun came out and with it, the color on the reef.  Here’s a shot from the top of a site called G6. Really liked that site. Look at all that color. All those fish. The glimpse to the pretty blue through the “window.”

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Dive site: G6

1/250th at f/8.  Shot with Olympus OMD EM5, 8mm Panasonic fisheye lens, Nauticam housing and mini dome port, 2 Sea & Sea strobes.

 

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Here’s an expectant anemone fish guarding its eggs. These eggs are very close to hatching. If you look closely, you can see the eyes of the baby fish. The parent comes out from the anemone not only to chase away potential predators, but also to aerate the eggs by blowing water over them.

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Dive site: Pinnacle

1/250th at f/5.6.  Shot with Olympus OMD EM5, 60mm Olympus f/2.8 macro lens, Nauticam housing and flat port, 2 Sea & Sea strobes.

 

Well, as hot as slug on slug action gets anyway.  Here are  a pair of Roboastra Gracilis nudibranchs doing a mating dance in Fiji.

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And they weren’t just dancing.  Nudibranchs are hermaphroditic so when they mate, they fertilize each other.    In the picture below, you can see their genital papilla touching.

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Dive site: Dream Maker

1/250th at f/11.  Shot with Olympus OMD EM5, 60mm Olympus f/2.8 macro lens, Nauticam housing and flat port, 2 Sea & Sea strobes.

 

We’ll get back to all that crazy color a little later.

But for now, here’s an up close and personal encounter with a little hawkfish (dwarf, I think).  Under a little ledge, looking back at me.  I’m sure hoping that I’d move along.  As you’ll see from the notes below, shot with my macro lens which definitely wasn’t the plan.  All that color from yesterday, those big expanses of corals — the plan was for wide angle.  But the weather was lousy.  The visibility was poor.  And so instead of fighting the conditions with a wide angle set up, we all jumped in to do macro instead.

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Dive site: Underwater Fantasy

1/160th at f/11.  Shot with Olympus OMD EM5, 60mm Olympus f/2.8 macro lens, Nauticam housing and flat port, 2 Sea & Sea strobes.

 

I just got back from another great underwater photography workshop with Alex Mustard, this time in Fiji.  Despite a few logistical challenges this time and less than perfect weather at the outset, it was still a great trip.  And so very nice to see so many familiar faces too.  Ultimately most important, the diving and photographic opportunities were great.  We all came away with images we were quite pleased with.

And the colors, wow.  The colors are unbelievable in the literal meaning of that word.  But don’t take my word for it.  See for yourself.

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Bright orange anthias swimming out from the bright pink, yellow and magenta soft corals.

Dive site: Instant Replay

1/250th at f/8.  Shot with Olympus OMD EM5, 8mm Panasonic fisheye lens, Nauticam housing and mini dome port, 2 Sea & Sea strobes.

 

If you’ve been following along, you know I dive because I like the critters. The odder looking, the better. And then there’s this. No strobe. No color. No critter. So, this is a bit of a departure. It’s a detail from the Kittiwake, a former US Navy submarine rescue vessel. Sunk in Grand Cayman as an artificial reef. And there are some fish. Maybe we’ll see a shot or 2 of them later. But not that much growth on the ship yet.

So, why am I here? Well, it was a workshop and shooting with available light and filters was one of our assignments. And stretching boundaries is usually a good idea. So there you go. Will I be shooting a lot more wrecks? Probably not. But I did have some fun.

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Grand Cayman.

Olympus OMD EM5, 8mm fisheye.  Nautica housing with mini-dome port.

Suggested musical accompaniment.

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Sting Ray City, Grand Cayman.

Olympus OMD EM5, 8mm fisheye.  Nautica housing with mini-dome port.

Alex has been trying to break me of the habit of shooting the dark green coral.  Has he succeeded?  In a word, no.

When I saw this scene, I immediately stopped to shoot it.  The good news is at least I’m better at lighting them now.

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Grand Cayman.

Olympus OMD EM5, 8mm fisheye.  Nautica housing with mini-dome port.

So, not only can I not remember the plot of the movie, I can’t even remember the title correctly.  It’s “Escape TO Witch Mountain.”  And really, it’s just the notion of spookiness and a storm on a mountain that I’m after. Because that’s what these silversides swimming against the top of the wall suggested to me.  Kind of like seeing your headlights reflected by back by a driving rain as you race around the mountain at night.

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Grand Cayman.

Olympus OMD EM5, 8mm fisheye.  Nautica housing with mini-dome port.

Got to love a nice straight fish trying to hide next to a curly, curvy fan.  Good thing I don’t eat trumpet fish, I guess.

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Grand Cayman.

Olympus OMD EM5, 8mm fisheye.  Nautica housing with mini-dome port.