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Another shot from Jellyfish Lake.  This time with one of our very accommodating dive guides modeling.
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Snorkel site: Jellyfish Lake, Palau

Shot with Olympus OMD EM5, 8mm Panasonic fisheye lens in Nauticam housing and mini dome port, no strobes.

 

Jellyfish Lake is a marine lake on one of the Rock Islands of Palau.  To get there, the boat drops you at the pier and you then hike over a hill to the lake.  We went twice.  The second time, early in the morning and it was very tranquil when we arrived.

I’m not sure, but the lake seemed even saltier than the ocean.

When you get to the dock in the lake after coming back down the hill, you put on your mask, fins and snorkel and jump in.  At first, it’s just a green lake.  No jellies.  Then, as you swim toward the sunny side, you see one jelly.  Then another.  Then a few more.  Then the density goes up fast.  Until finally, you feel like you’re swimming in a thick jellyfish soup.

The jellies keep swimming around, ensuring that they stay in the light.  They do this so that the algae they’re carrying can photosynthesize for them.  Over the long term, these jellies have lost their ability to sting and hunt.  Instead, they’re solar energy farmers.
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Snorkel site: Jellyfish Lake, Palau

Shot with Olympus OMD EM5, 8mm Panasonic fisheye lens in Nauticam housing and mini dome port, no strobes.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

If you’ve been following along, you know I’m a sucker for patterns and texture. Sometimes with no traditional “subject.” Yeah, I know, I know. I’d fail the photo composition class. Good thing I’m already out of school, right?

I love the bright orange patches of lichen in what looks like a quilt on the side of the rock.

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This shot by a different guest photographer.

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.

Olympus OMD EM5, 14-150mm @135mm f/22.

At the Carnaval Parade.

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(Exif here.)

Ok, I know what you’re thinking. Hermit crab? Big deal. Dime a dozen. You can even buy them with decorated shells at the pet store. (And please — don’t do that.)

But this one is a little different.  First, he was big.  The size of a football.  And second, he was a Hairy Hermit!!  And you know you get bonus points for the hairy creatures, right?

On Molokini.  In a crevice.  And shot with my macro set up.  So you know, more bonus points for shooting a big creature when set up for little ones.  Right?

Anyway, I just liked him.

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(Exif here.)

Dive site: Molokini – Reef’s End, Maui, Hawaii