Still Hungry? Have Some More Fish

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I’m still catching up with myself on posts, since I was out of commission for three days hammering away on Photoshop for two magazine articles. I finished about forty images, so I will have some left over for probably one more article. I just have to think about what to write about. That’s always the hard part. The images are easy and fun, as long as you don’t hit it for more than about twelve hours at a time. If you do, you get a terrible headache and then you have to drink some beer. Being a free-lancer is a hard life. You get to have fun for twelve solid hours and then drink some beer. I don’t know how I can stand the pressure.

I showed you this Bulb Anemone some time ago. I never was satisfied that I captured the extraordinary colours that I saw with my eyes. Sometimes the combination of the sensor technology in the cameras and the way Photoshop interacts with the images does not reproduce the colours as they were seen. That’s where the work comes in. I worked for about an hour on this one, just to get the colours right. I’ve never seen another anemone this colour. The whole field of them look ghostly white from above. I think that they are sick:

An ethereal Bulb Anemone

It’s very pretty, even if it doesn’t look real. That’s the way I saw it.

While we’re on things that most people never see, have a look at the head of this Crocodile Fish. I’m too lazy at the moment to look these critters up in my fish book, but someday I will come back and add the taxonomic names and put them in as tags. That gets me a lot of hits on the site from people who are looking for images of specific creatures:


Have a nice dream about that one tonight.

Coral Trout – Coral Cod – these are local names and not to be trusted for identification. They are pretty, anyway:

Coral Trout or Coral Cod - as you please

And, YES, this fish is actually as red as the image makes it look. If you get the sun on it at the right angle, it’ looks like a plastic toy:

A truly drastic Coral Cod

You have to click to enlarge to see the bright blue spots on the skin. The Coral Cod above was shot under the wing of the B-25 bomber at Wongat Island. Part of the reason that it looks so bright is that I had to use flash to get the shot. I really prefer to work with natural light, but sometimes there is just not enough of it.

Time for one more shot. This is not a great cuttlefish shot, but it’s the best one that I have, so far. They are actually pretty easy to photograph, since they are so curious and tend to hang around until somebody scares it and it disappears with a puff of black ink left in its wake:


It seem as if I’ve missed more cuttlefish shots than just about any other critter. Either I don’t have my camera, or somebody else sees one and doesn’t let me know. I just hate it when I get back on the boat and somebody says, “Did you see the fantastic __________ ? (Fill in the blank). I just smile and reach for a cigar.

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3 Responses to “Still Hungry? Have Some More Fish”

  1. Photgraphing the Photographer | Madang - Ples Bilong Mi Says:

    […] Bulb Anemones, like some other anemones, can display an almost unreal range of colours as you can see from the one in this post. […]

  2. Steve Says:

    Would you mind telling what mode you shoot in is it manual tv av etc and your settings.

  3. MadDog Says:

    Steve, I set up the C1 custom control position with my favourite settings. These work for me as well above water as under. I shoot with a fixed ISO, not letting the camera change it. I usually stay at ISO 80. I also set the metering for spot. This give me creative control over exposure by allowing me to fix the centre of the frame on the area which I want correct exposure and then lock it in with the exposure lock button at the top right corner of the back of the camera. I can then re-frame the shot and take it. I also always shoot in the RAW mode. This is absolutely critical for underwater shooting. In JPG mode you can never make the necessary colour temperature and tint corrections which you can make by shooting in the RAW mode and using software such as the Adobe Camera RAW filter. I also never use flash when I have sufficient available light for an exposure. If I have the time for it, I will put the camera in full manual mode and set the aperture and shutter speed to what I think is best for the shot. You can also experiment with the “follow focus” mode, but I find that it sometimes doesn’t work well. That’s pretty much it. When you get everything set, you go to the bottom of the settings and save it as the default for the C1 position. On the G11, the little wheel on the top left side allows a quick way to change your exposure value in one-third stop steps. I use it constantly to get the exposure that I want. I also generally keep the histogram display on the screen, since the ambient brightness level can fool you into an incorrect exposure if you go by what you see on the screen. The histogram will show you absolutely if you are blocking the blacks or blowing out the whites.

    I checked out your site. That’s some very fine shooting, man.