Yes, There Are Some Fish Left. Still Not Full?

Posted in Under the Sea on August 9th, 2009 by MadDog
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Yes, that’s right. I’m still not done with the underwater shots. It’s starting to smell distinctly fishy in here. I’m going to have air the place out. I do have a few nice ones this morning, including some of my favourite shots.

At Magic Passage there are always large numbers of Juvenile Silver Sweetlips. Well, I figure that anything called ‘sweetlips’ can’t be that bad. These youngsters, however, are so placid that it is sometimes funny. If you swim up quietly behind a group of them, you can reach out to gently tweak a tail or two. They just move ahead a couple of inches and pretend not to notice.  Here is a small gang looking me over as I snap a shot of them:

Juvenile Silver Sweetlips

They really are a most beautiful fish at this stage of development. The adults are big, ugly grey fish that are so dull that you wouldn’t give them a second look. It’s the opposite of the “ugly duckling” effect.

I never miss a chance to shoot a hermit crab. It takes a bit of patience and you usually have to use flash to get a decent exposure. The problem is that every time you flash one, it ducks back into its shell and then you have to wait for it to come out. A good shot of a hermit crab on the first exposure makes my day:

Hermit Crab

This fine looking little guy is a Randall’s Shrimpgoby. There are an incredible number of species of gobies in these waters, so many, in fact that it is difficult to identify some of them. This species, however is so distinctive in its markings that you can spot one from several metres away, even though they are only about 5cm long.


A large portion of the goby species live in little burrows often shared with a small shrimp that keeps the house tidy.

You’ve seen this shot before of an incredible bulb anemone at Planet Rock. I reworked it extensively, because its going in a magazine and I didn’t like the skin shades on Tracey Lee and the anemone was too bright to be reproduced on a printed page. It would have looked fake:

Fluorescent anemone

In fact, in real life, it does look fake. If the water is clear, you can see it from thirty metres away like a red beacon on the reef. The closer you get, the greater the wow factor. I’ve been observing this anemone and its series of Spinecheek Anemonefish for about fifteen years.

I found this Flat Rock Crab way out above New Ireland some place – I don’t remember exactly where. I’m very slack at keeping records of where I see things:

Flat Rock Crab

The ‘flat’ in the name refers to the crab, not the rock. It is an intensely colourful critter that doesn’t seem to notice anything around it. I waved my hand around in front of this one trying to make him move more into the sunlight, but it didn’t move at all.

Maybe it was sight-impaired.

I’ll torture you for a day or two more with fishy images while I get caught up at work and finish the text and captions for the two articles on which I am slaving away.