Cuttlefish Hunger

Posted in Under the Sea on June 9th, 2010 by MadDog
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I have a fantastic shot for you today. A couple of days ago I put up a post showing an image of a Cuttlefish. I had looked over the frames which I had taken and chosen the one that I thought was the prettiest. Yesterday, as I was going back over the images from that dive on Planet Rock last Saturday, I discovered something which I had not noticed in my earlier examinations – something which blew my itsy-bitsy mind.

The is the same Broadclub Cuttlefish (Sepia latimanus)  which you saw in the post linked to above. Do you notice anything odd about it? Go on, have a good look before I tell you. Click on it to make it larger:

It quite clearly has a fish sticking out of its mouth. Richard Jones told me that he thought that it was actively hunting when we ran across it. I never thought more about it. It must have snatched this fish with its long feeding tentacles only moments before I snapped this shot. I Googled some “cuttlefish feeding” images this morning and found plenty of examples of the act of feeding, but no others showing a fish sticking out a a cuttlefish’s mouth. I get lucky so often that it is beginning to frighten me.

Today, we’ll alternate back and forth between beauty and weirdness. Some might say that the Cuttlefish is beautiful, but it’s also weird.

Here’s your beauty. It’s lovely Geneviève Tremblay waving “Hello” to you:

Geneviève is a volunteer worker here in Madang. She is a physiotherapist, a much needed skill here in our hazardous country.

I used the “Hello in All Languages” WordPress plugin for the greeting from Geneviève. If you get something other that your local language equivalent of “Hello” please let me know. I’m still testing it.

Snapping back to weird, here is an elegant Longsnout Flathead (Thysanophrys chiltonae):

These are very common on our reefs. They are ambush hunters. Their camouflage abilities are amazing as you can see in this post.

Let’s flip back to beauty for a moment:

Here is a sweet shot of Roz Savage with some lovely orange Antheas and a Feather Star in the foreground. I was so pleased with this shot. It’s definitely going in MadDog’s Little Book of Memories.

Now, this one is not ugly, but it is weird looking. It’s a common Scorpion Shell (Lambis scorpius):

It doesn’t look like much when you first see it laying in the sand.

But, gently turn it over and:

Zowie! That’s a whole different thing there.

Mother Ocean is full of surprises.

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Still Hungry? Have Some More Fish

Posted in Under the Sea on August 8th, 2009 by MadDog
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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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A Cuttlefish Introduces Something New

Posted in Mixed Nuts, Photography Tricks on January 22nd, 2009 by MadDog
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I have so many fancy new features now that can’t make up my mind where to start.

First, we need to do a

I’m not happy with the service on the new host and neither is the fellow who is helping me with the technical aspects of all this nonsense. SO, we’re moving yet again. You shouldn’t even notice the move, but if I seem to have fallen off the edge of the world for a day or so, please be patient. As The Terminator said, “I’ll be back!” There will be no change of address, so you don’t need to do anything at all.

These cuttlefish photos are from years ago when I was using a tiny underwater housing holding a throw-away film camera. They’re not good photos, but the do illustrate the incredible changes that a cuttlefish can display within a matter of seconds:

You have a couple of different choices concerning how you can display the photos. Try them out. I haven’t even had time to try them myself, so we’ll be figuring it out together.

Hang in there – MORE TO COME!