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Harrassing and stressing nudibranchs


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#1 frisco

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 07:23 AM

Should you see a fellow photographer using a black plastic board as a stage for nudibranchs, picking animals from the reef/sand/rubble area where he finds them and placing them on the board in order to achieve a black background, how would you feels about that ???

My point is that you could achieve the same result (black background) using a snoot and the inward lighting technique without hassassing or stressing the animal; nudibranch are quite co-operative and easy subjects to shoot and IMHO we should avoid picking them up and placing them in better postions.

Moreover, would the pictures achieved the the above mentioned "technique" be accepted in a photo contest ??? I doubt any serious photo contest would accept pictures obtained by harrassing/stressing animals or by moving them around the reef ...

What do you think ???

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#2 cor

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 08:12 AM

A white one would be much better!
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#3 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 08:25 AM

Or one with a gate for them to jump over!

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#4 frisco

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 08:36 AM

Any reference to well know photographers (white board) or wannabe well know photographer (board with gate) if absolutely intentional !!!!

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#5 MikeVeitch

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 08:42 AM

i know my next project when i get back to Lembeh...

Nudis jumping over white gates :drink:

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#6 frisco

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 08:51 AM

i know my next project when i get back to Lembeh...

Nudis jumping over white gates :laugh:


Mike, don't forget the black anal speculum to inspect seacucumber's dark holes ..... :drink:
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#7 gbrandon

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 10:03 AM

Mike, don't forget the black anal speculum to inspect seacucumber's dark holes ..... :drink:



Hate to say it, but the truth is out of all the diving Ive ever done all over the world, photographers are the worst divers 99% of the time.
For some reason though, when I dive cold water, I dont see near the destruction I do from photographers as when im in warm water.

Have no idea why that is, except maybe cold water divers have more respect for the ecosystem than warm water divers, or the fact that the warm water divers are usually people that dive rarely, and need to get that pic no matter what cost, since who knows when they will be on another trip somewhere.


and to answer your question, nobody should move anything, for a picture, or anything else.

Would a wildlife photographer move a baby bird out of the nest to get a better shot? I sure hope not.

Its no different with sea life.

Edited by gbrandon, 11 February 2010 - 10:04 AM.


#8 PRC

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 10:30 AM

Compared with a devastation of a beam trawl, moving a transient nudibranch is sadly irrelevant.

Think if we are to beat ourselves up over the nudibranch then we need to get some priorities in order here.

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Edited by PRC, 11 February 2010 - 10:30 AM.

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#9 BigJeff

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 10:33 AM

Black is the wrong colour - white get's you into NatGeo......

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#10 gbrandon

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 11:22 AM

Compared with a devastation of a beam trawl, moving a transient nudibranch is sadly irrelevant.

Think if we are to beat ourselves up over the nudibranch then we need to get some priorities in order here.

Paul C



Its not moving it per say, (although I dont agree with moving anything) its what people are doing nowadays to take a picture. Staging a picture is BS. Check out the 2009 Outdoor Wildlife Photography contest. The winner was disqualified for staging the photo. He took the pic at a wildlife reserve of a wolf jumping over a gate. Talk about BS. Thats a slap in the face to everyone that spends time outdoors spending hours to get a photograph of something in the wild. Same thing here. If you want art, go fire photoshop up and make art. Images that have been manipulated are ART. If you want a true photograph, take the pic as found view. I have no respect for peoples "images". But I do have alot of respect for people's Pictures. A photo shouldnt be judged on how well someone can use photoshop.
There is a big difference between doing some contrast or brightness adjustments and changing the composition of the photo.

Edited by gbrandon, 11 February 2010 - 11:39 AM.


#11 greedo5678

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 04:09 AM

Im a no touch person.

PRC, As for beam trawls, they are super destructive, but are the reasons for doing such a practice completely different? A trawl is catch and consume certain benthic animals. The bicatch, true, is a waste of life, and this fishing method should be addressed, but u try getting near the EU to address anything proper...

However my point is this, trawling its to catch and consume something for, as some could see it, our survival, or hunter vs hunted. Moving a nudi or any organism, can only stress or harm the animal for what? a photo? how proud do u feel of that manipulated photo? would u ever show it in a contest, knowing it was cheated?

Gbrandon - having never dived/dove in cold water i cant speak there, but maybe people have spent their well earned money to fly to another part of the world to see wild, rare species, so feel that they must get the shot.
Next year of course they will go somewhere else, never see the destruction they cause and evidently dont care - until the prices for their beloved holidays go up as they have to fly to further reaches of the globe to find something to photo. If u need an example - go dive the med!

People need to be reminded that they are visitors to the underwater world and visitors to other peoples livelihoods (often those living below the poverty line) and should learn some respect. If they are on a boat with me, they will get my views on their dive skills and im not afraid to tell them. U should do so to, before its too late.

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#12 JackConnick

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 07:10 AM

I generally don't move things. If I do move a nudi, I let it crawl on my hand and gently place it in the same area, perhaps out of a crevice, etc. Usually everything photographs better where you find it.

That being said, get over it, they're clams without shells...

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#13 kkgodiving

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 07:50 AM

I despise anyone manhandling nudi or any other creature for the sake of their photography objective.
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#14 cor

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 07:53 AM

Stepping on a spider or cockroach on the other hand, totally acceptable!
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#15 kkgodiving

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 08:04 AM

Stepping on a spider or cockroach on the other hand, totally acceptable!


I guess that is a yes if it is not for personal photography objective :drink:
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#16 cor

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 08:08 AM

If you think about it, it's kinda warped. Touching a nudibranch is despicable, an act of terrorism against nature itself, but brutally killing a spider because it happens to be catching insects in your home is just fine.
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#17 Drew

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 08:27 AM

Uh-oh the equivalency arguments .... Buddhists, DUCK quickly! :drink:

Let's first get the comparisons straight. Jose got his butt kicked by BBC not because he used a tame wolf, but because he lied about it.

As for contests and subject manipulation, obviously the smaller critters are easier to control, so you'll see a high number of photos with "staged" scenes. Then again now that even Beluga whales are kept in net enclosures for photographers to dive and take shots with them, as well as whale sharks etc., I guess the judges have to be pretty knowledgeable about the animals in captivity.

Competitions have rules against harassment and manipulation. How it's enforced is another issue. It's difficult to prove (unless you have someone taking photos of you perpetratin'! :laugh:

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#18 PRC

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:27 AM

PRC, As for beam trawls, they are super destructive, but are the reasons for doing such a practice completely different?


Yup - one is for profit regardless of the environmental cost.

The other is in all probability never going to make money ( aside from the select few who are good enough at it ).

Whatever, in the second case I would contend that significantly less damage results than the first, and in all probability - zero, none, nada....


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#19 DeanB

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 01:50 PM

I attended a 'wildlife filming weekend' a few years ago and was asked 'how far' I would go to 'get the shot !!!' ... I answered I'd only shoot critters in natural settings ... Afterwards I thought What a liar as I remembered placing a cranefly (daddy longlegs) in an Orb spiders web to capture the spider wrapping the insect in its silk ... Great shot but I expect the Cranefly wasn't happy ... I am now guilty Of placing Butterfly caterpillers on certain leaves to get a lovely sequence if they wouldn't move there themselves ... Is this similiar with Nudi's ... etc ...As long as they are not injured during this 'stressful' move... I expect 99% of filmmakers/ photo pro's have 'moved' something in their careers...

I think (with comps) you should always admit any manipulation ...

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#20 greedo5678

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 02:21 PM

PRC, next time u handle a nudi, please go lick ur fingers... i suggest a nice Phyllidid. x
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