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bmyates

Caught in the Act...again

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I finally finished processing photos from my recent Indonesia trip and put up a gallery on my website.

 

One of the pleasant surprises of the trip was one of my mandarinfish photos. Of all the fish in the sea, mandarins are probably the one most often photographed "in the act" :P but this photo clearly shows the female releasing her eggs (a split second before the pair dashed back into the rubble). I'm sure others have caught this in photos as well, but I have never seen it, so I was delighted to have captured it. I'd love to say I timed my shutter release at that precise moment on purpose, but I'm afraid it was just dumb luck! :P

 

312819796_YqjYw-M-2.jpg

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I'd love to say I timed my shutter release at that precise moment on purpose, but I'm afraid it was just dumb luck! :P

 

Nice job regardless and remember we all contribute to making our own luck. You can just have easily been out of focus, f/stop off, strobes wrong and the rest. So I think you did more than just have dumb luck :P

 

Now about your Peeping Tom tendencies.... :P

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Very nice. I think a lot of us get lucky and happen to be in the right place at the right time. The key is, you were there and captured the image. Well done.

 

Cheers

 

Todd

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It's a beautiful image, with or without the eggs; the eggs take it up a notch.

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Absolutely stunning photo!

 

Would I be cheeky to ask you how you had your rig set up? After an unsuccessful Mandarin fish dive myself (focus light packed up after I'd spent I don't know how long making a red filter for it!! ;) ) I'd love to know how you got your shot...

 

What spotting / focus light were you using? Did you go for a red filter etc :)

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great one. My favorite saying in uw photography is luck is a good thing

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Absolutely stunning photo!

 

Would I be cheeky to ask you how you had your rig set up? After an unsuccessful Mandarin fish dive myself (focus light packed up after I'd spent I don't know how long making a red filter for it!! ;) ) I'd love to know how you got your shot...

 

What spotting / focus light were you using? Did you go for a red filter etc :)

 

Having done MANY mandarinfish dives before myself, including strapping red celophane over my light, etc., I have discovered that it is VERY difficult to handle both lighting and focusing/shooting by yourself. Trying to spot an emerging pair of fish through your viewfinder is just plain tough!

 

I did two mandarin dives on this trip, the first "by myself" using a FIX LED light on low, during which I got NO decent shots, and the second dive using a much more "manual" technique, i.e., with the dive guide holding a weak flashlight behind his hand so that only a faint amount of light came through. The dive guide would watch for a "pairing" and when he thought one was beginning, he would grunt loudly and my dive buddy (Don Silcock) and I, who were shoulder to shoulder next to him, would try to find the pair in our viewfinders and focus on them as they rose from the rubble. Once they cleared the rubble, the guide was able to shine the full light (albeit still a pretty weak beam) on the couple and we had a second or two to try to focus and get a shot. On that dive, I got three "keeper" shots, one of which is the one above that started this thread. (You can see the other two keeper shots in the gallery at www.seattleyates.com .)

 

When you consider the "productivity" of my first mandarin dive on this trip vs. the second (ZERO vs. 3 keepable shots), the argument for having a dive guide handle the lighting is (at least IMO) pretty compelling. It was still lucky that I got the shot with eggs, but I'm not sure I would have gotten ANY good shots if I had been trying to do it all on my own.

 

Hope that helps!

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Having done MANY mandarinfish dives before myself, including strapping red celophane over my light, etc., I have discovered that it is VERY difficult to handle both lighting and focusing/shooting by yourself. Trying to spot an emerging pair of fish through your viewfinder is just plain tough!

 

I did two mandarin dives on this trip, the first "by myself" using a FIX LED light on low, during which I got NO decent shots, and the second dive using a much more "manual" technique, i.e., with the dive guide holding a weak flashlight behind his hand so that only a faint amount of light came through. The dive guide would watch for a "pairing" and when he thought one was beginning, he would grunt loudly and my dive buddy (Don Silcock) and I, who were shoulder to shoulder next to him, would try to find the pair in our viewfinders and focus on them as they rose from the rubble. Once they cleared the rubble, the guide was able to shine the full light (albeit still a pretty weak beam) on the couple and we had a second or two to try to focus and get a shot. On that dive, I got three "keeper" shots, one of which is the one above that started this thread. (You can see the other two keeper shots in the gallery at www.seattleyates.com .)

 

When you consider the "productivity" of my first mandarin dive on this trip vs. the second (ZERO vs. 3 keepable shots), the argument for having a dive guide handle the lighting is (at least IMO) pretty compelling. It was still lucky that I got the shot with eggs, but I'm not sure I would have gotten ANY good shots if I had been trying to do it all on my own.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Absolutely helps - thank you very much!

 

I've only done 2 mandarin fish dives so it's not surprising I've not got the results, was just really frustrated when I'd prepped my gear for the second dive and still wasn't able to get focus when they came out to play (although at least I managed to get an ok shot of one in the coral which was a better result than my fist dive!)

 

I think it's really easy to underestimate the lengths people go through to get their awesome shots even though deep down I think I really know!

 

Thanks again, much appreciated ;)

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At what dive site did you shoot the beautiful couple ???

 

I was staying at Divers Lodge Lembeh, and it was taken on their house reef. It's a great place to stay BTW, and a great dive operation.

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Stunning, well done

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nice shot, i also was "lucky" and got a shot with egg release.

Yours is the only other one that I have seen

post-8758-1241011099.jpg

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nice shot, i also was "lucky" and got a shot with egg release.

Yours is the only other one that I have seen

 

Ditto - yours is the only other one I've seen, although I suppose we're bound to see more in the future...

 

I'm a little confused, however, about which is the male and which the female. I was told on my previous trips to Lembeh by dive guides that the big one was always the female. In my photo, however, it "appears" clear that the eggs are coming from the small one, so I decided I had been getting false information. Now, in your photo, it looks like the eggs are coming from the big one(!).

 

Can anyone clear this up conclusively? Are males the smaller or larger fish in these pairs? :blink:

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Can anyone clear this up conclusively? Are males the smaller or larger fish in these pairs? :blink:

 

The male is the larger one. The eggs are coming from the female (smaller) in both photos, but The Octopus' photo has a perspective which makes it look ambiguous. Both great shots!

 

Linda

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I think that these are both pretty cool images.

 

I'm quite sure that a lot of work went into both: I recently spent 6 hours in the water for one shot of an isolated large male and one shot of a mating pair. On the first dive: no AF as my reddened focus light wouldn't allow a 105mm lens to work, on another dive: two divers with bright video lights (need I say more?), on a third: mandarin no-show and, finally, a dive with only three mating dances that either my guide or I saw.

 

I hope that I haven't set a record for mandarin madness at Lembeh Resort...

 

... my colleagues certainly thought that I was eccentric, to say the least, in missing four Lembeh night dives for such a meagre return.

 

Tim

 

:blink:

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I was also in Lembeh in february. staying Kasawari lembeh resort.

 

After struggeling with the mandarins I also got one photo with the eggs in the water, unfortunaltly they where out of focus.

 

mandarin1.jpg

 

I guss one of my favorites of the mandarines on this trip was this couple kissing in the dusk : )

 

mandarin2.jpg

 

(this photo is slightly cropped)

 

 

More photos on my webpage Coldwaterphoto

 

Lasse

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Nice shots, hardest part about shooting them is the crowd of other photographers and video.

Extra lights shut down the action.

I am sure that there are others out there but I have not seen more than these that were posted.

thanks to all.

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