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dirkhh

Pygmy sea horse in Okinawa

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A couple of weeks ago at about 85ft, perfectly camouflaged in a fan coral... I couldn't get it to smile at the camera, though...

 

Olympus OMD E-M5 with 12-50mm @43mm macro, 1/250s, f22, ISO200, both strobes firing.

post-76737-0-07114900-1530999753_thumb.jpg

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Good catch! You would have been very very close with that lens. Those can be tricky little buggers to capture. In my experience sometimes they’ll let you get a profile like this, sometimes they’ll turn their backs occasionally, and very rarely will they look in your direction for more than an instant. And then the coral will shade your strobe and bugger the shot! I obsessed over them for several years before I finally got a straight on portrait. You should be happy with this shot.

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You should be happy with this shot.

 

Oh trust me - I am VERY happy with this shot. There was a bit of current and I of course wanted to make sure that I didn't touch the coral which added to the challenge :-)

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Amen to all this.

 

I spent a year in Lembeh and took many hundreds (thousands?) of pygmy shots over several hundred dives - I was on first name terms with one or two of them. I managed one good head-on shot without, as Robert suggests, getting coral in the way or some bit of sea gunk. Whenever I see a head-on shot I cannot help but feel there was some manipulation going on......

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Hi,
what do you think why a pygmy is showing the profile or back?

It lives on a gorgony in the dark....
Hard to spot for most hunters, perfect camoflage...
But suddenly there comes a punch of divers and light it like a musical star....

First from our side, there is a big mirror getting very close, our macro port!
And a lot of unusual light. These animals live in more than 25 meters normaly. So there is not much light.
But now, they get blinded by the light of our focus lamps, and much more evil, spotlighted for hunters like wrasses and others.
These guys now easily can see them!
How long do you need to find one through your view finder, even if you know ist there???

I got my best shots with long macro lenses, favorit is the Nikon 70 - 180mm macro zoom lens. Manual focus close to the target, and than back and forth for the perfect lock.
No focus light, and the guide or buddy does backlightning.
Then the horse will turn its head in my direction. Hopefully ...
No need of stickwork, or whatever.
And you will see throught the magnification of the macro lens how the breathing rate of the pygmy get quicker....

So 2 to 3 pics, and then away.
And hopefully one is maybe ok ;-))

Regards,
Wolfgang

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