All posts tagged: diving

Amphiprion ocellaris

Why do scientists use the Latin names when describing a species? To avoid confusion between languages, and within the same language, about exactly what species you are describing.  The fish in the photo above is Amphiprion ocellaris.   For identification I could go to my favorite identification book for fish in Okinawa: Reef Fish Identification – Tropical Pacific In this book Amphiprion ocellaris is called the False clown anemonefish. If we check on Wikipedia for Amphiprion ocellaris we find a wide range of common names. “The ocellaris clownfish, also known as the false percula clownfish or common clownfish, is a marine fish belonging to the family Pomacentridae, which includes clownfishes and damselfishes. ” Wikipedia However, my preferred source for fish names is Fishbase which gives the common name as clown anemonefish.   Then again, for millions of children around the world,  Amphiprion ocellaris is simply known as Nemo. 

Shy Guy

Nemos a.k.a. false clown anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris) are surprisingly brave, if not aggressive. They’ll come out of their anemone and try to intimidate larger fish or scuba divers. The pink anemonefish (Amphiprion perideraion) is far more shy. It is quite happy to stay hidden among the tentacles of an anemone and wait until the danger has past. This little fish has made home in a sebae anemone (Heteractis crispa). Seen at Horseshoe reef near Cape Manza, Okinawa, Japan.

Fantastic Beasts

A few of the amazing creatures living in Okinawa’s ocean.  The top photo is of the male ribbon eel (Rhinomuraena quaesita). Amazingly, some blue male ribbon eels change to bright yellow female ribbon eels in later life. This next fish is a honeycomb grouper (Epinephelus merra) whose spots help camouflage  it while on the reef. It was also named “Fish most likely to turn into a giraffe.” Next is a Naia pipefish (Dunckerocampus naia) which was about 3 centimeters long. Similar to a seahorse, but less pretentious. The striped puffer (Arothron manilensis) looks like it’s wearing prison uniform. It’s a relative of the tiger blowfish (Takifugu rubripes) that occasionally kills diners with its  tetrodotoxin poison. The black-finned snake eel (Ophichthus altipennis) watches the world swim by from its hole in the sand. This tiny Dinah’s goby ( Lubricogobius dinah ) didn’t have to bother making a hole, it was quite happy with a ready-made glass bottle. Just as tiny was this sea cucumber crab  (Lissocarcinus orbicularis) living on the surface of a sea cucumber. And even smaller was this tiny emperor shrimp (Periclimenes imperator) who …

Anemones & Anemonefish

Back in the water again and also hitting the marine species identification books for a job we are working on.  Finally learning the names of the creatures I’ve been staring at or photographing the last couple of decades.  The top featured image is a pink anemonefish (Amphiprion perideraion) I encountered last week. Looking back through my old images I can start working out what they are. A tomato clownfish (Amphiprion frenatus) living in a bubble-tip anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor). Hard to tell, but I think this next guy is Amphiprion clarkii, known commonly as Clark’s anemonefish. A false clown anemonefish  (Amphiprion ocellaris). This is Nemo’s species. Another pink anemonefish (Amphiprion perideraion) Identifying the anemones is an even greater challenge. Particularly, as at times what looks like an anemone may in fact be a coral. Below is Amplexidiscus fenestrafer  that is sometimes called the elephant ear anemone but is more accurately named the giant cup mushroom coral.  Much more learning to be done.

Let there be underwater light (Part 1)

A you descend beneath the ocean’s surface things become darker and bluer. Light is absorbed by the water and it does this to a greater extent at the red end of the color spectrum. When shooting in the shallows you can capture the vibrant colors of the reef, but sink a little further and your images will look a little green and possibly blurry from slow shutter speeds (or noisy from high ISOs). The solution is to shed a little light on your subject. Send in the strobes. I bought two used Ikelite strobes on Ebay (thank you Vadim in Australia). One is a powerful DS-161 strobe that has a 3W modeling light, and the other is a far less powerful (and much cheaper) DS-51 strobe that I use as fill. The above image is a pre-dive test in the bath, which showed that both strobes worked, and that the light from the modeling light allows the camera to autofocus on the subject. The strobes are positioned in this image for macro shooting. The lens …