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Thread: Whip Coral Shrimp

  1. #1
    Lifetime Member Mike Poole's Avatar
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    Default Whip Coral Shrimp

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    I had a few dives last week and had bought a new conversion lens to try some underwater super-macro photography. My Egyptian mate over in the resort had found a rare (to that area) specimen - a whip coral shrimp - and was keen to show it to me. We missed out on going to the particular site over my planned 4 days, but booked a 5th day on the spur of the moment and ended up at the right site - Shabruhr Umm Gammar.

    This little fella spends his life perched on a strand of whip coral. He's about 1 cm long and pretty static, so I was able to use a slow shutter speed to get a blue background (although he does look good against black background as well!)

    Nikon d500 in a nauticam housing
    105mm lens with an added Nauticam SMC-1 (super macro converter)
    Twin Sea and Sea YS-D1 strobes turned in to face the camera for better lighting and avoiding backscatter (lighting up unpleasant particles in the water)
    1/13th second
    f29
    ISO 200

    Mike

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    Macro and Flora Moderator Jonathan Ashton's Avatar
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    High Mike, this is a fascinating image, I have been looking at it for quite a while, it is an unusual subject and is really intriguing me. I am guessing the red elements are blood vessels and I see he has a faceted eye similar in design to insects. The finger like projections on the coral look a bit spooky somehow.

    Your experience shows, the background is wonderfully "clean".
    My inexperience shows now when I say the background is very blue, I suppose you would say yes it is - because it was! I wonder would f29 be essential - would f16 have allowed you to let a little more ambient light creep into the image??

    I really enjoyed viewing this image Mike, I hope you have some more.

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    This looks pretty other wordly. That background is great. Really neat pattern on the shrimp as well. Details look great.

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  5. #4
    Lifetime Member Mike Poole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Ashton View Post
    High Mike, this is a fascinating image, I have been looking at it for quite a while, it is an unusual subject and is really intriguing me. I am guessing the red elements are blood vessels and I see he has a faceted eye similar in design to insects. The finger like projections on the coral look a bit spooky somehow.

    Your experience shows, the background is wonderfully "clean".
    My inexperience shows now when I say the background is very blue, I suppose you would say yes it is - because it was! I wonder would f29 be essential - would f16 have allowed you to let a little more ambient light creep into the image??

    I really enjoyed viewing this image Mike, I hope you have some more.
    Hi Jon, cheers for that.

    We had a discussion on the boat, and the local guides reckoned the reds were hairs but in reality it's an unknown quantity as it's both tiny so the reds aren't visible to the naked eye so its possible they could be blood vessels. The guides hadn't seen one before.

    Background settings work totally different underwater. We set the aperture we want for the subject and use strobes to light the foreground interest. The brightness of the background is controlled by shutter speed and ISO.

    I needed the f29 as I was using a super macro converter which has minuscule depth of field, and a working distance of only an inch or 2.

    In theory I could have used a higher ISO but the subject was stationary and the flash freezes the foreground, but more importantly I was using brand new gear with controls all over the place and was crammed against rocks with no space available to start searching the housing for ISO dials!

    Mike.

    P.s. hope to see you if the SEOs get busy again

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

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