More Diagonal Banded Sweetlips fish (Plectorhinchus lineatus)

I have to apologize for my lack of blog posts in recent months. I have been on an all-consuming assignment in China.

Now back in Australia, I have finally got around to processing some more photos and video that have been sitting on my harddrive from 2011, and this weeks Photo of the Week is a Diagonal-banded Sweetlips fish (Plectorhinchus lineatus) on Agincourt Reef, Great Barrier Reef. This species are also commonly known as  Yellow-banded Sweetlips, Oblique-banded Sweetlips or Goldman’s Sweetlips.

Diagonal banded Sweetlips fish (Plectorhinchus lineatus)

Diagonal-banded Sweetlips fish (Plectorhinchus lineatus)

With a number of different sweetlip species on the reef, this is one of my favourite fish.

As juveniles they have a completely different colour and pattern. As adults they are a very social fish, usually seen in pairs or groups.

On this particular dive three fish were hanging  out on the coral head, which was also acting as a cleaning station, and some of the video below shows the sweetlips being cleaned by a Bluestreak Cleaner wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus), also known as a Common Cleaner wrasse.

Continue reading More Diagonal Banded Sweetlips fish (Plectorhinchus lineatus)

Diagonal Banded Sweetlips fish (Plectorhinchus lineatus)

This weeks Photo of the Week is a Diagonal-banded Sweetlips fish (Plectorhinchus lineatus) on Agincourt Reef, Great Barrier Reef. This species are also commonly known as  Yellow-banded Sweetlips, Oblique-banded Sweetlips or Goldman’s Sweetlips.

A frequently visited dive spot on Agincourt Reef has a large coral head which is home to several Diagonal-banded Sweetlip fish, and whenever possible I try to spend some time getting shots of them.

Diagonal banded Sweetlips fish (Plectorhinchus lineatus)

Diagonal-banded Sweetlips fish (Plectorhinchus lineatus)

With a number of different sweetlip species on the reef, I find myself drawn to this particular one for their colour.

As juveniles they have a completely different colour and pattern. As adults they are a very social fish, usually seen in pairs or groups.

Growing up to 50 cm in length, this species occurs in the eastern Indian Ocean and Western Pacific. In Australia it is found on offshore islands of north-western Western Australia and on the northern Great Barrier Reef through to southern Queensland.

The visability was a little low at the dive site on the day, but the top of the coral head was in 5m of water, which allowed a reasonable amount of illumination. It was then a matter of positioning myself for the best light.

Continue reading Diagonal Banded Sweetlips fish (Plectorhinchus lineatus)

Keep the subject in focus and let the camera do the work

Catching the underwater video of fighting Reef Cuttlefish (Sepia latimanus) on a recent dive, some words from The Underwater Photographer by Martin Edge came to mind … ” Keep the subject in focus, and let the camera do the work”.

In his book, Martin describes an occasion when he and a group of other divers came across some dolphins. Starting to think about exposure and other settings, Martin decided there was no time, and chose to keep the subject in focus and let the camera do the work. He was able to get the shot while others were still playing with their cameras.

In underwater photography, you often have time to set-up your camera to create a shot. However, sometimes you see something and with no time to choose the appropriate settings, just have go with what you have to get the shot.

This is exactly what happened during a dive on Friday at Agincourt Reef  on the Great Barrier Reef with Quicksilver’s Silversonic.

We entered the water for our third dive of the day. I had just reached the bottom with the other divers of our group still on the way down. Checking my camera housing to make sure there were no leaks, I spotted a Cuttlefish (Sepia latimanus) out the corner of my eye.

My camera housing still had bubbles around it, and struggling to read the screen settings, I managed to get it into video mode. I started thinking white balance, lighting, etc …. and decided I had no time.

Getting the Cuttlefish in the screen, I hit the record button, hoping the camera would have the correct focus. Cuttlefish are able to rapidly change colours to blend in with their surroundings, and this can often confuse the camera focusing system.

Trying to keep the subject in the screen, we got more than expected with the following video.

Fighting Cuttlefish (Sepia latimanus)
Video ID: V0036
Run time: 40 sec
Format: 640×480
Purchase Option – Royalty Free (RF)

The Cuttlefish made its way towards another one, changed colour from light grey to black, and attacked the second one. They then separated and went opposite directions…. something you don’t see ever day, and a great example of their ability to change color.

Forty seconds from touching the bottom, and the whole event was over.  Had I been deciding between stills and video, or been messing around with settings or lighting, I would have missed to whole thing.

Sometimes to get the shot, you just have to keep the subject in focus, cross your fingers and let the camera do the work.