Sea Monsters (and other crazy fish)

DSC00144Panamac Green Moray Eel
Although I’ve been diving for years, I had never taken my camera underwater. That changed last week when I set off for the Marietas islands with a shiny new underwater housing in tow.

For me diving with a camera was a revelation. I slowed down and concentrated more on my surroundings. What I saw amazed me. Sure, there were lots of fish, but life under the sea can be genuinely bizarre. Giant eels that can bite your thumb in two, dancing fish, fish that puff up to look like balloons.

DSC00335Balloon Fish (fully inflated)

DSC00338Nudabranch (aka Mexican Dancer)

Then there is my all-time favorite, the scorpion fish. It lies on the bottom and changes color to camouflage itself, making it almost invisible (run your mouse over the two vertical images below to see an outline of the fish – amazing). If you happen to accidently step on it, you will get injected with a neurotoxin via the fish’s sharp spines.

DSC00307Scorpion Fish

twofiishCamouflaged Scorpion Fish (move your mouse over the image to see the outline of the fish)

DSC00304Scorpion Fish

I also found underwater photography to be immensely technically challenging. The fish are moving, you are moving, the water distorts the light, … and the list goes on. After last week I have even more respect for folks like Jason Bradley who have stunning bodies of underwater work.

DSC00215School of fish

DSC00332Balloon Fish

DSC00111Balloon Fish

DSC00109Balloon Fish