One of the things that I love about wildlife photography is that you are always trying to catch that one moment that captures the beauty or the essence of your subject. These moments tend to happen very quickly and you have to be ready for them – sometimes after long waiting times or disappointments. While we were in Australia, I had caught glimpses of large, mostly white parrots of some kind flying around but in every case, we were either in a car or otherwise unable to capture a good shot of them. As we found out later, the bird was a Sulpher Crested Cockatoo which are fairly common in some parts of Australia – including the botanical gardens in Sydney. I went out one morning and spent a few hours trying to catch a shot like the one below. I think it qualifies as “Ephemeral” because a fraction of a second earlier or later would not have done this incredible bird justice….
I always enjoy taking photos of the little fish that inhabit the various types of anemone underwater. The most popular, of course, is the clown fish made famous by the movie “Finding Nemo”. They are incredibly colorful and lots of fun to “shoot” as they dart in and out of the waving anemone tendrils.
The anemone provides cover and protection for the clownfish while the fish also provide protection for the anenome from its predators and parasites. The clownfish are normally found in threes among the venomous tentacles of the anenome. The largest is the female, the next largest is the male and there are usually one (or sometimes more) juveniles in the group. If the female dies or is removed from the group, the male will change sex and become female and the dominant juvenile will become the male.
There are numerous types of anenomefish which can be found on the reefs. The one pictured above is is a pink anenomefish living in an anemone with a bright red underside. These little creatures are always one of the highlights of our dives as they were in our recent trip to the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea on the wonderful dive boat Spirit of Freedom.
Once again, I’ll try for an entirely different interpretation of “Wall.” We have just returned from a wonderful trip to Australia and New Zealand where we got to experience many different things and saw many, many walls which would qualify for this challenge. I’ve chosen to take the scuba diver’s definition of wall for my submission. In a diver’s vernacular, a wall is a vertical surface rising from the depths of the ocean. They are always impressive to experience because as you look down, the world just fades away into the blue. On one of our dives while on the Spirit of Freedom in the Coral Sea we had a diver’s dream – a vertical wall falling down to 2000′ below, crystal clear water with visibility over 150′, and no other divers with us on the wall. It was even more majestic as this wall had pristine soft corals everywhere and we were adopted by a single white tip shark that followed us closely throughout the dive. It was definitely a wall, and a moment, to remember.
The photo above gives you an idea of the colorful adornments to the wall. Thats my wife, Dee, examining other parts for the many creatures that live in the many nooks and crannies.
This is another photo of Dee with our friendly white tip. You normally see them just cruising by occasionally but this one stayed close to us for almost an hour.
Hi everyone! Sorry for the long pause between posts but have been gone with very limited connectivity. I’ll be posting again soon but for now I’ll post this quick photo of a critter from where we’ve been – any guesses as to what it is and where we are? Hint: the pose offers a clue….
A “flight” of sandhill cranes take off from the Bosque Del Apache in New Mexico. It was a beautiful still morning and the Sandhills were taking off in small groups like this one. The view across the still pond added to the scene.
This is also a good place to note that we are also taking off on another adventure. More to come….
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Depth.” I’m currently preparing for a scuba diving trip so I figured I’d look through some photos from my last dive trip. I chose this photo of a squirrel fish hiding in a cave for two reasons:
1) the photo was obviously taken “at depth”, and,
2) I was able to get a feeling of the depth of this little alcove by placing my flash above the fish and letting the back of the fish fade off into the black shadows. I think it adds to the photo by highlighting the face (expressions?) of the fish while also adding some mystery of what is lurking in the shadows behind….????
I already submitted a wildlife interpretation of “Express Yourself” but I thought I’d add another human example. When on trips, I always enjoy taking candid photos of the people around us just going about their lives – it is a great opportunity to capture (as the TV show candid camera used to say) people in the act of being themselves. Last summer in the main square in Heidelberg, I noticed a young girl trying to persuade her mom that she needed an ice cream. She was using all of her charms to get that prize. Here’s my quick shot of that young lady expressing herself. You be the judge whether she got the ice cream…..
I don’t think that humans or even dogs are the only animals that can express themselves. We’ve seen virtually every animal we’ve visited on our trips into the wild do exactly that. Some are looks that mimic human behavior and are therefore very popular and often published. Probably less recognized but just as valid are looks and behaviors that capture the true “nature of the beast”. I took this photo of an African Buffalo in Uganda last year – you can see why they are affectionately known at “mud boys” as they go about their business and “express themselves.”
I immediately thought of our visit with the mountain gorillas in Rwanda when I saw this week’s challenge, “Serenity.” Serene is the first word that always comes to mind when I think of that visit to these incredible and gentle animals. It was a rare privilege indeed to be able to spend an hour with this family as they went about their normal routine….