September 8th, 2011

underwater macro week #5


Pink skunk clownfish in the anemone, Beqa Lagoon, Fiji



Nikon D300 + Sigma 60mm, strobes Sea&Sea YS-250 x 2

this image is 3% cropped on right and top, slight color correction in Lightroom, few particles removed in Photoshop

Location on Google maps

Wikipedia reference


No underwater photo macro week can be complete without the picture of anemonefish ! This bright small thing has infamous reputation of banality among photographers. Due to photogenic appearance and easy access it became favorite subject of the beginners. Think about it as equivalent of taking picture of the cute little kitten on the topside.

I don't completely agree with this reputation. For me it is not very different subject from many others, unscurpolously exploited by photographers in thousands of replicas. Think about photos of diver above gorgonian fan with flashlight, for instance. Or think about more recent Sailfish Run in Mexico, which killed reputation of sailfish as rare and tough subject - hundreds of similar images taken where by big number of photographers in last three years - not much value or originality left in this anymore. Or think about Airborei Jetty in Raja Ampat - I don't really see difference between replicated image of it and replicated image of clownfish !

I think every subject has some room for improvisation. For me worst thing photographer can do is to copy one-to-one what was done before by somebody else. Of course it's difficult to be hundred percent original everytime, but I think at least it's worth the effort to try to deviate little bit from state of the art view of the subject. And if in your lifetime you can do something truly original, something unique and new - it's great achievement which will define one as truly great photographer !

This post concludes "underwater macro week" - next week theme will be "schools of fish" ! :-)

My friends from Russian wild-life photography competition and festival "Golden Turtle" made English translation of website and rules - to make it easier for international participants to submit their photos. It's good time to do so - deadline for "Golden Turtle 2011" submission is coming in the end of October - so hurry up, everyone ! :-)