Weekly Photo Challenge – Ambience

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Christmas Tree Worms

To me, ambience means light, sound, texture, and I loved the light in this macro shot of Christmas tree worms on the reefs of Belize.  You may recognize the structure of these little critters from the scene in Avatar where Jake is walking through the jungle and touching the large plants, which immediately recoil into a tube. When they feel even the slightest pressure change in the water, that’s exactly what these creatures do. Turns out, James Cameron is a scuba diver and that scene was inspired by what he witnessed in real life on the reefs of our beautiful planet!

To learn more about The Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Shine

Fluorescent Coral

Fluorescent Coral

Did you know that most coral polyps fluoresce? Here’s a shot taken on a night dive during our recent trip to Belize. I used a blue spot light to excite the fluorescence in these beautiful coral polyps helping me find them in the dark. To photograph them, I placed a blue excitation filter on my strobe and a yellow filter over the camera lens to cancel the blue which allowed me to capture the true color of the the fluorescence.

Diving in this dark underwater environment at night with a blue light is like being on one of the dark rides at Disney World where they use black lights and fluorescent paint to make the figures more vibrant. The corals shine brilliantly!

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – H2O

 

Social Feather Dusters

Social Feather Dusters

Yes, of course, I’m posting an underwater photo. We just got back last week from a ten-day diving trip to Belize. The challenge is to pick just one shot! I decided on this lovely group of white social feather dusters as I love the movement of the water through their delicate tendrils. Feather dusters are a kind of tube worm and these creatures are appropriately named “Social” because they live together.

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Edge

Cayman Sponges

Cayman Sponges

I shot these sponges because I enjoyed their edges! This shot was taken while diving in Little Cayman on Bloody Bay Wall. We had a wonderful time diving from the live-aboard boat – The Cayman Aggressor IV last October.

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Narrow

Nassau Grouper's Hiding Place

Nassau Grouper’s Hiding Place

While this young Nassau Grouper thought it was in a narrow hiding place, the fish was quite visible to us as we finned by. I had never seen a grouper use a gorgonian coral as camouflage before, and when I swam around to get a face shot, it backed out and exited stage right. Still, it gave me a careful look before deciding to leave!

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Details

Pederson Cleaner Shrimp

Pederson Cleaner Shrimp

Of course I’m going to post an underwater macro shot for this challenge! Here’s a Pederson Cleaner Shrimp dancing on a brain coral head. These guys are tiny – about an inch long and I love the challenge of photographing them.

Pederson Cleaner Shrimp are often found in small colonies of two or three individuals. They’re called “Cleaner Shrimp” because they clean fish in a symbiotic relationship, removing parasites and microorganisms from the fishes mouth and face.

I love seeing fish parked a a “Cleaning Station” where the fish will open its mouth and a group of shrimp with crawl into the cavern and clean the fishes tongue, teeth and gills. When they’re done, they crawl back out and the fish swims away. If I gently place the back of my hand near them, they will also crawl onto my hand and clean it!

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Look Up

The Grotto

The Grotto

Here’s a shot looking straight up to the sky from the bottom of the “Grotto” – a natural amphitheater on the banks of the Colorado River in Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah. The Grotto is the site for several music concerts held during the Moab Music Festival every year. I have been fortunate enough to attend two of these concerts in one of the most beautiful settings on Earth!

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.