Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Queen Angel
This photograph was taken in the Caribbean back when I was scuba diving much more often. I was using a Nikonos II underwater camera, which I still have but have not used in many years, in part because I no longer have a working strobe for it. It uses film, and this image is a scan of a 35mm slide.

Without a strobe, the yellow of the fish and the red encrusting sponge on the coral below the fish would be muddy brown. Even the blues would not be so brilliant. The sea is a giant blue filter. Only in very shallow, clear water are bright yellows and reds visible to the naked eye.

Aiming an off-camera strobe at a moving target underwater is no small challenge. In this instance, I got it just right, not only the angle but the distance, such that the strobe cast the perfect amount of light on the subject. It particularly pleases me that the scale pattern shows through the transparent yellow of the pectoral fin. With too much light, that would have been washed out and not visible.

This fish is one of many angel fishes found on coral reefs in the Caribbean. She/he is called "queen" because of the crown on her head.

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