The Emperor and the Cleaner

25-Oct-2016 Back to Image Gallery

The Emperor and the Cleaner


The several dive sites at Seraya in Tulamben, Bali, are the ultimate location for fish cleaning stations. Here you are guaranteed regular sightings of many species of fish, eels and marine life being cleaned by an army of shrimp and cleaner fish of many species.

During one of our regular visits to these cleaner stations Cherie discovered a beautiful angelfish being attended to. Intuitively knowing I would hate to miss a chance like this she swam over to me nearby and once she got my attention I recognised her excitement and immediately followed her back to the site.

And what a photographic opportunity it was, the Emperor Angelfish calmly posturing her willingness to be cleaned by the myriad of shrimp waiting to accommodate her.

I have lost count of the number of times I have tried in vain to get close to beautiful angels but finally here I was, face to face, shot after shot, and observing her beauty.

So there are Angels and this is heaven!

Photo Data: Location: Seraya, Tulamben, Bali. Genre: Macro with Dual Strobes. Photo Data: Nikon D800, Nikkor 60 MM Macro lens, Seacam Housing, Dual Seacam Strobes, and Manual Exposure Mode. ISO 100 Exposure f11 @ 1/125th second. Image by Kevin Deacon.

Photo Hints: Although my choice of an aperture setting of F11 captured an acceptable image, on this occasion I really wish I had increased the power level of my strobes so I could have used an aperture setting of F22 or F32. Macro lenses lack `depth of field’ so they are not perfect for images that require more than one subject in sharp focus but aperture settings such as F22-F32 help.

Ideally I really would have liked my 16-35 MM zoom lens which would have provided a much sharper image of both the Cleaner Shrimp as well as the Angelfish.

Interesting Facts: There are slight differences in form between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean species. However, both overlap in Bali!

Common names. Emperor Angelfish. Latin name. Pomacanthus imperator

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