Octopus's Garden

25-May-2011 Back to Image Gallery

Octopus's Garden

I have always wanted to capture an image of a large octopus in its garden as described in a famous song by the Beatles! Not as easy as it sounds since octopus often present as camouflaged blobs tucked into holes, and crevasses. Plus gardens are hard to find underwater. The exception to this rule is the beautiful soft coral and sponge gardens of Nelson Bay which provide a perfect backdrop to so many species of marine animals in a wonderful marine park area. The best optics for this type of `animal in its habitat’ image are wide angle lenses used as macro lens which is a technique foreign to many underwater photographers but nonetheless a technique some of us have been using for decades!

Photo Data: Location: Fly Point, Nelson Bay, NSW, Australia. Genre: Wide Angle Macro. Photo Data: Nikon D200, Nikkor 10.5 MM lens with 1.4 Tele-converter, Seacam Housing, Dual Seacam Strobes, Manual Exposure Mode. ISO 100 Exposure f16 @ 1/30th second. Image by Kevin Deacon

Photo Hints: Stay with the octopus as long as possible and shoot lots as you need an image that reveals the graceful coils of the octopus arms. Look for photo opportunities when the octopus is amongst a photogenic background. You need to have the camera very, very close for this technique to work. If the animal is shy extend the camera at arm’s length and rely on good aim and the wide view of the lens to capture the frame.

Interesting Facts: Octopi are found in all the oceans of the world, from the equator to the Arctic and Antarctica. There are no freshwater species or any related terrestrial species. All octopi have a form of venom in their saliva glands to disable prey so octopus should never be handled. The Blue ring octopus is so venomous it is deadly. The Giant Pacific octopus that inhabits the Northern Pacific ocean from California to Japan grows to over four meters arm span. The species in this picture is the Sydney Octopus, Octopus tetricus, distribution Subtropical eastern Australia, Lord Howe Island & New Zealand.

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