Lacy Scorpionfish

20-Aug-2012 Back to Image Gallery

Lacy Scorpionfish

This fish is considered the Holy Grail of scorpionfish among photographers and marine life aficionados. For many years it was considered to be incredibly rare and my friends Bob and Dinah Halstead, pioneer explorers of Papua New Guinea, were among the few who had ever found one. Ultimately during the many photographic dive tours I led to PNG aboard their vessel, MV Telita, Bob and Dinah had become adept at locating these bizarre fish. It was always a thrill to return each year as the Hallstead’s always had some new and wonderful creature to reveal so each trip provided new and rare marine life encounters. Today the many dive guides throughout SE Asia and the coral triangle have picked up the baton and are even more adept at continuing this tradition. This month when Scott, Cherie and I lead our divers, to Bali & Wakatobi in South Sulawesi I know I can count on expert Indonesian and Balinese dive guides to reveal extraordinary creatures that are beyond most people’s imagination.

Photo Data: Location: Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Genre: Macro. Photo Data: Nikon D200, Nikkor 60 MM lens, Seacam Housing, Dual Seacam Strobes, and Manual Exposure Mode. ISO 100 Exposure f22 @ 1/125th sec. Image by Kevin Deacon.

Photo Hints: Dual strobes ensure even lighting and elimination of harsh shadows cast by a single strobe when shooting images of animals with so much shape and form. The ability to hover and manoeuvre just off the seafloor is also useful and should be practiced by underwater photographers. A short stainless steel probe used like a monopod by our photographers is a great aid in stabilising your position just above the seafloor. Equipment Considerations: A compact, powerful focusing light mounted on the camera allows the photographer to locate and frame subjects effectively and enhances the autofocus capability of the camera. My favourite is the Sola Light Photo 800 or 1200 lumen focus light as it also has a Red Light feature which does not disturb nocturnal marine life during night dives. With a wide diffused beam and multiple power settings it can also double as my video light for macro filming.

Interesting Facts: Lacy Scorpionfish. Scientific name: Rhinopias aphanes is a master of camouflage as it mimics in colour, shape and location the many feather stars found perched on coral bommies and Acropora corals.

Back to Image Gallery