Bumphead parrotfish meets Cherie

16-Sep-2014 Back to Image Gallery

Bumphead parrotfish meets Cherie

The wreck of the US Liberty is an easy beach dive at Tulamben and she is a very popular dive site all day long. Many beautiful fish can be seen here at any time of day but for those willing to get up before dawn and enter the water as the sun rises over the islands of Bali a special surprise awaits. Every morning giant Bump Head parrotfish emerge from secret sleeping places on the wreck and hover in the shelter of the ship before heading off to feed on the coral reefs nearby. This provides a unique opportunity to meet the largest parrotfish in the world and spend time face to face with one of the oceans most majestic fish. Bathed in our powerful dive lights their scales shine like emerald armour. Despite 50 years exploring the seven seas I have only experienced three dive sites where this is possible. I am not a fan of anything early morning but this year, after years of taking divers to Bali on our annual Bali Dive Safaris, I decided to make an exception. I was rewarded with successful images of an exceptional fish.

Photo Data: Location: Tulamben, Bali Genre: Extreme Wide Angle with Dual Strobes. Photo Data: Nikon D800, Nikkor 16mm Full Frame Fisheye lens, Seacam Housing, Dual Seacam Strobes, and Manual Exposure Mode. ISO 400 Exposure f14 @ 1/60th sec. Image by Kevin Deacon.

Photo Hints: My extreme wide angle lens provides a field of view twice as wide as wide angle lenses normally used by underwater photographers. This lens makes it possible to capture multiple subjects and a wide angle view all in one frame but it is challenging to master all the dynamic elements that include the background, the sunlight, strobe lights, marine life & model. However a successful image can capture the essence of underwater exploration, the beautiful, the extraordinary and even the excitement of diving. Photographers should ensure that their dome ports are of the best quality and perfectly matched with port extensions to suit the lens used. This will provide the best image sharpness edge to edge across most of the final picture. However, even the best dome ports will still suffer loss of sharpness towards all the edges of your image. You can expect to lose sharpness in at least 10% of this image area. Cheap or incorrectly positioned domes will be much worse! If you re-examine my image you will note that I have not composed any of my key subjects (the parrotfish and Cherie) near the edges of my frame. Also because I am using a 36 Meg D800 I will have the luxury of cropping the less sharp edges of frame out while still retaining a large, high quality, image file.

Interesting Facts: These are the largest of the Worlds parrotfish and they roam in great schools across the reef which resemble a heard of buffalo. In fact, like buffalo, during mating the males will engage in head to head ramming. Their diet consists of live coral which are torn from the reef with their large, fused, beak like teeth. The resulting coral sand that is expelled after digesting the live coral polyps and tissue contributes to the formation of beaches and coral islands. Common names. Bumphead Parrotfish. Humphead Parrotfish. Latin name. Bolbometopon muricatum

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