Yawning Zebra Lionfish

19-Oct-2014 Back to Image Gallery

Yawning Zebra Lionfish

Exploring the dive site, The Drop Off, at Tulamben, Bali I came across this scorpionfish and as I had shot these fish many times before I almost ignored it. Just then I detected the movement of its jaws extending. For photographers, capturing the yawning behaviour of various fish species is a kind of `Holy Grail'. Anticipating this to be just a split second moment I framed, shot and captured the moment. It proves again that you never know when the next great image is going to present itself, but one thing is certain; it's often over in a split second!

Photo Data: Location: The Drop Off, Tulamben, Bali. Genre: Macro Photo Data: Nikon D200, Nikkor 60mm lens, Seacam Housing, Dual Seacam Strobes, and Manual Exposure Mode. ISO 100. Exposure f16 @ 1/125th sec. Image by Kevin Deacon.

Photo Hints: Being successful at capturing images of fish is a hit and miss affair no matter how experienced the photographer may be! You will need to persevere as the action is so fast you might not be achieving perfect focus or framing and upon reviewing your images it is not unusual to find you have cut off fins or tails. In fact, lacking time to frame perfectly I failed to include the fishes anal fin and being the perfectionist I am this annoys me. However the picture has enough impact to almost keep me happy with it. Equipment Comments. The faster the fish action or should I say, the less co-operate the fish, the more sophisticated your camera system will need to be. Co-operative fish can be captured with compacts; the others will demand the use of fast auto focus cameras such as Mirror less or Viewfinder DSLR's.

Interesting Facts: Lionfish belong to the scorpionfish family which also includes Stonefish, Leaf Scorpionfish, Dwarf Scorpionfish, Demon Stingers, Rock Cod and many other species. They are found in both tropical and temperate water seas and typically can be described as co-operative as they rarely flee relying on the powerful venom in their spines to defend themselves. Thus they make great subjects for photographers but one must behave gently and carefully with them as they can launch a split second attack if they are stressed. The Latin name for the Zebra Lionfish is Dendrochirus zebra.

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