Giraffe Eel & Cleaner Shrimp

06-Jan-2015 Back to Image Gallery

Giraffe Eel & Cleaner Shrimp

I was solo diving at 30 meters along the deep sand slopes of Seraya, area renown for an abundance of macro marine life. As I was breathing enriched air (Nitrox) my dive computer indicated a comfortable amount of bottom time before approaching any decompression limits. A beautiful big Moray Eel was in full display out from his lair under a colourful giant sponge and I noticed he was being cleaned by a Coral Banded Shrimp. A perfect photo opportunity. I settled down beside the eel and proceeded to capture images. I had plenty of time and no distractions. Once I was confident I had made the most of this opportunity I looked up towards the shallows and noticed one of my photo students leaving his group and diving down to join me to also capitalise on my find! But to his disappointment I waved him off with a very stern stop signal. He was breathing normal air and a descent to my depth would have immediately put him into decompression penalties, and probably without enough air to decompress out of it! God I love NITROX! The underwater photographers best friend!

Photo Data: Location: Seraya, Tulamben, Bali Genre: Macro with Dual Strobes Photo Data: Nikon D800, Nikkor 60mm Macro lens, Seacam Housing, Dual Seacam Strobes, and Manual Exposure Mode. ISO 200 Exposure f22 @ 1/125th sec. Image by Kevin Deacon.

Photo Hints: Although the 60mm Macro Lens captured an acceptable image, on this occasion I really wish I had my Nikkor 16-35 zoom lens instead. Macro lenses are great for single subject small subjects but they lack `depth of field’ so they are not perfect for images that require more than one subject in sharp focus. The 16-35mm zoom lens would have provided a much sharper version of the Coral Banded Shrimp as well as more of the eel in sharp focus. Oh well, I know where he lives, maybe he will still be there next year?

Interesting Facts: The Giraffe Eel is one of the largest of the Moray eel family. Normally not aggressive unless molested. Common names. Giraffe Eel, Black-Blotched Moray & Tessellated Moray. Latin name Gymnothorax favagineus

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