False Clown Anemonefish 1

False Clown Anemonefish 1

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WOW! That is a very short summary of my recent trip to the Misool Ecoresort in Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia. I am still getting over my jetlag, but starting to process my new images. I shot a variety of subjects from wide-angle soft coral underwater landscapes to above water remote beach sunsets, but some of my favorite images are of the anemonefish. I have wanted to photograph them ever since I first saw them underwater during my visit to Indonesia in 2000 and later while watching “Finding Nemo” hundreds of times with my daughters. It took me a few years, but I finally had the opportunity during this trip. These fish are constantly darting around in an agitated state while having a cute expression on their face, which makes them very frustrating to photograph. I spent 20-30 minutes patiently waiting for this clownfish to move into the most aesthetic position, all the while I photographed a hundred or more pictures that required immediate deletion. This image resonates with me for the head-on pouty expression on the clownfish’s face as well as the symmetry of the color and texture of the anemome around it. I created this image using my Canon 5DmkII and 100mm f2.8 macro lens in my Ikelite 5DmkII housing with dual Ikelite DS160 strobes set on TTL. This image required minimal processing using Aperture 3 and Photoshop CS5.

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13 thoughts on “False Clown Anemonefish 1

  1. Wonderful image. I love the translucent anemone tentacles. What a great experience to capture underwater sea life. I’m jealous!

  2. Beautiful image!

  3. Jon,
    I’ve been waiting to see some of those underwater images and if you have more like this one, WOW is right. Wonderful light, color and composition. It makes me want to be there. Look forward to seeing some more.

  4. Chris-Have you ever been scuba diving? It is awesome, but underwater photography is very difficult.


    Patrick-I have a lot more which are even better. It’s going to take me a while to get through them. I’m glad that you enjoyed this one! I shot a couple of landscape images that are pretty nice. Same but different from my usual. Dang, my next trip is to Alaska in May!

  5. That is so beautiful. I am very impressed with your underwater work. Even more so because I know it is something I could never do. I wish I could, but I can barely even snorkel on the surface without freaking out. So I very much admire your skills not only in scuba-diving but handling a camera while you’re down there with such awesome results.

  6. Anne-Thank you for recognizing that taking a picture underwater is immensely more difficult than anything above water. Maintaining my position underwater with proper buoyancy is a real challenge. It’s not that hard to learn, but you also have to be comfortable looking out into the deep blue. I know that feeling creeps people out. I’ve swum with whales in 10,000 feet of water, but I don’t dwell on “what’s down there?”

  7. This is spectacular Jon – color is absolutely amazing, and the expression you captured is priceless.

  8. This is a great image Jon. Love the color and the composition. It must have been really frustrating trying to catch one of these little fellows in the right spot just long enough to get the shot!

  9. Peter-Indeed, but that is why I sat very still for 20-30 minutes at a depth of about 20-40′ waiting for the right photo to come together. I wonder how the poor fish felt when my big strobes went off?

  10. Beautiful shot. Looking forward to seeing more from your trip!

  11. Fantastic shot, John. Really love the textures and the composition is great. I also love the complimentary colors. Really a shot that makes all those frames worth it!

  12. Great shot Jon. Well done.

  13. Michael & Carl-Thank you!

    Calvin-I probably shot more anemone & clownfish images than I needed to, but they are just so photogenic that I could not resist.

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