Marine Life

Marine life articles for underwater photographers including creatures and critter biology, behavior, food, habitat and photo tips.

An Octopus displays its wide range of camouflage techniques in his garden under the sea...
By Bryan Chu

An Unforgettable Octopus Encounter

Bryan Chu
An Octopus displays its wide range of camouflage techniques in his garden under the sea...

I spent a few days diving in the clear, temperamental waters of Nusa Penida, Bali*. The main draws to Nusa Penida are the big things: manta rays and mola mola. One morning we dove a site called Manta Bay, which is, of course, known for mantas. The visibility wasn't great, as usual at manta dive sites.

Article: 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bryan is an editor and writer for the Underwater Photography Guide. He loves any activity that takes him out into nature, and is especially fond of multi-day hiking trips, road trips to National Parks, and diving. Any kind of diving. He discovered the joy of underwater photography on a Bluewater trip to the Sea of Cortez and has been hooked ever since. He recently finished a 1-year "radical sabbatical" with his partner Lisa (both of them quit their jobs), which included over 120 dives, mostly in Indonesia and the Philippines. His very favourite underwater experiences include swimming with humpbacks in Moorea, being smashed against the rocks next to marine iguanas in the Galapagos, marvelling at the riotously colourful reefs of Komodo, freezing his hands off under the ice in Greenland, and exploring the never-ending wonders of muck diving in Tulamben and Anilao (where he was a Bluewater photo workshop co-trip leader).

Fortunately, Bryan and Lisa managed to avoid killing each other during their year of traveling together (though at times it came close). Now they are back home in Canada, planning their wedding and doing their best to figure out what they want to be when they grow up. Their main concern at this point is finding a way to not run out of money, while avoiding returning back to their old 9-5  jobs (oil & gas, government). Oh, and also continuing to support their diving and underwater photo/video habits...

You can find more of Bryan's underwater photos on Instagram at @bryandchu and check out his and Lisa's travel and relationship blog at www.bryanandlisa.ca!

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Okinawa, Japan has lots of great critters to photograph - especially Cephalopods.
By Brandon Hannan

Cephalopods of Okinawa, Japan

Brandon Hannan
Okinawa, Japan has lots of great critters to photograph - especially Cephalopods.

 

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Photographing one of the world's ugliest and most charismatic fish
By Nirupam Nigam

Wolf Eels: A Face Only a Mother Could Love

Nirupam Nigam
Photographing one of the world's ugliest and most charismatic fish

There are a lot of ugly fish in the sea. Which one is the ugliest? Well, it’s really hard to say. There are a lot. So many, in fact, this is a frequent topic of debate among divers, scientists, and late-night TV hosts. Having scientifically identified thousands upon thousands of fish at sea in the North Pacific, it’s still quite hard for me to pick my top contenders. But without a doubt, wolf eels (Anarrhichthys ocellatus) rank in the top five.

Article: 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nirupam Nigam is a dedicated underwater photographer and fisheries scientist. While growing up in Los Angeles he fell in love with the ocean and pursued underwater photography in the local Channel Islands. He received degrees in Aquatic and Fisheries Science and General Biology, as well as a minor in Arctic Studies, at the University of Washington. Now he works as a fisheries observer on boats in the Bering Sea and North Pacific. When he is not at sea, he is traveling with his fiancee and taking photos. Check out more of his photography at www.photosfromthesea.com!

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La Paz, a classic big-animal destination, through the lens of a mollusk photographer

La Paz Through a Mollusk Photographer's Lens

La Paz, a classic big-animal destination, through the lens of a mollusk photographer

Editor’s Note: Charles Rawlings is a respected mollusk specialist who has published two books with his underwater photography. You can learn more about his latest offering at this link: Living Mollusks. His previous contribution to the guide was an engaging piece about using a TG-5 to supplement his DSLR rig.

Article: 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from Duke University for undergraduate studies, Charles E. Rawlings attended Duke University School of Medicine where he became a distinguished neurosurgeon. After practicing neurosurgery for over ten years, Dr. Rawlings decided to add another career path and attended Wake Forest University School of Law, where he was named a Juris Doctor in 2002. Dr. Rawlings currently owns and operates The Rawlings Law Firm of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  Moreover, he has over 56 publications in various journals and dive publications covering a multitude of subjects.  

Although Dr. Rawlings has ventured into the academic areas of both medicine and law, his true passions stem from underwater photography and travel.  For over 30 years, Charles has traveled the globe fulfilling his desire to capture life under the sea in its natural habitat.  With a focus upon living shells, Charles has taken part in over 50 photographic displays and a myriad of worldwide expeditions.  If malachological expeditions in Union Island, Roatan, Manus Islands, Mozambique, North West Sulawesi, and Palawan weren't enough, add in scuba diving, underwater and regular photography expeditions in areas such as the Cayman Islands, Yucatan, Netherland Antilles, Kona Coast of Hawaii, U.S. Virgin Islands, the Red Sea, Belize, Honduras, and other remote parts of the planet. 

Charles Rawlings' exquisite and seemingly impossible photography has graced the cover of American Conchologist 14 times, as well as being on the back cover twice.  Photography that mystifies the mind, tempts the senses, and exemplifies nature's beauty is what can be found behind the lens of Dr. Charles Rawlings.

 

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Tips for photographing jellyfish in jellyfish lakes
By Paul & Lisa Hogger

Photographing Jellyfish Lakes

Paul & Lisa Hogger
Tips for photographing jellyfish in jellyfish lakes

Jellyfish. Love them or hate them, they are bizarre but interesting aquatic animals to photograph. With an estimated 2000 species worldwide, they can be found in every ocean around the planet in a considerable range of sizes.

Article: 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Paul and Lisa are an Australian couple originating from Australia’s East Coast. Of their 20 years of marriage they have lived on their private yachts Purranha and Lorelei for 14 years and have been full time sailing/cruising for 9 of those years. Their latest expedition began in 2011 onboard Lorelei with the main purpose to dive many of the world’s best dive locations. To date they have explored 22 countries in the South Pacific, North Pacific and Asia – covering a distance of over 24 000 nautical miles.

They are independent divers and can proudly say that over 95% of their underwater images were taken whilst diving by themselves from their purpose built dive tender on board Lorelei. They are PADI pros and have over 8000 dives between them. Due to the harsh conditions of sailing life, they choose Nikon, Ikelite and Aquatica photographic equipment.

More information and images of their travels can be found on their blog:

www.yachtlorelei.blogspot.com

SUPPORT THE UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE:

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Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


Featuring the Giant Pacific Octopus
By Bob Bailey

The Gentle Giants of the Pacific Northwest

Bob Bailey
Featuring the Giant Pacific Octopus

On a cold, winter night in West Seattle, two young men prepare to go scuba diving. Slipping beneath the dark water, they are in search of something very special. And after a 10-minute swim, at more than 100 feet beneath the surface, they find it. 

Article: 

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Dive into the world of corals, the incredible diversity you can find on the reef, and tips for bringing home great photos
By Nicole Helgason

How Coral Photography Can Inspire Your Next Dive

Nicole Helgason
Dive into the world of corals, the incredible diversity you can find on the reef, and tips for bringing home great photos

Divers tend to swoon over megafauna, sharks, whales, and dolphins. Or perhaps they take a closer look and zoom in on macro critters, shrimps, and nudibranchs - perfect subjects for photography. But corals often get lumped in as background and only credited with a supporting role.

Corals are a vital component for a healthy marine ecosystem, and are the starting point for scuba divers to explore the ocean. But ask any diver to name a handful of species, and chances are you won’t get very far.

Article: 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Helgason is a PADI Dive Instructor and has taught scuba diving in Canada, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, and has managed dive centers in Mozambique and Baja, Mexico. Nicole has a Bachelors degree in Coastal Geography from the University of Victoria and is the founder of ReefDivers.io a blog dedicated to scuba diving and coral reefs.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/reefdivers.io

Instagram: www.instagram.com/reefdivers.io

Twitter: www.twitter.com/reef_divers

SUPPORT THE UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE:

The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear

 

Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


View colorful nudibranch photos and learn the techniques nudibranchs use to defend themselves from predators on the reef
By Brent Durand

Basic Breakdown: Nudibranch Defenses

Brent Durand
View colorful nudibranch photos and learn the techniques nudibranchs use to defend themselves from predators on the reef

Nudibranchs are a favorite subject of most underwater macro photographers, representative of such colors, contrasts, shapes and patterns that cameras will turn themselves on in their sleep to shoot them (well, not really, but the nudis really are that cool).

Article: 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brent Durand is a weekend wanderer and story teller from California.

Brent is an avid diver and adventure photographer, and shoots underwater any time he can get hands on a camera system. He can be reached at brent@uwphotographyguide.com.

Follow Underwater Photography Guide on Facebook or Instagram.

SUPPORT THE UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE:

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The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


Irwin Ang shares photos, locations and info on three very unique and photogenic nudibranchs
By Irwin Ang

3 Really Unique Nudibranchs

Irwin Ang
Irwin Ang shares photos, locations and info on three very unique and photogenic nudibranchs

Nudibranchs are one of the most popular subjects for underwater photographers.  They are very colorful and usually stay still or move very slowly, making them easier to shoot than fast-moving macro subjects.  Photographers aim to shoot their rhinopores, little antenas sticking out from their heads, which substitute nicely for eyes (since nudibranchs don't have developed eyes).

Article: 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

IRWIN ANG.  Born and bred in the beautiful Malaysia, Irwin Ang is an avid nature lover, especially the colourful and mystical underwater world. Since picking up the diving sport in 2011, Irwin was promoted to a diving coach few years later. Today, he has attained the status of a world-class award-winning underwater photographer. Irwin is here to share his thoughts, rich experiences and the techniques with you. Sink in to Irwin's motto: Explore, Create, Share... and learn the tricks of capturing the most memorable underwater moments.

SUPPORT THE UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE:

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Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


An unexpected Orca encounter in the Galapagos turns into a 40 minute high-adrenaline photo session
By Ron Watkins

Face-to-Face with Killer Whales

Ron Watkins
An unexpected Orca encounter in the Galapagos turns into a 40 minute high-adrenaline photo session

A Killer Welcome to the Galapagos

Article: 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ron Watkins is an international award winning photographer and writer. He has been passionate about underwater photography since 1996 and his photography has appeared in magazines, websites, juried art displays, national aquariums, libraries and private collections.

SUPPORT THE UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE:

The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear

 

Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!

 


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips

 

Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.

 


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