3rd Place Macro Ocean Art 2015 Lazaro Ruda

3rd Place Macro

Lazaro Ruda

"The Drifter"


Lazaro won a $125 gift certificate with Ultralight Control Systems!


The story:  One of the greatest thrills of scuba diving is the opportunity to see the rare and unique. One particular type of dive that offers a plethora of other-worldly creatures are Black Water dives. During some of my Black Water dives in West Palm Beach I have come across these leptocephalus — the larval stage of an eel. 

They are extremely difficult to photograph because they seem to always be on the move. And photographing it with a 50mm macro lens in complete darkness while floating in midwater doesn’t make it any easier. Focusing manually is my favorite means of photographing many of these creatures. Having steady buoyancy skills is a must! 

While photographing this two inch leptocephalus on the move, he paused for a split second and curled its body in what appears to me as some sort of defensive body posture. I could see his eyes staring at the camera, but autofocus would have definitely missed the proper focus as I was looking through its semi-translucent body. Thankfully, my desire to shoot manual focus made it possible to fine-tune the focus point in the split second before the eel would swim away. 

Location:  West Palm Beach, Florida, USA

Camera:  Canon 7D, Sigma 50mm macro, two Inon Z240 strobes, Sola 1200 focus light.


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