Ocean Art 2022 - 1st Place Compact Behavior

1st Place Compact Behavior

PT Hirschfield

"A Male Weedy Seadragon Carries Pink Eggs On Its Tail "


PT Hirschfield won a cruise spot for one aboard the Maldives Blue Force 3!


The Story: Last year in the judges’ comments, it was advised to find new ways to photograph common subjects. While definitely ‘other-worldly’, male weedy sea dragons carrying bright pink eggs on its tail are not a particularly unusual subject on the south-east coast of Australia. These slow moving animals are typically very happy to pose side-on at close range in only around 4-6 metres depth . But I loved playing with the principles of photography in making this image. I observed the ‘Rule of Thirds’ and the principle of ‘edge consciousness’, but broke the ‘rules’ of shooting the subject from the front with sharp focus on the eye. Shooting this dragon from the back with its eye down and not as a focal point revealed an angle of this bright beastie that’s rarely seen. The egg closest to the top right hand side appears to have already hatched (which I did not realise until I saw the image at home on the computer), with almost ninety other eggs nearing their hatching time. I love the yellows, purples, blacks, whites and pinks of the subject against the backdrop blue of the water and green of the seagrass. I also like the way the ‘paddles’ on the dragon are outlined in black which is more obvious from this angle than when photographed from other angles. I’ve taken many hundreds of images of weedy sea dragons over the years, but my decision to press the trigger from behind the subject in between side-on poses allowed me to produce an image very different to any I’ve taken or seen before, achieving a new way to photograph a fairly common subject.

Location: Flinders Pier, Victoria, Australia

Equipment Used: Canon G12, Single YS-D3 Strobe, Fix Neo 1500 Light

Camera Settings: ISO 100, F8, 1/80 sec


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