Ocean Art 2022 - 3rd Place Nudibranchs

3rd Place Nudibranch

 Luke Gordon

"3's a Crowd"


 Luke Gordon won a 3 night fly-dive cod hole expedition with Mike Ball Dive Expeditions!

The Story: Fiji's soft sediment slopes are rarely explored, but hold a vast array of critters just waiting to be discovered. Being stationed at Barefoot Manta Resort on Drawaqa Island during the COVID-19 pandemic allowed us to intricately explore the soft sediment slopes of the island. Costasiella sapsucking slugs are seasonal critters, appearing in large numbers when their algal food is in full bloom and almost disappearing with it when it dies back. When the tiny little slugs are abundant there is lot's of mating activity and egg-laying on their miniscule leaf homes, I would occasionally stumble across a few slugs on one leaf but rarely were they positioned correctly to get a well framed shot and it would be even more rare to see eggs with them. That all changed on one dive when I happened to come across this leaf, three sapsucking slugs laying egg ribbons and feeding. I had to be quick as surprisingly these little critters move fast! The leaf was so small I could use the Nauticam SMC to frame it correctly and managed to pull the trigger a few times as they glided across the leaf and behind. My aim was to capture a pleasing composition but try to have all the eyespots visible with the egg ribbons, giving a sense of character to the slugs and almost fairytale vibe to the image.

Location: Drawaqa Island, Yasawa Islands, Fiji

Equipment Used: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Canon 100m F/2.8L Macro IS USM Lens, Nauticam NA-5DIV Housing, Nauticam SMC Wet Macro Lens, Dual Inon Z240 Strobes

Camera Settings: ISO 125, F20, 1/250 sec


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