Ocean Art 2023 - 1st Place Compact Behavior

1st Place Compact Behavior

Derek Singer

"Stay-at-Home Mom"



Derek Singer won a 7-night dive trip to Anilao, Philippines with Crystal Blue Dive Resort!


The Story: 

While GPOs are a common sight here in the Pacific Northwest, seeing a female nesting is rare enough that when someone does find one, word of mouth spreads quickly. In this case, my dive group had heard a couple nests were found at Sund Rock, an excellent site for finding GPOs in general. Since their dens tend to be in crevices and cuts in the rocks, getting a well-lit and well-composed photo with a large full-frame camera can be difficult (and risky if you’re shooting with a dome). Although the female will spend months caring for her eggs, we can never predict when they'll hatch and she'll die. I was intent on making the most of my opportunity since it may have been my only one. 

Therefore, I decided to bring my TG-6 instead of my normal SLR. With the smaller form factor and very short minimum focusing distance, I was confident I could get the camera and the strobes close enough to capture a striking image. It turned out to be a good call because this particular nest was tightly ensconced in a pile of rocks. I captured a series of close-ups of the mama octopus circulating water through her eggs before getting distracted by another GPO wandering out in the open. This specific image best portrayed the tightness of the quarters and balanced the mama and her eggs. From the RAW file, my edits were focused primarily on boosting the contrast to make the colors and textures pop.


Sund Rock, Hoodsport, Washington, USA

Equipment Used: 

Camera Settings: 

  • Aperture: F18
  • Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec
  • ISO: 100



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