Ocean Art 2023 - 2nd Place Compact Macro

2nd Place Compact Macro

Marcus Commodore




Marcus Commodore won a 7-night dive package to Truk Lagoon with Master Liveaboards!


The Story: 

For the first time in what felt like a lifetime, I was back in the water. After the years of restrictions and being separated geographically from my passion, I booked my ticket and headed to Bali. It was a rush, feeling the sensations of those first few dives, but also being reunited with my well-worn camera and housing.

The northern shores of Bali have always held a special place in my heart, so naturally I wound up there. After doing several dives around Amed, I found a great dive shop and did a few exploration dives with them. On one of the dives, I found this decorator crab on an enormous barrel sponge at the bottom of a barren slope. Sitting at roughly 30m and completely shrouded in darkness, owing to the depth and overcast conditions, this usually nocturnal species of crab was perched relatively exposed.

I have had an idea for a few years now to use a pair of snoots on this type of subject to backlight and isolate the anemones on its back, while using just a touch of light to illuminate the eyes and “face.” While it took a few shots and some adjustments – especially to get the subject's eyes in focus, the hardest aspect was to isolate the subject from the background of the barrel sponge.

Finally, after a lot of twisting and turning the camera to get the background out of the photo and the subject in frame with the proper lighting, I left this crab to continue its exploration of the sponge- having happily taken some photos showing the beauty of this tiny and cryptic animal.

You can see all of Marcus's work at marcusbysea.com


Bali, Indonesia

Equipment Used: 

Camera Settings: 

  • Aperture: F10
  • Shutter Speed: 1/640 sec
  • ISO: 100



Back to Ocean Art Winners Page