Ocean Art 2023 - 1st Place Marine Life Behavior

1st Place Marine Life Behavior

Kenji Sato

"The Birthday"




Kenji Sato won a YS-D3 Duo Underwater Strobe from Sea & Sea!


The Story: 

Black cardinal fish live in shallow coastal waters, and males raise eggs they receive from females in their mouth (mouth brooder). The eggs hatch in about a week. Until they hatch, males stay still behind a rock and feed the eggs with fresh seawater. At first, I did not know when the eggs would hatch, but after a few observations, I could tell when the eggs would hatch. Hatching occurs within a few hours after sunset. At the moment of hatching, the father swims upward and spits out the babies in an instant. So, it's difficult to take a picture.

It is said that the number of fries in a single hatching is about 20,000, so the moment of hatching is quite impressive. As soon as the babies hatched, they scattered all over the place. I hope that many of the fry will grow up and survive next year.


Miura Peninsula in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan

Equipment Used: 

  • Camera: Canon EOS 7D
  • Housing: Zillion ZAP7D
  • Lens: Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM
  • Lights/Strobes: Inon Z-240,Fisheye FIX NEO Premium

Camera Settings: 

  • Aperture: F7.75
  • Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec
  • ISO: 320



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