Ocean Art 2023 - Honorable Mention Marine Life Behavior

Honorable Mention Marine Life Behavior

Todd Aki

"Giving Birth"



Todd Aki won a bottle of Li Lé Blue Watersports Hair Care for Divers! 


The Story: 

I let my wife choose our last dive of the trip, either an unguided shore dive or a boat dive.  Although she loves wide angle sites from the boat, she picked the shore dive.  It was because the house reef was on fire!  Mimics and wonderpus were so common we stopped pointing them out.  There was an explosion of ghost pipefish of varies types.   So many different types of frogfish.  I saw so many hairy frogfish, I stopped taking pictures of them.  I was diving the house reef before sunrise and at night without my wife and she surprisingly, had not seen a hairy the entire trip.  This last dive was a quest for us to find her a hairy.  The dive did not disappoint.  We saw so many different types of cephalopods including a, yawn, mimic.  We came across a newly laid patch of squid eggs which strangely, had a seahorse attached.  While shooting this unusual combination, a school of razorfish photobombed the picture.  We were at the end of the dive when I spotted something that did not make sense.  Why was a seahorse in the water column?  I could not believe my eyes at what happened next.  The seahorse convulsed and out came hundreds of babies.  Shooting is always my top priority but I wanted my wife to experience this moment with me so I banged my tank with my muck stick to get her attention and missed the opportunity to fire off a couple of shots.  I was able to get into position and got three shots at the male seahorse’s next release.  My wife was now at my side and the current took the baby seahorses right next to her mask.  There was one more release with just few more babies than the seahorse dropped to the ocean floor exhausted.  I was so happy my wife was able to experience this once in a lifetime encounter with me.  But we never found her a hairy frogfish.


East Coast of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia

Equipment Used: 

Camera Settings: 

  • Aperture: F9
  • Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec
  • ISO: 100



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