Nudibranch Gallery 2

Nudibranch Gallery 2 is a small collection of the thousands of shots of nudibranchs that I have taken over the years.

I have been hooked on nudibranchs since I first dived Tioman back in 2001. I came to Salang on a reconnaissance mission soon after becoming a PADI instructor to see what it was like in the village and to see if there were any opportunities there for me. My dive guide was a Swiss guy called Ron.

He had a passion for nudibranchs, knew the dive sites intimately and shared his fascination with these beautiful little creatures with me. I was hooked and it hasn’t stopped since. For the past fifteen years I have been searching for them and photographing them.

I does help that as far as marine critters go they are relatively easy to photograph. The tough bit is spotting them! But it gets a bit easier once you learn what they feed on, how they mate and reproduce and how they get around. You need to get your eyes in tune with them.

Of course, it helps that many of them are brightly coloured, and it also helps from a photographic point of view that they move slowly and are relatively static.

So that leaves the photographer with three outstanding issues to address: lighting, composition and how to incorporate the ‘WOW’ factor.

Because they are small and approachable most of the time, lighting them is not too big of a problem. I have seen great result when the light source is no more sophisticated than a hand held torch. I prefer to use a strobe and for most of my photography I have only used one strobe. I would prefer two, so guess I will have to break the piggy bank one day…

Composition depends to an extent on the location of the nudi and how the surrounding environment limits your approach. You then have to choose between isolating your subject to highlight it, or to show it in its environment in order to tell a story with the image.

Getting the ‘WOW’ factor is the most elusive aspect of photography, and is the major difference between the greats and the also rans. Just to be clear guys, I slot myself into the second category! I feel that I do get some good shots, but I just don’t have that inner vision that transforms three dimensional reality into a two dimensional image that has impact.

I will be posting more of these galleries when I have the material and time to make something that I feel is worth your time to look at so check back in from time to time…