Red Sea

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Many animals in the sea have evolved colors and forms that allow them to blend in with their surroundings. Some animals use their camouflage to hide from predators — and some predators use camouflage to fool their prey. It can be difficult to photograph such animals, partly because it’s often hard to find them in…

Sea fans are among the most beautiful sights seen by divers. Gorgonian sea fans are Cnidarians that build colonies in branching formations that usually are fan-shaped, thus the common name. Like the Nephtheid soft corals I wrote about recently here on Photo Synthesis, Gorgonians are octocorals: each polyp has eight pinnate tentacles which it uses…

Nudibranchs — marine snails without shells — make wonderful photo subjects for the macro photographer. They are small, colorful, and they move slowly (as snails are wont to do). That last characteristic is particularly welcome. Most fishes are in motion almost constantly, and non-sessile invertebrates tend to scurry hither and thither. It’s nice to find…

Gimme shelter!

Many animals in the ocean seek shelter from predators by living on or among other animals. Among fishes, members of the Damselfish family (Pomacentridae) often seek protection this way. Some of these relationships also are commensal or even symbiotic. One of the most well known symbiotic relationships in the marine world is that between anemones…

Crinoids on the night shift

Everyone knows that some terrestrial animals are active primarily at night and sleep most of the day, while others go about their business during daylight hours and rest when it’s dark. For some reason, many people are surprised to learn that the same thing holds true for animals that live in the sea. One of…

Hello, Fish Face!

I like to photograph the faces of creatures that live in the sea. Here is a sampler of fish faces. All of these individuals belong to the Wrasse (Labridae) family. Most wrasses seem to have attractive markings on their faces, which show up well in close-up images like these. Shown above: Thalassoma klunzingeri, from the…

New month, new topic here on Photo Synthesis: underwater photography. For the next four weeks I will be presenting photos of marine invertebrates and fishes from warm water locations around the world. These photos are the product of what has been, for me, a long journey of discovery — about the sea, about marine life,…