Red Sea 2013 – Schooling fish at Ras Mohammad

Continuing on with the photos from my Red Sea 2013 trip today I’d like to show you the amazing schooling fish that you can often see at Shark & Yolanda Reef in the Ras Mohammad National Park. I wanted to put some video in too but my mac ran out of space so we’ll leave that for another day. This is my favourite dive site in the world but at this time of the year with all the schools its even more spectacular! You cannot take a wrong lens on this dive, macro, mid range or super wide. The reef is full of beautiful soft corals and colourful anthias, huge bump-head wrass, there is the cargo of the Yolanda wreck (toliets and baths etc), Moray eels, the list can go on. This post is just dedicated to the schools. I’ll post another to cover the other sealife (I didnt take any of the wreck this year because the fish action was so much fun).

The snappers don’t look so big in this photo above but check out this one below from Nadya Kulagina of me photographing the impressive school – notice the tiny camera in my hand ;) (I’ll edit this post next month so you can see a link to Nadya’s new blog when it’s up & running, she has some really lovely photos from this trip that are only on facebook at the moment).

Me and Snappers by Nadya

At one point I was fortunate enough to have a choice of what giant school is fish to photograph. The Barracuda were circling below the snapper and the batfish were on hand (just out of shot behind me) and I didn’t know where to turn, what a dilemma to have!

The Barracuda tend to school at a deeper depth so you have to watch your gauges as they circle up and down. Here The school of Barracuda (which I can only assume was female) were being chased and herded by one gnarly looking much bigger Barracuda (which I assume was the male). I was a bit wary of him because when he came close he had a very large set of teeth! I spent some time with them swirling all around me in the saddle between Shark & Yolanda reef.

I found I liked the photos of the Barracuda best in black & white, and the batfish & snappers mostly in colour. There are a few reasons for this. The Batfish are best shot with filter (not flash because they are very reflective and they have lovely yellow fins) which lends itself for nicer colours throughout the image (see the first photo in the post). The Snappers can work nicely with flash or filter and I liked photos from both. The barracuda are lovely graphical arrow shaped fish that sometimes school in circles. They tend to be deeper making them less suitable for filters and they are highly reflective but with no colour other than silver so that they themselves to black & white quite well.

for more shots you can see my gallery here, although I haven’t finished adding to it yet. Tomorrow is photofriday so I shall resume posting about the red sea trip next week!

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9 thoughts on “Red Sea 2013 – Schooling fish at Ras Mohammad

  1. Lots of spectacular photos, Suzy. Really like that last one – which I didn’t see while we were aboard. I think that the big barracuda was a different species and was either interested in eating or at least chasing off the schooling barracuda. Really like the twin species shots – ‘cuda & snappers or batfish & snappers.

  2. Thanks Alex :) That big barracuda was certainly giving my the hairy eyeball, I was glad those other barracuda were there to keep his attention! That last shot has had Mikes very special attention on it to get a nice black & white on it :) I wish I could have got a 3 species shot but I needed an even wider lens, maybe I should have tried for a panorama! Great trip Alex, thanks.

  3. Nice images, bluefin! Much as I loved Jarrett’s walnut whip barracuda vortex, I also really like the ‘barracuda gun’ effect here; the fish seem to really explode off the screen (nice B&W processing, Mike – I need to learn from you). In retrospect, I probably didn’t do enough work with the barracuda – I was just too enthralled by the snappers and batfish. Next time…

  4. Thanks Paul. I love my new nickname :D I only went in one dive with the express purpose of hoping to capture Barracudas… I love the swirly swim they do. I don’t know if you saw the edit from yesterdays post but Mike is thinking of offering a photo retouch service (or some training) if you’re interested? People do love his B&Ws :)

  5. Pingback: Photofriday – ‘In the Wild’ | Memoirs of an Underwater Photographer

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