PhotoFriday – ‘What I found’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’What I found’

I couldn’t resist the play on Finding Nemo for this weeks theme but it does lead me onto another topic nicely, critter hunting!

If you’re anything like me, you’ll lose the dive guide within minutes of entering the water (not on purpose usually but they often don’t like to hang around in one place too long). The means it’s necessary to develop you own set of “critter eyes”, a specific mindset and eyesight that allows you to find your own critters to see and photograph. Obviously its great when your dive buddy is a good spotter too and you can share the work of finding cute creatures. Sometimes it takes me a day of so to really get my eye in for a new area but after that its then a challenge to find smaller and smaller creatures without the aid of a dive guide or spotter. Hopefully here are some tips which you can use to become better spotters. Its also nice to pass along this good fortune and show others what you’ve found if there is someone diving nearby.

Here are some of the tiny critters I’ve found myself while out diving…

Blennys are a good one because you can look at the coral polyp shapes and quickly spot anomalies in the patterns which might be holes with blennys hiding inside. If you’re very lucky sometimes you spot a homeless one just hanging out on the top of the coral, like this one below from Cayman:

Sometimes its just blind luck to be swimming over the right bit of sand, as with this jawfish with eggs…

Its slightly irritating when you find creatures just too small to photograph (without a subsee +10 or something like that). This Nudi was tweeny weeny

Sometimes critters stand out because they are a different colour to the background. This contrast helps with finding them:

Knowing a little bit about whats sorts of habitat common critters have its a great way to find them. Eg find a sea fan, then cowries, pygmy seahorse and hawkfish are more likely. Tiny squat lobsters and crinoid shrimps can be found in crinoids (usually around the crinoid legs), the list could go on.

At night, when you have a torch, look for tiny reflective pinprick eyes reflecting out from the darkness and go to investigate…

I hope you found my list useful and if you have any tips or techniques of your own for finding creatures then please add them in the comments below so we can all learn something new 🙂

If you want to see my underwater photos from various places then check out the galleries in my Reef Beasties Gallery. Or my best from 2012 here.

See all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘What I found’ here.

PS: I’m currently still selling my 60mm/D300 underwater macro set-up. Click here for more details & the full list of equipment for sale or email me at Thanks for supporting my work!


3 thoughts on “PhotoFriday – ‘What I found’

  1. I have 2 tips – which you’ve mentioned above.
    My first is just stop and slow down! I see many divers racing around sites missing some really cool things and then surfacing 30mins later, low on air, saying “I didn’t see much”. My buddies and I can spend 80mins in a small area and see heaps!!
    My second tip is to do your research. If you want to find certain critters, then read up to see where they are found – what they eat and where they make their homes. Have a look at photographs that other people have taken in the area (or read their blogs). You might have to go back more than once to find your elusive critter, but just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s