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Pygmies everywhere!

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


Digital Hunter
Jul 30, 2002
I went for a dive after work today, but viz was down to about 5-6m.

So I splashed around in the shallows (6-7m) and snapped some wrasses.

Whilst searching through a kelp bed I came across a school of Pygmy Leatherjackets. These fish only grow to 9cm in length, and are hard to spot, let alone photograph.

All up I did 60 dives in 2.5 hrs, with 55 minutes spent on the bottom. Didn't realise how intense things got till after. :hmm
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More fine photo's shadow.
This fish is a strange fellow, doesnt look quite real! What does a fish that shape and size do for a living?
Very good one shadow, i see that you preffer your camera over speargun most of the times. May be i should hire you to take my pics while hunting as well. Even the small fishes looks nice when you had the camera on your hand:D :D :D
Thanks Murat... :t

If I speared fish everytime I went diving I would have to start up a wholesale fish shop... ;)

Photography is a bit more of a challenge, you need to get a lot closer, then a bit closer still. Then get closer.... ;)

Plus people can see what the diving is like. Pics of dead fish don't really show it I think. *shrug*

Camera is an Olympus C5050, Pt015 housing. Internal flash.

The Pygmy Leatherjacket is a grazer, feeds on weeds and kelp.

Heres some more details: Just go and click on "Find Fish" then "List by Common Names" and you will see a whole list of fish. This fish is listed as a Southern Pygmy Leatherjacket.

Thanks for the string of fine photograhy, Shadowkiller. Added a C5050 recently.
Another excellent photographic endeavor Shadow K...How did you get those aquarians sitting still for you? I forget what part of Australia you are taking this pictures from.
I dive the area south of Sydney. Apprently its winter here, but Im still finding Butterfly fish... global warming? rising oceans temps... reality, not just a rumour... :(


The problem with the Pygmies is that they dont sit still... BUT they are curious... so if you sit near them long enough, one will come out of the kelp and have a look at you. Then its time to set the focus, and hope for the best. I took more than 120 photos, I kept 20. Anything that is slightly out of focus, has too much backscatter etc etc gets tossed.

Have you ever noticed how fish will approach you, swim slowly across the front of you, then accelerate once the get past your shoulder? The best time to get the pic is as they come into the 12 o'clock position, by the time they get there you should have an idea of their speed and adjusted your panning speed, and know how far away they will be, so you can adjust focus.

Its not that hard to get good photos, just takes practice... :)

Below is a Senator Wrasse. He (its a fully mature male) did the "approach slowly, then zoom off quickly" thing. But I got him right on the apex of the manouvre... :cool:


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This pic is of an immature male, or possibly a female... can't say for sure, since wrasses change sex.

She thought her camoflage was good enough to elude me (the predator), so I humoured her by never making eye contact. I set up the shot (wedged myself into the kelp), then made "eye" contact by swinging the camera lens onto her. Snapped one photo and she took off. Often thats all you get... *shrug*


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Originally posted by mjacobs
Added a C5050 recently.

If you download Issue 19 of the Underwater Photography magazine you will find an article on freedive photography. All the shots in there are from my 5050.


Bit of a beginners guide by a beginner, or an idiots guide, by an idiot if you prefer... :D
Thanks for the heads up. I've had some u/w video/photo experience in the past and am always interested in seeing new views. You do nice work. Digital is a little different for me.
oh man those are some bbeautiful fish, makes me want to get my saltwater fishtank again..

keep up the nice work mate
hello shadowkiller i was wondering what type of camera you own to take such detailed pictures.... brand? model? cost??

Originally posted by fishstiq
hello shadowkiller i was wondering what type of camera you own to take such detailed pictures.... brand? model? cost??


Originally posted by Shadowkiller

Camera is an Olympus C5050, Pt015 housing. Internal flash.

Cost me $1600 almost a year ago. thats aussie dollars, so about $900-$1000 US
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