Blue Ringed Octopus, Okinawa Japan


Blue-Ringed Octopus


Okinawa, Japan


Canon Camera with Inon Dual Strobes with red light, +6 wet lens 


8 meters (24 feet at depth) during a night dive

In Okinawa, Blue-ringed Octopus mating season is in June through July of every year. Some weeks will fluctuate but when they come out, you can sometimes see 7-8 in one dive. In my experience the Blue Rings in Okinawa, Japan are smaller than in the Philippines but numbers are much higher in Okinawa. The key to getting this Octopus to cooperate with the camera is to put red light on them. White light will cause the blue ring to hide almost instantly but the red light is darker and they feel more comfortable with it. The strobes attached to the camera will over power the red light so you do not see it in the picture. The flash is only for a split second. For clarity, you have to get very close to the Octopus. When they show their rings, they are warning you to stay away. It is a dual edge sword. You want the rings to flare out for the picture but don’t want the Blue Ring Octopus to get overstressed. They can kill you with one painless bite within minutes. There is no anti-venom either, so being careful with these delicate creatures is an understatement. In this photo it was great to see some dark yellow with the rings. Ideally you want the octopus to move slowly so you know they feel comfortable and you can keep up with where they are, in the water. There is nothing more frightening that losing a blue ring at night. You start to wonder if they are on you. This one cooperated with the camera and took a little walk changing some colors. After a few shots he was on his way. 

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