Peacock Mantis Shrimp, Anilao Philippines

Subject

Peacock Mantis Shrimp

Location

Anilao, Philippines

Equipment

Canon Camera, dual ion strobes, +12 wet lens

Dive

17 meters (55 feet at depth) during a day dive

Peacock mantis shrimp have tremendous color and are extremely strong, with great vision and speed.  The agility of this shrimp is incredibly fast.  They can move from one side of the reef to other in a matter of seconds.  The appendages of the shrimp, that help them catch prey have been clocked to move at 50 miles per hour (80 km/h). Their vision is the most impressive characteristic.  The Peacock Mantis Shrimp has over 15 photoreceptors in their eyes.  This allows them to see UV, polarized and visible light.  This peacock mantis was just coming out of a hole, when I stumbled across him.  I was looking at something else and I saw something move out of the corner of my eye.  His eyes were right next to my camera and I could not resist.  As I focused the camera, he would move a little closer and for those brief moments those eyes just popped out of the blackness.  I was working with my +12 wet lens so the working distance between the camera and the subject was extremely close.  I put focus on the eyes of the shrimp.  This helped create depth to the image and showcased the eyes.  The body of the Mantis provided the background for the image.  This helped create some depth to the macro image.  The mantis was no longer than 3 inches in length.  After I took a couple shots he went right back in the hole.  He thought about coming out again but he stayed there and I continued on with the dive.  I only had a few minutes left so it was a good conclusion to a macro photography shoot in Anilao. 

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