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Bobtail Squid In Full Extension

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Bobtail Squid



Okinawa, Japan



Canon Camera, +12 Wet lens, dual inon strobes with red light



5 meters (15 feet at depth) during a night dive



The closest relative to the bobtail squid is the cuttlefish.  Cuttlefish are much bigger and can be seen during the day and at night.  Bobtail squid are nocturnal and usually the size of a penny (one cent American coin) or smaller.  They are challenging to get photos of when they are on the sandy bottom.  To get a photo of a bobtail swimming is even more difficult.  They do not want to sit still until they are on the ocean floor.


To take a photo of a bobtail you have to almost always use a wet lens.  A wet lens is like a magnifying class you put in front your camera to magnify the image.  They come in all different shapes and magnifications but you have to be very close to your subjects to get a clear photo.  The higher the magnification, the closer you have to be to the subject.   So, to get to a swimming bobtail with a wet lens takes some luck with trial and error.  I was fortunate to get this one.


This bobtail squid was identified as a male from a biologist in Okinawa by the shortened length of one his tenacles.  I took about 10 shots of him swimming and this was the best one I got.  I was coming up from a 2 -hour night dive so I was cold but happy to see him.  They enjoy swimming in the shallow waters of Okinawa and if you look closely, you will see them all around you on some dives.  They will sometimes bury themselves in the sand so it is just best to keep moving along.  You will eventually find one posing for you.


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