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Bobtail Squid In Okinawa, Japan Under The Lights

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Bobtail Squid



Okinawa, Japan



Canon Camera with Dual Inon Strobes with red light, +12 wet lens



9 meters (30 feet at depth) during a night dive



The Bobtail Squid is my favorite animal to take photos of.  They are usually the size of a dime (an American 10 cent coin) and can get as big as a nickel (an American 5 cent coin).  I have seen them smaller than a tip of an eraser on a pencil.  The colors they display are spectacular and range from dark blues to silver.  They have chubby little bodies with little, tiny arms.  These little guys like to bury in the sand, so you have to limit the amount of light you put on them.  They are nocturnal.


So, to summarize, they come out at dark, are very tiny and tolerate very little light or they disappear in the sand.  To get a good photo, you have to swim very slow to build up their trust.  Then limit the white light you have on them to only spot them and then go, right to red light.  The red light allows you to get crazy close without scaring them off.  The ideal photo is right before they bury into the sand, and they are just gently touching the surface.


This bobtail was behaving very nicely, and I was able to play around with the lighting so the strobes where just hovering over him.   Normally you just take what you can, and they are gone in the sand.  But once in a while you get one to pose for you and that is when you have to be ready.  Once a subject is in focus, the most important thing is lighting.  Positioning strobes in different positions can completely change the photo.  This bobtail stayed still, showed great color and allowed me to get inches from his face.

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