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Porcelain Crab In The Anemone

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Porcelain Crab



Anilao, Philippines



Canon Camera, dual inon strobes, +7 wet lens



18 meters (59 feet at depth) during a day dive



When I am coming up on anemones, I am always looking for crabs, shrimps or clownfish to compliment the shot.  You have to take what nature gives you.  I was fortunate that this crab was sitting right in the middle of the anemone.  Getting partial shots or angle shots are typical but not ideal.  These guys have a tendency to be hidden on the side or underneath the anemone.


I was the first camera to come up on the porcelain crab, so he wasn’t agitated or restless.  The crab was just settled in, relaxing.  I tried to move in as slowly as I could to get a couple close up shots and then move on with the group.  The wet lens helps with magnification, but you have to have a much closer working distance to the subject to maximize clarity.  The strobes were set in a manual setting which gives the image softer, more natural light.  This helps prevent the image from being over exposed, while still showing off lighter colors.  The porcelain crab has a symbiotic relationship with the anemone.   A porcelain crab protects anemones from invaders and the mucus from the anemone gives the crab the nutrients it needs.


These mutualist characteristics promote a long-standing relationship where they live in harmony for a long time.  Porcelain crabs and the anemone fortunately together can show some good colors in their pictures, too.  This was the first and last time I saw a porcelain crab just sitting in the middle of the anemone.  I feel very fortunate to get this photo.  I think this porcelain crab was less than 2 inches in width and as you can see looks to be in great health.


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