Presenting Scubafish’s Encyclopedia of Photogenic Residents:
Thailand’s Andaman Coast is blessed with a superb diversity of marine life, including many highly photogenic subjects. Here are some of the beautiful residents you could spend hours photographing on one of our individually tailored courses or underwater photography holiday with Scubafish & Liquid Lense….
Western Clownfish aka ‘Nemo’
This vibrantly coloured Clownfish, which shot to fame as ‘Nemo’ in the movie ‘Finding Nemo’, is common at all the dive sites around Ko Lanta. They live in anemones and constantly dart in and out, alternately defending their territory and then darting for cover.
Trying to capture the perfect Clownfish shot as they dance around their homes tends to be very addictive and frustratingly tricky. Their beautiful colours, along with the vibrant purples and greens of their host anemones, make for a stunning photo….. if you can catch them at the right moment! Selecting a fast shutter speed will give you the best chance to get a great result.
Lionfish make great subjects for underwater photography or video. Their elaborate fins are not only beautiful, but have a poisonous tip, protecting them from predators. As a result, they are normally unruffled by the attention of divers and often pose perfectly for a snapshot.
Approach them slowly and get down low for a great shot. If they lose interest and turn their back on you, be patient and maybe give them a little space – they will most likely turn around again. If not, you are likely to see many Lionfish on every dive, so you will have plenty of chances to get a nice shot.
Related to Lionfish, Scorpionfish are masters of camouflage, blending in perfectly with their surroundings. They have the ability to change colour to match their surroundings, from white to deep red and many colours in between. They also carry poison in their fin tips, so are relatively unconcerned by predators, allowing you to get a nice close-up shot – but be careful of your buoyancy!
To get a really great shot, try to find a Scorpionfish perched on a rock, get a little below them and snap them at a an angle which shows of their elaborate tassled beards.
Cuttlefish, along with Octopus, are some of the most intelligent creatures on the reef. They have very active pigments in their skin, allowing them to change colour rapidly. They can often be seen ‘pulsating’ with constant, subtle colour changes. Cuttlefish communicate using their tentacles which they use to create many shapes and they have big, expressive eyes which make for great images.
For a memorable photo, try to approach them slowly and from the front – and concentrate on their eyes and tentacles in order to get a shot full of character.
Wide-eyed, curious Porcupine Puffers are one of our most popular and photogenic fish. They can often be found swimming around shallow, sandy areas such as Ko Haa’s Lagoon. One especially friendly individual, known affectionately as ‘Porky’, is so fond of divers that it is difficult not to get a great close-up shot – especially if you’re wearing yellow fins!
They are full of character and will often swim to you, making it easy to get a great photograph. Occasionally, they float above the reef, allowing for a great shot against a perfect blue backdrop.
Hawksbill Turtles are the only turtle to eat coral, as opposed to sea-grass or algae. They are listed as critically endangered, but we are lucky enough to encounter them quite regularly at the dive sites around Ko Lanta. Their favourite food is bubble coral, so if you see a patch of bubble coral, look around and you may well find a Hawksbill. Crowding around a turtle and blocking off his route to the surface will cause him a great deal of stress, so it is best to keep your distance.
The best time to photograph them is when they are eating, as you will have plenty of time to compose your shot. Be patient and they may even look straight into your lens. They also make great silhouette subjects.
These are just a few of the subjects you can find on our special reefs and you will never be short of inspiration. There are beautiful soft corals, feather stars, many colourful reef-fish, plenty of fascinating macro subjects, graceful Leopard Sharks and even Manta Rays & Whalesharks if you’re lucky.