My first steps into Macro Photography


I have always loved looking at macro photos of the tiniest creatures in the ocean. I have a few dive pals who take exquisite macro photos… one of them, Diana Paboojian, was recently featured on in one of my ‘Amazing Women in Diving’ blogs. I finally went out and bought a macro lens, and while I cannot compete with Diana, I am enjoying learning to use it, and training my eyes to seek out the smallest creatures.

Have you ever seen Conch eyes? I love them. They are on stalks, and can look in all directions, which can have amusing results. The Conch is one of the first creatures I’ve tried my macro luck with, then I moved on to Hermit Crabs. Hermit Crabs also have stalks for eyes, and some crabs have bright blue eyes. I came upon an active, moving group of tiny hermit crabs, and enjoyed the milieu! They were in the process, it appeared, of finding new shells. These shells are so tiny! They were perhaps 3 or 4 inches long. As they grow they abandon their shells to find bigger ones. There was quite a lot of consternation in this scene! These were tiny little hermit crabs, and their eyes were a midnight blue. They resemble spiders when they are out of their shells, don’t you think?

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Another wonderful encounter was with a baby Pygmy Filefish. To even see a Pygmy Filefish is rare because they are small and blend in perfectly with their surroundings, but a baby! This little one was about half the size of my pinky finger…and I have small hands. The Pygmy showed no sign of nervousness and had no intention of leaving its soft coral surroundings. It took looking through the bifocals in my mask to even see it!

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And there is one of my favorite mollusks, the Flamingo Tongue. Flamingos are mollusks and feed on gorgonians. Their shell appears to be white with orange spots, but actually it is the slug itself covering the shell with their mantle! This sea slug covers its shell with its body as it eats. I am not sure why, but the result is gorgeous.

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This little shrimp was barely visible, and the pipe seahorse tiny, tiny as well!

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Even the small things can be exciting!

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Tam Warner Minton

Tam Warner Minton

Tam Warner Minton is an avid scuba diver, amateur underwater photographer, and adventurer. She encourages "citizen science" diving, whether volunteering with a group or by one's self. For Tam, the unexpected is usually the norm!

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