Monday, April 7, 2014

I Also Love My Crustaceans

Unfortunately, you don’t really see many in the Caribbean. Most are small and/or cryptic—such as tiny crabs or shrimp that live within anemones or sponges, or critters that live deep in recesses—or nocturnal, only venturing forth at night. But sometimes we luck out and catch sight of someone out in the open. This is a yellowline arrow crab out and about in Rendezvous Bay (St. John, USVI), picking around for lunch with lavender-tipped claws. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Love Love Love My Digital Camera!

I may have said this before, but every time I get a great picture out of seemingly nothing, I have to say it again: Love my digital camera. I’ve got this thing about taking pictures of animals. The problem for most of my life (read: pre-digital cameras) was that I’d take my pictures, and end up with photographs of a boring landscape where I could usually (but not always) point out the little blob that was the subject of the photo. You could argue that I could have gotten a better zoom lens, but I’m into photos more as a remembrance tool, not to perfect the technical aspects. Also, it used to cost a pretty penny to have pictures (and even slides) developed, and the budget wasn’t big enough to luxuriate in hundred of shots. So…enter the digital camera. Not only can I afford to take hundreds of pictures a day (yeah for large memory cards!), and keep only a fraction, but manipulation to zoom in on the real subject is easy. This is especially relevant for my underwater photos, which I take while snorkeling, so I don’t have a whole lot of time to set up a photo, and I often can’t get real close to my subject. I thought about this recently when I came upon these photos. First we have the overall photo, rather bland, nothing striking. Then I zoom in on my subject, a saddled blenny. Not only is this distinguishable as an actual living fish, but you can even see the delicate fin rays and the variable colors of the eye. I can now make a positive ID, and check the species off in my book.
Not much to see here, right?

There it is! My saddled blenny, maybe a couple of inches long, from the center of the above photo.