Weekly Photo Challenge – Earth

White Rose

White Rose

Haha! I bet you thought I was going to post an underwater shot, didn’t you? Not today!

I love the beauty of our planet and here’s another shot that I’ll be displaying at my first show of the season in two weeks. It’s really quite dramatic printed on metal!

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Admiration

Sunny Face

Sunny Face

I admire nature in all of her glory. Flowers never cease to amaze me in their complexity and colors. I’m working on a new series of flowers for the upcoming art show season and this sunflower is a piece I shot just last week. She will be printed on metal and available for purchase at my first show – The French Nest Market in Fort Collins, Colorado on May 21st.

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Half-Light

Gray Reef Shark

Gray Reef Shark

On an early morning dive off of Little Cayman, here’s what showed up to check us out…

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Dance

Saddled Blenny

Saddled Blenny

Whenever I’m scuba diving, I feel that I’m in the midst of a constant dance – the creatures and the water ever moving rhythmically. My biggest challenge was to choose one shot, but I loved the tango-esque posture of this fish. I give you the Saddled Blenny who was gracious enough to light for a few seconds to have his picture taken.

Blennies are tiny little fish who constantly dart around on sandy bottoms or coral heads. This one was about an inch long.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Life Imitates Art

Amphitrite

Amphitrite

Or this is shot is strictly about art. Here is the mermaid Amphitrite as she adorns the Sunset House Reef on Grand Cayman. You can also see how the life on the reef has added colors to her lovely form.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Circle

Sea Urchin

Sea Urchin

Here’s a literal interpretation of the challenge for this week. I had never seen a sea urchin that had made its home on the top of the reef. They usually like their hidey holes and all one sees are their spines sticking out of the nooks and crannies on the sides of coral heads. This shot was taken on Bloody Bay Wall in Little Cayman.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Gathering

Yellow-Headed Jawfish

Yellow-Headed Jawfish

A gathering of eggs, so to speak… This is the famous yellow-headed jawfish. Its curious lifestyle includes how it takes care of its brood. The male jawfish carries the gestating eggs in his mouth, occasionally spitting them out  to aerate them and then sucking them back into his mouth to protect them.

I was told by our dive master that the males who have the dark lines below their jaws are experienced fathers. These dark lines are literally stretch marks. So, if you look closely at the profile of this handsome guy, you can see the eggs in his mouth along with his resume stripes.

I was thrilled to get this shot! These guys are very shy. They live in holes on the sand bottom and pop up to feed and see what’s going on. It took me about twenty minutes of lying on that sand bottom with my camera pointed at the hole. I gradually approached the jawfish who would pop up, see me, and go back into his hole until I was able to get close enough to engage my macro lens.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Eye Spy

Balloon Fish Eyes

When I saw the prompt, I knew immediately what I wanted to post! This is a balloon fish and this is an exact capture of its iridescent eyes. These little guys hang out in shallow waters around 20 feet near the sandy bottom. They seem quite curious about the large black creature with the bright light and they’ll slowly move towards or away from it.

This is the first balloon fish I’ve ever seen and I found him in the shallows near Bloody Bay Wall in Little Cayman.

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Transition

Transition back to normal. On our recent trip to the Cayman Islands, I found this hermit crab crawling along the sandy bottom. In order to photograph it, I picked it up and placed it on a coral head upside down so I could get a good shot of the critter as it came out of its shell to see what was going on.

Upside Down

Upside Down

It climbed out of its shell and proceeded to grab a piece of seaweed on the coral head…

Leave Me Alone

Leave Me Alone

Very quickly it righted itself. I picked it up and put back where I had found it. It was a very fun encounter!

Back to Normal

Back to Normal

The shell home for my new friend appears to have been used by many hermit crabs. It’s almost completely smooth with very little definition or detail except for some new sea life growing on its top. Even in the wilds of the underwater world, some sea creatures’ very existence depends on reuse!

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Trio

Trio

Trio

I love these Schoolmaster Snappers. This trio was hanging out together under a ledge on the Bloody Bay wall in Little Cayman waiting to have their picture taken.

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.