Scorpion fish are common as all hell here in Phuket, we also get Devil Scorpions which are rarer but still easily found if you know how to look, but we don’t really get any other types of Scorpion fish gracing our dive sites. Now one of the rarest and most sought after for photographers in regards to the Scorpion family is the Ambon Scorpion, an insanely frilly, demon-esque looking ball of tassels and appendages.
Our guide knew which dive site they were on, he had found them there only a few days ago, but they don’t stay in the same spot for very long, so it’s not an easy job finding them again. Thankfully he had a very very good eye for macro, even I admit I would have swam right over the top of them and I pride myself on my ability to find camouflaged critters on the sea bottom. I have some other photos showing them from above and there is no way you’d spot them on a fly by, you really need to be down low checking the weeds that pile up into clumps which the Ambon mimics almost perfectly.
The guide actually found two Ambons in the same area so the three photographers all had room to take shots, I’d never photographed Ambons before and it was a trying experience, we had some mild current which kept moving his appendages and the weeds to hide, obscure, de-focus or blur some part of the shot. Honestly it’s embarrassing how many times I tried to get a nice front facing shot like this one, so I won’t say just how many shots I took.
In the end persistence and good air consumption paid off with a few nice shots and even some time to play with lighting and lighting temperature. If yu re interested in how I got the reds to stand out, it has a lot to do with my camera the Sony Rx100, my nice big video lights and an extra red filter, enjoy!