Sadly if you travel through certain places in Indonesia & the Philippines you will see an alarming trend with dive instructors, guides and photographers using their pointers, tank bangers and metal rods of all kinds to move critters to better spots for photos. Feather Stars, the thing the lobster is sitting on and a living animal, seem to have it the worst of any of the life down there. It has actually gotten so bad that underwater photography competitions have had to specifically ban the entry of photos containing Crinoid Shrimp, Crinoid Goby & Crinoid Lobster because of the stupidity of photographers.
The reason this is one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken is that it was simply a case of being in the right place at the right time and getting a really awesome shot of something that is almost always hidden or will shy from lights and divers. I did not have to tamper with the poor Feather Star, or move the Squat Lobster in anyway to achieve this shot. He just happened to be out surfing the arms of his Feather Star, his home (remember that if you are a douche bag who uses a pointer stick to move them), completely chilled and ready for me to take some shots of him.
Now lets get something else straight, when I’ve sadly had guides who poke and prod everything because you have a camera in your hand, I personally guarantee that you won’t get the shots you want. Once you start moving the critters around you aggravate them, all you do is increase their need to hide and protect themselves. This means you are now dealing with an agitated and probably fast moving underwater animal that will never go near divers again. Let your guides know before you even get in the water with them that you don’t want to see them touching anything.
Don’t be a douche bag asshat, be one of the good guys, simply ‘Touch Nothing’, Take only photos & leave only bubbles!