Juvenile Emporer Angel Fish

Juvenile Emperor Angel Fish


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On a day were I expected not to take any photos at all, I took this one of a creature I’d 100% given up on ever getting the shot of him I truly wanted. For many years I’ve been fascinated by the beautiful coloration of Juvenile Emperor Angel Fish, they even have a psychedelic Adolescent stage, but the juvenile phase is truly fantastic. The problem is, these little blighters do not like to stay still, not ever, not for anything.

If you have/use a DSLR underwater, lucky you, I do not, I use my old trusted Sony RX 100 (R1), so the delay between click and a photo being focused and recorded is quite large, at least in terms for underwater photographers and fast moving subjects, shutter delay is a real b!@#$, anyway I decided to try to get him on film so to speak, I had plenty of time to position myself, wait, and hope he swam into view.

As you can see from the image he is moving through a crack in the rock, a notoriously hard place to position lights and strobes, I decided to put the lights up and angle them into the crack, pointing my camera down directly at the clump of pink coral & patiently I waited for him to come back the way I’d seen him come a few time already. I figured this would be like every other time though, he would swim in so fast that my Sony RX wouldn’t be able to capture him even with a super fast shutter speed set, or he would turn at the last second and I’d get a blurry or non useful semi side shot or worst of all, he’d just be out of focus.

I took 4 photos of him as he played in and out of the crack, luckily enough one of them turned out just as I’d planned, which never happens, I have him in focus, fully side on, over the pink corals and I’m a super happy photographer. You try getting this shot with a pocket camera.

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