My first and perhaps favorite subjects
are clownfish. Clowns are superb for
photographing. They are colorful,
charming, easy to locate on the reef, and
usually stay in one place, making them
easier to shoot. I’m very familiar with
Amphiprion bicinctus in the Red Sea. This is
an ebullient fish that defends its anemone
host, meaning it is an easy fish to approach.
A key technique with fish portraits like
these clownfish close-ups is to ensure
that the eye is in focus, as it provides an
emotional connection to the subject.
Here a very young Amphiprion nigripes peeks out from a Heteractis magnifica anemone in
a shot framed to emphasize the sense of a small fish looking out onto a big world.
A 105-mm macro lens was used for this shot of A. bicinctus with spawn. Getting up close
excludes a lot of the particulate matter, making macro photography a great option in
turbid waters. The author reports that this shot “took ages to capture, as the anemone
had retreated into a crevice in the reef, so I had to hang a few inches over the
rockwork, in an upside-down position, to avoid damaging the coral with my fins.”