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How to get your best shot of…. A large school of fish

Barbelen

Barbelen

How to get your best shot of…. A large school of fish

You often find these yellowfin goatfish (Mulloides vanicolensis) on Red Sea reefs, forming large shoals.
If you see this many fish together , it is best if your buddy stays a bit behind and you approach on your own.
When there is too much movement, or there are too many divers, the school will split up in smaller groups or leave. And that is not what you want. The more, the merrier!
Do not approach right away, but quietly observe the fish first. In general, these fish have a certain place on the reef. You will notice that they want to leave at first: the dorsal fins will go up, a sign that the fish are agitated. Wait until the fins go down again.
Stick to your normal breathing pattern, do not hold your breath. Wait until the fish are all in place and calm.
Keep an eye on the movement of the school fish and adjust your distance accordingly. If they move away from you, you do not move. Wait for the fish to return. Then get a bit closer.
I had to wait for ten minutes, but eventually they came to me, and at 1 meter distance they separated and surrounded me. I was happily hovering in the midst of a school of yellowfin goatfish. Loved it!

Photo data:

  • 1/200 sec
  • F/14
  • ISO 200
  • Camera: Nikon D700
  • Lens: Nikon 16mm fisheye
  • Sealux underwaterhousing
  • 2x SB800 strobes in Sealux underwaterhousing

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