Mating Blue-Ringed Octopus
Link to the article in Underwater Photography Guide
This is just so cool. You never know what is going to happen on a dive....
My eyes followed the dive guide’s gaze towards the white sand between two rocks. I knew I was looking for a blue-ringed octopus but didn’t see anything and inched a bit closer.
Until this point, I had been further down the reef, calmly waiting for a tiny nudibranch to shift position among some hydroids when I felt a firm tap on my shoulder. I looked up to see our dive guide frantically beckoning me to follow him. Intent on capturing the image I had set up, I made the sign for nudibranch and pointed at that spot. He then blew out a big stream of bubbles and pecked one arm with his other hand – the unmistakable sign for blue-ringed octopus – and kicked full speed across the reef with me in hot pursuit.
As my mask got closer to the sand, I saw the iridescent blue rings and recognized the octopus in front of me as the cephalopod launched itself across the ground. Excited to see my first blue-ring of the trip (Bluewater Photo’s Anilao workshops), I begun a lighting-fast reconfiguration of my camera gear from super macro to “octopus position,” knowing this was a fleeting moment. The excitement intensified as the octo lifted off the sand slightly and I saw a male octopus clinging to the female in mating position. Incredible! I’m sure I breathed out some excited words as I finished changing camera settings and took a first shot. The octos were moving quickly across the reef and I fired a shot each time I had a satisfactory composition through my 100mm macro lens. In a matter of seconds, both octopuses disappeared safely into a small hole.
About the Blue-Ringed Octopus
The blue-ringed octopus (hapalochlaena lunulata) is sought-after by underwater photographers across the Indo-Pacific. They generally inhabit shallow waters around rubble, rocks and muck sand areas, spending their time hunting small crustaceans.
Blue-ringed octopuses are infamous among divers for their extremely toxic venom (TTX), which is powerful enough to kill humans.
Learn more about the blue-ringed octopus in our comprehensive marine life feature.
Tips for Capturing Behavior
Practice When action is unfolding quickly it must be second nature to change camera settings and strobe positioning. Experienced photographers will be able to set up a shot before even actuating the shutter, leaving only small tweaks necessary to capture the image in mind.
Study the marine life in an area before the trip You’ll learn a lot and it will form a good base for learning more during the trip, especially if it is an underwater photo workshop. Not only will you recognize what is going on around you, but you’ll have more fun talking about your dives with fellow divers.
Become friends with your dive guides We’re all divers and share some amazing experiences underwater. If your guide knows how much you appreciate their experience and hard work, they will be more inclined to show you their favorite critters.
About the Author Brent Durand is an avid California beach diver, photographer and writer dedicated to capturing unique underwater, ocean lifestyle and adventure images. Brent is editor of the Underwater Photography Guide. Make sure to follow UWPG on Facebook for updates on everything underwater-photography.
Found this over on Scuba Monkey... and as a former instructor, it is awesome!!!
Are you a recreational diver? Are you off on holiday soon? Doing some diving? Will you have a diving professional guiding you during the dives? Here’s a few really great ways to get on their nerves, make their life difficult and generally compromise the safety of yourself and the rest of the dive group courtesy of Scuba Monkey diving research labs.
Diving professionals are employed globally to lead dives and offer local diving safety advice and diving tips to certified scuba divers. Each diver paying for this service is, therefore, a qualified diver with an autonomous diver qualification seeking the underwater guidance and dive planning of a diving professional.
However, in this lesson (and it is a lesson) our team of recreational diving experts will show you how you, too, can liven up their dull lives and annoy your diving professional to the brink of a nervous breakdown.
So, sit back and learn some key techniques that will mark you out to experienced diving professionals as a enormous bell-end and someone they can’t wait to see the back of.
1. Equipment Savvy
Tom Perkins, 46, of Berkshire, an IT professional and Open Water qualified diver with 32 dives, said “I like to irritate my dive guides by having no clue about diving equipment set-up. I find the best way to get on my Divemaster or Instructor’s nerves is to either a) stare blankly at my scuba equipment for 20 minutes before each dive like a caveman who’s been thawed out of ice after 7000 years and has just seen scuba equipment for the first time – holding up the rest of the dive group – or, b) claim I know what I’m doing before connecting up the hoses incorrectly and leaving the tank band loose to ensure there’s an in-water incident. The key to this annoyance technique is to not be prepared for a diving trip and – certainly – not to take a diving refresher session before the holiday. And, additionally, ensure you omit a buddy check before entering the water for maximum annoyance. Divemasters and Instructors like nothing better than securing a loose tank by man-handling the cylinder back into a BCD band at 18m in my experience. Livens up their day.”
Annoyance Score: 6
Diving for Iceburgs!
CBC: Diving for icebergs: A view from the bottom
People from around the world are coming to Newfoundland and Labrador to see the icebergs along the coastline this season, but what they don't see are the massive ice structures below the ocean's surface.
The CBC's Amy Stoodley cast off from the dock in Conception Bay South last week to take a special underwater iceberg tour, after completing dive training. Ocean Quest Adventures, based in C.B.S., will take experienced divers down on a chilly adventure.
Captain Rick Stanley didn't let the chilly water temperatures stop him. "We're gonna giv'er 'til we shiver," he said before the dive. According to Stanley, safety is a big priority, and it all comes down to picking the right iceberg.
"These bergs are so massive underwater. You gotta be ready and you gotta be careful how you dive on them — you gotta pick the right berg," he said. 'It's risky business' "Just remember that it's risky business, anything can happen. They're unpredictable and the safest place you are is underwater." Stanley said one of the big risks is an iceberg rolling while someone is diving nearby.
The best way to tell if an iceberg hasn't rolled recently is by its colour; the more stark white the berg is, the safer it is. When the colour is more blue, it means that side recently absorbed water. Check out the video above for footage from Amy's dive, captured on a GoPro camera, as well as video and photos of other dives provided by Ocean Quest Adventures.
Ride to Conquer Cancer
There are very few things the keep me out of the water on Sundays.... but this is one of them. I am going to be participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer; biking from Vancouver to Seattle in 2 weeks time. And, to top it off I am going to be doing the challenge route (160km the first day, 100km the 2nd day). So, dig out your wallets and send some sponsorship love my way! This is a great cause :)
DONATE HERE (look up Hilary Curry)