Rare Photo Capture
An elegant coastal shrimp. This was something we had never seen before on a sea pen. Intent on capturing a marine life photo that was something beyond the ordinary, I quickly focused my camera’s macro lens on the discover several elegant coastal shrimp’s (Heptacarpus decorus) shrimp’s bulbous eyes.
One key element in creating successful underwater photographs is to use negative space to artistic effect. Negative space is defined as being the area between and around objects in a photo that can help strengthen your composition and add extra emphasis to the main subject. Since elegant coastal shrimp have mostly translucent bodies, the orange sea pen’s colonies of polyp formations provided both a colorful backdrop and some superb negative space for my main subject.
Elegant coastal shrimp have a prominent hump on their back and are relatively small at 2.3 inches (6 cm) in length. Ranging from the Aleutian Islands, Alaska to California, they are but one of more than 85 shrimp species inhabiting British Columbia’s Emerald Sea. While most local shrimp species are easily recognized, you have to take a longer look to accurately identify the elegant coastal shrimp as they are sometimes mistakenly identified as being threespine costal shrimp.
Underwater Camera Settings
Photograph made in Queen Charlotte Strait’s famed Browning Passage, off the north coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, using a Nikon D200 digital camera in a Sealux underwater housing fitted with a Nikon 60mm macro lens and a single Sea & Sea YS-110a strobe. Exposure f/16 at 1/125th of a second at ISO 200.