I would have to say Blennies are probably my most favourite macro subject to shoot. They have such emotional faces and wonderful colors which draws me to shoot them time and time again.

Blennies are small fish, with elongate bodies almost eel like with relatively large eyes and mouths. The blunt heads of blennies often possess elaborate whisker-like structures called cirri, Blennies are mainly found close or on the bottom, hiding in coral holes or pipes and the odd bottle littered on the seabed.

Shooting these guys will need some patience, although Blennies are territorial they will swim off if spooked.

Once I have spotted one I tend to watch for a while then move in slowly and get into position. I never attempt to shoot a Blenny that is not in his hole or home, If you attempt to shoot them in the open they will most likely swim off.

I prefer using the 105mm lens range for blennies as you have the advantage of not spooking him compared to the closer 60mm range, aswell as using the +10 subsee will allow you to fill the blenny in the frame if you can get close enough.

If you manage to spot a Blenny in his hole, composing is fairly simple. I like the portrait view - shooting from the side as flat as possible, the 45 deg side shot, or the full face shot.

There are two types of settings that work well for these shots. Either getting a black background with lots of DOF, or because of unattractive backgrounds going the bokeh way, so a shallow DOF to blur those ugly backgrounds.

A starting guide :-

Black backgrounds:     Shutter speeds from  1/125 and up at F25 and up for maximum focus area, using strobe power.

Bokeh (blurry) backgrounds:  High shutter speeds (because of low f stop)  1/200 and up at f 14 - f22, using low strobe power.

You can also be creative way by using a snoot to light the blenny or by backlighting the subject.

Once your shot is composed use spot focus and manually select the focus points, and focus on the eye. Slow movements and breathing

Will improve your chances of him not swimming off, and if you are lucky patient and fast enough be ready to capture him yawning.

Blennies are territorial so in most cases if you were not successful at first, remember the spot and you can always go back and try again.

Photo of the week
By:  Mark Fuller
Week No  :  
Winner Monthly Competition
By:  Brad Pryde‎
Theme : Snoot Lighting
Month : December
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