Fish. Fish are everywhere, except on land, obviously, and if you had to think about that before you kept on reading this then you might need a little help…. However, that’s for you to do. In the meantime though, let me tell you a bit about fish.
Whenever you might find yourself in an aqueous situation, scuba-diving, snorkelling, free-diving or even walking between rock pools and shallows, fish perceive you as a threat and are often prone to a fight or flight attitude to our intrusion into their world. Most species that I’ve attempted to shoot take the flight over fight, and those that have the opposite approach usually stay very still, keeping eyes fixed on this strange air-breathing creature pointing a shiny box at them.
This is getting really old but once again Buoyancy is key. When it comes to shooting reef fish its important to remember that not only are they able to see you and react in whatever way they do, but they also hear you, smell you, and can actually feel you in the water. By picking up vibrations and movement in the water through their Lateral lines, fish are able to ‘feel’ your approach. This makes moving slowly and steadily through the water key, as kicking too quickly towards the subject will no doubt frighten it off. Breathing control in terms of buoyancy is important but many of us forget one other effect our breathing has on a fish’s behaviour, Sound. When we exhale sharply or heavily our breathing and the expulsion of bubbles from the regulator are amplified through the water, and to most fish this sounds like we’re breathing out a thunderclap. This imagery sounds pretty cool but if it means you lose that perfect shot then it might be better not to breathe thunder whenever we’re pointing shiny electric eyeballs at creatures that can hear using the entirety of their body and have no eyelids.