Photo of the Week: The Hitchhiker
The surge in the shallow Point Loma Kelp was annoyingly strong this past weekend.
Naturally, there were also thousands of tiny nudibranchs carpeting the rocky reef that I wanted to photograph. To quote one diver on the Marissa, "You couldn't touch a rock for fear that you might squish one." It was true. They were everywhere.
But back to the surge.
No sooner would I lock focus on one of these marvelous creatures than the surge would knock me four feet sideways. A thick stalk of kelp would fly into my frame, and I'd completely lose sight of my subject. It was immensely frustrating.
This is why I only have two photos of this tiny (~1/4") Mexichromis porterae nudibranch, and why neither of them is particularly good. I gave up.
But I wouldn't have if I'd had the ocular fortitude to spot the even tinier amphipod hitchhiking a ride on the nudibranch's back. I would have spent all damn day shooting those two little guys. However, I never even saw it until I was home, my gear was rinsed and drying, and I was on the computer, heavily cropping this shot.
This discovery has me seriously contemplating keeping a magnifying glass in my drysuit pocket. I even joked that I might invest in bifocal lenses for my mask.
I was only kind of joking.
(Settings: f/11 at 1/200 sec, ISO 160, with my EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens.)