Little Fast Blue Fish

A little video I did with Elaine at around 8 meters deep on top of the Gosei Maru shipwreck in Truk Lagoon, Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia. Shallow macro spots are always better because you can have crazy long bottom times. 70+ minutes on a single 12L (Aluminum 80) without being a tiny person.

The fish are (I think) Green Chromis, Chromis viridis. I slowed the video down to about half speed and they’re still fast. If you use regular autofocus (ie, use the camera like a normal person), there isn’t enough time to focus and take the picture. The fish is gone before you have a chance to take their picture and you end up with a lot of pictures where “trust me, there used to be a fish there”. At best, a blue-green blur.

The trick here to get good pictures is to use back-button focus (yes, the TG-4 used here and it’s brother the TG-5 can do this) to lock the focus plane at a fixed distance from the end of the lens. Then you move that focus plane into the gap between coral where you expect the fish to show up. When one pops up between the coral, snap a picture.

And before you ask: yes she is breathing but very very very slowly. You can see bubbles at the beginning of the video. Most macro photographers breathe slowly because bubbles push water and disturb/scare their subjects.

The scene from a little bit farther back… Because this is a lifeboat davit that sticks out horizontally, the best way to get a stable position is to hold the davit with the left hand. The rest of her body is floating neutral in the water.

See you underwater!!


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