Category Archives: Photography

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4 Tips for the Right-Brained Marine Aquarist

As regular Saltwater Smarts visitors may be aware, I was an English major in college and currently make my living working with words as a writer/editor. Admittedly, I’ve never really been able to wrap my head around more complicated mathematics and technical sciences. Now don’t get me wrong; I am capable of doing some pretty quick calculations in my head when the situation calls for it. For instance I can divide 12 slices of pizza among four people without so much as breaking a sweat (nine slices for me and three for the others to fight over, of course). But in general, I guess you could say I’m a fairly “right-brained” sort of person.What this means with respect to my involvement in the marine aquarium hobby—which, let’s face it, is a relatively high-tech pastime—is that I’ve had to find certain ways to compensate for my lack of technical prowess in order to achieve long-term success. What follows are some helpful tips I’ve picked up along the way. If you also happen to be “left-hemispherically challenged,” you might want to adopt these as well. 1

Marine Aquarium Photography: Post Processing of Coral Images

There is no such thing as an unprocessed “image,” but the degree of said processing can vary greatlyOften the subject of heated online debate is the post processing of coral photos—the manipulation of the coral image by software to tweak color and exposure levels. Post processing of coral images is a particularly hot-button issue because it is possible to abuse it. Hobbyists unfamiliar with the practice may decide to purchase a coral online based on a stunning photo and be disappointed once they receive it because the photo was the result of heavy post processing. Half the equationSome in the reefkeeping hobby associate post processing with deceptive trade practices, which is unfortunate because post processing is merely a tool. That may be an understatement because post processing is half of digital photography. Let me repeat that: Post processing is half of photography. Let’s say, for example, that you are hiring a wedding photographer and the first candidate proclaims he doesn’t do any post processing and whatever comes straight out of the camera is what makes it to print.

Diving Through Swaying Gorgonians in Curacao

ABOUT Avid outdoorsman and underwater photographer, Barry Brown has spent the last ten years documenting life above and below water in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. He is currently working with the Smithsonian Institution documenting new Caribbean deep-water species and building a one of a kind database. His underwater images can regularly be seen in Sport Diver, Scuba Diver and on the Ikelite website. His image of a "Collage of Corals" seen under blue-light at night recently placed in the TOP 10 images for the 2014 NANPA (North American Nature Photographers Association) photo contest. Pages

Tattoo Tuesday – Guess Who?

FullSizeRenderMany of us in the reef industry and aquarium arts community have tattoos. Is it any wonder, considering how many hours we’ve dedicated to the art and science of cultivating the beauty of our aquatic world? For today’s Tattoo Tuesday, let’s play a game. Do you know which reef aquarium professional this tattoo close-up belongs to? Leave your guess in the comments below!  … More:

Orange ghost shrimp-Corallianassa longiventris

Good morning friends, I had a few people asking about my pet Ghost Shrimp so just for you I went out and shot some new photos. This little thing is dripping with personality and expression, I really enjoy spending time with him on the sand. I always bring him a fresh handful of algae and dangle it over his little hole. Upon seeing the algae he will race to the surface and take them out of my hand, he is really not very shy! I will sometimes lay a pile of food next the hole and he will grab it and somehow drag it all down inside his home?? If you saw how much food he is taking down you would think he lives in a giant cave or something, I would love to see the burrow this guy has built!

The Rockmover Wrasse: What a Difference Adulthood Can Make!

Adult rockmover wrasse (Novaculichthys taeniourus)In a previous post titled “Marine Fish Bait and Switch—5 Adorable Juveniles that Blossom into Brutes,” I listed the rockmover wrasse (Novaculichthys taeniourus), aka the reindeer wrasse or the dragon wrasse, among four other species that are typically sold in the marine aquarium trade as cute little youngsters but mature into very different adults. However, despite its surprising (for those who didn’t do their advance research) transformation, I think N. taeniourus remains a worthy aquarium species provided certain accommodations are made. That notorious physical transformationDepending on where they’re collected, the juveniles (the stage at which they’re typically sold), are either green or burgundy with dark brown and white mottling. Their color and patterning allow them to camouflage among growths of algae. They also possess two greatly elongated dorsal spines that vaguely resemble a deer’s antlers, giving rise to the “reindeer wrasse” moniker. Perhaps not surprisingly, owing to their cuteness, juveniles often tempt unwary hobbyists into an ill-considered purchase. Juvenile N.

Reef Threads Podcast #230


What tells you that a fish is healthy?

We’ve returned again because we simply can’t help it. This week’s topics include MASNA scholarships, Bryopsis, mollusk tanks, healthy fish characteristics, floors for fish tanks, and Acropora resistance. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine

Sponsor: Rod’s Food
Rod’s Food website

MASNA scholarships
The MASNA student scholarship page

Fed acros are tough acros
Feeding Acropora helps them handle elevated temperatures and CO2, Leonard Ho, Advanced Aquarist

The floor under your tank
Floor selection for reef room, WindeyD, Reef2Reef.

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Reef Threads Podcast #229


One of the animals in Marius Schudel’s Irish rockpool aquarium.

Postmodern Jukebox support for Gary leads off a podcast packed with reef information including clown triggerfish mariculture, Quality Marine’s fish-information QR codes, lionfish eating, Marius Schudel’s (he’s a guy!) Irish rockpool aquarium, and anti-aging nematocysts. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine

Sponsor: Rod’s Food
Rod’s Food website

Prepping lionfish
Three videos about how to prepare lionfish for eating:
Video 1
Video 2
Video 3

Irish rockpool aquarium
Marius Schudel’s rockpool aquarium
Video of Marius Schudel’s Irish rockpool aquarium

Anti-aging nematocysts
Sea Anemone Delivery of Collagen and γ-PGA for Anti-Aging Benefits, Tal, Danon, Toren, Khaiat, Cosmetics and Toiletries magazine.

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