Zoanthids and Palythoas are not corals that I keep. It’s not that I don’t like them; they simply don’t excite me. How I came to have a colony of Nuclear Green Palys has slipped from my memory, but I enjoy them nonetheless.
I’ve not always had success bringing out their vibrant green color. This time I got close. But it’s a new discovery that gets me excited about this image. Because my “focus” has always been on the intense green color and making that stand out in the image, I had not paid much attention to the “skirt” tentacles. Wow! They’re really attractive! They also do an excellent job of framing and visually containing the vibrant green.
These are the kinds of discoveries that make close-up/macro photography such a pleasure. Few things are more fun than “revealing” some aspect of a coral polyp that is not easily visible to the un-aided eye and making it possible for others to enjoy that feature. As a result of making this image, I have even more appreciation for these polyps.
Making the image was a bit of a challenge. To shoot at this angle and have focus through the entire depth of the scene required that I make a stacked image. In this case 12 separate photos are combined to make one image. Doing this is relatively easy with LPS polyps and most SPS. Not so with animals such as these because it takes a bit of time to make 12 images. During that time the disk often moves and/or the polyp moves its tentacles. It took three attempts before I had success. When doing these stacked images you learn to focus (it has to be manual focus) and shoot very quickly.
The next time I photograph these polyps, I’ll try to fill much of the frame with the skirts. Maybe, in doing so, I’ll discover another attractive feature.–Gary L. Parr, www.gparr.com, www.reefthreads.com