These endearing little crabs are only the size of your fingernail. I saw my first picture of them when award winning photographer Neil Vincent presented a spectacular portfolio of images from Tulamben, Bali to our Dive 2000 club members; among these images were also sunfish (Mola Mola). At this point I resolved to do two things, offer annual photo dive trips to Bali for our customers and to capture my own images of these creatures. Incredibly during year one a got the rare giant Mola Mola, it took following years to get the little crab!
This is not because the crabs are rare, it’s because you need the remarkable sharp eyes and local knowledge of a great Balinese dive guide to find them for you. Mind you our Balinese friends are also experts at finding Giant Sunfish!
Pictures of cryptic sand dwelling marine life from Tulamben are particularly striking as they contrast beautifully against the black sand. It’s interesting to note in this super macro image that the sand is not just black; it is made up of granules that reveal the variety of colours in the volcanic rocks that the sea is tirelessly grinding down into multicoloured sand.
Photo Data: Location: Tulamben Bali. Genre: Super Macro Photo Data: Nikon D200, 60mm lens, fitted with Seacam Wet Dioptre One. Seacam Silver Housing, ISO 100, Manual Exposure Mode. Dual Strobe Exposure f36 @ 1/125 Th second. Image by Kevin Deacon.
Photo Hints: Tiny creatures like these are beyond the range of normal macro lenses on DSLR cameras and compacts. You need to gain extra magnification via a close up dioptre lens that can often be supplied as wet dock able meaning you can add it to your housing underwater and remove it at will to capture other non macro images. Seacam offer an excellent range for their housings and Inon offer a great range suitable for many compacts and some other DSLR systems.
Be very careful once your auto focus locks onto your subject, the slightest move back or forth by you or the subject will create an out of focus image, therefore its best to shoot immediately you have focus while still considering a nice composition of the subject in the picture area.
Interesting Facts: Boxer crabs gather tiny anemones to use on their claws as a lethal boxing glove, hence their name.