The Great Barracuda is a very impressive fish. At up to 2 meters in length and armed with large razor sharp teeth this speed demon is capable of slicing its prey in half or inflicting terrible wounds.
Indeed I did not have the courage when I met my first one many years ago to get up close and personal for a picture like this.
In later years we discovered that like many big predatory marine animals, as long as they don’t perceive you as prey or threat, you can interact with them and not come to harm, `most of the time’.
Interesting that this is not often the case with our large terrestrial animals.
This Giant Barracuda is often found residing on the wreck of the US Liberty in Bali. He likes to hang around under the ship, in the shadow of the stern. You can get within touching distance but I think if you did try to touch it, you would lose your hand.
Photo Data: Location: Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia. Genre: Wide Angle Close Up with twin strobes. Photo Data: Nikon D200, Nikkor 12-24 MM Zoom Lens @ 24mm, Seacam Housing, Dual Seacam Strobes and Manual Exposure Mode. ISO 200 Exposure f7 @ 1/60th sec shutter speed. Image by Kevin Deacon.
Photo Hints: When shooting silver coloured fish be careful to control your strobe intensity to avoid overexposed reflection on the scales. If you are using a single strobe be sure to aim the strobe to illuminate the fishes head.
When you approach marine life for a close up shot, first bring the camera up into position, then move in very slowly and avoid any sudden movements. Watch the animal for any body language that indicates it is reacting to your approach.
Never move in on a large animal that has no clear means of escape from your approach.
And finally, big cameras will protect you way better than little ones if it all goes to hell.
Interesting Facts: Largest of the barracuda family and a loner, it is commonly encountered in shallow water. Here it will hover motionless and launch a fast attack on passing prey. It has been known to bite swimmers, probably due to a mistake in murky water. I have never heard of an attack on a diver in clear water.
Common names. Great Barracuda. Giant Barracuda
Latin name. Sphyraena barracuda