Pipefish, Syngnathus sp.
The neighbor's kid spent the better part of an afternoon tossing this garden
snake across his lawn. Just kidding, this is a pipefish (Syngnathus sp.)
swimming over a bed of surf grass. A pipefish's shape is obviously problematic
for photographers. If the entire animal is in the frame, then it's not easy to
make out features like an eye or mouth. What's a photographer to do? Well, one
thing that helps is to compose a shot with other elements -- in this case, a
sunburst and surf grass. It's easy to fill up a flash card with garbage shots
when you're trying to take a picture like this. It's what I would call a "hard
work " shot. It's painstaking to shoot, and there's little guarantee you're
going to come away with something you like. Often, as with this shot, you find
that it would have been better to use some different camera setting than what
you used. Of course, there's always next time. I'll likely work on this
particular shot again, next time I find myself at Catalina.
"Hen Rock", Santa Catalina Island, California
July 1, 2006
Clinton Bauder takes a close look at a pipefish (Syngnathus sp.).
"Tanker Reef", Monterey Bay, California
January 15, 2006
In the silted out conditions of my first dive with a camera, this pipefish
(Syngnathus sp.) was, in fact, the only fish I even saw. Thankfully,
pipefish are horrible swimmers, and, as such, often have little choice but to be
cooperative photographic subjects.
"Anchor Farm", Monterey Bay, California
November 14, 2004