Pink and Purple

Siladen Island, Bunaken National Park, North Sulawesi, Indonesia

A pink anemonefish in a purple anemone
Pink and Purple

The pink anemonefish is probably the fish I try most often to photograph (that is, when I’m diving where they are found). They are small, usually inoffensive, pastel-colored, and … well, pink. The fish are shy and the pastel color is a challenge to capture underwater — especially since the fish are in my experience usually found in pale colored anemones where they don’t really stand out well. This vibrant pink fish in vibrant purple anemone screamed to me for a photo or two. Or many.

On this particular dive it was just me and my guide, Luther. We had completed our planned dive profile and ascended to our safety stop, a few feet above the top of the reef wall drop-off. Counting down three minutes at 15 feet, I surveyed the reef top below me. This anemone’s bright purple was striking and drew my eye. And then I saw the fish … and blew my safety stop. Before I knew it, I was back down on the reef. The camera and strobes were back on and I blazed away. Luther waited patiently. The safety stop was completed five minutes later, and we headed back to the boat for warm tea and the five-minute ride back to the Siladen Resort and Spa.

(Canon G11 in Ikelite housing with two Ikelite DS-125 strobes on TTL control; ISO 80, integrated lens at 21.5mm, f/5.6, 1/60 sec.)