techniques

Corkwing Wrasse

corkwing wrasseI took this image just off the breakwater at Plymouth. I spent about 30 minutes watching this male Corkwing Wrasse building a nest to impress its female. It made an excellent subject because it was behaving in a very predictable way, swimming in a loop between patches of seaweed and its nest. I shot this in the traditional way – with a black background. Soon after, returning to the site during a splash-in competition, I decided black backgrounds were boring and went for a behaviour shot to capture the male building its nest. It was a total flop and a quite uninteresting shot. I should have stuck to my original idea!

As a postscript, my good friend Rob Bailey returned to exactly the same site (and possibly the same fish) the following year and took a wonderful shot of the male building its nest. He ended up winning awards with it (see it here). Just goes to show it’s all in the execution….

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