Common stingray

Another ray we see a lot of in Cozumel is the stingray. They are not dangerous and will usually flee when divers approach, but this guy was too busy eating to be bothered by a photographer. The smooth trunkfish hangs around to pick up the scraps. Look at the size of the hole this one created.

Cozumel’s contrasting colors

One of the many things I love about Cozumel is the contrasting colors of the bright orange sponges against the blue backgrounds. Getting a good shot of this is a balancing act between the ambient light and properly positioned strobe light. If you get lucky the fish and other divers will cooperate too.

Angles & geometric shapes in photo composition

One of the things I talk about in my photo composition presentation is the use of angles and geometric shapes in photo composition. This is a good example of that. I was lucky to have a student who knew to look at the subject and not at me.

The most colorful sponges in the world

There are few places in the world I’ve seen that have reefs blanketed with colorful sponges like the reefs of Cozumel. Sometimes they grow under ledges and swim-throughs, so I tell everyone who dives there to bring a bright, wide beam light when diving there. You’ll be surprised how things light up when you look into those dark crevices.

Angelfish against the bright colored sponges at Yucab Reef

RIP Lonesome George

I’m breaking from my Cozumel series today to pay tribute to Lonesome George, the last surviving Pinta Island giant tortoise, who died at his home in the Galapagos Islands at the age of 100. With two potential mates and plenty of scientists encouraging him to mate, he probably wasn’t as lonely as his name implies.

When we were there in 1999 the tour guide from Darwin Station told us that he didn’t mate with the females they provided, but he did enjoy when the scientists came to manually extract semen.