October 17, 2021

Coral macro photography

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Up close and personal with Caribbean coral macro photography

By NICOLE HELGASON From Reef Divers

It’s easy to swim right past coral colonies while scuba diving. Perhaps you notice their shape or stature, but few divers will get up close and personal and start observing corals at a macro level.

Depending on the species coral polyps and coral tissue can be quite intricate with tiny star-shaped ridges, sticky little tentacles, mouths which look full of teeth or bright color patterns that blend together in as little as a few millimeters.

You can even see part of the sharp skeleton below clear inflated tissue like this Eusmillia flower coral at night.

And as a bonus, if you’re learning to becomes a better underwater photographer and macro critters are on your wish list, practicing your photography skills on corals is a rewarding experience. Not to mention you will end up with some pretty inspiring abstract images that will impress your friends.

Corals don’t move around all that much so learning to focus on your subject is much easier with corals than critters. We recommend bringing a bright LED light with you to help focus the camera and bring out all the colors in each coral.

For an added challenge try photographing corals on a night dive. You should already be carrying a light which makes snapping photos all that much easier, and at night long feeding tentacles emerge. Your light will attract little zooplankton which the corals will happily grab the easy meal and feast.

We took these images while diving in Gardens of the Queen Cuba. Are your interested in learning more about coral spotting in Cuba? Check out our article Top 10 Coral to Spot in Cuba.

If you want to learn more about Caribbean coral identification check out our Guide to Caribbean Corals for a full description and colony shots of each coral.

Nicole Helgason

Nicole (Nikki) Helgason is a PADI Dive Instructor with ten years of professional dive experience. Nicole has taught scuba diving and managed dive centers around the world. Nicole has a Bachelors degree in Coastal Geography from the University of Victoria and is passionate about coral reefs.

For more on this story go to: https://reefdivers.io/caribbean-corals-macro-photography/7167

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