Pygmy seahorse by Jan Acosta
What does it really take to shoot underwater photos?
“Are the pygmies still there?”
The spotter nods, implying something that Jan and the rest of the group already know. At about 80 ft deep, there is a white fan coral about 1 meter high in full plumage. There’s a pygmy seahorse somewhere there. That’s what we’re looking for today.
Take a grain of rice, split it in two, and then throw one half into the ocean. That grain, split, is roughly the size of one of nature’s smallest creatures. In all irony, they’re also one of the more territorial, with their tails clasping on to the veins of fan coral, their natural habitat. To add to the frustration, pygmies take on the color and texture of the host corals. Jan, the group’s fearless leader checks his buoyancy control device, fins, straps, and tank, making sure everything’s in place.