The Red Irish Lord is always a special find but they are not very common at most sites around Vancouver Island. On this late November dive I stumbled upon a site where at least a dozen males were guarding their respective egg masses. As in many fish species in the Pacific Northwest, the male guards the eggs, stopping them from being eaten by crabs and other opportunists. The fathers also move their fins, fanning the eggs to keep them aerated.
Working with the wet lens and short focus distance in a high current area was quite a challenge, and special care needed to be taken to not get too close to the eggs. I found one male that wasn’t too bothered by my close proximity and had one fin close to the eggs so I could get detail of both the beautiful pattern of the fathers fin and the developing eyes of its offspring, seen through the transparent eggs. The topography allowed for just enough space to fit my my housing close enough to focus and I creatively moved my strobes around until I was able to light the subject sufficiently. The low aperture needed to shoot the depth of field I wanted with the wet lens definitely made this a challenge but fortunately after a couple shots I got what I wanted and the male shuffled over. With a nod to the father to be I left him to care to his young while I retreated to the surface.
Link to Ocean Art Page: Here.