Underwater photography while snorkeling is extra challenging for me because one, my vantage point is always from the top, which is never fish’s good angle; two, I struggle so much trying to sink that all the jerky movements tend to scare the fish away; and three, since I’m so far away, I have the tendency to depend on the zoom, which diminishes the picture quality to a large extent. So the quality of snorkeling pictures is nowhere near as good as photos taken while diving, which gives so much better perspective. Plus I used my waterproof Canon D10. I prefer the photo quality of my Olympus Camedia 5060. For me, huge difference.
These were the photos I took while the RX staff went snorkeling in the Dive & Trek house reef. I swear, the few minutes we spent there yielded so many sightings of different species of fish. Those I can identify I will, for the others that I can’t specify, I’ll try to come as close as I can. I remember that when taking my advance course in diving, I loved the part where we did fish identification. When you see the biodiversity of Philippine waters, you really get a strong urge to try and keep the ocean life alive and prospering. Sadly, if we don’t do anything collectively to preserve the ecology of our waters, we might live to see the day when we can no longer find fish as stunningly beautiful as these to take photos of.
The next two photos are quite blurred because these fish are so skittish, that I could barely manage to shoot from afar before they swam away:
The next three photos are from the family of fish that’s pretty common in reefs, very easy to find, and lots of colorful species to enjoy. These are just three of plentiful versions of this beautiful fish.
Pacific Triangular Butterflyfish
Either a Lizardfish or a Grubfish
If you hear crunching sounds under the sea, there’s probably one of these nearby. They feed on corals, so you’d probably find them crunching away at the hard corals with their parrot beaks. I could never distinguish the different species of this rainbow-splashed fish because they all look the same to me. I don’t know if this is an endangered species, but I often find these fish offered as grilled fare every time I’m in Puerto Galera.
Scribbled Filefish (juvenile)
These are pretty hard to photograph when snorkeling. They usually stay in open deeper water, so they’re harder to sneak up on. Although the bigger versions of the unicornfish are much braver so I’ve had a couple of close encounters with those during some dives. These can get really huge.
Possibly my favorite of the reef fish, the triggerfish. I find them very regal. Although I’m petrified of the biggest of the bunch, the Giant Triggerfish, mainly because it really bites when you’re in its territory, I’m fascinated with the smaller cousins, the more harmless variants of this stunning fish. The designs on their bodies are rarely matched in the ocean kingdom.
This one I’m really stoked to have found. It’s very rare to find juveniles of many fish species mainly because they usually hide in rock crevices and wisely stay out of the open water. This is a breathtaking fish to behold with its bright blue stripes that stand out like neon in the water. No wonder they hide a lot, they’re so easy to spot.
Half-circled Angelfish (juvenile)
Here’s how this fish will look like as an adult, an old photo I took from a previous dive. It’s a humongous fish, but very gentle. The sheer beauty of this large fish is awesome to behold. This specific fish had the diameter of maybe a coffee table.
Half-circled Angelfish (adult)