One of the joys of photographing fish in the wild is the chance to see them showing natural behavior ‘en masse’.  Not that it is always easy to image though; whilst I may think of myself as a passive observer, the fish consider me a likely predator.

I’ve been trying to capture an image of a spectacular shoal of young chromis for a while, it’s not easy, they are very wary and will dive deep into a coral head for protection, in this case (main image), what looks to me like Acropora humilis.  On this series of dives I was lucky to be alone with a very patient guide who hung around while I shot away, and thus I could spend a good deal of time shooting the coral heads.

As you can see, these heads are ideal for photography, allowing me easy access without risking damaging other corals nearby.

There’s a Pseudochromis olivaceous in the middle of this shot

The fish are somewhat wary still, in all the images: there are always more fish to the rear of the heads than at the front, close to my camera. However, I’m fairly pleased with the results and I think I’ve managed to capture the fantastic colors of the juveniles.

As a further treat, when returning to shore I spotted some mating behavior, with three fish seemingly spawning on a sponge.

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