ALIEN #12 – Pearlfish larvae ~40cm body, + 15cm dorsal fin.
Like a floating ribbon, the pearlfish larvae is simply hypnotic with it’s undulating movements. Like a dancer isolating body parts, it’s head and dorsal fin remain erect, but its astoundingly long tail remains in constant motion. After settling out of it’s larval stage, a pearlfish will eventually find a nice big sea cucumber, and live the rest of it’s life up it’s butt. No joke.
With a camera lens setup designed to shoot creatures in the 1cm – 5cm range, a chance encounter with such a relatively large fish presents a photographic challenge, if I want to shoot more than just it’s head. Having to back up quite a ways means completely readjusting the whole camera rig while floating around in complete blackness with no reference. The biggest challenge is sometimes keeping your eye on the fish while re-configuring the camera. I’ve lost many a cool subject in the blackness while futzing with the camera – sometimes you blink, and it’s gone!