Diamonds In The Rough




LOCATION: Cabo Pulmo, Mexico

STORY:  Cabo Pulmo National Park is an underwater oasis in the middle of an arid, desert topside landscape.  While it’s not a coral-filled tropical reef, it is a refuge for countless species of fish, most notably, huge schools of jacks (trevally), mobula rays, and sharks.  A ways off the beaten path, I was diving a rock pinnacle that protruded above the ocean’s surface.  On the seaward side, waves were forcefully crashing into the pinnacle.  And just below the surface, where the waves crash the hardest, this school of palometa finds a perfect niche for survival.  Larger predators (myself included) have a difficult time navigating the up & down surge and the lower visibility caused by the millions of tiny bubbles.  But the palometa (the exact species is difficult to determine) feel right at home in this environment and find safety and shelter right out in the open.

I actually had quite the difficult time myself, getting thrown around by the crashing waves!  I applied the same concept as when caught in a beach’s riptide – go with the flow, and know when to break free.  The waves would thrust me up towards the rocks, and I know from having spent a lifetime in the water, that immediately after, it would thrust me back downwards again.  It was comical watching the fish navigate this pattern so easily, yet the senseless urge to fight the ocean kept my fins kicking constantly, even as I knew that I’d be safely sucked away just 2 seconds after being nearly slammed into the rocks.  After spending what seemed like forever trying to get a composition I was happy with, where the palometa shape complimented that of the surging wave above, if finally happened, setting the silvery fish against the darker rocky bottom, and letting just more than half of the photograph be dominated by the foam & froth of the crashing wave above.

For similar color and feel, check out two of my other schooling fish photographs: The Chase and Raindance.

For printing, Diamonds In The Rough is flexible for cropping away from it’s native ratio of 3:2 into 2:1 or 3:1 panoramic art, and is available in huge art sizes up to a maximum of 300″ wide.  You can purchase this luxury wall art online in our standard sizes, but if you’d like to discuss a custom crop or size, please contact one of our design consultants at the art gallery.