"Half Banded Sea Perch" I love the elegance of shooting a simple fish profile. A bit of patience, careful focus, and waiting for just that right moment when the fish's eye catches yours. © 2021 Mike Jones
Regular diver. Amateur underwater photographer. Keen citizen scientist.
I am submerged in Sydney, Australia with occasional layovers in the other South Pacific islands. I have been shooting with Ikelite gear for over a decade, currently using the RX100 and AF35 Strobe with dual tray and flex arms. In that time I have contributed to multiple marine life publications, namely Redmap and Australian Museum.
"Schooling Old Wives" This photo took a few passes of slowly swimming, mentally judging what my focus distance was, and waiting for the school to turn perpendicular to the camera. © 2021 Mike Jones
"Fortesque and Coral Polyps" When this fish caught my eye it was the luminous backlight that really made the picture. It took more than a few goes to get the angle right and keep him sharp in glow. I ended up turning off the strobe and just using a diffused video light. © 2021 Mike Jones
"Pink Anemone Fish" This fish did not want to be photographed and it took me dozens of snaps to finally capture him. I opened up the aperture to shorten the depth of field. I wanted, in a way, to make the fish a background to the anemone. © 2021 Mike Jones
"Giant Cuttlefish Turns Gold" Inquisitive and intelligent, the ability of the Giant Cuttlefish to not only change colour for camouflage, but to put on fantastic colour displays is extraordinary. This one turned bright golden yellow in an instant as I approached. The photo was easy to capture, as he hovered and posed. © 2021 Mike Jones
"Glowing Anemone with Resident Fish" I found that by angling my video light low, beaming across the anemone rather than down on it, I could amplify the translucent glow of the tendrils. © 2021 Mike Jones
"Green Moray Eel" Often Green Morays will retreat to a rock crevice when you approach but this one was much bolder. Conditions on this dive weren’t great, with lots of particles and backscatter. But by placing my second, hand-held, video light in a rock crevice I was able to manoeuvre to use it as a back light which really makes the image pop. © 2021 Mike Jones
"Dascyllus and Coral" Sometimes all it takes to make a good photo is focus and contrast and this little Dascyllus had the right mix. His grey-green colouring with black edges was a perfect opposition to the yellow of his coral home. © 2021 Mike Jones
"Schooling Batfish in the Shallows" I was on a safety stop when this school of batfish gave me the best shot of the day. A beautiful clear blue sky day above meant all I add to do was drop a couple of meters down in the water and shoot up. © 2021 Mike Jones
"Weedy Sea Dragon" The most remarkable and unique creature to be found in the waters off Sydney is the Weedy Sea Dragon. What I love most about them is their expressive faces and exquisite markings. For this shot I opened the aperture up and shortened the depth of field hoping to land the focus right on his face and use the green of the kelp as a soft background. It took a dozen attempts and some careful buoyancy control but got it in the end. © 2021 Mike Jones
Mike Jones is an Australian native and marine life enthusiast. A development producer by trade Mike is also a prolific writer, in addition to being successful marine life "citizen scientist." Check out more of Mike's dynamic underwater photography by following his instagram @mikejonesdive or visiting his portfolio.