Two Peas in a Pod

William Goodwin, MS

Denver, Colorado, USA

Two Peas in a Pod... This pair of diminutive Peppermint shrimp (Lysmata pederseni - previously L. wurdemanni) are dwelling inside a tube sponge (Callospongia sp.) at 18 meters deep on Long Reef off Lighthouse Atoll 60 miles offshore of Belize. I detached my strobe and led it around to the side of the thin-walled sponge to light the interior of the sponge with its two inhabitants in a new and challenging way. I couldn't touch or bump the sponge with any part of my equipment or body for that would have sent the crustaceans fleeing to the depths of the sponge and possibly damaged it, so I needed to maintain perfect buoyancy control. The lighting was a challenge but I nailed it with one shot. Lucky.

The opportunity for this image with its unique lighting was a challenge I couldn't pass up. The purpose was to achieve this unusual and colorful close look at a small world most of us will never see. The audience? Students, visual art lovers, biologists, other underwater photographers, you...

Olympus OM-D with 60mm macro lens, underwater housing, strobe.