I’ve only recently started enjoying taking pictures of gobies. There’s around 500 different species only in the Indo-Pacific region. One of my favorites is the Magnificent Shrimp Goby. With its beautiful dorsal fin, almost like a sail, and the beautiful pattern on it, it’s very photogenic. The shrimp goby usually shares a burrow with, turns out to be quite pretty too: Randall’s Pistol Shrimp are brightly colored in red, white and yellow.
FASCINATING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SHRIMP AND GOBY
Goby and shrimp have developed a fascinating relationship or symbiosis. In order to hide from predators, the goby needs a burrow which is excavated by the snapping shrimps. However, the shrimp being nearly blind, has to rely on the goby as a watchman to warn the shrimp in case of danger approaching. Equally, the burrow needs to be constantly maintained. So the shrimp is digging and hauling up dirt from below. The perfect partnership between guard and housekeeper!
CHALLENGING TO PHOTOGRAPH
Usually shy and extremely skittish, shrimp gobies can be challenging to photograph. However, once you’ve learned how to approach them slowly, exhaling carefully to not chase them away with your bubbles, it really comes down to a bit of patience. Once the goby figures that you and the camera in front of you are no threat, it will relax and just carry on doing what it usually does.
I’ve spent well over 20 minutes with my new friend at the dive site “Goby A Crab” where I think you have the best chances to see the Magnificent Shrimp Goby and its partner. This goby was absolutely not bothered, and I managed to take my shots very close up, capturing the sail-like fin without having to crop afterwards. I waited until the shrimp came out digging out some more sands and even managed to film when the shrimp goby picked on a small crab.
A FEW TIPS
Since shrimp gobies usually live at an average depth of 25m, it’s crucial to not waste too much time. Moving slowly and reading the animal is the best way to get real close. Plus, a fast-focussing macro lens like the Olympus 60mm for my Panasonic GH4, really helps! Even with the Olympus 12-50mm which I’ve used here, I was able to get some great shots with aperture F8.0 to get both goby and shrimp in focus.
Why Dive with NAD-Lembeh?
NAD-Lembeh Resort is a small, owner-operated, photography-oriented dive resort in the Lembeh Strait. We are situated in a private bay on Lembeh Island, away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland. We guarantee a 2:1 guest to guide ratio as standard, which makes for a private dive experience and lots of time to take pictures.
ROOMS & BUNGALOWS
All our rooms (10 Beachfront Rooms, 5 Seaview Bungalows) offer ocean view, air conditioning, hot water, wifi, including full board. Our resort has only few steps, which makes our layout extremely convenient to get from your room to the restaurant, camera room, bar and floating jetty.
Our dive team consists of 15 full-time guides, with over 100 years of combined experience! Air as well as Nitrox and various cylinder sizes (both DIN and Yoke are available onsite).
BOATS & FLOATING JETTY
NAD-Lembeh has 4 large, purpose-built dive boats. Each at around 15m long, they offer lots of space and comfort for the divers. Boats feature onboard toilets, towels, drinks and snacks and first aid/ oxygen
Our jetty allows our guests dignified and quick boat entries – all our dive boats can be moored simultaneously, so there is no wading through the shallows to get on the boat for the dive!
NAD-Lembeh Resort has been purposely built for photographers: our huge camera room features individual work spaces and we have 6 rental systems on site.
We offer 1:1 photo classes and our guides are all proficient in photography, using our rental equipment for fun dives when not diving with guests.