NCUPS Monthly Minicomp Entry

Posted by on Aug 11, 2012

I’m a member of the Northern California Underwater Photographic Society (NCUPS). Some of you may know this already. Every month at the membership meeting the club holds a minicomp. Minicomps are photo competitions that are open to members in good standing who are present at the meeting, where only one image per member is allowed of a subject that is announced in advance. The images are collected during the break and judged by the audience (everyone can judge not just members). The prize is $30!

I was thinking last night after the meeting that posting my entry with an explanation of why I chose it and how I did might be an interesting way to share some of my images with my readers. So here we go.

Last night the subject was Behavior. The images had to show some kind of ‘normal’ behavior. I looked through my image library (thinking to myself that I should start using behavior as a key word) for images that I thought expressed a good behavior, but also had good lighting, color, composition and sharpness!

Two cuttlefish greet each other in Komodo National Park.

My August 2012 Minicomp entry: Two cuttlefish greeting each other, taken at Komodo National Park.

The image that I selected was this image of two cuttlefish taken while diving in Komodo. The cuttlefish were approaching each other, kind of nuzzling, then backing up and doing it again. They occasionally would flash the florescent yellow-green stripes that you can see on the one on the right and change their color slightly. I’m not sure if it was a mating behavior or territorial or something else. They didn’t seem aggressive at each other and weren’t fighting.

I chose this image because I thought the behavior was cool, the image was sharp and the composition pleasing with the diagonal made by the cuttlefish. I also kind of liked the crinoids on the right. I did crop the image a little taking out some of the background that I felt was unnecessary. Unfortunately it isn’t a very colorful image (which the minicomp judges really like) and I think it would have been improved if I had been able to separate my subjects from the background more. Perhaps I could have used a different lighting technique or shortened my depth of field, or by getting closer (I’m not sure they would have let me get closer though).

I didn’t win this one. An image of a whale shark with its mouth open feeding won. It’s hard for two little cuttlefish to compete with a whale shark. I did get several votes though and quite a few ‘oohs and awwws’ and a ‘cuuuute’.

Next month the subject is Schools as in schooling fish. I have some good images of schooling fish!

Do you belong to a photo club? How do you share images there? I would love to hear from you, leave a comment below.