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Bali Macro Photography: Nudibranchs

Bali Macro Photography

Some divers came to Bali to search for big creatures such as the Mola Mola or the Manta Rays, well they are sure a spectacle to behold. But, did you know that some of the ocean’s most beautiful and unique creatures lie beneath you when you dive? Somewhere beyond the sand, the muck, and the corals are home to teeny-tiny aquatic animals. They are so small that sometimes you need to look harder for them. These colourful creatures maybe your favourite.

So, what exactly is a Nudibranch?

Nudibranch comes from ‘nudus’ in Latin which means ‘naked’ and ‘brankhia’ in Greek which means ‘gills’. Basically, Nudibranchs are naked sea slug with some branches coming out from their bodies. Although Nudibranchs are sea slugs, not all sea slugs are Nudibranch.

There are over three thousand species of nudibranch all across the world and more are being discovered. As a sea slug nudibranch leaves trails like a snail when travelling on the seafloor. But some species have the ability to swim short distances by moving their muscles like fins on a fish. Since nudibranchs have a lack of shells, some can be poisonous as a defense mechanism. Some also are solar-powered, meaning they can in fact do photosynthesis. Other than being tiny, their colours can blend well with their surrounding corals, making them excellent hiders.

Where to find them in Bali?

Due to the beautiful colours and shapes of the nudibranch, they are objects for macro photography divers. Usually, a macro lens is needed to capture these creatures perfectly. Also, please still be mindful of your surroundings since you will mostly be at the bottom of the ocean when taking pictures.

Nudibranchs can be found all across Bali’s diving sites. But the most popular places for macro photography are Padang Bai, Amed, and around Tulamben. Take some of the best muck diving spots in those locations. Muck diving can help you to find more nudibranchs and have the best position when capturing them. Our dive guides can also help you locate these tiny creatures and also guide you on how to capture pictures.

Some tips you might need in capturing the perfect picture of nudibranch are:

  • Find a comfortable position for you while keeping aware of your surroundings.
  • Make sure the background of the nudibranchs is blank to contrast the colourful object.
  • Be patient, you can spend a lot of time trying to get the best picture so nitrox dive is also recommended.
  • Experiment with the angle, with your camera settings, and with the lens.

Good luck! The world of the Bali Macro Photography: Nudibranch is waiting for you. Please beware that this activity might be addicting.


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