Friday, November 02, 2007

Friday Fish Fotos

Trinectes maculatus ... aka Hogchoker

Last week, I went dip netting in Gulf Hammock. The week that followed was so busy and the skies so grey, that I did not get a chance to photograph the critters that I brought home. Today, I spent some frustrating time trying to get decent fish photos.

The thing about aquarium photography is ... it's tough to make the photo look like it was NOT taken in an aquarium. I started out with the photo aquarium outside in front of a heavily planted background aquarium, but the reflections were overwhelming.

So I moved into the barn and set up this Rube Goldbergian arrangement. When I darkened the barn, the fish fairly glowed under the shop light, but the photos came out too dark. If I used the flash, I got flash reflections. It also made it easy to see the details of the black (sleeveless of course) T-shirt I was using as a back drop.

By this time, the dissolved gases in the well water were coming out of solution and coating the photo tank with zillions of microbubbles. Each one of these bubbles caught the flash and sparkled like diamonds ... arrrgh.

Eventually, I gave up on the artsy fartsy "you can't tell it's an aquarium shot"and just went back outside where I had started.

Don't get too excited about these freshwater shrimp. They may look tasty, but the big one is only about one inch long.
That's full size for these little cuties.

This Hogchoker is a euryhaline fish, capable of adjusting to differing salinities. You can find them in the sweetest spring water or out in the salty Gulf flats. Wherever you find them, they are a really neat fish. This one might grow a few more inches, but that's it.

In an aquarium, the Hogchoker uses the glass sides as if it were bottom substrate. They are very clingy.

Traditionally, I have called these pretty minnows "Dace", but I'm dubious of that ID now.
I'm almost tempted to think it's one of the killifish clan.
The jury is still out on that one, but even nameless, it's a beautiful fish.

It's hard to find good nongame fish freshwater fish ID guides for Florida ... maybe that's the book I need to write.

I'll have to get better at fishy fotos if I do.


SophieMae said...

Ah, the things we go through, for hours on end, in the pursuit of that one nearly-satisfactory shot. You did a right fine job - even more impressive considering fish so rarely sit still. Your description of the process made me think of my efforts at night shots of creatures resting on the sliding glass doors. 'Frustrating' doesn't begin to describe.

Dr. Know said...

The spirit of Herbert Axelrod comes to mind...

Do you know where the name Hogchoker originates, per chance?

Great pictures, BTW.

Floridacracker said...

I knew you could appreciate foto frustration. Yet, we persevere ...
Loved your marsh hawk pics, BTW.
I can't adjust to changing bird names. That makes me dinosaurish I guess.

Dr. Know,
I don't know, but I can predict that it has something to do with the full grown 6" long flatfish being able to "choke a hog".
But, on the other hand, sometimes English names are just corruptions of first immigrant peoples names.
We may never know ... or it may be on Wikipedia :)

pablo said...

I'm glad you brought up the sleeveless (of course) shirts business. I was afraid to. What with your boy not having any shirts, and you have only shirts without sleeves, I figured it was a sensitive subject.

Nice pix. I don't think you have anything to apologize about. (Of course, I don't know you all that well. There may be plenty of things to apologize about.)

dani813 said...

I see these when we are out netting. Now I can tell the little one what they are when she asks. BTW she loved the dragonfly pic!!!

Floridacracker said...

Yes, the whole shirt thing is quite traumatic for us, we only recently gave shoes a try. I am progressing tho, yesterday I bought a "long-sleeved" shirt.
Who knew such things existed?
43 degrees here this morn, so I plan to use it.
My list of things to apologize for is plenty long I fear.

It warms my heart to picture parents out there dip netting with their little ones. Careful, you might raise a biologist!
I hope she likes cows, 'cause where I'm going today, there's a bunch of 'em.

Susan Rose said...

Great fish photos! I hope you will post more. I was a "dipper" as a child. There were always black speckled minnows (Mollies?) in the ditches in Fort Myers.

Floridacracker said...

Caught some mollies, but they were just wee things. I'm hoping for some big ones to show.

Sharon said...

I am chuckling at picturing all your antics trying to get that perfect shot, been there! LOL

They came out great though. I have seen the little stripey ones, but I don't recall the hogchoker. Everyday is a learning adventure at PF! :)

Thunder Dave said...

Dang man, I wish my good photos were as good as your lousy ones!

If you run out of things to appologize for I can probably help add to the list. ;-)

vicki said...

I used to watch Mr. Science on Saturday mornings. This is far better. Very nice photos, FC.

Isn't that the kind of shrimp they serve at Red Lobster? Just back from 10 days a block from the Fourth St. Shrimp store, some of us have some, ahem, exercising on the books for the next couple weeks.

Deb said...

43 degrees? That was the low the night I had the boat incident, which was good. It's getting a lot colder now.

I have a key to all the fishes of North America at the office; if I have a chance, I'll give it a look.

Digital Flower Pictures said...

I enjoyed your blog. I love Florida.

For shots through glass I have found a polarizing filter to be of great use or a rubber lens hood (cheap) that is pressed against the glass.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks! Sometimes you just have to hold your mouth right to get the shot.

I assume you mean things I need to apologize for that I might have ... misplaced.
Hey, good to talk to you to night.

Me too! Thanks.
I am definitely going to try that Shrimp restaurant when I visit Emma.

Thanks for the fishy research. I wondered if bluefin killifish might be it ... if the blue is a mating color and not present all the time. The picture on line sure resembled my fish.

Great advice. I actually pressed my lens hood against the glass and it did help. I don't have a P filter for this Sony, but I need one.
Welcome to PF! I love FL too.
I guess that's obvious tho.

kathy a. said...

very nice fish photos, even if there was some back and forth on setup.

Dr. Know said...

Trinectes maculatus has a brief listing on Wiki, but no colloquial information. Considering the bony rays surrounding this fish, I'll endorse your explaination.

I'm surprised you knew of Herbert Axelrod. He pioneered many ichthyologic photography techniques, and is quite the colorful fellow - particularly the last few years. He wrote a percentage of what was read as a kid, as well as being influenced somewhat by a local Avondale Lepidopterist, Lucian Harris, III (Butterflies of GA, Oaklahoma Press) and Burgess of the Fernbank Planetarium. Still I remain an amateur biologist/scientist. A professional curmudgeon, however, is a career well within my reach.

threecollie said...

It looked like a dace to me too, but I don't know much about fishes. Admirable fish photos, for which I say thanks. I can't do it and am interested to see someone who can.

Floridacracker said...

Kathy A,
It's why my honey do list is so long.

Yes, I know of him. I also had the Innes book on tropical fishes as a kid. As I recall, it was something of the fish bible for a long time.

Thank you. I plan more as I catch more.