Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Iridescent Clams of Aitutaki

Last summer we took a cruise to the Society Islands of French Polynesia and the Cook Islands, a New Zealand protectorate. The goal of the cruise was to be in the path of the best total solar eclipse of the 21st Century. That goal was achieved, but we also had the benefit of dazzling snorkeling opportunities, as these photos of iridescent clams in the waters of Aitutaki show.
These are close up photos that my husband took. We both snorkeled on the surface of the water, and when I spotted a clam worthy of a close up photo, I would point it out to Dave, and he would dutifully swim down to the bottom and snap a photo with his underwater camera.
When Dave would swim down, as soon as he got in position over the clam and tried to hold still to take the photo, he would start to float back up. He had to exert himself to hold his breath while swimming down about 12 or 15 feet (3-4 meters).
Here is a photo of what the entire clams look like. The other photos are close ups of just the center section.
I love the patterns and colors of the clam centers. We submitted the top photo in this series in a photo exhibition in Phoenix called "Favorite Shots Two" sponsored by Wilson Wyatt Photographic Studios and Todd Photography. The photo was one of about 40 images selected for the exhibition, and the photo is on display at the photography gallery until June.
My spotting skills are not limited to clams. I pointed out this blue star fish creeping out of a crevice in the coral reef.
And, of course, what happens after I spot the star fish? Dave dutifully swims down for a close up photo. His reward for his trouble is that I tell him afterwards that the resulting photo was worth the effort. We hope that you agree.

The clams came in a variety of colors. The claims shown in this series of photos were about the size of a rugby ball.


brattcat said...

These are absolutely amazing! Dave and Julie, you make a fabulous team! Thank you so much for sharing these images with us!

Memphis MOJO said...

Amazing shots.

JM said...

These are absolutely gorgeous! I know how hard it is trying to stay still while snorkeling and taking photos! Great work indeed!

glenda said...

Wow! Just stunning. So glad Dave made the trips to the bottom, well worth it. The blue star fish does not look real in that glorious color.

tapirgal said...

These photos are incredibly interesting and artistic-looking.I think I still like best the ones I can identify as being real :) I love the pic of whole clam and then of course the amazing blue starfish. I'll be snorkeling in a few days with the camera. I just hope I get a few things in focus!

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