Urchins, Honduras

So I find myself back in Honduras. I've been filming the research Operation Wallacea are doing at Banco Capiro reef, just off the coast of Tela. This site has 3 times the hard coral cover of the average Mesoamerican reefs, so it's super valuable. It was a pleasure to be able to visit and document the work scientists are doing to trying to unlock its secrets. It seems like the abundance of the long spined sea urchin (Diadema antillarum) could be the key. Sea urchins are also incredible.

As someone generally used to filming above water, this has been a huge learning curve. Diving twice a day is exhausting and the equipment and environment were all new to me. Also focusing on marine creatures when currents are moving you in three dimensions is something I did not think through and it makes macro photography very challenging!

I was lucky enough to be able to borrow an SLR for stills, with housing and lights. Flash is not something I love to use, even in dark forests, but to get extra light down on the reef is so important. Red light is lost quickly as you descend and, although filters can be helpful, getting white light down with you makes all the difference. I had some initial teething problems with the strobes but go there in the end. Its amazing to see the colours of the coral come out.