THE AMAZING HAWAIIAN MICRO-LOBSTERS!™

CAPTURING THE CRITTERS!
(On film & paper)

wpe1.jpg (2652 bytes)

             We have the nicest visitors and customers and increasingly I feel like the leader of a team  .  .  .  the coach and advisor  .  .  .  the mentor and cheerleader  .  .  .  and the photo and copy editor!   We have made incredible progress due to the goodwill and participation of many wonderful people who have shared their skills, stories, and photographs.

               Micro-Lobsters Hoover original 8inch 72dpi.jpg (128693 bytes)
       Photo copyright 1998 by John P. Hoover; used with permission
 
                     It all began with this photo that appeared in the book HAWAII'S SEA CREATURES;  A Guide to Hawaii's Marine Invertebrates by John P. Hoover. I had been researching opae-ula but needed to get a better image to help form a clear vision and this photo really jumped out because of it's clarity and detail!  I emailed Mutual Publishing requesting permission to reproduce the photo and to be put in contact with the author directly.   Two days later I received an email from John Hoover granting permission to reproduce and we began a correspondence.  John sent over a compact disc of his exceptional photo.  Not being bashful, I kept pumping John for more information.   Being a really nice guy, he consented and wrote the following:
 
MAKING A GREAT BIG PHOTO OF TINY HAWAIIANS!
By John P. Hoover

               A friend who knew I wanted to photograph the shrimp had told me about an anchialine pond where the shrimp are common. He took me there. We had to walk a long way over rough terrain. I was lugging my heavy underwater camera--a housed Nikon N90 equipped with a 1:1 macro lens, and two strobes.

               When we got there the ponds were only a foot or so deep in most spots--certainly not deep enough even to immerse the entire camera housing. But shrimp were all over the place, so I just placed the tip of the lens port into the water and started taking pictures. Even though there was bright sunlight I used the strobes to eliminate shadows and obtain maximum depth of field.

               The bottom of the pond was uneven and rarely were the shrimp all in one plane, making it difficult to get them all in focus. So I took lots of shots of which only a few came out. I used the best one in my book and also sent it to you.

____________________________________________________________________

wpe1EA.jpg (18818 bytes)            I'm still amazed at that great photo. Several of the photos used in our promotional materials are cropped sections of this single photo.  About this time I was learning to use Adobe Photo Deluxe Business Edition. Here's a photo used on the cover of "The Amazing Hawaiian Micro-Lobster Breeder Tank Handbook."  It is a cropped section of the three in the John Hoover's above original photo that are to the right of the center of the photo.   Notice that it's been enhanced to remove distracting details of the background.   The feelers and legs were fading out and were touched up. 

           It's such a great photo that other portions were cropped,  flopped right to left, and used in other different ways.  I'm getting nice comments for my "collection" of photos but several of them really are portions of John's great photo!

 

COMPUTER PHOTO ENHANCING

Micro-Lobster Hoover 1 cropped 72dpi 4x3.jpg (25884 bytes)           To give you an idea of how portions of the larger original photo have been used,  here's an unretouched cropping of the large opae-ula in the top left part of John's original photo.  Even when cropped and only about 10% of the photo is used, it still has outstanding clarity.  There's a lot of distractions and the following sequence shows how I manipulate and enhance the photos to illustrate the handbook and website.
Micro-Lobster Hoover 2 start detailing 72dpi.jpg (19929 bytes)  

          First, in the "tools" section using "line" set for 2 pixels wide and with a nice contrasting color,   strengthen the feelers and legs. 

          With the photo enlarged 400%, a one pixel wide reddish color selected from the area at the base of the feelers is carefully drawn around the outer edge of the body with the "line" function to help sharpen the outline. 

          A dark color selected from the background is used as a "brush" to go around the body and the background.  The left part of the photograph hasn't yet been touched.

Micro-Lobster Hoover 3 shading 72dpi 4x3.jpg (12161 bytes)            After completing removal of the background,  detailing begins using the "brush" function. The two smallest brush sizes are used to add dots of color.  Notice that the eyes have been darkened.
Micro-Lobster Hoover 4 complete 72dpi 4x3.jpg (12926 bytes)           Additional detailing is done at 400%.  From time to time,  switch back to 100% to get a better idea of any changes that need to be done.  When it's about right, a 1-pixel brush is used with a light color to outline the body to help it stand out from the background.  It takes several hours to complete each such enhancement. 

          In doing so,  I learn more about the creature.  In an earlier effort,  I notice that the enhancement is not biologically accurate. As I do more,  I'll be able to do a better job.   This enhancement may be used in a future article to describe the different body parts and functions.

               Not everyone has the great equipment and talent like John Hoover.  But we're also very proud of our other associates whose enthusiasm and interest make them very valuable contributors to the Fuku-Bonsai Micro-Lobster Team. An exciting photo of the 1/2" long Micro-Lobster was taken by Bryan Yoshimura who is also taking photographs of larval development for a future major article!  If you have the interest and are willing and able to contribute,  you are cordially invited to participate in our research efforts.  Please contact me at david@fukubonsai.com       ~~~David

Mircro-Lobster eggs Bryan 4in 72dpi original.jpg (5275 bytes)

Micro-Lobster EGGS 4in 72dpi enhanced.jpg (6684 bytes)

 

FIRST PHOTOS RECEIVED!

       "Berried Female" from Bryan Yoshimura (Honolulu) with computer enhancement by David Fukumoto

         In their natural anchialine ponds, no berried female has ever been observed as all molting, breeding and egg-carrying is believed to take place in the underground part of their habitats.   Scientific literature tell of berried females being observed in aquaculture researcher's aquariums.  Bryan's photo is believed to be the first published.   MAHALO BRYAN!

Photo and enhancement
Copyright Fuku-Bonsai 2003

 

                While researching an anchialine pond, I brought back a few rocks covered with algae and placed them in a Micro-Lobster tank. After a while, they were all over it!  So I lit it with a halogen lamp and ended up with a striking photo that illustrates THE HAWAIIAN LEGEND OF WAINAPANAPA!
 
                Bryan Yoshimura continued to improve and develop his photographing technique and at the end of 2004, he sent an entire CD filled with photos!  See some of them at: BRYAN'S OPAE-ULA PHOTO GALLERY!
 
Return to Fuku-Bonsai Home Page        ***  Return to the Micro-Lobster Home Page
***  Go to Micro-Lobster Basics                     ***   Go to Micro-Lobster Mail Order
 
Fuku-Bonsai 2003, 2004          You are cordially invited to visit the home of the Micro-Lobsters at
FUKU-BONSAI CULTURAL CENTER & HAWAII STATE BONSAI REPOSITORY
     17-856 Olaa Road (PO Box 6000), Kurtistown, Hawaii 96760
     Phone (808) 982-9880;  FAX (808) 982-9883
     Email:  sales@fukubonsai.com    URL:  www.fukubonsai.com or www.micro-lobster.com