Nature’s “Low Life”

When I visit my friends in Little Tutka Bay, Alaska, I always enjoy being able to photograph the small bay at low tide. When the water level is high, the bay looks like any other bay … full of water, with an occasional sea otter or water bird present. But when the tide rolls out and the area becomes a large tide pool, things get real interesting!

Whenever I’m there and the tide goes out, I put on my waders and wander the tide pool, looking for all the ever-present life that normally is not even seen. Of course, when exploring a tide pool, you must walk slowly (the rocks can be very, very slick), and the pool contains so many small creatures that you must avoid stepping on! But other than that, it can be a macro photographer’s dream! Here are a few of my finds during one low tide experience:

First, I came upon this Sea Star and a Blood Worm that was partially emerged from it’s underwater “cave”:

Sea Star and Blood Worm in tidepool at low tide

Not far away, a small group of Sea Anemones were “resting” in the tide pool:

Sea Anemone in tidepool at low tide

And at the ocean end of the bay, this Orange Sea Star was “hiding” from me, behind some tall sea weeds:

Orange Sea Star clings to a rock at low tide

Most people are very surprised to find that Sea Stars are present in Alaska. But they are very common, and they come in many different colors … brown, blue, green, orange, red … like an underwater rainbow! As I run upon more tide pool inhabitants, I’ll post some more images of these amazing “low life” creatures.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 1D Mark 2 body
  • Canon EF 28mm-135mm, f/4.5 to f/5.6 IS lens, shot at 70mm (top photo) and 135mm (bottom two photos)
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 200 to ISO 400
  • Aperture f/6.3 to f/8
  • Shutter 1/60 sec. to 1/125 sec.


Posted in Nature Photography, Travel Photography
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