Isn’t this a gorgeous animal? It’s a yellow rabbit snail (Tylomelania zemis)—one of three that I added to my aquarium this past weekend. These snails are native to Lake Poso in Sulawesi, Indonesia, although this is a captive bred specimen. It’s approximately 7.5 cm (3 inches) long including the shell.
Most of the aquarium photos I have posted on this blog have been taken with an Olympus E-620 camera, Zuiko 35mm macro lens and the pop-up on-camera flash. The on-camera flash was well positioned to light a small subject without creating reflections on the glass that showed in the final photo. Using the on-camera flash made it easy to grab the camera and take photos of whenever I saw one of the aquarium inhabitants doing something interesting. But when I went to photograph this rabbit snail with my new camera1 I discovered that the flash2 that came with it sits too low on the hot shoe to work for macro work. I ended-up using my ring flash3 to take these pictures. They turned-out nice, but the ring flash is a bit of a pain to use for aquarium photography because the positioning of the flash tube so close to the lens makes it difficult to avoid reflections of the flash on the glass.
My other flash options are both vintage: either a Vivitar 283 which is a little too big, or an Olympus T20 which is a nice size, but not versatile enough because you can’t adjust the manual output. Both of these flashes are more than 20 years old…I think maybe it’s time to invest in a new modern flash!
Anyhow, here are two more photos of the rabbit snail poking around in the aquarium gravel looking for something to eat. They are very slow moving funny creatures. It will be easy to get more nice pictures in the future, once I sort-out the flash issue.
1Olympus OM-D E-M5
3Olympus RF-11 ring flash
The technical stuff:
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M5
Lens: Zuiko 35mm macro
Settings: manual exposure (F14 @ 1/125 sec)
Lighting: Olympus RF-11 ring flash (1/2 power)