About a month ago I said I love macro photography (ultra close-ups) for the fine details that are revealed. The example I gave then was a photo of a tiny hermit crab with hairy legs and turquoise eyes. Neither of those features could be seen with the naked eye -- much less by a pair of eyes behind the faceplate of a dive mask! Those details only became visible when the photo was enlarged.
The photo at right is another example of the kinds of surprises that sometimes appear when macro photos are enlarged. I shot this image of a mushroom-shaped leather coral (Sarcophyton sp.) -- a type of soft coral with a sort of rubbery skin -- because it caught my eye as a perfect specimen, in miniature. Only when the photo was enlarged did we notice the face of the tiny little fish that was hiding under the edge of the leather coral. Click on the photo to enlarge it even more.
This coral specimen was maybe two inches (5 cm) high, so the little fish was too tiny to see clearly. (For the photographers out there, this is a 1:2 image.) We have no idea what species the little fish with the great big eye is, but we surmise it's a juvenile of a reef species. We love the way he's hiding, but peeking out curiously, too. The image was shot during a night dive in the Celebes Sea.