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Yellow Sailfin Tang

Yellow Sailfin Tang
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-05-06
Categories: Fish
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 HZ DG Macro, Digital ISO 100, UV 62mm Kenko
Exposure: f/13.0, 1/200 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): The pictures more views, Fishes from around the world, Underwater World #2, 70-79 Puntos (chapter 2), Funny Faces, Different Fish, Pretoria Zoo 1, A study in Ichthyology (fish) 1, Underwater Wonder World 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-05-30 13:39
Viewed: 19535
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 80
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Yellow sailfin tang - Zebrasoma flavesenes

My brief moment of 'déjà vu' in the Pretoria Zoo. I thought I ran into "Bubbles" from the popular kiddies animation movie "Finding Nemo". Then I noticed my wife's reflection in the aquarium glass (the shock of reality can be cruel) and I snapped out of my day-dream. These little Tang's are darters that can speed around the aquarium tank at a phenomenal rate. One has to be wide awake and your 'trigger finger' must react instantaneously when the right moment arrives to squeeze the shutter release. Having to cope with that and the ever present reflective aquarium glass, makes for a busy day at the office, trying to shoot one of these guys.


They are small fish, very thin, generally reaching about 7.5-12.5cm in length and height, and 1-2cm in thickness. They are bright yellow in color across their entire bodies which are their trademark. Small, tightly packed scales on the body give the fish a velvety appearance. Like other fish in the surgeon fish family they have a number of small spines protruding near their tail, which is the reason for their common name, the scalpel fish. These sharp spines serve dual purposes as a means of defense and as an anchor on the rocks when sleeping. During the night, in common with many fish, their colour fades.

It is commonly found in shallow reefs, from 2-46m deep, in the warm waters of the Pacific plate, north of the equator from Japan to Hawaii and in the Indian Ocean, west of Hawaii and east of Japan.

This small fish is very territorial; especially in the presence of another tang fish. The short snout has evolved for the specialised task of grazing on algae which grows on rocks. The mouth and surrounding skin has toughened to withstand the impact with the rough reef surface.

General Comments
This has become a very popular fish in aquariums as of late. There is only one other tang that is more popular, the purple tang. They are easy fish to take care of and will add plenty of color to any environment, but anyone who wants to add the tang to their aquarium should be forewarned that the tang is prone to ich. An external parasite that can eventually kill the fish. Almost every tang contracts this parasite at one time or another. This seems to be a calm fish in regards to others, except to other tangs. They also are extremely quick and dart from place to place, never hovering in one place too long; at least the males always seem to keep moving.

It is a grazing fish with a diet of almost anything that is green, such as wild grasses, algae, and other plant life in general, Even though this fish is generally an herbivore it has been known to eat shrimp and other smaller animals. This varying diet may even include excrements from other fish.

Not threatened. Source.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

jchemas, valy67, SunToucher, scottevers7, jeanpaul, ellis49, Evelynn, gari, coasties, Dando, SkyF, firelord, Athila, wallhalla15, liquidsunshine, peter_stoeckl, pilonm, dantor, lovenature, carper, marhowie, ramthakur, TAZ, anavazao, Janice, aido, CTP, Dyker, saeedabbasi, Miss_Piggy, betsie, Rehanna has marked this note useful
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Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To dantor: To get wet or not to get wetloot 2 06-03 08:54
To Athila: Just what the doctor orderedloot 1 05-31 20:31
To manyee: Softly whisperedloot 1 05-31 02:28
To Evelynn: Rubber hoodloot 1 05-31 00:19
To scottevers7: Thanks for the WOWloot 2 05-30 22:45
To SunToucher: Aqua-Manloot 1 05-30 22:31
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Loot/
I see you still like going fishing.
This is a beautiful shot my friend.
Great colors, details and framing.
Love the color of this sailfin and the way it looks against a very narrow but well define BG.
Congratulations, you are becaming a good fisherman.

Hi loot,

Fantastic fish shot, the yellow on 'Bubbles' turned out very nice where it seems it has only been enhanced a little by the flash. Well done on the cute close up shot. :)

  • Great 
  • valy67 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1727 W: 59 N: 3060] (9219)
  • [2006-05-30 14:59]

Wonderful shot ! Colors are so bright and luminous ! Excellent sharpness and details, good composition, I know how difficult it is to make good photos in an aquarium but you have done it perfectly ! The fish is very beautiful. Very well done !

Hi Loot,
All you shots just look like you were swimming with the fish instead of shooting through the glass. Are you telling us the truth?? Be honest, just tell us that you are the famous Aqua-Man or what is his name form the old 70's series.

Just another outstanding photo with such good sharpness colors and presentation. You did it again my friend.

Thank you,


hello Loot,
Another excellent capture from acquarium. How do you do it? are you magician? . Marvelous yellow tones, the use of flash and details are fine.
Thanks for sharing friend

Hi Loot,
Another amazing shot from your aquarium safari. Great fill flash exposure has render beautiful vivid yellow color. Amazing detail. A great sense of depth in this shot. This goes in the WOW! catagory.

Hi Loot,
the yellow colours are lovely.
The DOF is great, the fish standout well from the BG.
The details and composition are spot on and you handle the flash well.
Great work, mf.

Hi Loot,

Great capture of this little guy. Nice, sharp, well saturated image. I read an article yesterday re: shooting through glass. Use one of those rubber collapsable lens hoods. Put it right up to the glass. They are flexible so you have a little maneuverability without letting in any light for the glass to reflect. I like the color, shapes and blur of the BG too.


Evelynn : )

Okay, Loot... What did you say to that yellow tang?
He is definitely looking at you askance.
A fantastic shot... so close-up, with excellent POV.
The details are superb, and the yellow is magnificent.
A real beauty. TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • gari Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 37 W: 0 N: 11] (149)
  • [2006-05-31 3:42]

Hola Loot.Gracias.En esta imagen,la luz y el contorno estan muy bien tratados.Excelente la transparencia de las agallas y aletas.Saludos y hasta pronto.

Hi Loot

I see we have a pucker up happening here! C'mon then, give us a kiss....

Excellent shot. Well composed. Nice light. All the techo stuff is great too. Thanks.

  • Great 
  • Dando Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 637 W: 32 N: 792] (3084)
  • [2006-05-31 5:24]

Hi Loot, excellent shot. Very well exposed with brilliant colour and detail. I especially like the eye contact as he is keeping an eye on you. Very well done and TFS.

Salut Loot
Excellente prise avec ce magnifique poisson
Les couleurs sont éclatantes et la netteté est parfaite. Félicitations pour la qualité.

Merci et a bientôt.....JP

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-05-31 7:44]

Hello Loot,
those colors are amazing. Excellent clearity and sharpness. POV is very nice and the great DoFlets the fish standout well from the background.

Attractive fish and you've done very well for an aquarium shot.
Good sharp details and well exposed.

Hi Loot!

Another great marine shot. Excellent focus, perfect exposure, beaufifull diagonal composition. You should correct your description. It's not a member of the "sergeant fish family" but the "SURGEONFISH family". The scalpel explain the name. Sergeant use a bayonnet instead of a scalpel ;o)

Splendid image Loot, and TFS.

Hello Loot!
Congrats, this is a fantastic shot with a wonderfull fish! Excellent sharpness, great POV and wonderful colours. Thanks for posting.

Wonderful capture Loot,
Good detail, colours and sharpness. exposure and lighting are good. Good POV and composition.

Thanks for posting, enjoy the rest of the week

  • Great 
  • Gudule Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 248 W: 11 N: 288] (1204)
  • [2006-05-31 22:11]

Selon l'explication, il n'est pas facile de capturer un tel spécimen à cause de sa vitesse excessive.
Eh bien, on dirait qu'il s'est immobilisé le temps de la photo. Mais comme d'habitude, tes photos de poissons sont toujours très réussies. Alors, une de plus. La couleur jaune est superbe, impressionnante.


  • Great 
  • osse Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 89] (7805)
  • [2006-06-01 21:17]

Hi Loot
Beautiful colour on that fish. Good sharpnes, details, DOF and POV.
Well done


Hi Loot,
charming yellow fellow with pretty funny facial expression.
The colours in the intense light are wonderful. I very much like the shadow of the transparent fin on the chest.
Thank you! Best regards,

very nice fish photograph..
excellent use of light...
congrats you for this perfect work
bes wishes, regards

  • Great 
  • pilonm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 588 W: 90 N: 975] (3321)
  • [2006-06-02 15:11]

Excellent shot Loot!
It's not easy to manage the yellow and you did impressively well! Your use of the flash cannot be better! The fish seems to give us a kiss! The bg enhanced very greatly the animal too. Very well done and TFS,


Really great notes Loot. Such vivid colours on this Tang. Sharpness and composition are great Loot. Nicely done.

I love his little mouth and big eye. Kinda like bambi :) Janice

very good shot Loot,
Not easy behind the glas, the shot is very well taken with a great sharpness, a fantastic photo, well doen Loot, this is not easy. good job.
gr. jaap

Excellent job Loot.
Bright vivid color, with very nice detail and DOF.
Great tight-crop composition, with the POV and angle of presentation perfect.
Excellent shot of "Bubbles" :)
Keep em' coming!

Words fail to describe the sense of wonder/amazement one feels while looking at a picture of this high quality, Loot.
So no streotypes from me today.
All that I can confess candidly here is my total lack of knowledge and interest in marine life till date.
But it is never too late to begin, as they rightly say, and if the starting point is as stmulating as this one, it is a beginning well made.
So thanks for this beautiful image and for the well-presented information about this fish in your note.

Of your three recent fish photos, this one is my favourite. The delicate details are amazing. The fish looks like it is posing for you. And no reflection! At first I thought it was an underwater shot. Then I realized that you did not even get wet taking this picture. Still, Loot, the results are excellent!

Your hard work was really worthwhile. TFS.

  • Great 
  • chiliu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1457 W: 0 N: 1176] (6526)
  • [2006-06-03 18:48]

Hi Loot,
Beautiful capture! Very sharp image, excellent lighting and exposure, very nice colours and well framing.
Very well done and thanks for sharing!

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2006-06-04 2:26]

Wooooooooow ! What a SUPERB and interesting fish that you have well captured ! Colors and sharpness are very good.
Yellow is my prefered color ;-) Instructive note... Congratulations Loot and thanks for sharing.

great great macro with good colours!
Great details, composition and note!
Thanks Ana:)

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-06-07 5:52]

Looks like the sun Loot - brilliant! You show it well through the glass, but I bet your wife got a triple-worse shock than you when she saw your reflection!! And I reckon the kiss is for her, NOT you too!
Good all over, lighting, details and colours.
Thank you my friend,

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-06-08 5:33]

Hi Loot,
Woow, what a beautiful fish. The shot itself is fantastic, I can see how much effort has gone into this. Perfect exposure, bright and vivid colours with no OE anywhere. Beautiful clear detail. Flash control is excellent, no sign of fish-shaped shadows on the rock behind the fish. Beautiful colours. And this is the amazing bit to me, no hint of glass, not even a slight discolouration or loss of detail. Fantastic shot Loot, more than worthy of the praise it has received.
Have a great, errr, do we have a word for the end of the week? I don't know but I hope you enjoy it anyway :-)

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2006-06-08 18:37]

Very nice shot Loot ! Perfect exposure, superb colors and excellent sharpness. A great one. Thanks !


  • Great 
  • CTP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 644 W: 6 N: 946] (2726)
  • [2006-06-24 2:49]

Hi Loot,
Excellent yellow sailfin tang close-up.This is very cute photo:)
Excellent pov,dof,bg,vivid colors,useful note,framing,expression,fish details,focus,sharpness and lighting.
This is one excellent work.Well Done.TFS

Hi dear Loot ,
excellent image.
amazing colors and great light.
it is lovely shot.
thanks and regards my good friend.

  • Great 
  • Dyker Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 136 W: 0 N: 57] (170)
  • [2007-05-19 4:52]

Hello Loot
Amazing photo. This little surgeon stands out beautifully against the background. The focus is so sharp that I can almost count the scales on its body if only it wasn't so small. It is a fantastic composition with the fish basically lying on the diagonal with its tail tucked into the bottom corner and still enough space in front of its face to swim in to. I also think the colour definition is so beautiful. I really like it.

Hi Loot
Perfet timing!! Have a great week-end

Hello Loot
Hierdie groot oog met sy pruil bekkie is te kostelik vir woorde. Dit is verstommend hoe jy die deurskynende vin met die skaduwee vasgevang het en die skerp fokus op die vis met die pragtige agtergrond. Rehanna

Hallo Loot
Now this is surely a fish that can be associated with many things: Summer, sunshine, happiness, joy and many more. The bright yellow of this fish’s scales as well as the eye is stunning and very catching. The fins are shaped beautifully and are shown with great detail. You have captured this vibrant coloured Yellow sailfin tang in a great swimming pose, with not one hint that it was photographed through glass. The beautiful wide awake eye and the tiny pouted beak are really eye-catching, and the overall colours of the whole image stunning. Thanks for sharing. Love.

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