Mexichromis porterae

Photo courtesy of Mike Bartick

Catalina Island, Calif
June, 2007
Canon 400D
Ikelite housing
Ikelite strobes w/ a fill light
100 mm lense

Mexichromis porterae, Cockerell, 1901)

Its been a while since Mexichromis porterae was first run on this site. Dr. Hans Bertsch was kind enough in those formative years of the site to take the time and educate us on the taxonomy and background of this colorful nudibranch. The image put up in 1998 is mine and I'll be the first one to say that it doesn't do true justice to the stunning beauty of this guy! When Mike sent in the image above, I knew the time was right to revisit M.porterae and focus on the photography as opposed to the taxonomy. There is no controversy raging on the taxonomic placement of M. porterae that I know of which is a relief in itself when putting together a Branch of the Week (BOW) Presentation

First off, the incredible detail and texture of the notum were immediately evident! The image is tact sharp and the lighting just right! Mike really nailed this shot! It can be said that digital underwater photography is only getting better and better, but still requires the skills of the underwater photographer to take advantage of the technical advancements to translate a ho hum shot into a masterpiece!

What more can be said?

Michael Miller
San Diego, Calif
June, 2007

Mick Bartick after dive on oil rigs

Mike Bartick is an avid and experienced scuba diver and Marine Wildlife Photographer residing in southern California. Mike admits that while he is a world traveling diver, the northern Channel Islands are amongst his favorite dive spots he has ever experienced.

I have always been the fish in our family, loving the ocean and lakes; to swim and be free, floating in a liquid world. Gliding through the kelp forests, experiencing and discovering wild animals in the universe below, sharing through photography, is a dream come true.

My love of photography comes from my father. As long as I can remember he always had his camera ready in hand. Given to me by my parents when I was in the eight grade, my first camera was a brownie box camera.

Mike started shooting underwater with a friend's Minolta 110 at around fifteen years of age. While it was a film camera, there were a lot of "learning curve" shots and he started shooting less and less. When the digital camera age hit, he decided to start shooting more because of the new dynamics it brought to underwater photography.

Nothing about shooting in a liquid medium is easy. There is surge, ever changing light conditions and bursts of bubbles which scare fish off easily. Finding your subject is often times very difficult and once located, sometimes impossible to work with. Great macro shots require a perfect balance of light and skill. The lense is within inches of the subject. Generally higher F-stops and longer exposures make this type of photography difficult underwater. Lighting is extremely important. Overexposure kills, underexposure is just as bad. Perfectly lit subjects will glow with hand painted clarity and detail. The deeper you go, the less color you will have, and an experienced underwater photographer will always instinctively know what he is looking at and how to light it.

Mike Bartick
Marine Wildlife Photography
Send Mike email at

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
March 2005

Ali Hermosillo and Dave Behrens

Author: Pacific Coast Nudibranchs
Co-Author Coral Reef Animals of the Indo Pacific
Proprietor of Sea Challengers Natural History Books

Send Dave mail at

© The Slug Site, Michael D. Miller 2007. All Rights Reserved.