Nudibranchs of the Coral Triangle

It’s a great honor to interview today Mr Andrey Ryanskiy, co-author together with Yury Ivanov of one of the most amazing serie of books on a very popular topic even among non-diver and non-photographer audience: nudibranchs!

Nudibranch book – how it goes?

Not bad at all. In ten months it was published in English, German, Italian, Spanish. Coming soon in French and Chinese.

Sounds good. But we had nudibranchs books before. Why another one?

It is not another one. It is the first one dedicated to nudibranchs of the coral triangle. A region, where most of the underwater photographers are diving.

But I have “Nudibranchs of the World” book. It sounds great! 

And it weights great too. With roughly the same number of species as in our book. I do not criticize other books. I have them all on my bookshelf, they are my friends. 

So who needs your book?

If you are a diver, and even more so an underwater photographer who dives in Indonesia and the Philippines, then this is a must for you. 

You mean your book is better than others?

I mean what I said. If you dive in Hawaii, Japan, New Caledonia, South Africa or Australia, you will find many endemic nudibranchs that are not in our book. The future is with local guides, I think. Moreover. The quality of the photographs – you’ve probably already noticed that. The latest taxonomy. All photos are taken in a natural environment. Ease of use for beginners. 

Do you mean that you have published a beautiful book for beginners?

Sounds good for me. By beginners, I mean underwater photographers and those lovers of nudibranchs who have less than 500-600 species in their personal collection.

And experts – do they have other books?

They have other books as well. Our book is not only about beautiful pictures, but also many dozens of species that can be seen only here.

You’ve convinced me. But nobody needs a book about nudibranchs. There is an AI device on the FB called Ron. Wherever you post a nudibranch photo – in five minutes there will be a comment from Ron Silver with a Latin name. Even when you didn’t ask. And even when you don’t want it.

Ha ha! I think Ron will be pleased with the high appreciation of his selfless work and insistence. Latin name is important, no doubt. But the book also gives you knowledge of how nudibranch should look, what features a photographer can emphasize, and which angle to choose. And you will be surprised, but most people prefer to start by searching the book without assistance, and then ask for help in identification. It gives you knowledge and understanding of the underwater world, makes your diving truly conscientious in the future.

How much do you dive?

Usually I have two two-month trips a year. Favorite destinations are Indonesia and the Philippines.

But it costs a ton of dollars!

Not at all. I sometimes dive with very good guides and live in hotels. But most of the time I rent a car, rent apartments and dive on my own or with my wife.

But it’s scary to dive alone – especially at night!

It’s great to dive alone – especially at night! It feels like you’re part of the ocean.

Your co-author – Yuri Ivanov – does he also dive a lot?

He dives even more. We are not holiday divers – we are professionals.

What is your diving certification?

In one word – without limits. DM + Adv Trx + Full Cave.

Too much for nudibranch shooter! And finally – the most memorable nudibranch dive.

Hard to choose. But… It was not a nudibranch dive. On the contrary – a dive in the channel, Maldives. I was looking for one deep-water basslet, successfully. When I was ascending, I made a 1st safety stop at a depth of 45 meters, near the wall. And I saw a nudibranch right in front of me – an unfamiliar Halgerda. Then it turned out that I made the first photograph of Halgerd iota in the natural environment.

Is it now in your book?

No, this is endemic to the Maldives. It will be in the next edition of NSSI, I already sent the photo to one of the authors.

Thank you and good luck to you! But you are crazy! Perhaps this is a must in your business.

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