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Trick Photography And Special Effects

Trick Photography and Special Effects

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It's often said that underwater photo competitions are always won with tropical photographs. This may have been the case some years ago but not now. With so many good underwater pictures out there I believe you have to be different. Temperate waters are difficult and can be frustrating but there are some wonderful images to be captured. The techniques I use are not for everybody and I am constantly learning new ideas to experiment with. The digital age has provided us with the flexibility to produce some amazing underwater images. You only have to look in the diving press to appreciate the vast array of great pictures which are available.

Persevere with your temperate water photography;accept the challenges and the rewards will come.

FIG. 10.8 After an unproductive dive I noticed a few jellyfish floating close to the surface so took the opportunity whilst my buddy returned to the boat. I spent a few minutes selecting a suitable undamaged specimen and proceeded to try and align the sun behind it. Achieving approximately a 45 degree angle with surface and the jellyfish moving seemed to work the best. The sky created the rich blue. The deeper water combined with the fast shutter speed and high f number controlled the sunburst and darkened the deeper water. Nikon D2x with 12-24 mm zoom at 14 mm, no flash, f18, 1/200th sec, ISO 100.

FIG. 10.8 After an unproductive dive I noticed a few jellyfish floating close to the surface so took the opportunity whilst my buddy returned to the boat. I spent a few minutes selecting a suitable undamaged specimen and proceeded to try and align the sun behind it. Achieving approximately a 45 degree angle with surface and the jellyfish moving seemed to work the best. The sky created the rich blue. The deeper water combined with the fast shutter speed and high f number controlled the sunburst and darkened the deeper water. Nikon D2x with 12-24 mm zoom at 14 mm, no flash, f18, 1/200th sec, ISO 100.

FIG. 10.9 Whilst on a road trip in Southern Australia I spent many days photographing the Leafy Seadragons. Trying to think of different angles to shoot these magnificent creatures exercised my grey matter from dive to dive. On a day of relatively good visibility I was looking for habitat with surface detail to provide an added feature to the image. This one captured for me the eye contact, habitat and good negative space. Using f10 allowed me to capture the depth of field required whilst balancing the natural light with a relative slow moving critter. Nikon D2x with 12-24 mm zoom on the 24 mm end, Twin Inon Z220, f10, 1/80th sec, ISO 100.

FIG. 10.9 Whilst on a road trip in Southern Australia I spent many days photographing the Leafy Seadragons. Trying to think of different angles to shoot these magnificent creatures exercised my grey matter from dive to dive. On a day of relatively good visibility I was looking for habitat with surface detail to provide an added feature to the image. This one captured for me the eye contact, habitat and good negative space. Using f10 allowed me to capture the depth of field required whilst balancing the natural light with a relative slow moving critter. Nikon D2x with 12-24 mm zoom on the 24 mm end, Twin Inon Z220, f10, 1/80th sec, ISO 100.

FIG. 10.10 With sea lions being such wonderful fun animals, capturing that cheeky pose becomes more luck than judgement. They seem to use a diver with cameras as a type of catch me if you can game. I found that early in the dive if you stay in one spot they will come and check you out, whilst later they tend to get bored and you end up moving towards them. I found my spot, took a few images to set the exposure and waited. This sea lion posed for maybe one second and I was lucky to capture it. Maybe a bit of planning does help? Nikon D2x with 12-24 mm zoom at 21 mm, Twin Inon Z220, f9, 1/125th sec, ISO 100.

I would like to thank the support I have had from the Department of Fisheries Western Australia, Western Australian Underwater Photography Society (WAUPS) and members of BSOUP for their support over the years. My special thanks to the Martin and Sylvia Edge for their constant ideas, motivation and friendship.

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