Eyes Only

Eye contact is a primary consideration whenever a model is close. A mask that allows a clear, undistorted view of the eyes is important. The model should look happy, interested and at one with the subject, whether it be a fish or a still-life study. Eye contact should usually be directed at the subject, and wherever possible the photographer should try to get light into the mask by means of either flash or natural light.

Positioning the subject between the camera and the model can make the picture more dramatic, but take care not to overpower the picture by the model's presence. Remember, the model should add to the scene and not detract from the main subject.

Implied eye contact is when you cannot see the eyes of the model but the direction of view of their facemask continues to point the viewer in the intended direction. Even if your model is 5 m to 10 m away in the water column, direct them to view the subject of your intention and try to press the shutter when they are looking towards the subject and not into your camera lens for instructions. This is where clear communication is a must. The success rate with good model pictures is one reason why you need to take plenty of shots to get a few which work well.

FIG. 9.20 Where is the model in this shot? The idea started out with a frame of encrusted metal on the wreck of the Carnatic (Red Sea), a small school of glassfish and an inquisitive and hungry snapper. I tried to get the combination of all three with the addition of a diver in the background. It wouldn't work; there were too many moving subjects and I knew that the diver would have to be in a perfect position to get the shot I was after. I took 10 or more with diver and then concentrated on the other three elements. The composition, the upside down 'V'shape at the top and the dynamic turn of the snapper work well without the complication of human interest. Sometimes its knowing when not to include a model in the frame. Nikon D300, 10 mm end of my 10—17 mm Tokina lens, f 11 at 1/125th sec, ISO 200.

FIG. 9.20 Where is the model in this shot? The idea started out with a frame of encrusted metal on the wreck of the Carnatic (Red Sea), a small school of glassfish and an inquisitive and hungry snapper. I tried to get the combination of all three with the addition of a diver in the background. It wouldn't work; there were too many moving subjects and I knew that the diver would have to be in a perfect position to get the shot I was after. I took 10 or more with diver and then concentrated on the other three elements. The composition, the upside down 'V'shape at the top and the dynamic turn of the snapper work well without the complication of human interest. Sometimes its knowing when not to include a model in the frame. Nikon D300, 10 mm end of my 10—17 mm Tokina lens, f 11 at 1/125th sec, ISO 200.

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