Preplanning

I have one piece of advice above anything else.

It's essential to consider the depth at which the wrecks rest, and the opportunities you have to repeat a particular dive.

For example, a wreck of considerable size situated in 45 m of water presents a problem if you are unfamiliar with her and you have only one or two opportunities to dive and photograph her. On such a dive, your priorities are:

• most importantly, yourself!

Can you really give the amount of concentration necessary to photograph the wreck to your satisfaction? I would suggest not;I certainly couldn't. In such circumstances, I would take my camera to record the dive. If I obtained some good shots, I would consider it a bonus and evaluate my results accordingly, bearing in mind dive time limitations. However, if the opportunities to photograph such a wreck were plentiful and I became familiar with her then the potential for obtaining some exciting images would increase.

Every year I run a northern Red Sea wreck photo-workshop with the intention of everyone capturing great wreck shots. I choose just one wreck per day consisting of three or four dives. The night before I show a DVD about the wreck and what she may have to offer both historically and photographically, so when my students dive her the next day they know:

• The general layout

• The prime photogenic sections to consider throughout the day

• The position of the sun in the sky, and why this determines the best time to shoot various compositions.

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