Subject Accessibility

Around three-quarters of the subjects who live on, in, or very close to the reef, cannot be photographed, even by experienced photographers, by virtue of their inaccessibility. There are two choices to get round this:

1. Shoot the subject from a distance whilst hovering above or to the side of the reef. Although this is unlikely to produce underwater photos of quality, it is an option, and may allow you to record a subject for the first time.

2. Dismiss the possibility of taking this particular shot in favour of finding a subject you can approach, get close to, and photograph safely without any risk to the environment. Conscientious underwater photographers do this all the time.

Being shown numerous photogenic subjects by the dive guide is by no means a direct route to a successful photographic outcome. The concept of subject accessibility is paramount and in my experience can often make the difference between an average and very good underwater photographer. I will discuss this in detail later in this chapter.

fig. 4.2 Such a colourful Frog fish from Kona, Hawaii, I tried hard to get a lower angle from a more frontal position to capture more of the blue water background but the location beside me to achieve this was just not accessible. This was the best I could achieve. Nikon D200, f16 at 1/45th sec, ISO 100, twin Inon Z220 flashguns.

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