Subjects which have a Dynamic Shape when Viewed Downwards

During my workshops I refer this concept to marine life which have a great 'back'. For example turtles, mantas and whale sharks are very photogenic when shot at a downward angle.

FIG. 1.48 Manta Ray. Looking directly down on this Manta provides a sense of scale against the diver.

Nikon D200 with Nikon 10.5 mm fisheye lens. One Sea & Sea YS 12C flashgun, f8 at 1/30th sec, ISO 4CC, night dive Kona coast, Hawaii.

FIG. 1.48 Manta Ray. Looking directly down on this Manta provides a sense of scale against the diver.

Nikon D200 with Nikon 10.5 mm fisheye lens. One Sea & Sea YS 12C flashgun, f8 at 1/30th sec, ISO 4CC, night dive Kona coast, Hawaii.

FIG. 1.49 Scorpion fish. It's the dynamics of the eye contact and the open mouth which work so well in this image. He yawned at me but I missed the moment so I took my time and waited for him to repeat his behaviour. Thankfully, I was rewarded. Subal housing, Nikon D3C0, Nikon 60 mm macro lens, twin Inon Z22C flashguns positioned each side of the subject, f16 at 1/320th sec, ISO 200.

FIG. 1.49 Scorpion fish. It's the dynamics of the eye contact and the open mouth which work so well in this image. He yawned at me but I missed the moment so I took my time and waited for him to repeat his behaviour. Thankfully, I was rewarded. Subal housing, Nikon D3C0, Nikon 60 mm macro lens, twin Inon Z22C flashguns positioned each side of the subject, f16 at 1/320th sec, ISO 200.

FIG. 1.50 Having shot several hundred images of turtles off Sipadan Island in the 1990s I'm well aware that a downward angle of view accentuates their most photogenic feature. The carapace. How many other sea creatures could you successfully photograph whilst they are swimming away from you? Subal housing, Nikon D300, Tokina 10—17 mm lens zoomed to 14 mm, f8 at 1/45th sec, ISO 200, natural light. Auto WB adjusted in Adobe Camera Raw (ADR) with the WB colour picker tool.

FIG. 1.50 Having shot several hundred images of turtles off Sipadan Island in the 1990s I'm well aware that a downward angle of view accentuates their most photogenic feature. The carapace. How many other sea creatures could you successfully photograph whilst they are swimming away from you? Subal housing, Nikon D300, Tokina 10—17 mm lens zoomed to 14 mm, f8 at 1/45th sec, ISO 200, natural light. Auto WB adjusted in Adobe Camera Raw (ADR) with the WB colour picker tool.

Whilst visiting Hawaii's Kona coast I was fascinated by the number of paintings, sculptures and other types of art work which depicted manta and turtles from a downward angle. Even scuba-orientated T-shirt designs represented them from above. There are numerous subjects which suit this exception. Eagle rays, sea lions, penguins, sharks and dolphins to name a few can all look photogenic shooting downwards.

There are also myriad of close-up and macro subjects: clams, shrimps and crabs, etc. Just think of subjects which have colourful markings and features. For example, Porcelain crabs look great from a slightly downward angle.

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