Scuba Travel, wreck, Thistlegorm, Red Sea

I run an annual Wreck Photo trip, and it has proved quite popular, not least of which with me!

I say this because, to be honest, I’ve never been much of a wreck aficionado, but over the years I’ve learnt to love the wrecks of the Red Sea loads, and have developed an approach to shooting them which isn’t born within a deep understanding of triple expansion engines, portholes, and the rest of the metalwork which engenders passion within the wreck diving community.
Don’t get me wrong I’m also interested in the history and background to the wrecks, but it isn’t my driving reason for shooting them.
I am mostly interested in them as havens for wildlife, and I like to use them as a framework to make pictures, and love the contrast of the distorted metalwork with a nice blue or green background and hopefully some compliant marine life willing to pose for my camera lens.
And if not the marine life I like to use the twisted metal as a dramatic backdrop to shoot a diver, to lend scale to illustrate our marvellous hobby.

And I would like to show you a couple of pictures with my thoughts behind them, some I’ve shared before but there are some new ones here which I think highlight why I think a good wreck is a great place to take pictures.

Scuba Travel, wreck, Thistlegorm, Red Sea
I’ve gone for a really simple composition here of just the prop shaft of the Thistlegorm, and it appealed to me because of the very simple almost 3D effect made by the angle at which I’ve shot, and the strong colour contrast between the rusty metalwork, and the blue of the background. With the diver in the background lending some scale.

I’ve gone for a really simple composition here in the shot above, of just the prop shaft of the Thistlegorm,  it appealed to me because of the very simple almost 3D effect made by the angle at which I’ve shot, and the strong colour contrast between the rusty metalwork, and the blue of the background. With the diver in the background lending some scale.

Scuba Travel, wreck, Thistlegorm, Red Sea
This is the anchor winch of the Thistlegorm, and it invariably has a cloud of Anthias around it which inject a strong contrasting colour into the proceedings.

This shot above is the anchor winch of the Thistlegorm, and it invariably has a cloud of Anthias around it which inject a strong contrasting colour into the proceedings. Which I think makes the shot, as in my opinion the winch on its own and perfectly illustrates why wreckage becomes home to countless creatures.

Scuba Travel, wreck, Thistlegorm, Red Sea
The artificial cave made by these scattered ammo boxes has been adopted as a shelter for this moray living within them. Their obvious man-made geometrical shapes framing one of the Red Seas iconic predators.

The artificial cave made by these scattered ammo boxes in the picture above has been adopted as a shelter for this moray living within them. Their obviously man-made geometrical shapes framing one of the Red Seas iconic predators. Frames within frames are a classic compositional device, and wrecks provide perfect opportunities to use this technique. Like with the shot below framing my buddy Christian.

Scuba Travel, diver, wreck
You just need to get your angles just so, to hide enough of the sun behind your foreground object. I’ve not got it exactly right here, but sometimes you need to cut yourself some slack, and to be honest, it wouldn’t have been fair on my model to make him fin into quite a strong current at this point for much longer !!

The shot above was taken on the Million Hope wreck in the Northern Red Sea and to see how I took this picture please click this link here.

Another popular photo wreck is the Giannis D and I visited there quite a few times this year, I’ve tried to suggest scale and perspective in the picture below with the diver very small in the frame, I did a blog post dedicated to just this wreck this year and if you’d like to see it please check out this link here.

Scuba Travel, Giannis D, wreck, Red Sera
Shots of Wrecks are nearly always improved with the addition of a fellow diver in the shot. Bet carefully though to have them at a similar distance from you as the wreck itself or they will have the opposite effect looming large in the frame and overshadowing the main subject.

Here’s another from inside the Giannis D which has used the dramatic interior lighting and again a diver is used as a focal point to balance the shot.

Scuba Travel, diver, wreck
The Giannis D is lying at an angle of around 30 degrees or so which is quite disorientating the first time you dive her, the trick is to watch your buddies bubbles.

And finally back to the Thistlegorm below, for one of my personal favourite shots of the year, a technique picture of the stern of the Thistlegorm with my buddy Adel, one of the excellent dive guides from Tornado Marine.
I’ve done a blog showing how I’ve implemented this technique so have a look and click here.

Scuba Travel, wreck, Thistlegorm, fast fish
Slow shutter speed picture of the Fusilier action at the stern of the Thistlegorm.

Duxy