Just a quickie about this shot I took at the dive site of the Million Hope wreck in the straits of Tiran on the coast of the Sinai in the Egyptian Red Sea.
Flares are back in style
Since the advent of digital sensors, one of the main issues that has caused problems with photographers of all shapes and kinds, is that if there is a wide dynamic range in the picture, and none more so when there is the sun in shot, then it’s very difficult and often nigh on impossible to render the sun as an ugly bleached out blob in the frame.
Sensors have improved dramatically in the past few years, but it is still a problem being able to record the sun particularly well in your pictures.
Which for underwater photographers can often present a bigger problem than their inland counterparts face, as they regularly use lenses that are extremely wide. (and to see why they use wide-angle lenses please click here)
This means that the sun will often be in your shots.
In the days of film this went as much of a problem as we were able to record beautiful sun flares with the wider dynamic range of that medium.
Get with the program Grandad
So what do we do now we are very well established in the digital age?
We hide the sun is what we do.
So when you have the sun in frame and you are aware that you will get an ugly sunball in your picture, try and hide the sun itself behind something. A piece of coral, a diver, a manta perhaps?
As in the picture above this has another benefit, if you have got your ambient light exposure correct then you should get some lovely sunbeams in your picture emanating from all around the subject.
So this is exactly how I approached the picture of one of my buddies Chris, at the wreck of the Million Hope.
I’d seen the potential of the framing effect of the superstructure, i’d done a rehearsal prior to getting Chris involved, to get my flash exposure and positioning correct. (For how to mix Flash and Ambient Light exposure click here please)
And then all I had to do was get his attention, and get him to pose.
The current situation
This proved to be the trickiest bit actually as I found out when I posed for him in return.
The current was quite strong in the area where Chris was positioned and needed quite an effort from him to stay in position. So lucky for us both that i’d already got the exposure pretty much correct before getting his attention, as he couldn’t easily stay in position for any length of time to indulge my photo whims! as I found when getting in position for him to replicate the scenario.
It was also quite tricky to hide the sun exactly behind the spar of the wreck too, as it was quite bright shining directly into the lens as it was.
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 !!
I’ve also left the other buddy in shot too and you can see him to the right of the frame with his bubbles extending upwards.
For the shot I’ve posted on FB I removed him and his bubbles, but this was just me being a perfectionist, to see how you can remove unwanted intrusions into your frame check out this earlier blogpost and click here please.
Here’s the edited shot sand diver below.
Ok, hope you’ve enjoyed this post, please keep checking back and there’ll be another one soon.
Or if you’d like to join me on a photo workshop or trip, then please check out my upcoming schedule here.