Happy New Year fellow underwater toggers

Hope you all had a lovely time and are looking forward to some great diving in 2016, I know I am.
Egypt and the Middle East has had its troubles in the last year, but I for one am going all out to support my colleagues and friends in the dive industry out there, and I’m pleased to say my first two photo trips of the year are now fully subscribed.
The Winter Warmers are always popular, and with the quality of diving in Egypt at the best I’ve ever seen it recently, I’m pleased to see the UK diving community pulling together and still visiting this paragon of world diving only a relatively short flight away.

If you’d like to see why folk love the photo trips and the Winter Warmers then check out this page and click here you may well want to join us on a future photo trip,

 

The Decisive Moment….

This little blog is about choosing the right moment to take your shot, and I’ve picked a couple of shots to illustrate exactly what I mean.

It’s very easy when diving to get carried away in the moment and get a bit trigger  happy, and this isn’t the worst crime in the world, in fact I’ve written about it previously here.
And repeating your pictures to get just the right one is often but not always the key to getting consistently good underwater pictures.
Sometimes though you may only get one opportunity to allow all the various elements of your picture to fall into place, and the first shot I’m using is one such example.

I was conducting a summer workshop in Egypt and we were at Ras Mohammed, more specifically Shark Reef, and as is the norm at that time of the year there was lovely schools of fish at the place.
There was a school of Bohar Snapper, which a number of our group were shooting and alongside these was a constantly changing and swirling group of Batfish.

I tend to keep away from what the main group are shooting a  lot of the time, as I feel that it’s not my holiday, and that it’s more important that they get nice pictures of the main event. So there was only me and my friend Reda with the Batfish at that time. The current and the fish were starting to move quite quickly behind Shark Reef, and so Reda and I stuck with it, I had taken a couple of shots using available light but where I was wasn’t working for this, which is unusual as I prefer Batfish in available light.

So strobes it was and to see how you balance strobes with available light I’ve done a tutorial, please click here and a more advanced one please click here

To lend scale I like to use a diver in shot, but I’m picky about how they look, I don’t like them obscured by anything, or too close to the edge of the frame, nor do I like their bubbles to be in the wrong place,and as before I’ve done a previous article about this so if you’d like please click here to see it.

Because the Batfish were receding away from me I was only easily able to expose the foreground ones with flash, maybe with more time I could have got it, but to be honest Im more about getting the compositional elements right first if I can.

 

 

So I got this shot by simply waiting for the batfish to move out of the way of the gap that Reda was occupying, you can help this of course by making small adjustments to your own positioning too, and when everything is correct take the picture.
So I got this shot by simply waiting for the batfish to move out of the way of the gap that Reda was occupying, you can help this of course by making small adjustments to your own positioning too, and when everything is correct take the picture.

 

 

 

 

So I got this shot by simply waiting for the batfish to move out of the way of the gap that Reda was occupying, you can help this of course by making small adjustments to your own positioning too, and when everything is correct take the picture.
He was shooting with his GoPro so was oblivious to me there than as a buddy, so he had no idea he was being used for modelling purposes.

A good dose of luck helps too, but you can make yourself more lucky by practicing these things and learning to recognise when the moment occurs.
Too often folk get overcome with the excitement of things and the dive starts to dominate the photography. Don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting that you eschew all your enjoyment of the dive just to get a picture, but you need to appreciate everything whilst keeping control of yourself and the camera technicalities.

 

Here is a picture taken over ten years ago on a very early digital compact camera at exactly the same spot but with just available light this time, and if your new to this here’s a series of posts I did on available light to help you here.

 

 

Same place but taken on a Canon Ixus over ten years ago now, so a lot of the time it's not about having the latest high end kit, but more how you see the shot and manipulate the compositional elements within it. The exact same thought processes were at work here too
Same place but taken on a Canon Ixus over ten years ago now, so a lot of the time it’s not about having the latest high end kit, but more how you see the shot and manipulate the compositional elements within it. The exact same thought processes were at work here too

 

 

 

My last example is a much more recent picture taken a few months back in the Maldives and if you’d like to read the blog its from then please click here

 

 

 

This shot only works in my opinion if the diver in shot is looking at the Manta, the Manta is in the right position and both main elements are in the right place in the frame.
This shot only works in my opinion if the diver in shot is looking at the Manta, the Manta is in the right position and both main elements are in the right place in the frame.

 

 

Again luck plays a big part here but it was all about waiting for the decisive moment.

 

I have a great itinerary coming up this year with trips to Egypt, the Philippines, Mexico, Indonesia and maybe a few more along the way too.

This years underwater photo trips with me.

If you’re new to the blogs I post them weekly ,sometimes more, on a variety of underwater photography based themes, and you can now load them onto your tablets and smartphones to read offline by downloading the PDF which is accessible by a link at the bottom of the page.

If you’re a complete newbie don’t worry I’ve done some blogs aimed at beginners here is a good jumping off point here.

 

 

Introduction to Underwater Photography click here.

 

 

and if you’d like to see what happens on an underwater photography workshop then click the link below.

 

 

What Happens on an Underwater Photography Workshop

 

 

Ok that’s all for this week, stay safe, have fun.

Duxy