I hope you’ve all had a very merry Xmas, and eaten and drunk far too much, I certainly have as has this Lizard Fish below !!! I know how he feels.
I just thought I would take this opportunity to mention something that I always say when running our workshops, but that was brought to the forefront of my mind recently when having a conversation with someone, and we were discussing a question that we had both heard being posed to an expert at a talk on diving.
Unfortunately the “expert” answered this newbies question with thinly disguised sarcasm at the lack of basic diving knowledge that this person had attained. A very sad state of affairs and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this newcomer decided to ditch diving and take up another hobby instead. This sort of thing is one of the reasons I always say at the end of my workshop briefings that ” there is no such thing as a stupid question” and I really mean it. We have all been in situations when we have had a burning question, and have maybe felt intimidated that the question we need answering is going to be considered so basic as to be stupid. Well all I would say to anyone in that situation is to go ahead and ask the question anyway, what have you got to lose? I have found most people in this industry, with the very odd exception, to be kind, considerate and helpful.
When you analyse most peoples questions you have to ask yourself, even if the question seems very basic, why would they be asking it, if they didn’t know? So surely it’s your duty, if you know the answer to help fill in the gaps in their knowledge with good grace and sympathy, they will be very grateful, and it will give them the confidence to ask you further questions.
So if you are reading this and you have any questions at all about underwater photography but were afraid to ask because you maybe thought the question was too basic, then please don’t be shy and ask away firstname.lastname@example.org I can guarantee that your question won’t be stupid, and that there will probably be more just like you that wanted to ask the same question. This of course goes for attendees at any of my talks or guests on one of our liveaboard workshops (Click Here). Your questions will be met with the respect they deserve. This goes for all the year round and not just this, the season of goodwill to all men, by the way 🙂
In the spirit of asking questions, I would also like to ask a favour of you all. I am doing a Multimedia and Photography Clinic at this years London International Dive Show, this talk won’t be anything like my previous talks and follow a linear format. i.e. until the day there is no way of knowing exactly what topics I will cover. My aim is to make it as interactive as possible and that will depend on you good folk asking questions. So please ask away before the event and I will collate the questions over the next few weeks, and the questions that keep cropping up I will incorporate into the talk, to help give it a good framework.
Here are our gallery pages (Click Here) to hopefully whet your appetites about our photo workshops coming up this year. I am expecting that 2014’s trips and workshops will be equally as rewarding and we have something for all of you, from the Wreckies (Click Here) amongst you to those of you wanting to cover all your photo bases, from macro to wide, in the exotic environment of Ambon (Click Here)
And this is a little Xmas present that I found for those of you that use Adobe Lightroom its a website with a load of links to Free Lightroom 3/4/5 presets (Click Here) for general and also brush presets that you can download for nothing. There are instructions on the page as to how to insert the plug ins and presets to your copy of Adobe Lightroom please read these carefully to make sure you do it correctly.
Ok, I will finish with another couple of shots from the sequence I took of the Lizard Fish picture above. It is important when witnessing something behavioural like this to keep your cool to ensure you get the pictures you want. What I do is visualise the shot I want and the approximate distance I am going to be before approaching the subject, and I get my lighting and exposure settings set up before hand. I do this by using my hand or finger(s) depending on the scale and size of the subject matter, and holding it or them in front of the lens to make a quick exposure and lighting test at the same distance I envisage myself being away. This means I have very little to do other than approach the subject slowly and carefully, and minimises my hand movements, otherwise likely to frighten away the creature. I then shoot and wait for the story to unfold, and take the pics at various points along the way, hopeful that it’s going to turn into a nice little sequence.
Ok, I’m off to eat another mince pie and half a pint of Baileys’s I would like to wish you all a fabulous holiday and I hope that 2014 exceeds your expectations, and I hope to be lucky enough to have the chance of diving with some of you next year. All the very best.