Keep checking our technique pages, as I post the simple skills that
will get you taking great shots in no time at all.
I have condensed these tips and tricks down from years of coaching beginners
to shoot underwater with the minimum of fuss or flannel.
In our previous three blog parts on snooting we’ve looked at the equipment we use for snooting in part 1 here.
And in part 2 we considered composition and choice of subject matter here.
Part 3 was about how to edit our snooted underwater shots, and so I used a shot that hadn’t turned out exactly as I expected, and showed, using a video explanation how I edited that picture to make it suitable for use as the title slide for that weeks blog.
In this final part of our snooting series I want to show how you can use a snoot to aim light through a suitable subject to highlight its form, and make it look like it’s glowing from within.
So here’s the first image of an Ambon Leaf fish, but getting the light to point back through the subject was quite tricky so a careful and considerate approach was necessary to not spook or worse harm the fish in any way.
This is a good juncture to hammer home the point about considerate diving .
I used to be quite anti-snoot, simply because I had seen some awful diving practices where underwater photographers have blindly lumbered around, only being able to aim their snoots accurately by laying all over the reef to guarantee a fixed platform. This is just lazy and it is possible to aim snoots effectively as long as your buoyancy skills are top notch.
You just have to work at it a bit more
. The prehensile snoot I used here was vital to aim the snoot with pin point accuracy and didn’t require me to constantly keep moving the whole flash head.
A backlit Leaf Fish, the original file has lots of backscatter, which I have edited out using the techniques outlined in part 3 of our series.
This next shot was of a tiny orange Frogfish, not so skinny as the Leaf Fish above but small enough nevertheless to illuminate as if from within by utilising a well aimed narrow snoot.
Once you’ve got your light and snoot positioned correctly, then it’s just a matter of patience to wait for the marine life to fall into line. This can take awhile !
My final shot of this series is a shot of a Porcelain Crab and an Anemone Fish, and rather than shoot with the pencil thin snoot I used the wider plastic bottle top bodged snoot I showed you in the first in our series here. And there I used it for a wide scene involving a Lionfish hunting under a pier,but here i’ve used it for a much tighter scene covering only around a diameter of a foot or so. This creates a much softer edge of the circle of light than the narrower snoot.
Here, you can see the very narrow angle beam of the fibre optic snoot, just lighting the head of the nudibranch.
Ok, I hope you’ve enjoyed our short series on underwater snooting, my personal foray into this world was initially very frustrating, as I was trying to be mindful of where my fins where, not touching anything and very slow movements.
It would have been easier to just give in and plonk down on the reef or sand, however that wasn’t acceptable practice to me personally.
And in a short time of diving with this mindset, I found it infinitely more rewarding when I started to get some success,all without harming the environment. So doing this can only improve your diving skills which makes the overall experience doubly rewarding.
So why not use your local dive centre pool sessions, and give it some practice, with some plastic fish, and make a game of it with your buddy, to buy a drink every time you accidentally touch down at all. You’ll soon be hovering with pinpoint precision, and be ready for some open ocean snooting.
Ok keep checking back as there will be regular posts about all sorts of underwater photography topics.