Jan 312013
Lessons from a macro lens: picking the right subject

After three years of shooting wide angle with my Canon 5DII, I picked up a macro lens for myself just before Christmas. I’ve really appreciated being “stuck” with the one underwater lens so far. Not having another option means I’ve taken wide angle shots in terrible vis and with inappropriate subjects on a regular basis. As a result I’ve learnt a lot about getting the best out of the lens in all kinds of conditions, and become a better photographer as a result. With a new lens comes a whole new learning curve for making great pictures. While it’s going to take me a while before I can reliably shoot the picture I see in my head, I wanted to [read more…]

Jan 282013
Caving through Elk River

About the trip Apologies for today’s slightly delayed post…I’ve been underground. Elk River, accessed through Baby Berger cave in the Buchan Potholes Reserve, is also known as the “Murrindal Potholes Eastern Master Cave” and is the deepest cave in Victoria at 105m. The streamway was discovered in 2006 by the local Victorian Limestone Caving Team, and  between 2008 and 2010 Jim Arundale and Agnes Milowka made several pushes through the first sump to put more cave on the map. Agnes wrote up a great history of the cave’s discovery on her website here. In summary, 2 hours of carrying, passing and dragging gear through tiny squeezes, around precarious drops and under very narrow roof sniffs puts the eager cave diver [read more…]

Jan 212013
Divers in the ocean

About the site Both of today’s photos were taken out of Melbourne on a visit to one of the J class subs. The beauty of it is that both could have been taken anywhere in the ocean with relatively clear water and somewhat flat seas, although I do think the deep blue colour of the water gives away the temperate location. About the dive The dive in this instance was a fairly high speed affair to a wreck with limited bottom time. I was also on air which meant a lot of the photos of the sub itself were affected by my narcosis – none of them are what you’d call winning shots. Instead my favourite shots from this dive [read more…]

Jan 142013
Tiny fish in Thailand

About the dive This shot was taken during a liveaboard trip on the MV Giamani – you can see the slideshow of images from the trip in last week’s update. I was excited to be heading off to the tropics, and very excited to get in the water with my new toy, a Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens. While it did seem ironic to be swimming around in 40m vis surrounded by great scenery, I spent my first ever dives actively hunting for tiny things. About the critter I have no idea what fish this is. Big stuff has previously been my forte and I can identify weedy seadragons and green turtles at 40 paces. I suspect this is something [read more…]

Jan 072013

Instead of showcasing just two images this week, I thought I’d share my curated selection from last week’s trip to Thailand with you. Over the course of six days I did 22 dives as we sailed north and west from Phuket to the Similan and Surin Islands on board the MV Giamani. The water was warm, the vis was great, the fish were abundant, and the liveaboard routine of dive-eat-sleep-repeat was excellent. Ricardo’s tolerance of photographers and their speed underwater (slooooow) was fantastic and much appreciated. I was able to get some good experimentation in with my new macro lens, so I’ll be able to share some of my discoveries of very small marine life with you. There was also [read more…]