Jan 212013

Divers on the shot line

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.

Divers waiting for a boat pickup

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 could have been taken on most of the ocean dives that I’ve been on this summer. For that reason they remind me of all the dives I’ve been on this summer…not a bad thing.

About the photos

On an average dive I might not take the lens cap off the camera until I hit the bottom, and I certainly replace it before returning to the surface so I’m ready to climb back on the boat. That routine means I rarely capture all the activities that make the dive happen. The main photo up top was taken on descent, normally a time when I’m checking for camera bubbles, turning on strobes and adjusting settings to get the right background colour blue in line with the ambient light.

On this dive one of my buddies had some ear clearing difficulties, so I had some time to compose shots while my other buddy descended with them. I love the tiny diver, large ocean perspective, and the way the water fades into the black depths (a small dramatisation courtesy of the camera sensor and lots of sunlight up top).

The second shot is a split of the boat, always frustrating to take. These take flat seas and moving quickly before the boat driver gets sick of waiting around. Add these basic requirements to the fact that 50% of split shots are likely to have droplets on the dome, focus in the wrong place, divers’ heads lost in the waterline or funny shaped people around the edges and getting shots that work is a challenge! I especially like this one because as well as the basic requirements, having a foreground diver, a middle-ground diver and a background boat gives nice depth to the shot.

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