Feb 182013

Muang Thai

About the wreck

Continuing on from last week’s post about the Thai wrecks we dived from the MV Giamani over Christmas, here’s some shots from the next shipwreck on the schedule, the Muang Thai. Before tourism came along much of Phuket’s economy was based on dredging for seabed tin. As the basis of people’s livelihood’s changed the old tin boats were run and used until they sunk of their own accord. There’s a few old tin dredges on the seabed up and down the Thai coast and if they’re all covered with as much life as the Muang Thai they’d be excellent dives.

Blue water above the Muang Thai

About the dive

I suffered from pre-dive indecision on whether to go with my wide angle or macro lens for this dive, and when I hit the wreck I was very glad I chose wide angle. The hull of the wreck sticks up from the bottom in huge curves. Swimming along on top and 10m off the sand there were thousands upon thousands of fish. I was also very glad to have my cave diving primary light as the resident schools didn’t like having bright lights in their eyes. By pointing my light into the cloud of fish I could clear a small pathway through to see a point of interest or model underneath.

Being closer to shore than the reefs we had been diving, the vis was also questionable for Thailand. This meant readjusting strobe positions to try and reduce as much backscatter as possible, while dealing with the fact that large clouds of fish in the blue water sections of photos look a lot like specks of backscatter.

About the photo

I like the first photo up top for having a diver seen through some clear water that’s not full of fish. I’ve also used a standard bad-vis technique of having some wreck close up in the foreground to cut down on backscatter. I like being able to see the structure of the wreck in the immediate foreground and heading away into the background as KA heads off to explore.

The second shot is a lot messier, but demonstrates what I mean about the fish – there were a lot of them! This shot was taken at 1/160 of a second as even shooting straight up into the sun in the shallows a lot of light was lost to the particulate in the water. In the second shot you can see the larger, green and purple fish who followed me around for the whole dive. I have no idea on species, but whenever I sat for a minute to make a composition work he would scoot in and loop around in front of my lens. Having his photo taken was clearly top of his priority list for the morning.

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