About the site
I was down in Bicheno for some reef diving at the start of June as part of the Combined Clubs Weekend. I posted before about the gorgeous orange and yellow sponges and prolific seawhips on the granite boulders down there. The water was blue for the six dives I did, but I gathered from the locals that recent storms had stirred things up. Certainly the weather wasn’t great while we were there and these photos were taken in fairly surgey conditions. This was our last dive of the trip and we were up shallower than the morning dive. Add that to these very cool boulders leaning in to form swim throughs, and we had some high speed (and backwards) swimming through!
About the dive
I haven’t had all that much success with off-camera strobes in the ocean so far. Unlike caves with clear water and darkness, in the ocean the strobes are either hard to see, or simply highlight how much fish poop there is floating around in the water. But when I heard we were heading for swimthroughs and caves it seemed like the ideal dive site to give them another go. JDZ very obligingly agreed to carry one and we headed down into blue water.
The surge through the swimthroughs meant we moved backwards and forwards about 3m between each shot. Luckily the single channel of each one meant there was nowhere else for the water to go, so both camera and model were moving the same speed and distance. With a little bit of imagination you could say everything was still except for the scenery going past at speed. As you can see in the second shot, the walls were coated with sponges taking advantage of the high flow to filter feed.
About the shot
It was a grey day up top, so I adjusted the shutter speed right down to 1/30th to get any blue water out the end of the rock. Even with the very slow shutter speed, the inside of the swimthroughs were lit entirely by strobe light. I like the way the off camera strobe has gone off in the first shot to add some depth to the shot and brighten up the image. The surge was fun, but it would be even better to go back on a still day and place some strobes on the ground through these swimthroughs to really light up the colours. Next time!