Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sometimes the magic works ....

To get good underwater photos, you need to have a top of the line DSLR camera in a housing cause everyone knows those point and shoots don't work. To get great underwater photos, you need to have the finest quality lenses or the light doesn't transmit properly. To get great underwater photos, you must have at least a 6 mega pixel camera or the image quality is crap. To get great underwater photos, you need to have at least 2 strobes cause you get too many shadows with just one. To get great underwater photos, you must be using a Canon camera because everyone knows they're better and all the pro's use them.

Sarcasm is life. I think the first thing you need, is to be underwater with a camera in your hand. I find that helps alot. But often no matter what you have in your hand, you'll either get a great (underwater) shot or you won't. To quote a famous Indian Chief or two, "Sometimes the magic works ... and sometimes it doesn't".

Greg and I went diving for fun the other day and I took my housed camera. I hadn't had it in the water here for a long time so I just put on the old trusty 60mm which is so easy to shoot with and gets great shots without really trying. On the first dive, everything that could go wrong did go wrong. First my right strobe stopped working after 3 test shots on a fried egg nudibranch. Guess those fully charged batteries had been sitting on the shelf too long. Then I lost my favourite hair glove. Then I realized I forgot to set my computer for Nitrox so I wasn't going to get my additional time at depth. I tried to get some behaviour shots of a rock mover wrasse and took too many in a row and missed the "great" shot. We reached the pinnacle at G.A. and the viper moray was way out of his hole in perfect position for a shot. Then my focus light ran out of juice. No way will my camera or my eyes focus on black in black. I leave and bang for Greg to come over and shine his light on him so I can focus. When we get back he's completely disappeared into his hole. I start sensing a theme - the magic is not working. Greg finds cool shrimp we've never seen before and even though I don't have the exact right lens, I try for a proof/mediocre shot. They disappear when I bring my camera up and my computer now has a deco stop required. I decide to shoot some fish shots on the safety stop over the arch and my left strobe stops recharging. Not only is there no magic, but she hates me.

When we surface, I think that I should take the sign from the gods and just skip the 2nd dive of the day. Why bother diving if you don't have a camera to take photos with. But we take the batteries out of Greg's GPS and put in his backups and then take the batteries out of my GPS and put in the used ones from my backup light and now I at least have strobes. I wonder if I remember how to dive without a hair glove?


A friend tells us about a pregnant frogfish so we decide to investigate. Couldn't get any worse right? We find her right away and she is beautiful. She's a gorgeous forest green colour with pink spots and is fat fat fat. She is also accompanied by a smaller yellow male frogfish who really wants to get close. We watch as he leaves his spot about 8 inches away from her and starts nudging her around and shaking his body. She temporarily rises from her spot to turn around and her belly is all saggy and she is "low to the ground" and looks rather crabby that she has to move at all. She settles back down and the male is right on her tail. She has a gelatinous mass attached to her tail by a thread which contains ...... ? She seems head heavy and her tail is floating up all the time where the male is still fussing. I read later that this is "standard pregnant frogfish" posture as she prepares to eject an egg sack which she may do several times. The male will fertilize the "egg raft" once it is out.

Frogfish are one of my favourite underwater subjects - they don't move and they look out of focus even in real life so its easy to get a decent shot. But I have a field day with her colours and with the 2 in 1 frame bonus, and the gelatinous sack proves difficult to capture. I leave for awhile and tour around but come back just to watch more and take more photos. They are posed perfectly together now - the happy pregnant couple. My computer approaches deco, but this time I'm really on air and so must leave. Neither my camera nor my strobes have run out of battery life.

Sometimes the magic works ...

1 Comments:

Blogger gregorio said...

pregnant frogfish. that is freakin cool!

9:53 PM  

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