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Peter Verhoog, Nature and Conservation Photographer

Above and below water

Sometimes, there are moments that you just have to grab the opportunity you are given. Photography is all about seeing things, observing your surroundings.
During a shark research trip with Global Finprint in the Maldives, I saw this seaplane moored at one of the islands. I told the research team that I wanted to take a picture from below the surface, and that I needed to do this right NOW, before the plane would leave. Someone asked me if it would be allowed, but I did not hesitate. I have no idea about sea plane regulations…
I instructed my Italian dive buddy and team mate Francesca Miccolla (with whom I had been diving for weeks) that all she had to do was to pose under the wing at a depth of around three meters. We rolled backwards and entered the water.
She is an experienced diver, and once she was in the right position, I started taking photographs. I wanted to have the houses of the island in the frame as well.
My dome is 20 cm in diameter, so I needed a flat water surface, with no current. I was lucky, because normally there is always a current running along a Maldivian atoll. And pushing the button at the right moment can be really difficult in half metre waves…
I normally clean my dome with a simple detergent without lemon or aggressive ingredients, so the water drops run off. I set the camera to matrix light meting, which is ideal in this case, as I had several subjects.
When I started shooting, I saw that our expedition boat returned to pick us up again. Time was of the essence! I saw Francesca, the houses, the plane, the boat the sky. I loved it. When the wave was at its lowest point, I pushed the shutter.
I am so happy with this shot!

Photo data:

  • 1/800 sec
  • F/11
  • ISO 800
  • Camera: Nikon D700
  • Lens: Nikon 16mm fisheye
  • Sealux underwaterhousing

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All images © Peter Verhoog 2000-2018

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