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The jetty of Caracasbay!

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One of the places you absolutely have to visit and dive is the jetty in Caracasbaai in Curacao.
It is important that there are no large boats, because they take away a lot of sunlight.
In this picture, you can see how well a good interaction between photographer and model works.
After many years of diving together, we have worked out a simple system of hand signals, and in this case, we knew exactly what picture we wanted to shoot.
In this shot, I used a fisheye and we had to get the fish between us. The fish can however feel trapped, and tend to move away to the left or right. We both had to be close to the camera: model and photographer, so the picture will be balanced. In this case, the model is only 50 centimetres away from the fish – the fish is 50 centimetres away from my camera, so there is only one meter of water for the fish to swim in.
So both model and photographer play an active role in the composition: one of the two stays motionless, the other moves. Approach carefully. When you are almost set, the model can move a tiny bit to get the fish closer to your camera.
If one of you is too far away, there will be too much of the surroundings in the picture. This a model picture: you want to show how a diver admires a school of fish.
Photography can be an art: choose the spot, choose the subject, work with your model. Use the available light left and right to create extra depth. Visit a dive spot several times to create good photo opportunities. Be patient. The diver must look sleek: no hair that floats up, good swimming position, looking at the main subject.
We had to try for this a few times before we were both happy. An exercise like this is also useful as a practice for future pics: next time, you know exactly how to position yourself for a good shot when another subject passes by!

Photo data:

  • 1/200 sec
  • F/8
  • ISO 250
  • Camera: Nikon D700
  • Lens: Nikon 16mm fisheye
  • Sealux underwaterhousing
  • 2x SB800 strobes in Sealux underwaterhousing

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All images © Peter Verhoog 2000-2018

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