105 Photos - Sep 12, 2011
Photo: Here are the slides from the 90-minute seminar I gave at Monterey Shootout 2011 (http://montereyshootout.com). I always create slides without many words, preferring to talk through the points spontaneously, but it may be useful to some folks out there. When I have more time, I'll come back and add captions with notes about each of the points (and why I included specific pictures and videos). If you're here looking for an album of underwater pictures, I've put some up on Google+: https://plus.google.com/photos/107004843925454095805/albums/5650816419664107921Photo: Photo: Take step back for moment and ask ourselves what is it about the ocean that captivates us? Photographer Tony Wu, in the Eastern Fields of Papua New Guinea.Photo: For some: mystery at every scale, from the tiny...Photo: To the giants of the deep...Photo: To the giants of the deep... For others, it’s the adventure and implicit dangerPhoto: Sharks snapping at dome pointsPhoto: And yet, for others, it’s the richness of the diverse ecosystemPhoto: An endless variety of color and form. But there is one thing that binds all of us underwater photographers together...Photo: Underwater photography is HARD!Photo: Or, Eric tells you a bunch of stuff you already know.Photo: This seems totally obvious, doesn’t it? It’s not.Photo: I've heard this a thousand times. (and, translation for the younger audience)Photo: Go to where whale sharks are. Example: Isla Mujeres, Mexico. July -> AugustPhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Big sharks: BahamasPhoto: Huge schools of gray reef sharks. Last place on the planet with this. French PolynesiaPhoto: Humpback whales: TongaPhoto: Giant manta rays: Revillagigedos, MexicoPhoto: Sailfish and sardine bait balls: Isla Mujeres, MexicoPhoto: Great white sharks: Guadalupe, MexicoPhoto: Breaching great white sharks: False Bay, South AfricaPhoto: Lush reefs: Raja Ampat, IndonesiaPhoto: Millions of jellyfish: Jellyfish lake, PalauPhoto: Stellar's sea lions: AlaskaPhoto: Photo: What?Photo: Photo: Photo: Mating squid. A dozen photographers blew through here, chasing squid around. In between each bout of harassment, the squid resumed mating behavior. I was patient and allowed them to get used to me. Kick a few kicks back and look around. Absorb everything around you and allow the animals to get used to your presence. Learning behavior leads to knowing how close you can get to an animal before it stops acting in a natural manner.Photo: This, also, seems totally obvious, doesn’t it?Photo: Photo: Photo: By this, I mean that you should be able to do just about everything on your camera without looking at it. You should be able to change shutter speed, change aperture, change ISO, switch from single shot to burst modes, etc. Obviously, some things are harder than others, but a good goal is to be able to operate everything by feel. On land, carry your camera around with you everywhere. It should be easy to master your camera on land. Underwater, just put as much time into it as possible.Photo: You've already mastered your camera by feel. Take it to the next level. If an animal swims over you and you have to raise your camera, your fingers should already be setting the camera up properly: faster shutter speed, smaller aperture, or lower ISO. If an animal swims below you, you should be doing the opposite. You and your camera become one.Photo: If your camera is not the reason you aren't getting the shots, you don't need to upgrade.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Wall o' bubbles and sharks don't mixPhoto: Try to get a good shot, here...Photo: Bad behavior!Photo: This is what happens when you break off from the groupPhoto: It took 5 trips to the Galapagos to get this shot, and I was alone (in a buddy team)Photo: It took 5 trips to the Galapagos to get this shot, and I was alone (in a buddy team)Photo: Photo: When the moment is right, blast away. I shoot in bursts, often, when not using strobe (or low power strobe)Photo: I chose this image from the burst in the previous frame.Photo: Fast action. Many strobes can fire at 8-10fps!Photo: Photographing a fish that can swim 70MPH? Use burst mode.Photo: I wasn't looking through the viewfinder when I got this shot. I had to take a *lot* of shots on faith that I had set the camera up properly.Photo: Photo: Cephalopods are sensitive to light and may be hard to approach. But once they start mating, you can take as many pictures as you'd like. They won't stop!Photo: Pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus denise)—the smallest seahorses in the world. Don't bother these guys too much. Try to take shots when polyps are still out (this means that you haven't disturbed the Gorgonian at all). If you sit there for long enough, the seahorse may start to go about its business and ignore you.Photo: Also, get away from the group.Photo: Example: Douglas Seifert spent 25 days with whale sharks, 30 days with mantas. Realize that pros have access that beginners sometimes do not have, though...Photo: Sometimes, you get skunked (Tony Wu, during our sailfish trip to Mexico)Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Hundreds of reef sharks. This is OK...Photo: Hundreds of reef sharks. A still in no way captures what it was like to be there.Photo: Hundreds of reef sharks. A still in no way captures what it was like to be there.Video: This is the first time I've shown this video. Gray reef sharks at the south pass of Fakarava, French Polynesia. It captures the moment.Photo: Use small, cheap cameras! They are good, now.Video: I love to capture this sort of video to complete the story.Photo: Used GoPros to get footage inside shark mouths: http://echeng.com/journal/2010/10/02/shark-bite-gopro-divefilm-hd-podcast/Video: Video of a whale shark's mouth while it's feeding (and swimming).Photo: The video is actually in 3D!Photo: Photo: Photo: Humpback whale holding her calf up to breathe. Good shot, but a standard framing.Photo: Pushed for it—didn’t quite get it, but it’s uniquePhoto: Splits of whale sharks feeding!Photo: Splits of sperm whalesPhoto: Macro lens tiger shark!Photo: Macro lens tiger shark!Photo: Macro lens tiger shark!Photo: Macro lens tiger shark! (uncropped frame of  eye detail)Video: Shrimp gobies and commensal shrimp, taken from 0 cm away.Photo: Flashlight fish, in the wild: http://vimeo.com/channels/flashlightfishPhoto: http://vimeo.com/channels/flashlightfishPhoto: http://vimeo.com/channels/flashlightfishPhoto: Thank you. See more pictures here: If you're here looking for an album of underwater pictures, I've put some up on Google+: https://plus.google.com/photos/107004843925454095805/albums/5650816419664107921