Making 2017 count

After nearly two years prototyping, my final design for a remote control system went to friend and colleague Pete Ladell who built it to engineering standards I could not match. I’m still shaking down the system, but here’s what it can do.

I wanted to use a Nikon Speedlight instead of the traditional underwater strobes. Why? Lots of reasons, but foremost is the ability to use a high speed synch and achieve shutter speeds well in excess of the normal. With subjects close to the camera and often moving at high speed, I have long wanted that capability. Too many images looked soft. But I can also now more easily build creative lighting systems using the Speedlight master and slave system. There’s lots I want to try from subtle backlighting to softer fills.

The custom-build D4 remote control system

The custom-build D4 remote control system

I’m already using the Speedlight above water with a white umbrella as a diffuser. It’s giving a more even soft and natural light to what has always been a dark world. Despite the shallow water, the sun is often blocked by bankside vegetation and good lighting has always been a problem.

The embedded images give you an idea of what the system looks like in and out of water. I control the camera with a Macbook Pro through the custom USB port and with Nikon propriety software. It gives a very high degree of control.

The above water lighting set up

The above water lighting set up

I’ve not had the right combination of natural light, water conditions, fish behaviour and technical set up to nail a good shot yet. But the system is starting to work and those images will come. Time to get a bit excited!

Happy New Year dear friends.

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