Tag Archives: barracuda

Back to School

Of all the sites that I go to in Egypt, I would dive Shark & Yolanda another thousand times and never get bored of it.  I’ll let these images explain why:

There is just something about fish schools that draws photographers in like magnets.  It’s one of nature’s great spectacles and I always feel privileged to observe and try to capture the essence of schooling behaviour in a still image.  I recently started shooting video, but not as often as I should and not as well as I might.  A certain friend will beat me up for not remembering (in my huge excitement to swim with these schools and take the still images that come more instinctively) that my camera has a good video capability that could capture this unity of movement more easily.

One image that I liked was somewhere between order and chaos.  I had been with the barracuda school for almost 15 minutes and it accepted my presence so well that I could almost move inside it.  Apart from the immensely powerful experience of being that close to a big mass of fish, which move in unison without visible signal, I loved the images that transpired.  But they were challenging compositions: frame-fillers that had as much chaos as they did formal structure.  What do you think?

inside school (2)

Best wishes, dear friends

Paul

 

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Winner: Dive Show 2013 advanced overseas print

Barracuda Explosion: Dive Show 2013 winner, advanced overseas print competition

Barracuda Explosion: Dive Show 2013 winner, advanced overseas print competition

Here’s something that I was absolutely thrilled to win, although the celebration was slightly postponed due to my recent sojourn to Cuba, during which the results were announced. A huge thank you from me to all of the visitors to the Dive Show who voted for the image. I have used it quite heavily in the forthcoming book, in order to demonstrate some advanced composition techniques. Publishing date May 2014 with launch events to be announced in the near future.

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National Geographic win

Barracuda Explosion: recently published by National Geographic

Barracuda Explosion: published by National Geographic

I’m excited about the prospect of this year’s Dive Show at the NEC.  It’s one of those great crossroads of the diving world and you would struggle not to meet a thick handful of old friends as they congregate to see what’s new in diving, to lust after new gear and to listen talks about our undersea world.  I’ll be doing something slightly different this year.  For the first time I’ll be manning the British Society of Underwater Photographers stand, where I hope to meet and talk to plenty of like-minded photographers.  But I’ll also be giving another short presentation in the Photo Zone about the book that I’m currently writing: Winning Images with any Underwater Camera.  I’ll be using the image attached (and many others) to argue why composition matters more than technology.  I’m delighted to report that 2 days ago this image won another competition, this time one run by National Geographic.  What interests me is that the image is technically low average, with some over-blown highlights on the leading fish, and noise from post-processing to rescue my in-water exposure errors.  But I always sensed that it would generate interest and if you’re at the Dive Show on Saturday, drop in on my presentation at 10.20-1100 to hear me explain why.  If you’re there on Sunday, I would still love to see you at the British Society of Underwater Photographers, stand P12.

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