Like I said, my dives last Sunday helped convince me to buy an underwater strobe. I really had a hard time shooting photos because of Light issues and silt issues. Either the lighting left a lot to be desired or there was just too much particles floating in the water to make a decent picture. Here’s an example:
I would’ve loved this super front view of this anemone fish if not for all those particles littering the photo. An underwater strobe would supposedly help eliminate some of these because the light hitting these particles will bounce back to the flash, and not at the lens. Key word: supposedly. I have yet to try my new strobe out so I don’t actually know if I’ll do it right. Anyway, the big news is…I SAW SHARKS!!! Why is this a big deal? I started diving back in 2004. Almost 150 dives after, I have yet to see a shark. My friends, who I accompanied on their check-out dive, saw sharks on their FIRST dive. Until Sunday, every time there was a shark, I would somehow manage to miss it. Everyone I studied diving with already had multiple sightings of sharks. It was #sharkfail after #sharkfail after #sharkfail. So when we went to the shark cave in Ligpo, I wasn’t even hoping. I was more like, “Shark shmark whatEVER.” Then, peering inside a cave at the very bottom of the ocean floor…THERE THEY WERE. One was just sitting there, breathing, opening and closing it’s mouth to take in the oxygen-rich waters. The other one was a little scarier, because it was swimming around in circles inside the cave. Our instructor usually goes a little deeper into the cave for a better photo of the sharks, but only if they’re “sleeping”. If any one of them is swimming about, we all stay in the relative safety of the cave opening. So was I able to take pictures? BARELY. Since we were at the very bottom, and there were quite a big number of us there, the silt that was stirred up by the fins made shooting almost impossible. All that came out was lots of green with white dots. But I was a bit lucky to get some blurry outlines of the sharks, clear enough to prove that they were in fact, sharks.
Here’s the “sleeping” one
And here’s the swimming one
Actually, even if I wasn’t able to take photos, I still would’ve been so happy just to finally see sharks. After 7 years and almost 150 dives, the curse has been broken! It’s actually exhilarating and electrifying to see a shark so close. It’s one thing to see them on TV, but once you’re within feet of them, the sense of awe is indescribable. You have to experience it to know what I’m talking about. Of course these are white tip reef sharks, the relatively more harmless version of the pelagic white tip shark, which has among the most recorded attacks on man. So I don’t know how much I’ll enjoy/peeinmywetsuit if I see the relatively scarier pelagic sharks. Just putting it out there, I have ABSOLUTELY NO DESIRE to dive with a great white, tiger or bull shark any time soon. Hear that, universe?
Anyway, I’m really stoked to try my hand shooting with a strobe. Everyone’s warning me to be patient, because it takes some getting used to. The gear is now infinitely heavier and bulkier. Plus, it’s not just a matter of pointing and shooting now, I also have to angle the strobe perfectly to get the best shot. But anyway, I’m willing to learn. So, I hereby conclude that this set is my last of my “pre-strobe” photos (naks!). According to a friend, @jayserver: “Our photography will never be the same again!” That is the hope my friend, that is the hope.