Jump to content


Photo
* * * * * 1 votes

Basking shark split level


  • Please log in to reply
33 replies to this topic

#1 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8582 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

Posted 12 June 2010 - 11:32 AM

I have been planning on photographing basking sharks down in Cornwall since the beginning in the year. And have had the chance to spend 5 days out searching on Charles Hood's boat, who is the perfect guide not only hugely experienced with the sharks, but most importantly how to ensure excellent photographic encounters. I was sharing the boat with Doug Perrine, which made it feel like a most exotic trip, despite the fact I was staying at my Mum's each night! We saw sharks on 3 of the 5 days I went out, with really good encounters on two days. The boys head out to sea (l-r, Hood, Rowlands, Perrine):
UK10_am_22553.jpg

Although I have read about the size of baskers, their size was very impressive - most in the 6-8m range (with that big head). Bigger than most of the whale sharks I have seen in the last decade (although I have not seen 100s of whale sharks recently). They also look impressively sharky - being most closely related to. One of the most amazing moments of the trip was seeing one breach clear of the water. WOW. No photos of that, but Pete Rowlands (who was on the boat that day) has some classic audio, his video was pointing the other way.

Because of their size, and the limited visibility of UK waters, most classic basking sharks shots are quite similar - and tend to focus on that distinctive and charismatic head from the 3/4 front. Those were shots that I was very keen to get. But in addition I wanted to try something different and wanted to produce a split level shot. This is typical classic shot, that I took on my very first pass by a basking shark (on Tuesday):
UK10_am_22358.jpg

Nikon D700 Subal housing and Nikon 17-35mm +3 dioptre.

I am sure many have tried to take splits of baskers, it is an idea clearly suited to a large subject that swims close at the surface and often close to land, but I had never seen a decent split shot of this subject from the UK. There is certainly not a well known one. This is because it is rarely glassy flat calm in the UK. To get this shot I would need a much larger dome to get a controllable split in the Atlantic waters in the west of the UK.

Several underwater photographers have built big domes. And I am grateful to several who have shared their experiences with me, particularly Pete Atkinson who went out and photographed his for me. I also wanted to trim the dome and housing so it floated horizontally, because it is very difficult to hold such a big dome at the surface in deep water. Here is a photo of me with the dome in the water (the arm bands are to allow me to hoist it out of the water if the leak alarm goes off - see below!):
Posted Image

As is typical of these projects it ended up falling behind schedule and wasn't ready for my first two days on the boat. But finally got it ready - although far from the builder's best effort (I won't name names)- there is loads of glue spilled inside my dome, it doesn't actually fit on my Subal and leaked consistently. Luckily I have a D300s Nauticam for review and it fits on there with the Subal port converter and lots of tape to stop it leaking! Which worked.

So I have been able to get it in the water and was pleased to get some images. This one is a composite, but I am really pleased with it. I have been planning this dome for ages now - as those who I have been boring about it know. So very pleased to get it in action and to produce the image I had in mind (with the help of the computer). I posted a different version of this image (different top and bottom) on facebook already.
UK10_am_23035.jpg

This is a basking shark in front of St Michael's Mount, Cornwall. Both taken on the same morning, with Nauticam/Nikon D300s and Tokina 10-17mm.

I have yet to encounter a shark the right distance from land to get the shot I want in camera (for competitions mainly!). The big dome certainly allows me to reliably shoot splits in these sea conditions, now I just need to luck into a shark in the correct position. I have one more day (Monday) in Cornwall, so fingers crossed - otherwise it is likely to be Scotland, next summer!

Alex

p.s. Many more basking shark images (no other split levels)! But these are the only ones going public for now.

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D5 (Subal housing). Nikon D7200 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#2 Scubysnaps

Scubysnaps

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1081 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Central
  • Interests:Diving, photography, Audi TTRS

    www.scubysnaps.com

Posted 12 June 2010 - 11:40 AM

Awesome Alex, well done, and good luck for Monday
Cheers
Paul

*Nikon D90 with Tokina 10-17 & Nikon 60mm, 105mm, Sigma 17-70, Kenko1.4 * 2 x Z240 & 2 x 12 litres...global! *

www.scubysnaps.com >)))>

#3 TheRealDrew

TheRealDrew

    Humpback Whale

  • Moderator
  • 2859 posts

Posted 12 June 2010 - 11:49 AM

Just amazing Alex...so clean. Definately nailed a "decent" split shot there (yes, that is understatment :D )

#4 MIKE POWELL

MIKE POWELL

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 353 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tampa, FL

Posted 12 June 2010 - 12:23 PM

Very COOL Alex! Those "armbands" look like the "floaties" I had to wear until I learned how to swim at age 17 :D

Mike
Visit My Website

7D Nauticam + Z240's

#5 Steve Williams

Steve Williams

    Humpback Whale

  • Moderator
  • 3135 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tucson, Arizona
  • Interests:Protecting our Ocean, Environmental Education,
    Having fun and Living Well

Posted 12 June 2010 - 12:38 PM

Crazy good Alex! Do you have any shots of that rig out of the water. It looks huge.

Cheers,
Steve

The Fin Foundation
HSWImages.com        My Images on Flikr

Canon 5D Mk III, 7D & 40D, 60mm, 100mm, 17-40L, Tokina 10-17, Nauticam 7D, Sea & Sea MDX-40D YS-250's ULCS arms, Lightroom


#6 loftus

loftus

    Blue Whale

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4573 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Winter Park, Fl

Posted 12 June 2010 - 02:25 PM

Love that composite Alex; you are pretty brave using that leaking dome; whose D300? :D
Nikon D800, Nikon D7000, Nauticam, Inons, Subtronic Novas. Lens collection - 10-17, 15, 16, 16-35, 14-24, 24-70, 85, 18-200, 28-300, 70-200, 60 and 105, TC's. Macs with Aperture and Photoshop.

#7 Cary Dean

Cary Dean

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 278 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Southern California

Posted 12 June 2010 - 03:48 PM

Nice Alex!
What's the story with the Baskers snout?
Did it look like he had an accident or what?
Thanks.
"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever."
Jacques Yves Cousteau

#8 james

james

    The Engineer

  • Super Mod
  • 9969 posts
  • Location:Houston TX

Posted 12 June 2010 - 05:05 PM

That is an incredibly cool composite Alex - great work!

Cheers
James
Canon 1DsMkIII - Seacam Housing
Dual Ikelite Strobes
Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#9 Alex_Tattersall

Alex_Tattersall

    Great White

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 945 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 12 June 2010 - 05:26 PM

Erm, Alex, you didn't mention how leaky it was when you borrowed my beautiful camera and housing. :D

lucky the tape worked (and I'm 5000 miles away in China!) :D

Great shot though, glad the dome is working well for you.
www.flickr.com/photos/alextattersall

www.nauticamuk.com
www.uwvisions.com
Exclusive official importer of Nauticam products into the UK and Ireland

#10 MikeVeitch

MikeVeitch

    1.7kbps Manta Boy

  • Senior Moderator
  • 6294 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:In Bali, Indonesia but from Vancouver, BC
  • Interests:Teaching Underwater Photography

Posted 12 June 2010 - 11:50 PM

crikey thats a big dome!

how many inches?

Join us for an Underwater Photography Workshop in the Lembeh Strait at NAD Lembeh with Doug Sloss in 2018
Blog and Photo Archive/Portfolio Site www.mikeveitchblog.com
Learn underwater photography in the ultimate classroom, Bali! or join us on a trip www.underwatertribe.com and www.baliuwphoto.com

Join us for a trip in Indonesia in Komodo or Raja Ampat


#11 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8582 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

Posted 13 June 2010 - 12:42 AM

Crazy good Alex! Do you have any shots of that rig out of the water. It looks huge.


It is very big, too large to travel on most trips. Here is a picture of it by the pool - if you have Stix floats you can judge the scale:

UK10_am_22532.jpg

you are pretty brave using that leaking dome; whose D300? :D


Ha ha. Not mine!

Erm, Alex, you didn't mention how leaky it was when you borrowed my beautiful camera and housing.
lucky the tape worked (and I'm 5000 miles away in China!) :D


I mean faithfully borrowed from Nauticam UK. I did pool tests on two days before I risked it in the sea. Seriously, I didn't take it in the sea until I was convinced it was 100% waterproof. Also this was snorkelling (so it was never fully underwater) - the way it was trimmed it was always half out of the water. Anyway, those Nauticam port locks (and the new way of locking them onto my existing Subal ports - which I will cover in the review) give you a lot of confidence.

how many inches?


It is about 21-22". I think something about 18-20 would be just as good. But this was the size of the dome I found.

Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D5 (Subal housing). Nikon D7200 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#12 Grayscale

Grayscale

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 77 posts

Posted 13 June 2010 - 12:49 AM

Really nice images. BUT I have to ask: Overcompensating for something, eh? ;-)

#13 Scubamoose

Scubamoose

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1118 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Estonia
  • Interests:Diving, photography, travel.

Posted 13 June 2010 - 01:48 AM

Excellent shot Alex! And that dome is indeed quite impressive :D

Cheers
Karel
My Flickr
www.karelbernard.com

Karel Bernard
Canon G9 in Ikelite Housing; SubStrobe DS-160
WA lens Ikelite W-20; Inon UCL-165 M67 Close-up Lenses

#14 yahsemtough

yahsemtough

    Great Canadian Mokarran

  • Senior Moderator
  • 3496 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Canada

Posted 13 June 2010 - 05:01 AM

Will it be traveling on a future trip?

That composite is superb.

Todd
Todd Mintz
tmintz.com
all photographs posted Todd C Mintz

#15 DuncanS

DuncanS

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 255 posts

Posted 13 June 2010 - 05:07 AM

That is one HUGE dome.......

gaffer tape and cable ties can fix almost everything.....
Duncan

RedSeaSnapper.com

#16 divetheworld

divetheworld

    Damselfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 15 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 June 2010 - 05:54 AM

awesome composit picture. love it.

#17 TheRealDrew

TheRealDrew

    Humpback Whale

  • Moderator
  • 2859 posts

Posted 13 June 2010 - 06:35 AM

Here is a picture of it by the pool - if you have Stix floats you can judge the scale:


Makes me think my 8" Dome is now a 4" Dome... :D

#18 adamhanlon

adamhanlon

    Harbor Seal

  • Admin
  • 2171 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Lancaster, UK

Posted 13 June 2010 - 11:43 AM

Makes me think my 8" Dome is now a 4" Dome... wink.gif


I get that a lot!

Adam

Adam Hanlon-underwater photographer and videographer
Editor-wetpixel
web | Flickr | twitter | Linkedin | Facebook


#19 TheRealDrew

TheRealDrew

    Humpback Whale

  • Moderator
  • 2859 posts

Posted 13 June 2010 - 12:20 PM

I get that a lot!

Adam



:D LOL. Yeah I figured there were at least a couple of things that come out of that post.

#20 Balrog

Balrog

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 346 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Poole UK

Posted 13 June 2010 - 12:33 PM

Just WOW

That's all :D