My latest batch from this weekend.
We dived the Yukon and the Ruby E in San Diego. I've been waiting on this trip for a few weeks.
Friday late afternoon, reports started pouring in of amazing viz on the Yukon. I was getting so excited, as I waited for the clock to strike 5:30 and I could blast south and prepare for a day on these wrecks.
My plan was to revisit the interior of the Yukon - just inside some of the big square hatches, and bring along 3 or 4 remotely triggered strobes ("pixars") to light the place up. it gave me a chance to finally try out the remote strobes for interior shots.
I've been doing exteriors with them for awhile - now I finally got to do some interiors.
I've built 4 remote strobe rigs, or "pixars" (named by my buddy for their resemblance to the movie company Icon) are standard Ikelite DS125's mounted to an aluminum Gorilla Pod, and fired via an optical sensor (Hedwig's amazing "triggerfish").
This would be my first time using the pixars in a big interior space. I've been using them outside, mostly to drive my Fiber Optic snoots and for some cool kelp effects - but where these should shine is on a confined, dark, large space like the Yukon!
After preparing all the gear the night before, I give it all another run through prior to splashing. The plan is simple:
- Scoot along and find a suitable opening -hopefully one with cables, ropes or something near the outside that can serve as a hitching post for the scoots
- Crawl into the wreck at 100 FSW, laden with a camera, an AL40 and a lobster bag filled with Pixars - assess the situation, position Claudette, set up the strobes, take some test shots, tweek the lighting a time or two, take the real shots, then take down
- If there's NDL time and gas left, move UP to the Funnel (about 80 FSW), feed a pixar down the funnel, secure so I don't lose it, and light the thing up like a Christmas tree and get some shots.
Ambitious? Oh yes. But I'm not here that much, so I want to make the most of these dives!
Inferior interior from Dive 1 - a tiny pop from a pixar behind the box on the right, the rest is all on-camera strobe. The pixar on her back wasn't firing consistently - I have a bad sync cord on that one.
Funnel Test shot from Dive 1 - who knew this thing was split into two chambers?? So bogus. I'll light it next time with two remote strobes. Sheephead checking out the light! I didn't PS out the Pixar so you could see how I lit this thing.
Buddy into position against Funnel. I want to see how far away I can be and still make this thing fire. This is just a test shot so its overexposed, etc, etc... I'm sad I wasn't able to return on dive 2 and get these right. Oh well... its not the first time NDL has squashed one of my good ideas.
Yukon interior shot from Dive 2 using 5 strobes:
- two on camera
- one remote on the diver's back pointing straight up
- one remote (set right) using the floor (right wall) as bounce to fill
- one remote about 25 feet away, behind the diver lighting up the back wall and offering a halo to the diver.
Unfortunately, in this shot the Diver was blow up a little bit by the inflow surge right as I was shooting, so the far away remote is visible just under her. Still - I love this shot.
At the end of Dive 2, on our stops I grabbed a shot of Tom and Claudette getting their Glove on. No triggerfish... just a fun goofy shot.
The Ruby E was a dusty, surgey mess by the time we got there. This was a shot from the wheelhouse - two pixars free standing. One behind the hole in the wall on the left, one behind the door. Had to get buddy very close to the floor to try to get a halo effect in the dust cloud. I'm going to work on this a little more - but this could be a neat effect when I get it dialed in.