Reading the most current Alert Diver and the experience of a recent dive trip further ingrained methods for getting close to subjects.
I live far from the ocean and only get to dive a few times per year. So when it happens, excitement is at a high and recent experience is at a low. I sometimes have to re-learn what I already should know but the lessons apply to us all.
Grand Turk has a significant number of Nassau Groupers and I wanted to get some nice photos of them. Early in the week with wide angle lens on, the groupers would just not let me get into position for a good composition. I was not chasing them but still my movements caused them to be nervous. It was a bit frustrating.
Later in the week, I moved to a macro setup and started spending considerable time playing peek-a-boo with gobies. Its just flat out fun to try and get a goby peaking over coral with a dark background or some curious angle and lighting. When I would get good and engrossed with the gobies, time would stand still and my movements would essentially stop. When I would ease back from the goby and coral, often a large grouper would be very close to me, watching me watching the goby.
So when the wide angle lens was back on, I slowed down as if shooting a goby. A grouper came over to see what this big blob was doing hanging around and not moving much, allowing a photo.
So if you are a beginner, or just been out of the water a while and acting like a beginner, likely you are moving too fast for most subjects. Perhaps this makes you look more like a predator to them. Very slow motion might cause them to become more curious.
Peek-a boo with a goby
eye to eye with a curous grouper. I have to move away to get this shot as he was too close for more than an eyeball shot at first.
And finally a reasonably decent grouper shot..