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dawktah

Finding Subjects

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Hello All!

 

I just admire all of the photos submitted on this board. How do you find these specimens? I'm sure being a marine biologist helps but if you don't have time to read up on various species and habitats what are some tips to find the easier to photograph subjects?

 

Is a rebreather type reg needed to get close without fish fleeing? I'm going to BVI in November to re-dive the Rhone. This time at transit since before it was at dusk, great effects for diving but lousy for photography. Any tips on how to budget your tank? Do you go relatively alone (buddy close by) or do you get your buddy involved?

 

Will also buy second strobe before trip, and will try some macro shots this trip so any tips for finding habitats for macro specimens.

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Dive, dive, and dive some more! Start by using some of the great fish ID books and just using good buoyancy to hover over the reef and watch the fish behavior. If you approach most subjects slowly you can get pretty darn close! You DON'T have to be a marine biologist to take good photos but some of them are fantastic photographers, aren't they? ;)

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Go slow!!!! This is probably the most important thing. You will be amazed at what you can find when you slow down and take your time looking around. If you can, pump some local DMs for information. They normally know where the best stuff is.

 

To get close, be patient, move slowly, and breahte calmly.

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Yes, as Janet said, the key to finding rare specimines is more luck than anything else. Many of us dive >100 dives a year. You dive enough you will see some great specimines if you are looking.

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In addition to all of the above, here's what I've found to work great for me... I stick close to my dive guide and tip him or her generously. If possible I get a local as my dive buddy/spotter and try (if allowed) to wander away from the rest of the group. Guides know better than anyone where to find the good stuff. I do my research ahead of time so I have an idea of what to ask for. Especially for dives like the Rhone, you'll be able to find all the most photogenic spots by doing an image search online because most of them have been shot many times by many different shooters. I let the guide know before I get in the water what kind of lens I'm using and how big the critters should be for that lens and what is not possible with my setup for that dive. Did I say tip your dive guide generously!? Once I return home, I make prints of my best shots and I send them to the crew because I would have never found most of the cool stuff myself and I know that someday I'll return.

 

Happy shooting!

 

Bonnie

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Avoid noisy divegroups with bangers and tooters. Dive with a buddy who knows what you are doing and who will look for the great stuff.

 

A diveguide is handy on a few occasions, but he should be in the background.

 

I promised myself that I will avoid places or clubs from now, where they oblidge you to groupdive or where I can't make my own diveplanning.

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My solution:

1. Find a young bountiful girl with good eyes.

2. Convince her to do an intro dive (after that she will sure do scuba course)

3. Marry her.

4. Spend all your vacation and free weekends under water, you with the camera, she looking for objects.

 

Be aware there is one problem with that scenario, in some moment she will start to take photos also... :P

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My solution:

1. Find a young bountiful girl with good eyes.

2. Convince her to do an intro dive (after that she will sure do scuba course)

3. Marry her.

4. Spend all your vacation and free weekends under water, you with the camera, she looking for objects.

 

Be aware there is one problem with that scenario, in some moment she will start to take photos also...  :)

 

That's Hysterical! What I actually did:

1. Got married to wrong woman

2. Got Divorced

3. Found young bountiful girl with O.K. eyes

4. Received her OW in June and AOW in August

5. Wedding set for July 22nd 2006

6. Going back for diving in November 2005

7. Diving again on Honeymoon!

8. The kicker, she's not gadgety so no camara for her :)

 

I'm just kicking around whether to get dry suit certification and go diving in Norway above Artic Circle this coming February. Anybody dive there? I have found sites on a few wrecks nearby.

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OK, you guys with the beautiful diver wives: do they have sisters? Who own vineyards that produce an enjoyable Beaujolais? Oh, and an Aston Martin.

 

As for for finding subjects, yep, talk to the DMs, do a bit of research before you go on what the critters you can expect in an area - and where they tend to live (under rocks, mid-water, only come out at night: that sort of stuff), plan a lens to do it. TAKE YOUR TIME. As I take more pics underwater I find I travel less and less distance on the bottom. I suggest finding a nice patch of coral and watching it carefully for a while and see what emerges. Let them come to you. Watch for movement giving away a well-concealed little guy. Being calm helps your buoyancy too and is less likely to scare the field away.

 

If all that doesn't work, yep, go the gorgeous dive buddy route and take pics of her.

 

On buddies, I think it REALLY helps to have a regular photo dive buddy. You then both know your dive styles. And you can keep each other vaguely in sight (depending on depths etc) If you can't manage that, ask the DM to pair you up with another serious photographer. There is nothing worse than being paired with someone determined to explore miles of reef on one dive.

 

A rebreather? Wouldn't that be nice. As the saying goes, if you got 'em, smoke 'em. But if you stay cool, calm and collected, a gently breathing scuba set is the next best thing.

 

Good luck. The Rhone is a fun dive. Say hi to Jacqui B if she is still down there.

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