The underwater world
is a wonderful place to be. The reefs of the world have amazing underwater creatures that few have experienced. The only way to experience these underwater worlds is through scuba diving. The colors, shapes and textures of these underwater animals sets the stage for fantastic underwater photographic opportunities.
Capturing underwater photographs is not always easy. Scuba diving has many limits such as depth and time. Most scuba dives, unless very shallow, are limited to 45 to 70 minutes. Exposure to high pressures during scuba and lack of air limits the time spent in this world. In addition, water quickly absorbs light. In particular, reds and orange colors are quickly reduced when diving even under shallow water. Light must be brought with you while photographing underwater in the form of strobes. Even with strobes the light must travel from the strobe, to the subject and back to the camera. The distance is usually a maximum of 3-4 feet underwater for quality photographs. I am sure many of you have seen the blah, blued out underwater photos taken by many.... This is due to being too far away. Getting close is vital. This means getting within 2 to3 feet of a shark or other large creature to get a good underwater image. This is not easy as many of these creatures do not want us getting close and they quickly swim away.
The majority of the photographs are taken with a Nikon D70 in a Subal Housing with a 105mm lens or a 10.5mm lens. Some were taken on Fuji Film with a Nikon F100 in a Subal Housing.
The Digital camera revolution has made underwater photography popular with many scuba divers. It has also created problems as many beginner scuba divers are now carrying cameras before they have adequate skills to scuba dive let alone scuba dive and take photographs. Improper techniques used by beginners can cause damage to the reef.
From my early days using film underwater you were restricted to 36 photos as you can not change film underwater to Digital where you are only limited by the batteries in your strobes has made underwater photography slightly easier. However, I still miss the color and contrast of film....
I have since updated to a Nikon D7100 in a Nauticam Housing with a 105VR and 10-17mm Lens. I am looking forward going back to some of my favorite dive spots and retaking many of the photos with this newer more advance technology.
Many of the creatures appear large in the photograph, but are in fact very small. The small cryptic creatures found underwater are incredible. Many of the macro underwater shots are of creatures that are 1/4 of in inch to 4 inches. Small and cryptic underwater creatures still amazes me.
Scuba photography can be a very addicting activity, but a very satisfying one. I avoid cropping photos and massively photoshopping images. If the photo is bad in framing or content I delete the image. Many of the images have slight exposure adjustments, contrast, white balance/color correcting and sharpening....
I hope you enjoy the images.
All of these photos/images are the property of Rick Cavanaugh. You DO NOT have permission to use them in any way.
If you wish to use an image or wish to purchase a print please contact me for pricing and usage information.