PhotoFriday – ‘Scenic Wonder’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Scenic Wonder’

I feel blessed each time I drop beneath the waves, it seems like there is always a scenic wonder waiting for me so picking just the one for this theme would be pretty hard, so I didnt! ;)

If you want to see my underwater photos from various places then check out the collection of galleries in my Reef Beasties Gallery. Or my best from 2012 here.

By the way, thank you for voting for me as noteworthy for photofriday: mobile phone photo. For those less familiar with the way photofriday works, each week you can vote for the previous weeks entries as noteworthy by the voting button at the top-middle of the photofriday page (I always put mine under the name scuba_suzy ;)). On the top-right of the page you can see the noteworthy results for the previous weeks voting and on the top-left you can enter your own links for this weeks photofriday theme. So go see all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Scenic Wonder’ here.

PS: I’m currently still selling my 60mm/D300 underwater macro set-up. Click here for more details & the full list of equipment for sale or email me at scubasuzy-sellingnikongear@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks for supporting my work!

Red Sea 2013 – Thistlegorm Shipwreck

Today I’d like to show you my photos from the only Red Sea shipwreck the windy weather permitted us to visit on last weeks red sea trip, the SS Thistlegorm. Arguably one of the most interesting wrecks in the world, not least due to its amazing contents. Build in 1940 as a merchant vessel, the ship was armed with anti-aircraft guns and chock full of army supplied when it got bombed in 1941. Inside you can see the remains of Motor bikes, trucks, welly boots, racks of rifles, shells, tanks, aircraft wings and even a couple of trains! The wreck is famous & unique enough to have its own website and plenty of books about its history & contents. The most well-known of these is SS Thistlegorm – The True Story of the Red Sea’s Greatest Shipwreck. by John Kean (who incidentally taught me to dive)!

You cannot see it in my photo of the stern below, but the top corner of the prop is shiny from where the dive guides rub the edge as they go past as a gesture of respect to the 9 crew who lost their lives when she sank.

There are many bikes on here, some more photogenic than others. The one pictured at the top of this post is lit with a strobe behind the wheels for a slightly different look than you normally see in photos. These bikes below are some of the few which still have their head lamps.

We got quite a few dives on here and I was even able swim down to one of the trains (which I’ve never seen before due to current and bottom time constraints (its down at about 30m).

There are plenty of trucks on there. In fact there are two levels and three holds. Hold one has a really good truck that I wanted to visit but that area under the water tank has become unstable so we were advised not to visit that section. Hold 2 has most of the interesting bikes and the lower level of hold two has some really great rows of trucks. I experimented with an off camera strobe inside the far cab of these two here:

I really liked this truck with its bonnet crumbling away too. These are pretty deep and in the dark of the lower level you have to watch your bottom time. We were diving on Nitrox but even so didn’t get long…

Unfortunately people have stolen most of the steering wheels from the trucks and there are only two remaining. Lets hope people keep their thieving mitts of those last two!

I didn’t get a chance to swim up to the bow outside but I think the stern end with the guns is much more interesting anyway.

I hoped you enjoy my photographs from this wreck. Please leave me any comments below :) Tomorrow I hope to post about the schooling Snapper at Ras Mohammad.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that all of the amazing Black & White conversion was done by my own person photoshop guru, Michael Toye. If you’re interested he offers a retouching, finishing and black & white conversion service for photos which you can contact him about here.

PhotoFriday – ‘Season of Sun’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Season of Sun’

When I think of sunshine I think of Egypt and at this time of year all my friends are getting off there to catch the red sea action of wrecks, schooling fish, and of course warm water and lots of sunshine. I haven’t been to the north red sea since 2010 but here are some of the photos from that time & place…

Strong overhead sun allows you to make good use of magic filters to extend the colour further back in your underwater images such as this one:

If you want to see my underwater photos from various places then check out the galleries in my Reef Beasties Gallery. Or my best from 2012 here.

See all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Season of Sun’ here.

PS: I’m currently selling my 60mm/D300 underwater macro set-up. Click here for more details & the full list of equipment for sale or email me at scubasuzy-sellingnikongear@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks for supporting my work!

PhotoFriday – ‘Machines’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Machines’

There’s lots of machines in the ocean if you care to look, discounting the still functional boats and subs etc of course. Wrecks have a surprising amount of machines on them. This motorbike above from the Thistlegorm wreck in the Red Sea for example. It also have trains and trunks and all sorts on there!

On the Kittewake in Grand Cayman there are all sorts of machines on there…

I found it quite interesting to see this decompression chamber on there – I’ve never seen one before (luckily)!

There are also the machines on the boat that fill up our air tanks and make it possible for us to scuba dive.

If you want to see my underwater photos from various places then check out the galleries in my Reef Beasties Gallery. Or my best from 2012 here.

See all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Machines’ here.

PS: I’m currently selling the set up that took these photos. Click here for more details & the full list of equipment for sale or email me at scubasuzy-sellingnikongear@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks for supporting my work!

PhotoFriday – ‘Soft Light’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Soft Light’

Sorry for my absence these last few weeks, a mixture of uninspiring photo Friday themes and slight illness played its part. Anyway, on to this week’s entry. Egypt is a place know for its harsh light & fierce sun so it might surprise you that my entry this week for “Soft Light” would originate there. However the ever magical underwater world has its own rules and the water can provide a muted a diffused quality to the light as seen here in my photo of the Ghiannis D shipwreck.

If you want to see more of my Red Sea photos from that trip then check out other photos in my Red Sea 2009 Gallery.

See all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Soft Light’ here.

11 from last 11 on 11/11/11 11:11

Ok, I know this is a silly post and yet I’m doing it anyway! :) Here is my favourite 11 photos from the last 11 weeks, presented to you at 11:11 am on 11/11/11. In the last 11 weeks my main photographic opportunities were in the South Red Sea…

Hopefully you enjoyed those :) Just looking back across all the places I’ve been in 2011 (some of which I haven’t even processed the photos from) I think this years top 10 photos across the year is going to be really hard to choose!

Just back from South Red Sea

We’re just back from our trip so no Photo Friday today (mainly because I cannot think of a good photo for “Slick” which is todays theme). I’ve shared with you the one photo I’ve managed to upload from my trip so far. :) More photos to come this weekend hopefully once I get through looking at them. This is inside the tug boat wreck at Abu Galawa Kebien dive site in South red sea, Egypt. Taken with Nikon D300, Tokina 10-17 FishEye lens and one Inon Z240 strobe.

PhotoFriday – ‘Dark’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Dark’

Click image to go to see alternate sizes.

I was thinking about the theme, dark – spooky (give Halloween has just been & gone) or Dark – lightless. This photo may seem an obvious choice for the theme but I don’t like to paint the underwater world as a dark place in either sense of the word. The light from the sun penetrates down to sport diving depth well enough (even if we do lose the red colours) and for the most part being underwater is not spooky or sinister… until you go inside a shipwreck. I’ve never been that much of a fan of actually going inside. The thought that on most the these wrecks people have died makes me feel a little disrespectful somehow. However I figure if I treat the place with respect and don’t steal parts of the ship (some people do!) then any resident ghosts might not mind me visiting. Another reason for not going inside is its quite difficult to take a nice indoor photo in a wreck. However Alex Mustard and I were playing with his off camera strobe to great spooky effect in this section of the Ghannis D, Red Sea, Egypt. The port holes provide some nice cathedral lighting and the off camera strobe shows the extent of the area inside which would normally be in shadow. I like this one because it looks like a stage where something very cool is about to happen which gives the photo some dramatic tension.

Check out other photos in my North Red Sea Gallery.

See all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Dark’ here.

North Red Sea 2009

I wanted to tell you a little about our recent trip to Egypt (as promised).

As usual, click on the images to see them at a larger size.

This is our second trip with Alex Mustard this year (our 1st was Raja Ampat in Feb) but this one was a full on photo-workshop.

We Flew to Egypt on Monarch (groan) into Sharm El Sheikh, luckily we didnt have to stay there, our liveaboard was waiting for us at the Military port. MV Whirlwind of the Tony Backhurst fleet was a very comfortable boat.

Alex runs this workshop trip ever year at this time to try and see the huge schools of snapper (& other large fish) that come to spawn in the area on these weeks. It was a little daunting as these fish are HUGE and because of the properties of the fisheye lens I was using I had to get very close to them! Also, strangely for this time of year the visibility wasn’t that great. Usually in the Red Sea the water is gin clear and you feel like you can see for miles. In amongst these snappers I feel like I was in a snow flurry so I am surprised I actually got any good photos of them.

We also head over to Tiran Island for a bit (since we weren’t having as much luck as usual with the Snapper). This trip was primarily a wide-angle trip but those who know me know I don’t go on any underwater jaunt without my trust 60mm macro lens. I tried to “go-wide” with that too this time to shoot some fish portraits but I couldn’t resist the odd tiny macro fish or occasional abstract.

We also saw a rather large amount of shipwrecks (this is the North Red Sea after all) including the Ghiannis D, Thistlegorm & Yolanda.

This was actually a treat (even though I’m not fussed about wrecks usually) because Mike has never seen the Thistlegorm & I’ve not been back since I first learnt to dive. I enjoyed seeing all the Motorbikes, trucks & things but I was still really spooked by the wellies. It was nice on the Ghiannis D too since we had Mr Alex (Magic Filters) Mustard himself with us to give us guidance on how to use them effectively. I still dont think I got the hang of it properly but it was good fun to try something new.

One of the things I really like about going on photo workshops in a group is you tend to meet really nice people. Everyone helps everyone else out. Julian ended up giving a load of us a Lightroom tutorial or two (and also taking me under his wing for my 1st snapper experience) so many thanks to him. Also, I’d like to thank Robin for being an excellent model & stand in buddy. And many thanks of course go to Alex for giving us such a great trip.

The only thing I was disappointed in (apart from getting really sick on the last day when we stayed in Sharm) was the poor moray eel I found who had a giant hook in his mouth :( C’mon people this is supposed to be a protected marine area! I guess the usually vigilant Egyptian authorities must have missed this one (or else he swam into the area from outside).

my full underwater gallery can be found here. Mikes above water gallery can be found here.