PhotoFriday – ‘Mobile Phone Photo’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Mobile Phone Photo’

As you’ve probably seen the last few days I’ve been posting my new Red Sea underwater photos, today the photofriday theme is mobile photos so I though I’d share a topside panorama I took at Tiran with my iPhone. I love the (relatively) new iPhone panorama function where you just hold it up and move the phone across the scene to photo it.

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 ‘Mobile Phone Photo’ 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 Thanks for supporting my work!

PhotoFriday – ‘Travelling’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Travelling’

Travelling is actually a tricker theme than you might think. For those of us that are lucky enough to travel, a lot the photos that we tend to take are of the destination or subjects at the destination, not the travelling itself. For me that’s usually beneath the sea. However on our last trip (to Raja Ampat) I tried something different. I love panorama photos but when you are on a boat there is very little point bringing a tripod and trying for serious panoramas. I did however enjoy creating these from my iphone. I tried to include the boat in them which for me makes them suitable for this theme. Click them to see them larger in pbase.

You can see more non-underwater travel photo galleries here.

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 ‘Travelling’ 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 Thanks for supporting my work!

First Attempts at Light Painting with iPad & Sparklers

For one hour one March 23rd people around the world were turning off their lights to raise awareness of climate change, this one hour is called Earth Hour. So once its all dark – then what? Myself, @RealMichaelToye & @LBrimson took this opportunity to play with a feature of my new camera: Live Time. This is like bulb mode only better because you can see the photo building up on the screen. We had a few technical difficulties (I think theres some settings I haven’t quite figured out and it kept going to sleep and not starting the exposure when expected) but overall we had a lot of fun (and delicious Mojitos, thanks Mike) and celebrated Earth Hour in style. Here’s what we came up with. For most of them we used indoor sparklers (glad we didnt buy the outdoor ones since it was snowing)!! But for this Earth Hour one above we used an app called eightbit on the iPad (we tried it on the iphone but it didnt quite ever come out). We were in the pitch black but I bet when we try this again with some lights on the scene we’ll get some great images with spooky floating text.

You can see the full gallery here.

Nikon & Subal Gear for Sale

EDIT: this post is out of date, only showing what I’ve already sold – have moved the relevant bits to a new page

– Tripod (Manfrotto 488 ball head, gitzo G2220 legs, both used but in good working order) £150

– SOLD: Subal FE dome £470 + extention £100 + subal zoom gear £50
– SOLD: + tokina 10-17 FE lens £350
– SOLD: 105 port with focus knob £375
– SOLD: Nikon 105mm VR Macro lens (boxed with instructions and lens hood) £400
– SOLD:iPhone 4, Unlocked, 32GB, boxed £200
– SOLD: Nikon D300 body (boxed with 2 batteries & charger, & wired remote shutter) £300
– SOLD: Nikon D70 body & Nikon 18-70mm kit lens (unboxed with 1 battery & charger and lens hood) £200
– SOLD: Nikon 70-300mm (unboxed with lens hood) £50
– SOLD: Tokina 11-16mm: Nikon mount (boxed with instructions & lens hood) £200
– SOLD: Nikon 80-400mm VR (boxed with instructions, carry case & lens hood) £500

– SOLD: Whole Nikon & Subal Macro underwater set up (you’d just need to acquire strobes): £2000

  • Subal Housing ND30 (Type 3) for D300
  • Nikon D300 body (boxed with leads etc, 2 batteries & charger )
  • 60mm (type 3) flat port with front & back covers
  • Nikon 60mm lens (boxed)

Photos of Gear (and I have to thank Mike for taking all these for me)!

Instagram web profile

Finally, after ages of phone only access, instagram have developed a web profile page. Find mine here:

Podcasts I love

I love the Instacast app on the iPhone (I think they have it for android too now). It’s revolutionised my Podcast watching. I’m not going to get into a long rant about why I dislike iTunes, suffice it to say that any app that means I have to spend less time using it is excellent! With Instacast you can cache the episodes and watch them offline without plugging your iPhone into iTunes. I think pocketcast does the same but I have tried that.

Most of the podcasts I’m subscribed to are photography related. I’m sure there’s many good audio podcasts about photography but I find them a bit pointless. Photography is a visual medium so only video podcasts or enhanced (with pictures) podcasts hold my attention.

Here are the podcasts that I love:

Chase Jarvis Photography:
Chase makes cool behind the scenes videos of the various shoots & events that he does. He & his team also make videos with tips on workflow etc. He doesn’t post often (he puts loads more stuff on his blog) but what he does post is always worth watching. He hasn’t posted for a while but its worth going through the back episodes.
* video podcasts. Various lengths, mostly quite short. Infrequent.

The Art of photography – by Ted Forbes
This comes out quite frequently (1-3 times per month). I haven’t watched any of the Holga update ones (I’m not really into old film cameras). He does some nice ones where he introduces you to a photographer you may not have heard of, usually shows you their book. He seems to know a lot about photography history. He’s done a few practical ones about framing which were interesting.
* video podcasts. mostly around 15mins. frequent.

Martin Bailey Photography
Martin does behind the scenes on his shoots. Gear & software reviews. Photo critiques. Interviews with other photographers. Info & photos from his trips.
*various formats, various lengths. Frequent.

The naked photo
There’s only 5 of these but I really enjoyed them. I’m keeping it on my list in case Riaan de Beer decides to do any more. Each one takes a famous photo an really looks at it in detail. Also providing the history behind how the photo came about. I watched the Churchill one first & was hooked.
* video podcasts. mostly around 30mins. Seems to have stopped.

Tony Wu underwater photography:
This one is less formal (ie no set episodes). Tony updates this as and when he has new stuff to add. He takes video & stills underwater so sometime he shows those. Sometimes it’s chats with other photographers or editors. He shoots a lot of whales so there’s a bit of info about that.
*various formats, various lengths.various frequency.

The Grid
This is the only podcast I watch with adverts in it. The ads sponsor the show but they are still very off putting so I run them forward where I can. Having said that Scott & Matt & guests are often very entertaining.
* video podcasts. mostly around 80mins! frequent.

For video:
Final cut pro x tips & tricks – by Jerad Hill
Ive just got a gopro so I find this useful

producing video podcasts. Useful tips & tricks

Not photography:
dive film hd videos. Videos from underwater videographers.
wild oceans. Part of the earth touch series, beautifully shot nature podcasts. Underwater.
earth touch weekly highlights. Part of the earth touch series, beautifully shot nature podcasts.
TEDtalks. A variety of interesting presentations.

If you watch any good photography podcasts you’d like to recommend me then add them in the comments….

New Photos from Florida

As a little follow on to yesterday’s blog post about clearing my 2011 photo back log, I present to you some new photos from the famed Blue Heron Bridge muck diving site in Florida>. It might have been the coldest water I’ve ever dived in (23/24 degrees c brrr, yes I know I’m a wus) but there was so many weird and wonderful critters it was worth an ice cream headache or two. The full gallery is here.

so much life down there they were stepping on each other:

This guy here “walked” along the bottom on his “hands”!

this terrifying chap chased me across the sand, the largest arrow crab I’ve ever seen. Not the best to meet on a night dive!

We stopped of here on the way from Grand Cayman to Crystal Springs to see the Manatees. The sea was unusually full of jelly fish (so much so that Alex got stung quiet badly on the night dive). The next day loads of Portuguese man o’ war jellies has washed up under the bridge.

Here is quite a wide panorama of the Bridge area: click it for larger

Best Photos 2010

Once again its that time of year when I look back and reflect on my photography throughout the year. I’ve put them into a gallery on pbase here:

I’ve only managed to pick just under 80 this year which isnt a great sign dispite having some great opportunites. This year we’ve been underwater in Grand Cayman Island and the North Red Sea (Egypt). Around the UK we’ve tripped to Dorset , Essex and been out in London down by the Eye at night. I tried my hand at photographing Shirleys Garden (for which she won Silver in the local council garden awards). And as per normal I’ve been playing with macro around the house and garden. The one thing I’ve really enjoyed this year is getting to grips with my iphone 4, although I think it makes me lazy because I dont want to lug my huge DSLR out now but more creative because I take more photos than I used to. That being said cheated this year and added a new category – top 10 iphone photos.

I had to go back in time to read this post I wrote over a year ago about choosing your best photos because I did a post as recently as September for my favourite shots of the year so I wanted this post to reflect my best (if at all possible).

Top 10 photos:

#- In Cayman at the sandbar we found this shell and I love how it brings colour against the bland sand

#- I got to help with Alex when he was playing with his off camera strobe inside the Ghannis D wreck in the Red Sea and enjoyed it so much I got one of my very own made. I’m looking forward to trying this technique out more next year.

#- I think Sally here (Sally the Sailfin) was a highlight of our Cayman trip, we didnt get to do much macro but all my personal favs were macro as they usually are 😉

#- I found this little tiny crab under the boat in a tiny piece of dead looking coral. One of his brothers actually atached himself to my lanyard (which was resting on the seabed) and ended up back on the dive deck. I rescued him though and put him back in the sea.

#- Mike & I dont often see sharks so to see this grey reef shark in Cayman was a treat for us. I had a 60mm lens on because the sharks dont come too close. I like the graphic almost pencil drawn feel to my post processing of this one.

#- Cardinal fish males brood their fertilized eggs in their mouths to protect them while they incubate. It was facinating watching him, every moment or so he would open his mouth to allow fresh water to oxygenate the eggs.

#- Stingray sandbar was my fav dive in Cayman and it isnt even a dive. Its a hold breath & sink sort of affair in waist high water 🙂

#- Secretary blennys are just too cute. They hole up in the coral and peek out.

#- When we go to the Red Sea I love the anthias, they bring so much colour to the reef and look great orange against blue

#- In Cayman there were some little caves with glass fish in them that would swirl around in the beams of sunlight coming though the ceilings.

Top 10 iphone photos:

Alexs leaving do (panorama stitched on the iphone):

Dorset fields on a summers day:

Cheddar Gorge:

Butterflies in my nans garden:

Q models some excellent 3D specs in the car:

my first snowman:

C & Q in leaky hamster balls:

Nans flowers:

Dorset mobile phone HDR (before HDR was on the iphone4 automatically):

Snowy garden:

Honorable Mentions:

land photos: click them for larger versions:

#- Theres a famous quote (I forget who by but you can google it) about painting with light. Thats what attracts me to the london eye photo. And I enjoyed testing out HDR at the henge

#- this year I really enjoyed playing with the macro lens in the garden

#- ever wondered what its like to live in a dandelion? Or to see a toadstool upclose?

PhotoFriday – ‘Chill’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Chill’

Click image to go to see alternate sizes.

It seems incredibly cheesy to post snow photos when the theme is Chill but here I am doing it! Before you laugh, the photo above is of my very first snowman, we never had enough snow for me to make them as a child. It’s no secret, I don’t like the snow or the cold weather. I’d rather be someplace warm and underwater to take my photos. However, since I’m here, I’ve noticed one positive thing that’s come from the snow, I’m starting to take photos again. Granted they are on my iPhone and most of them are silly but it gives me a nice creative outlet. I finally signed up to the bestcamera app – “the best camera is the one you have with you” is certainly true. The link to my stream is here so check it out for my little slice day to day imagery.

Check out other photos in my iPhone 4 Gallery.

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

Sick of the snow already? Dreamers post…

ok, well I truely am! So I’ve been looking at some lovely tropical underwater shots across the net… I thought I’d share the links with you too!

NatGeo’s list of underwater Photos of the Year.

Need shopping ideas for the underwater photography lover in your life? Environmental charity Bite-Back has launched it’s 2011 calender. This uses images from David Doubilet, Doug Perrine, Brian Skerry, Eric Cheng and Alex Mustard amongst others to remind us on a daily basis what is at stake if we carry on overfishing the world’s oceans.

My buddy Julian has been on the Ambon night saffari and moved on to Raja Ampat now… I enjoy his blog & lovely photos here:

The Northern California Underwater Photographic Society (NCUPS) has announced the winners of the SEA 2010 International Photo and Video Competition winning images can be seen here:

Into your sea slugs? Or just generally love great u/w photography – check out Tony Wu’s blog here

other weird creatures… Phil Sokols Ambon photos

and finally some great underwater sets from some of my recent flickr contacts:

and last but not least a link to my own underwater photos 🙂