Valentines Trip to LIDS2015

Happy Valentines day for yesterday!

Mike and I took a trip into London for the London Diveshow at ExCel yesterday. It was lovely to catch up with a lot of our diving friends. We stopped by the BSoup stand and hung around chatting in the Underwater Photographer of the Year exhibition area. Even grabbed a shot of Alex hugging a shark at the bite-back stand as we were heading through the hall onto somewhere else (and now kicking myself we didn’t go back and get a pick of Mike & I hugging a shark – doh!)

Hug a shark

Stopped by the Ocean Leisure stand to see Alex Tattersall and hear the disappointing news that the Olympus OMD EM5 Mark 2 isn’t going to fit into a modified Mark 1 Nauticam housing (boo!)

I think I should have worn my “Baby Onboard” badge, I think many people we knew just thought I got really fat ;) I tell you what, there is definitely a gap in the market for diving holidays for the those with new babies and young children. If both parents dive, there are no choices but to holiday separately :( Obviously most divers don’t want kids hanging around, which is understandable, I wouldn’t either, but someone needs to come up with a specialised resort. Nice warm water and reef that isn’t too pristine by the shore, good day care and the potential for boat trips for the serious diving parent(s). Maybe there is such a thing (I haven’t done any research) but nothing being advertised at the show that I could immediately see. So there we go rich VCs, get cracking and plug that niche market before its too late!

Best Photos 2014

At this time of year I like to review the previous year to select my favourite (best?) photos and generally reflect on where I’ve been. I also check back on my previous top tens so I can see if I’m making any progress. This year I went to 3 places, which is two more than I was expecting. I was lucky enough to go back underwater in both Raja Ampat and the Red Sea again this year. And by September I was pregnant (so no diving for a while) but very much enjoyed our topside trip to Sardinia to our Friend Alex’s Wedding.

Without further ado (and in no particular order) here is my top ten underwater images from 2014:

I played a bit with backlighting and off camera strobes again this year. Here is one from the Toberlone Tunnel in Raja Ampat. We don’t usually get up that far but we were having fun and games crossing the equator underwater.

In last years top ten I said that this year I wanted to concentrate on trying to get a Manta shot I was happy with. I like this one because its a bit different from the manta images you usually see (often in black and white and from below).

Continuing with the big animals theme, we saw lots of Woebegones (carpet sharks to you and me) when we were in Raja and this year I actually had the wide angle lens on for some of the encounters.

In the same area as the Mantas on one of the many amazing night dives I encountered this lovely little fellow.

One thing I love taking photos of but don’t often get the opportunity to is the night sky. I’m either on a rocky boat or in a city with lots of light pollution.

This year I was introduced to a new critter – the hairy shrimp. So so minuscule I could only just about see him as a spec of fluffy with my naked eye.

I don’t know why I like the image from the Red Sea so much but I do. Its just a simple images of the rusting pillars of the Carnatic. I had to de-fisheye the photo for one of the rare ones underwater where the fisheye lens made the scene look funny.

I like this one because it looks like a film set. Its actually deep inside the engine room of the Ghanis D wreck in the Red Sea.

This year I couldn’t believe how many Anthias there were on the reef. The place was teaming with millions of them.

The great thing about photographs is that they transport you back to a time and place, this one will forever remind me of snorkelling around the mangroves for a good few hours trying to spot the tiny shark baby I occasionally saw swim past and trying to avoid getting sunburnt, just the thing for a cold december night.

We also got our lovely little baby cats. Hard to imagine we’ve had them less than a year now. Leeloo & Dallas…

Z5171332

_Z290862 1600px

_Z190578 1600px

And an honourable mention for my forthcoming little baby – although I didn’t take this photo myself ;)

baby scan

I’ve had an amazing 2014, and I hope you all did too. I’m very much looking forward to next year. Exciting times afoot.

PhotoFriday – ‘Metal’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Metal’

Its been a while since my last post, apologies for that. Morning sickness and creative thought are mutually exclusive it seems. I thought I’d start back slowly with a belated Photofriday. This weeks theme is metal but I’ve been posting a lot about the rusty hunks of metal under the sea on this blog so I thought I’d show you some fish that look like liquid metal. When lit with flash it can be difficult not to blow out the highlights on their high reflective scales. Above, scad fish, below, tiny glass fish.

You can see all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Metal’ here.

Psst… Please check out my excellent used Nikon Gear page, I’ve swapped over systems and I’m still trying to raise money on my previous gear get them now before they go.

PhotoFriday – ‘Moody’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Moody’

For this weeks theme, what is more moody than the inside of a shipwreck? Here I’ve used off camera lighting to try and capture that filmic atmosphere of the Engine room of the Ghanis D (Red Sea).

Sorry it’s been a while since my last photofriday, I’ve been catching up on other things. I missed some good ones too ‘From Nature’ & ‘Big’.

You can see all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Moody’ here.

Psst… Please check out my excellent used Nikon Gear page, I’ve swapped over systems and I’m still trying to raise money on my previous gear get them now before they go.

PhotoFriday – ‘Portrait’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Portrait’

Here is a portrait of a very friendly turtle from my most recent Red Sea trip for this weeks photofriday theme. I really need to finish going through the photos and get a proper post out about that trip! I was on the Wreck of the Giannis D shooting with a Red Filter, pity he was on the non-sunny side here. He was super friendly though, I even took some video proof that Alex Mustard is the turtle whisperer.

To see all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Portrait’ here.

Noteworthy for B&W
Also, thanks to everyone who voted on my previous entry for Black & White it made the noteworthy list :)

Psst… Please check out my excellent used Nikon Gear page, I’ve swapped over systems and I’m still trying to raise money on my previous gear get them now before they go.

PhotoFriday – ‘Black & White’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Black & White’

My husband is eternally frustrated with underwater photographers who convert their images to black & white because the colour version didn’t come out right or looked ‘too blue’. We’re all guilty of it. It’s no secret that I prefer colour images to black and white but on occasion the subject does just need a moody black and white processing to do it justice. Wrecks I think work well in both colour and black and white and for any given wreck, depending on the position of the sun when you dive it, can be more suited to one or the other. I like to see wrecks in black and white when there are plenty of deep shadows to be had (i.e. photographing across the light), otherwise they often look nicer in colour. Here are some from the Red Sea
.

Here is a comparison of black & white vs colour on the same wreck on the same dive… which do you prefer?

Ordinarily on that dive of the day I would not have converted to B&W for this angle of the wreck, however I liked the contrast of the etherial mermaid agains the dull & gloomy wreck. The colour one is a behind the scenes of Alex Mustard Photographing Katrin Felton

To see all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Black & White’ here.

Psst… Please check out my excellent used Nikon Gear page, I’ve swapped over systems and I’m still trying to raise money on my previous gear get them now before they go.

PhotoFriday – ‘Sunlight’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Sunlight’

Here are a few images from the South Red Sea for this weeks PF theme. Less is more where sunlight is the subject so I thought of these photos of the caves. I’m slowly going through my most recent Northern Red Sea images so stay tuned for a few blog posts of those next week.

To see all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Sunlight’ here.

Psst… Please check out my excellent used Nikon Gear page, I’ve swapped over systems and I’m still trying to raise money on my previous gear get them now before they go.