PhotoFriday – ‘Intense’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Intense’

For a diver like me who doesn’t much like to move her fins much, any full on swimming is intense. Finding and watching the schooling barracuda at Ras Mohammad is especially so as they tend not to always be in the same place (so you might have to swim the length of the reef to get to them) and they tend to be quite deep and constantly changing depths. To the unwary diver they can be mesmerising and before you know it you are way below 30m (on Nitrox this is v dangerous) or you’ve stayed too long watching them and run out of air or no-deco time! :-/

Tell me in the comments what is it about scuba diving do you find intense?

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

Nadya’s image of Me & Snappers is winning again

On International Women’s Day no less, Nadya posted another win for her image of me taking snaps of snappers! This time the 2014 Monochrome Awards. Go Nadya!

If you want to see why I was photographing up so close see below or here’s my post of schooling snappers from the archives.

Published for Science

I got a nice surprise a few days ago when my copy of the Annual review of Marine Science (vol 7) arrived, I’d contributed the picture above taken at the Mangroves in Raja Ampat to Johan van de Koppelpaper’s paper on Long-Distance Interactions Regulate the Structure and Resilience of Coastal Ecosystems.

Annual Review of Marina Science vol 7

My pic is on p149 if you have a copy.

PhotoFriday – ‘Gray’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Grey’

With all the news recently on the manatees flocking en-mass to 3 sister springs in Florida (so much so they had to close it to the public), I though I’d revisit my time with them for this weeks theme. They are grey, cute and like to be tickled and nothing to do with 50 shades of anything!

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

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…

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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.