Top 10 underwater photos

Following on from last weeks post where I took you down memory lane with my 10 years taking underwater photos, I have come up with my favourite 10 images that I’ve taken underwater (whittled down from my fav 85 here). I don’t think they are necessarily my best but I like them the most. So with out further ado – here they are in no particular order…

Please let me know what you think in the comments below…

PhotoFriday – ‘Lucky Shot’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’The Lucky Shot’

For this weeks photofriday theme I’d like to talk about photographing clownfish (nemo)! The shot above was most definitely ‘the lucky shot’ because it won me a trip 🙂 However in general photographing clownfish is a matter of patience. You find a nice anemone with pretty clownfish and every time the fish looks look in the viewfinder you click the button. They swim around and around and in and out so its mostly patience & luck when you get a good one.

If you want to see more of my underwater photos from various places then check out the galleries in my Reef Beasties Gallery.

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

Recent photo roundup

Its been a week or so since I posted (sorry folks) here is a round up of recent iphone offerings, taken & post processed on the phone but resized as an export from LR since I still cant find an app to resize to my liking – recommendations in the comments welcome 😉

As always, click for bigger versions.

for more recent images go here to my iphone4 gallery

I love my iphone4

ok, its official, I love my iphone4. Apple has been getting lots of bad press recently over the reception issues with the phone. I get that. I understand why people balk at paying all that cash to have a phone that doesnt keep signal in crappy signal areas if you hold it a certain way. I get it, I do. But I still love it! This phone is my first new phone in 6 years (my old nokia stll going strong) is great if you want to make calls or text. But I don’t. I want to use the internet to check my email, facebook, twitter etc. Most of all I love the take a photo, edit a photo in an app (to HDR, Panorama stitch, filter or all manners of things) and then upload directly to the internet. I hadnt really tried out the camera until this weekend but now I am seriously impressed…

This is taken hand held in my nans breeze back garden (click for larger):

This is it at 100% (click to see larger)::

I have not touched up those photos (only to resize the 1st one and crop the second one).

Just remember what Chase says, the best camera is the one you have with you. What photos does your phone take?

these have been slightly edited in LR (it slightly over exposed the clouds for my taste):

I need to get some more photo apps & learn how to resize for the net from my phone but until then I’ll be resizing in LR & putting them in this gallery:

I’m back…

…from Grand Cayman, Alex Mustard’s underwater photoworkshop.

Had a great time with Rays & Sharks & Earthquakes. Will tell you all about it with a review once I have more photos to display.

(c) Michael Toye

Best Photos 2009

Well again I’ve really enjoyed the agonizing process of choosing my top photos from the year. I’ve picked 100 photos and put them in a gallery here:

This year I found many photos to choose from that I liked so I must be getting better at this photography malarkey (I hope you agree).  Again, we had a great year photo-opportunity-wise, we went to Raja Ampat (Indonesia) & the Red Sea (Egypt). We had some murder mayhem at the start of the year and We wandered around London experimenting with IR (failed) and HDR (better) techniques. The now closed Shunt Lounge at London Bridge provided some fun challenges too. And of course it wouldn’t be a photography year for me without playing with a bit of macro in the flat.

I tried to be good this year and only pick the best (and not just favourite – see my blog post here about choosing) but I think I failed and just chose what I liked most anyway 😉

So here are my top ten of 2009 (click them to see them larger):

#10 Angel in HDR. OK, we just moved out of London last week… I’ll admit it, I’m going to miss Angel. Probably not one of my best photos of the year but I wanted to mark the passing into our new life in 2010…

#9 Snapper explosion from Red Sea. See the full trip gallery here.

#8 James’ Mysterious device. See the full series here.

#7 Little fishy. Also from the red sea. These little guys are very quick but very graceful. I wanted to get a photo that showed that and I think this does.

#6 Mike & Suzy fish. Tiny glass fish blown into a glass fish bowl. Amazing item from Italy and I found it difficult to light.

#5 Fish tails. I loved the pattern they made. I’d have liked to get more in but the school was not really big enough.

#4 Leaf reflection. The Raja Ampat Mangroves were by far & away my fav experience this year! See the full gallery here

#3 Teeny Tiny bobtail squid. See Raja Ampat (not Mangroves) Underwater gallery here. This was a challenge & a 1/2! Night dive. Heavy lens & torch I could hardly hold up. Bobtail squid I could hardly see he was so small! Those white rocks in the photo are grains of sand & shell.

#2 Nemo. You know I cannot resist! I like the yellow he was on …

#1 360 degrees of paradise! Bit of a dodgy handheld panorama but it came out well …. click it to see a much larger size:

EDIT: a few people contacted me wanting to know why this wasnt on the list… so I thought I’d add it here as an honorable mention…

New facebook fan page

If you are over on facebook why not stop by my page and become a fan?

These are some of the new photos I’ve uploaded:

I’m Back…

Just come back from Egypt. Went on the Alex Mustard June 2009 Ras Mohammad Red Sea Photo workshop. More about that later as I’m processing the photos now.. Heres a taster of what we went to see, snappers in action!

Photobox Pro Gallery – ordering prints

I’ve been thinking about moving over from Red Bubble to a more UK friendly photo printers (since the UK £ is low against the other world CCYs the base prices are amazingly expensive). That and the user interface on red bubble has changed to be very confusing.

I’m giving photobox a test run. You get 40 free prints when you sign up (I think its if you sign up for either a pro account or a normal personal account). I have to say I’m impressed, I ordered mine and they came the next day.

They come in packaging that looks like a space mans lunch. The colours are slightly different than my spydar 3 calibrated monitor but not bad looking. The underwater blues were quite nice (these often look dreadful with shop prints). All in all I’m impressed and would order from them again.

One thing I would say is if you are intending to have a pro gallery (where you display your photos for people to buy) put the 40 prints that you are going to order free into a personal gallery first. It seems they have a bug in their system where they don’t know that you are ordering your own prints and therefore the free credits cannot be applied. There are some issues they need to iron out before I’m happy to sell my photos with them (their watermarking is very ugly for one thing but I do like to have watermarking on my photos) but their customer support is superb. Very quick and helpful 🙂

UPDATE: Today I found out they have fixed their copyright watermarking to make it fainter (and not look so bad) so I have decided to start using the system and see if anyone bites on my pro gallery – I’ll keep you posted. Link here if interested 😉

Best Photos 2008?

What a year 2008 was, and fashionably late (as usual) I’ve finally got around to selecting my fav photos taken in 2008.

Here’s the gallery (39 pics) but I’ve refined it down to ten. Probably not the best technically but I enjoyed taking them and they are favs for a variety of reasons.

top ten:
#10: Elastic band from my macro mystery series. I loved doing this series. The challenge was to find a new mystery to photograph everyday and to upload the answer to the previous days mystery.

Click here to see the rest of my ‘macro mystery’ gallery.

#9: Also from my macro mystery series, 13 inches.

Click here to see the rest of my ‘macro mystery’ gallery.

#8: Plastic Flower, from my swimming pool sessions with Martin Edge. This was the first time I’d used an SLR underwater (Martin lent me his for this session) and the first time I’d dived in a swimming pool. I like seeing something so obviously fake made beautiful just by adding water.

Click here to see the rest of my ‘Swimming Pool’ gallery.

#7: Schooling Jacks & diver, taken in Bali. I wasn’t all that happy with the photos from Bali as a whole, I’d not been practicing with my camera before we went away and I think it showed in the images I got my the trip. I did like this one however, who can resist swirly fish and a diver in the background 😉

Click here to see the rest of my ‘Bali underwater’ gallery.

#6: Blue, from my Venice carnival photos. This photo seems to get the most hits on my Venice gallery and was one of my favs from the trip.

Click here to see the rest of my ‘Venice Carnival’ gallery.

#5: Panoramic view from the Empire State building in New York, I loved New York so much more than I thought I would! I stitched together 11 massive RAW files and almost broke my boyfriends new pc (oops). Best when viewed at the larger size (I didnt even try and upload the massive original), even he was impressed.

Click here to see the rest of my ‘Panoramas’ gallery and click here to see the rest of my ‘New York’ gallery.

#4: Nemo! I’ve found you! Again! You can’t usually go into tropical waters without passing these little guys, usually very cross with you for being there so close to their homes but darn it if they are not just so cute in photos!

Click here to see the rest of my ‘Cebu, Philippines’ gallery.

#3: This very obliging octopus sat for his portrait in Egypt on our trip to the brothers. I love his texture.

Click here to see the rest of my ‘brothers liveaboard’ gallery.

#2: Tassled hawkfish kissing? Well, maybe just snuggled up together for a few seconds to peer at me. Its unusual for these guys to sit like this together, they seemed to like me though because they both kept coming back to the same branch. Unfortunately this bush was at about 26m so I had to make 3 or 4 dives to catch this one.

Click here to see the rest of my ‘Cebu, Philippines’ gallery.

and finally #1: Scad fish, taken in Egypt. The first time I’ve tried to take schooling fish with a macro lens. I love the blue and silver colours and the burst of bubbles behind all their grumpy little faces.

Click here to see the rest of my ‘brothers liveaboard’ gallery.

I hope you enjoyed my top 10 🙂