Skip navigation

Tag Archives: Alex Mustard Workshop

If you’ve been following along, you know that I’m not a cave diver or a wreck diver.  Well, on the Palau trip, check and check.  Caves and wrecks.  And not so bad.  (Thanks Alex.)

On this one, I was looking around for some nice fish or other lovely ocean dweller framed by railings, superstructure or whatnot (but for real — not made in photoshop like this one — seriously, go take a look, I’ll wait).

And then I saw this.  It looked to me like a pirate’s treasure chest.  The yellow coral on the lip even looked like golden doubloons overflowing from the chest.  All of those other little bits and pieces — gems, orbs and more.  So cool.  I shot it from a bunch of angles and ultimately liked this one the best.

But it still wasn’t quite what I had in mind.  Too much exposure to Disney animated movies and Saturday morning cartoons had made me want something with super saturated colors.  And at the image review where I showed this people suggested having lights shining out of the chest.  Genius!  That would look like something Scooby would have encountered.  (If only the Mystery Machine were wrecked down there too.)

Ok, just one problem with that plan.  No way I was going to go into the wreck to show lights up through the hole.  Because, just like on a movie set.  The “chest” wasn’t really a chest.  It was some sort of access point with a lid but no floor.  Alex very nicely volunteered to put one of my lights down there and then we both shot it.  He might have gotten a good one.  But I wasn’t happy with the result.  I think I needed more lights and more lumens per light.  Now if only it had been at night…
PSR_151124_240143_ssmt
Dive site: Dexter’s Wall, Palau

Shot at 1/200th at f/8 with Olympus OMD EM5, 8mm Panasonic fisheye lens in Nauticam housing and mini dome port, no strobes.

 

Advertisements

Soon I’ll be going  back to Maui and will see lots of these guys.  So many that I kind of get jaded.  And then…

This one was a shot in Palau at Dexter’s wall, a dive site we really loved and went back to several times. Great hard corals and lots of turtles. Well, seemingly lots of turtles.

This was my last dive of my Palau trip and I was really hoping to shoot turtles. I still had some compositions in my head that I just hadn’t gotten. Well, the first part of the dive I didn’t see many turtles. Nice corals.  Some other nice fish.  But turtles … not so much.  And then later in the dive, my dive buddies were already working with all the turtles I saw. So after a lot of swimming around looking,  I was getting kind of low on air, so I came up and did my safety stop. Turned off my strobes and camera and was listening to that nasty little voice in my head. You know the one. And with 3 minutes to kill (at 15 ft), really a little mindfulness would go a long way. (Note to self: keep working on it.) Anyhow, all of a sudden I see not one but 2 turtles.

Hurry, hurry turn everything on. Wait, forget about the strobes — I’m right here at the surface in the bright sun. Just shoot! Sun rays and turtles. Not a bad end to the trip.
PSR_151202_020473_ssmt

Dive site: Dexter’s Wall, Palau

Shot at 1/60th at f/8 with Olympus OMD EM5, 8mm Panasonic fisheye lens in Nauticam housing and mini dome port, no strobes.

 

Up in Alaska, we saw humpback whales come together to cooperatively make a bubble net to feed on small fish.  This isn’t that.

We’d just had a very nice dive and were hanging out on our safety stop when a large, tightly packed group of divers passed underneath us.  It was quite a crowd. Were they all breathing synchronously?  Were they trying to corral us so that they could eat us like the whales?

I’ve certainly seen plenty of other divers’ bubbles before.  But never a wall of bubbles like this.  And the good news is that Juan was there to pose.
PSR_151129_290050_ssmt

Dive site: Palau

Shot with Olympus OMD EM5, 1/40th @ f/8, 8mm Panasonic fisheye lens in Nauticam housing and mini dome port, no strobes.

 

Here’s a cave-y shot for a non-cave diver (me).

You enter at the surface and go down through a shaft that opens out into a big room with a smaller chamber behind.  This is the view from the back of the big room looking out to the open ocean with one lone diver.
PSR_151201_010012-2_ssmt
Dive site: Blue Holes, Palau

Shot with Olympus OMD EM5, 1/40th @ f/8, 8mm Panasonic fisheye lens in Nauticam housing and mini dome port, no strobes.

 

Another shot from Jellyfish Lake.  This time with one of our very accommodating dive guides modeling.
PSR_151201_010028_ssmt

Snorkel site: Jellyfish Lake, Palau

Shot with Olympus OMD EM5, 8mm Panasonic fisheye lens in Nauticam housing and mini dome port, no strobes.

 

Jellyfish Lake is a marine lake on one of the Rock Islands of Palau.  To get there, the boat drops you at the pier and you then hike over a hill to the lake.  We went twice.  The second time, early in the morning and it was very tranquil when we arrived.

I’m not sure, but the lake seemed even saltier than the ocean.

When you get to the dock in the lake after coming back down the hill, you put on your mask, fins and snorkel and jump in.  At first, it’s just a green lake.  No jellies.  Then, as you swim toward the sunny side, you see one jelly.  Then another.  Then a few more.  Then the density goes up fast.  Until finally, you feel like you’re swimming in a thick jellyfish soup.

The jellies keep swimming around, ensuring that they stay in the light.  They do this so that the algae they’re carrying can photosynthesize for them.  Over the long term, these jellies have lost their ability to sting and hunt.  Instead, they’re solar energy farmers.
PSR_151125_250168_ssmt

Snorkel site: Jellyfish Lake, Palau

Shot with Olympus OMD EM5, 8mm Panasonic fisheye lens in Nauticam housing and mini dome port, no strobes.

 

Another shot from Alex Mustard’s Palau underwater photography workshop.

Palau’s reefs were in great condition, teeming with fish, big and small.  Small schools.  Big schools.  Lots of kinds.

Here are lots of nice, shiny barracuda.  And one interloper.

PSR_151123_230014_ssmt

Dive site: Sand Bar/Shark City, Palau

Shot at 1/250th at f/8 with Olympus OMD EM5, 8mm Panasonic fisheye lens in Nauticam housing and mini dome port, two Sea & Sea strobes which I should have turned off.

 

I’m just back from Alex Mustard’s Palau underwater photography workshop.  And wow, it was big fun.

This is one of my favorite shots from the trip.  We saw turtles on many sites in Palau, but by far the most at Dexter’s Wall.  A very lovely site all around.  Sharks and lots of fish too.  Pretty hard corals.

This one makes me thing of those old constellation pictures.  Turtle up in the starry sky.
PSR_151130_300143_ssmt
Dive site: Dexter’s Wall, Palau

Shot at 1/200th at f/8 with Olympus OMD EM5, 8mm Panasonic fisheye lens in Nauticam housing and mini dome port, no strobes.