I am happy to announce a new series of blog posts that I call “Behind the Shot”, basically one photo (or a series of photos) where I will explain what particular technique or idea that I used to get the photo. Some of the posts will be technical but most will just discuss an interesting photo and what my thoughts were when I was trying to capture it. These photos will consist of both underwater and land based photographs and will encompass images from my library dating back to the 90s. Hopefully I will post one or two of these a week and I will also cross post them on the Underwater Tribe Blog as well.
This image is one of my favourites from my time working in French Polynesia back in the early 2000s (I am dying to head back there!) The lagoon entrance channel where this photo was taken is the epitome of “Pass Flying” dive sites, a narrow channel with a very strong tidal flow that enters the lagoon on a rising tide. About 3/4s of the way through this channel a large school of grey reefs were resident at around 70ft of depth and would lazily circle the bottom of the channel while us divers “clung” to the sides mesmerized by the constant stream of sharks parading past. To get this shot I waited until I was low on air and then shot out into the middle of the pass and allowed the current to push me toward the wary pack of sharks while taking a steady stream of photos. Although many folks falsely believe sharks to be confident and predatory at all times, sharks are actually quite shy and don’t typically allow divers to get too close (unless there is feeding occurring). Therefore, getting close to this school of sharks was no easy task! As this shot was taken in the late afternoon, I needed to use a very slow shutter speed in order to separate the sharks from the background which ended up giving a “blurred” sense of motion to the image that I think works quite well in Black and White
Photo taken with Nikonos V and 15mm lens, Provia 100 ISO film, 1/30, f 5.6 depth of around 60ft (18 Metres), French Polynesia circa 2003