Pier Mane – South Africa – Opera Segnalata – Highlight in the category Underwater Photography
Practice…practice…be patient…be patient…eventually you’ll get it! That’s all we “beginners” hear from the “seniors.” Weary of shooting sharks head-on, and the never-ending struggle to keep divers’ bubbles outside of your wide angle in that renowned 50-meter visibility in the Bahamas, I decided to turn away from the peak action (and the crowds it attracts). I went to practice. I wanted a different shot, a complex one, like the “seniors” take. I wanted sun rays, dramatic foreground, prospective background, and — the cherry on top — to capture the “master of the house” in all of its mystique. I wanted it all. Three sponges were well-positioned to set the scene beneath the boat. Countless shots to balance rays. Two strobe lights. But all turned out to be a total waste as soon as the shark turned out underexposed. Go again. One strobe this time, mainly on the sponges; one pointing mid-water. Ahh, it’s working. Now, just the matter of a little prayer for luck, to get the wrasse and shark’s eye contact—before running out of memory card! Moral of the story? Keep adjusting those parameters. Dig deep for the determination to work for that different shot, that great shot. Know that that shot is sometimes behind you, not in front. Know that luck is a mighty big factor. And now that the “seniors” are right: Be patient.