In Which I Look To The Light

I’m not really a photographer, but I don’t have a better term for a hobbyist who takes photos. In contrast, amongst people who cook, a chef has a very defined title, and I’m not a chef – I’m a cook. That said, as a photographer I tend to prefer shooting with natural light. You may or may not have noticed this over the years, with the result sometimes being underexposed or blurry photos.

Admittedly I’m tending to do more landscape or architectural photography, rather than people, and I’m often taking photos in places where flashes aren’t welcome or helpful.

This tendency has persisted under the water, where I’ve never used the flash on my camera, puny as it is. The problem is, when we are diving at significant depth little natural light can penetrate, and this distorts colors and gives everything a blue tint.

Three years ago, during my trip to Roatan I noticed the difference that proper lighting makes, and I’ve thought about it. A lot.

This trip I tried to come equipped with proper lighting (in addition to a new camera), but one fiber optic cable did not arrive on time (and according to USPS tracking, it still hasn’t arrived). I brought the strobe with me (that’s an underwater flash) but have yet to use it as I’ve been learning the camera and setting the flash would be a guess without the correct cable.

Still, today I turned on the minuscule onboard flash on my camera to see what would happen.

I sometimes got backscatter of light, so that wasn’t so good.

And for things like this amazing spotted eagle ray, which was a long way away, it was useless if not detrimental (more backscatter).

But I’ve never seen this red color on a tunicate before. It’s been there – I just haven’t seen it – it’s just always looked purple.

And with just a little extra light, this fish was luminous.

And these squid were stunning.

All of this with a terrible tiny flash. All of which means I really need to fix the lighting on my photographs, but I guess I’ve known that.

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