I spent years cursing at divers! “How dare they get in the way of my photographs?” was the chief and quite selfish thought running through my head. I’d curse through my regulator and generally get quite p****d off. Not a nice way to be, and not something I’m proud of.
The thing is, in my reluctance to include other people in my photographs, I was missing out. In reality, another diver or two are actually really useful in a photograph.
Take the lead image with the chap shooting the clown (A. bicinctus). The twin video lights of my friend Jerome actually add to the picture; his presence adds a sense of interaction. In the image below, the silhouetted diver creates a ‘this could be you’ idea in the viewer’s mind as well as adding a sense of space – we are so small when compared to the ocean…
The picture above isn’t one of my favorites in terms of image quality, but it is fairly atmospheric. It shows divers on a ‘safety stop’ as they breathe out accumulated nitrogen from their systems before getting onto the RIB. The wreck dates back to 1941 and has become a haven for fish species such as these Fusiliers.
Dive guides are always very useful and can be pressed into service as models. In the image below, my friend Chrissie is swimming under a life boat davit on a famous wreck in the Red Sea.
Of course, Photoshop allows me to make adjustments, highlighting or further integrating the diver in the shot. In the image below, I have done the usual removal of particles in the water that reflect the light from my strobes (aka backscatter) and have removed several divers to encourage the eye to focus on just one individual, to create a more striking image.
The only problem with welcoming divers into my images means that now, I’m mentally yelling at them to stay still!