An amazing reef in the wild

by | Oct 7, 2021 | Fish, Photography | 0 comments


In my last post I discussed the need to capture images of the often overlooked fish on the reef and how, in doing so, I could capture a few pleasing fish portraits.  Well, in this post I want to look at the other side of the same coin, by trying to capture a wider perspective of a reef in a few shots.

In this series of images – shot on the world-renowned Elphinstone Reef, just off Hurghada in the Egyptian Red Sea – I came across a section of reef where the currents and conditions, as well as the lighting and water clarity, gave me everything I wanted for a shot or two.

Very healthy coral growth and hordes of anthias indicate this is a healthy reef wall.

I was able to capture the well-lit walls of the reef as it descended into the deep and allow my flash guns to mix with the bright sunlight to create a fairly natural looking lighting regime.

I could then follow the reef into the shallows, at around five meters.  The trick here is to select a narrow aperture on the camera to ensure the background (in this case the water surface) is underexposed a little, this ensures you capture the blue.  If you don’t, the surface can be washed out.  At the same time your flash needs to light the foreground with subtlety.  With luck it all pays off and you have perfect orange anthias swimming in the blue.  Clearly there’s a lot of artifice involved in creating something that appears so natural.

I could have spent hours chasing these anthias around this Porites bommie, but it was towards the end of the dive and my gas was running low.


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