Pelagic Jellyfish – Thysanostoma Thysanura
Hello everyone and welcome back once again to my underwater photography blog with Sairee Cottage Diving Koh Tao. I have learned some very valuable skills during my photography course. This time I will be talking about the use of natural light and including the sun in your shots to enhance or even create abstract images. The main image I have chosen for this blog is of a pelagic jellyfish (Thysanostoma thysanura). I saw it as I was descending for the dive and as it was a bright and sunny day, I decided to position myself beneath the pelagic jelly with the sun directly behind it so the light would shine through it. Usually these sort of shorts are used to create a silhouette of the marine life, often a shark or turtle like in the second image. This is easily achieved by getting a marine creature between you and the sun and playing with aperture and shutter speed to get the effect you’re after.
As jellyfish are translucent it means you can capture images that you can’t with most other marine life and get some extra depth to your photo. They don’t have a great deal of color to them but they will block out the sun enough so your image will not over expose on the sun itself but still give you a lot of light.
Hawksbill Turtle – Eretmochelys Imbricate
You could also get a lot closer and shoot through a certain part of the jellyfish to create an abstract image. By concentrating on a small portion of the jelly it means people wont instantly know what the picture is of and rely on their instinct of form, color and shape. By practicing abstract photography your getting a reaction from the viewer on an emotional level rather than on a logical one. This also means that different people can interpret your image in many different ways.
Another way of having the sun in your underwater image is to get deep and shoot up with a really fast shutter speed and decent strobes to light your foreground like in the third picture. Remember that if you are too shallow the sun will blow out in your image.
Barrel Sponges – Xestospongia Muta and Lagoon Damsel Fish – Hemiglyphidodon Plagiometopon
However if you like to use natural light in your underwater images, remember that it can easily come out red depending on your white balance or use of color correcting filters. Many of these skills and tips I picked up during my photography course. A lot of it is trial and error as well as lots and lots of practice.
Photography course at Sairee Cottage Diving
If you would like lessons in underwater photography tailor made to your previous experience, travel schedule and budget or have any inquiries then please contact me via the sairee cottage website