27 janv. 2008

Under water photography in Bahamas

Right eye of a Stingray. 
EOS 1DS MarkII, 100mn macro, 2 flashes (left one TTL, right one manual 1/2)

other angle of previous image. 

Since March 2007 have not be doing under water photography. I am still a beginner, but I love it. So I am back in Nassau to Stuart Cove's where I did my under water photography course with Sally. Every year I have been back here to keep learning, that a so hard job. It's a big challenge to learn something when you pass 50.... and underwater photography is very demanding. 
I did start to do a PADI in Cairn (AUS) and in september 2006 I came here for a week. I had only 15 dives... not much but I could not wait to do images under after 20 years shooting boats from the surface or from the air. 
Scuba diving is a magic way to discover the sea life .
I had the choice to buy a new camera an the housing.I have already a lot of camera, so I decided to keep my Canon EOS1DS Mark II and buy the SEACAM housing for it. At the end I got for nearly the same price a great under water system with the best digital camera which was on the market at that time ( now the Mark III is probably the best one).
Last winter I spent a lot of time in Maui (Hawaii) practicing under water photography in the morning  , and shooting windsurfers at Hookipa beach in the afternoon. My main goal at that time was to try to do heli shoot of surfers in JAWS.But Jaws does not happen often. I did 2 time from heli and one time from the cliff with the help of my great friend Jono Knight and the Hawaian frenchy Charles Oreve both very good windsurf photographers ( you will find images on my website).
For under water photo there is not secret , you need to practice, practice and more practice.
When I arrived in Nassau last week I did find hard to shoot again. 
9 months busy shooting AC in Valencia, Medcup, Barcelona World Race and other races. 
All my reflex where gone. after 4 dives it was slowly coming back. 

Two Scrawled Filefish 
 EOS 1DS markII, 100mn Macro, 2 Canon Flashes (left one TTL, right one manual 1/2)

Juvenile Filefish 
EOS 1DS Mark II, 100mn macro, with 2 flashes (left one TTL, right one manual 1/2)

It's always hard to make a choice before a dive. what lens?? 
14mn, zoom 16/35 or 100mn macro ??? 
When you have the macro you meet big animals and when you have the 14mn you see very small fishes. And impossible to change any thing when you have started your dive.
When I got the Seacam housing I choosen to go for flashes housing. That's mean I have housing to put the flashes I use every day. The good thing is that you got TTL light control on one flash ( great in macro) and must use the second flash in manual ( I set up second flash half power in manual). With 14mn or 16/35 mn lenses I use 2 flashes in manual, 1 full power, and the 2nd one half power. 

On 26th Jan I did 4 dives and the last one was on the 2 boats wreck.  With my body we visited inside  and we find a room with 10 Lionfishes and some maquerel  chassing for lunch.

Inside a wreck, lunch time for Lionfish and friends...
EOS1DS mark II, 16/35mn with Super Dome and 2 flashes manual.

On the way to the surface we met that group of Atlantic Spadefish which let me come very close for few minutes... that's make a good day.

School of Atlantic Spadefish.
EOS 1DS MarkII 16/35mn with Super Dome and 2 flashes manual.

Don't forget , comments are welcome! 

21 janv. 2008

Brest 20 Jan 2008... short sleep for a long day.

On Saturday 19 Jan I left La Trinite sur Mer with Eric in his chopper. First stop have been Quimper airport where we did refuel. the idea was to do a flight over Francis Joyon and his maxi trimaran "IDEC" before sunset. With Eric we have been working all week to calculate and try to organise that photo shoot offshore. Jean-Yves Bernot have been a great help. Advising me on possible route of Francis in last 2 days before the finish line. the question was : finish by daylight or not. 
First part of the night (Before 23.00) or after midnight????
With Eric we were ready to go offshore around 120 Nautical miles. unfortunetly, Francis was still 160 NM before sunset. 
So impossible mission...
Francis did arrived 40mn after midnight. with his maxi trimaran he did an arrival on Sunday morning in Brest port ( by daylight).
I did photos of his entrance in Brest with a special guest onboard heli, Ellen MacArthur who was the record owner before Francis.
Ellen was impress by Francis result, and probably sad, but with big respect for Francis. she always have said that a record is made to be broken.
Some media said that she will go again to take that record back in 2009. it's just bullshit!!!
she don't know what she will do after her actual projects (untill end of 2009) will be over.
So why some journalist have to change words? she was not very happy about that. 

Now I am packing to go tomorrow for some under water photography in Nassau (Bahamas).
will be good to dive in 25°C water.

Short video made with CanonG9 by Ellen and I.

14 janv. 2008

like a tourist in London...

Tower Bridge - London - Jan 2008. (EOS 1DS Mark III )

On Friday (11th Jan) I spent all afternoon at  London Boat show,where I met lots of friends.
London boat show is much smaller than Paris boat show, but I like to go there as in one day I can see many people. After a beer at Guiness tent and an happy hour as always at Henry Lloyd I had  Diner with some Volvo friends and I was back ( not too late ) in hotel next to Tower bridge.
On Saturday I played tourist in London, testing my new camera , the Fabulous Canon EOS 1DS Mark III.
21 million pixels, and many good change!
I got he camera end of Dec , but did not have possibility to test it. Bigger screen, much easier to use than Mark II which was my favorite camera ( before I got the mark III). I will keep one Mark II as my housing (Seacam) is for Mark II, but I am sure Mark III will be a great camera for under water photography with the new Seacam housing which should come out soon.

Now I am back in Locmariaquer, waiting for Francis Joyon to finish his Solo Round the World Record attempt. All nearly ready, Helicopter in stand by and crossing finger Francis will finish  with his mast staying up until  the finish line near Brest (FRA). 
He is doing an impresive great job , and deserve to take back this Record from Ellen hands...

Clown fish - Maldives. March 2007.  
EOS1 DS Mark II  , Macro Lens 100mn in SEACAM Housing  with 2 Canon Flash