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Photo Gallery: Split-Shots

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The second feature in our new Gallery series where we let the photos tell the story… This week, Nick and Caroline focus on photo technique with split-shots.

Split-shots or over-under shots are where some of the image is above the water and some below. It is a great technique most commonly done with a wide angle or fish-eye lens in a large dome port. To attempt these shots, it is best to wait for very calm water, to help you get a smooth transitional line from above to below. If you are shooting in the shallows on a sunny day, then you may not need to use strobes, but as the top half will be brighter, it is sometimes vital to have the strobes lighting your underwater subject. When you get the shot right, these can really enhance your portfolio of images.

Tips: Use as large a depth of field as you can (small aperture of say f16); try to move your camera gently so as not to create any bubbles around the port; dunk and shoot before the water starts to run down the dome and creates smears (you can even use spit to help improve this technique). For more from Nick and Caroline, visit www.frogfishphotography.com

Image 1: Swimming Pig in The Bahamas
These wonderful swimming pigs in The Exumas in The Bahamas make the perfect split-shot subjects. The water is clear and calm and it is almost always sunny and the pigs swim around in shallow water. A perfect place to try this sort of shot, especially as they always swim with their snouts sticking out of the water like snorkels. Tokina 10-17 lens, f/13, 1/125, ISO 100. No strobe used.

 

Image 2: Manatee Pair in Crystal River, Florida
This is another perfect destination and subject for the split shot. These gorgeous creatures love to swim up to you and will get in close enough to fill the frame. The location is lovely too with trees growing around this fresh water spring. Alas, we did not get nice sunny weather, that would have made this shot so much more appealing. Nikon 16mm lens, f/9, 1/80 ISO 400.

 

Image 3: Paddy Swimming
Paddy (or any other co-operative water loving dog) makes a perfect subject when you want to practice this technique! He loves to swim and can be called in (or tempted with a ball) to get close to the camera. The sea conditions were not perfect, with some swell and waves, but we love this shot capturing just his eye out of the water as he swam along the stone jetty at Trefor Pier in Wales. Tokina 10-17mm lens, f/13, 1/400, ISO 320.

 

Image 4: Blacktip Shark & Bird
It is not often that you can get a shot of a shark swimming and a bird flying in the same shot! There is plenty that could be improved, but the opportunity was a fleeting one and the shot grabbed. This was taken at Aliwal Shoal in South Africa, where it is rare to get calm seas and split shots were the last thing on our minds. But it is a shot we love for that very reason. It is harder to hold the camera in the portrait orientation for split shots, but well worth practicing for these moments. Nikon 16mm lens, f/10, 1/160, ISO 200.

 

Image 5: Lemon Sharks in The Bahamas
This was taken lying on the platform on the back of the boat and dangling the camera in the water! There was quite a big swell and so it was hard to time when to hit the shutter button. The sharks stayed with us as we came up from an excellent dive and this was an opportunity we had to grab for the captain said we needed to head home. Tokina 10-17mm lens, f/18, 1/200, ISO 500.

 

Image 6: Caroline Surfacing in France
A great way to capture the start of end of the dive is to get a split shot of the boat (and in this case boat captain) with a diver below. This shot was taken whilst diving in France on an epic road trip and shows Caroline just about to finish the dive. Nikon 16mm lens, f/11, 1/125, ISO 250.

 

Image 7: Cuban Crocodile
A split shot does not have to be 50% above the water and 50% below. Experiment with how much you want to feature from under the water and at what angle. This shot if a very close-up portrait of a crocodile taken in Jardines de la Reina in Cuba. We wanted it to show both the underwater seagrass habitat as well as a little of the mangroves in the background. Tokina 10-17mm lens, f/16, 1/60, ISO 250.

 

Image 8: Stingrays in The Bahamas
This shot was one we planned before getting into the water, with our guide standing on a deserted small idyllic island and stingrays in the shallows. The clam water and the ability to keep the glass dome dry before taking this shot all helped, as did the sunshine. Tokina 10-17mm lens, f/20, 1/200, ISO 400.

You can now get wide angle and fish eye lenses and domes for almost every underwater camera, from a GoPro to a top end SLR, so go out and try getting a split shot. They are very rewarding when they work out, but they do take a bit of practice! Why not let us know how you get on?

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

Competitions

WIN a Bigblue AL-1200NP Dive Torch!!!

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For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Liquid Sports to give away a Bigblue AL-1200NP Dive Torch!

This torch delivers 1200 lumens of light powered by an ion rechargeable battery. There are 4 levels of brightness with burn times between 2-20 hours. Battery charge level is indicated via coloured lights around the on/off button. The beam angle is 10°. The anodised aluminium alloy housing sealed by double ‘O’ rings with a max operating depth of 100m. SRP £125.00 which includes torch, charging cradle and battery.

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on Scubaverse.com (which you can read here), we reported via the Marine Conservation Society that the UK’s landmark post-Brexit fisheries legislation has now become law. The Fisheries Act is the first legislation of its kind in nearly how many years?

Is it:

  • A) 60
  • B) 50
  • C) 40

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

Liquid Sports Bigblue AL-1200NP Dive Torch November 2020

Competition
  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to www.scubaverse.com except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of Liquid Sports and their families. A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to www.scubaverse.com. When prizes are supplied by third parties, www.scubaverse.com is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. This competition closes on 06/01/21. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

  • The following fields are optional, however if you fill them in it will help us to determine what prizes to source in the future.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
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Gear News

Northern Diver Christmas Sale starts TODAY!

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This year Northern Diver’s Christmas offers are starting on Black Friday and running until midnight on New Year’s Eve! 

There are some great deals to be had across the site – www.ndiver.com – from discounted Drysuits and Coltri compressors to 15% off their entire Lighting Section!

And if you can’t find the perfect present for the diver in your life, they have a choice of Gift Cards on offer. They are even giving you £25 extra when you purchase a £100 voucher!

The offers don’t stop there – there is FREE shipping on all orders over £100 and even a FREE gift with every online purchase.

Every purchase will get you entered into a great prize draw to win one of their new Electracore 3.0mm Rechargeable Heated Vests!

And should you find that you need to return any of your purchases, Northern Diver understand that Christmas may be a little different for everyone this year and you may not get to see every one over Christmas, so they have extended their Returns Period to the end of January 2021. (Valid for purchases made from Black Friday to end of December 2020).

Some unmissable offers to look out for are the Varilux Zoom, part of the Varilux Black & Gold Range, with its variable beam width; and Northern Diver’s 4mm compressed Neoprene Drysuit, the Voyager, which is on offer for an incredible £475!

For more information visit the Northern Diver website by clicking here.

Photo credit: Joe Duffy

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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