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Review: The Underwater Photographer by Martin Edge

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It must be over 15 years ago that I bought my first copy of The Underwater Photographer by Martin Edge. It was recommended to me by fellow photographers as the go-to resource for those looking to improve their underwater shots and it has been a constant companion. The first edition was published back in 2004 and now the 5th (and final) revision of this much-loved book has been released in print and as an ebook.

I was asked to review the ebook, and while I was excited to get my hands on the new edition, I thought that I would prefer the print edition, as a reference book to peruse at my leisure. However, as soon as I opened up the ebook I knew that this was a vauable resource in this format. Why? Well, it is easy to travel with, you can add notes and highlight sections (without damaging a much loved print edition), you can easily search for a particular topic you would like to learn more about.

Whilst both compositions are credible the sun beams come out on top every time. Always consider the image frame orientation option before you shoot. F 20, 1/320th sec, shutter speed. Tokina 10 – 17 at 17mm. ISO 1600. In low early morning light.

This new book has a huge amount of information to digest and takes the underwater photographer on a path of learning that is easy to follow. This edition sees guest chapters from well-known underwater photographers that are experts in their particular fields, for example, there is a chapter from Alex Mustard on optics and a chapter on super macro from Alex Tattersall.

I’ve composed just enough base beneath the bottom of the frame to give some context. Too much base will be interpreted as ‘wasted space or dead space’. Nikon D7200, f 16 at 1/250th sec, Iso 200, two Inon strobes placed each side of my macro port to illuminate both sides of the cuttle fish as it moved around whilst I was shooting. This image above was the precise composition I was trying to achieve. I remember trying to make sure to keep both the tentacles within the bottom frame. This doesn’t mean it’s a great picture but it means that I achieved exactly what I was after. Tokina 10mm to 17mm lens on the 17mm end.

The book is packed with useful information and one of my favourite parts of the book are the highlighted “Tips” sections, where Martin gives particular tips gleaned from his many years of taking world-class underwater images and teaching the subject too.

The book features over 400 updated colour images – taken on numerous dives around the world – with an accompanying narrative that provides detailed information on how the shots were taken, their strengths and weaknesses and how to fix mistakes. Practical examples take you step-by-step through the basic techniques: photographing shipwrecks, divers, marine life, macro images and taking photographs at night. New chapters cover the latest equipment, processes and techniques including SLR Cameras, water contact lenses, mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, micro four third systems, super macro techniques, motion blur, LED lighting and more.

6pm in Misool Resort is dapple hour and I always like to drop in around 5.45pm to 6pm, when the light is 20 minutes before it’s best. My way of shooting is to find a shallow cave in no more than 2m – 3m. In this way I’m confident that I can ‘work the light’. I’ve hidden the weak sun ball behind the cave ceiling which emphasizes the sunbeams and transports the eye of the viewer towards the back of the cave. It’s lit with two strobes on ¼ power, level with each side of my ears. The very last thing I want to do is to strobe it with too much light. Iso 400, 10.5mm fisheye, f 11, 1/60th

If you already have a previous edition of this book, then I would recommend getting the latest ebook edition to add to your library. If you are just starting out and do not have a previous edition of The Underwater Photographer then I would recommend getting both the print book to read at your leisure at home and the ebook to travel with.

There is a limited edition hardback (£150), as well as a paperback (£32) and ebook (£32).

You can buy the book at all good book stores or directly from the publisher here.

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 Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

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News

INON announce SD Front Mask and M67 filter adapters for GoPro Hero 8 and Hero 9

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The new SD Front Mask enables users to enjoy dedicated the semi-fisheye lens (the UFL-G140SD) which increases the underwater angle of view and minimises shooting distance.  It also enables users to attach the dedicated wide close-up lens (the UCL-G165SD) which provides ideal coverage and shooting distance for taking video of marine life.

The M67 Filter Adapters allow underwater videographers to attach the INON UW Variable Red Filter to easily obtain natural colour without a blue/green colour cast. To learn more about these filters watch the video below.

No need to bring couple of filters underwater and swap them depending on depth. It is easy to adjust colour tone simply by turning the filter edge and stop turning when you see appropriate white balance on your screen.

For more information visit the INON UK website by clicking here.

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News

NUPG Lockdown Best of…

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Usually the January NUPG meeting involves a guest judge coming to Manchester to talk through the very best images members had taken in the previous 12 months. However, this year, due to COVID19 restriction many of the members had not had the chance to dive. The NUPG committee decided to change the rules a little. So this year members judged a series of Best of the Century images online and were also invited to take part in a lockdown underwater bath tub category.

There were five categories for members to enter. Here are the winners of each…

British and Irish Close Up

Octopus in St Abbs Marine Reserve by Mike Clark

British and Irish Wide Angle

A Basking Shark off the coast of Cornwall by Nick Robertson-Brown

Overseas Close Up

A squid at night in the Lembeh Strait in Indonesia by Ken Byrne

Overseas Wide Angle

Hammerhead Sharks in the Red Sea by Justin Beevor

Under Bath Water

Lockdown fun in the tub by Caroline Robertson-Brown

The next NUPG meeting will be held on Monday 8th February and the guest speaker is John Bantin.

For more information on the NUPG please visit their website by clicking here.

Header image: Lionfish hunting in the Red Sea by John Spencer

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