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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 supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

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Looking ahead with Regaldive…

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Regaldive is set to launch three NEW small group dive holidays for 2021.

With the news of Covid-19 vaccines on the horizon there is light at the end of the tunnel, and the team at Regaldive have been busy working on some fantastic new itineraries.

Their new small group dive adventures have been designed on a unique land-based, liveaboard concept. The holidays will appeal to divers who like to travel as part of a small group and those who enjoy a liveaboard experience with an action-packed diving itinerary.

Check out some of the great value packages to Egypt, Indonesia and the Maldives here:

SHARM DIVE EXTRAVAGANZA

On this week-long adventure at the authentic family run Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village in Sharm we have included a special diving itinerary with 15 dives! Explore Ras Mohamed National Park, Tiran, the Dunraven wreck and also enjoy a couple of night dives.

This is an exceptional package with accommodation, diving, meals and transfers all included plus for single divers there is no single supplement.

Dates:

  • 6-13 May 2021
  • 10-17 June 2021
  • Price from only £695pp
  • More on this offer HERE

BUNAKEN BONANZA, INDONESIA

This small group holiday is based at the beautiful Tasik Ria Resort on the shores of Manado, facing the Bunaken National Marine Park in North Sulawesi. The spacious family run resort has excellent facilities and you will enjoy warm hospitality from the friendly team.

Our special diving itinerary includes a total of 17 dives! You can take three dives per day and the package also includes a night dive and a trip over to Lembeh Strait to seek out the weird and wonderful. Accommodation, meals, transfers and Nitrox are also included plus for single divers there is no single supplement.

Dates:

  • 01-08 May 2021
  • 04-11 September 2021
  • From only £1345 per person

More on this offer HERE


DIVE & DETOX MALDIVES

This magical dive resort has been specially selected for our small group trip – with just six rooms it offers the perfect base to rewind, detox and enjoy world-class diving. Boutique Beach is ideally located on a local island at the tip of the South Ari Atoll, an area known for excellent whale shark sightings.

We have included 17 dives in our special package, including two full day safaris, a night dive, and some secret dive spots. Accommodation, meals, transfers and Nitrox are also included.

Dates:

  • 25 April-02 May 2021
  • 02-09 October 2021
  • Price from only £1675pp

More on this offer HERE

All prices are quoted on a land-only basis. Flight prices available on request.

Places are limited to just 6-10 divers so don’t delay!


To find out more about these new small group holidays or to book, visit: www.regaldive.co.uk or call 01353 659999.

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Dates announced for Grenada Dive Fest 2021

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The Grenada Scuba Diving Association, in collaboration with Grenada Tourism Authority, has announced the 5th Annual Pure Grenada Dive Fest from the 9th-15th October 2021.

To celebrate the success of the recent fourth event Pure Grenada Dive Fest – ‘A Virtual Experience’, the Grenada Scuba Diving Association, in partnership with Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association and Grenada Tourism Authority, are giving away an awesome prize. Entrants can win a five-night stay at Grenada’s Seabreeze Hotel in 2021!

Entering the giveaway is easy. Find the post on the Instagram or Facebook page @grenadapurediving and simply follow the rules.

Full terms and details can be found on the website by clicking here

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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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