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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

Marine Life & Conservation Blogs

Take an immersive dive below the waves off the Welsh coast using 360 VR: Common Spider Crab (Watch Video)

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A week-long series from Jake Davies…

Below the waves off the Welsh coast, there are a range of species and habitats that can be seen. However, you don’t have to venture too far from the shore to see them or don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. Using 360 videos provides an immersive feeling of being below the water and encountering many species and habitats from diving one of the most important habitats and species that aren’t often seen whilst diving. For more of an experience of being below the waves, the VR videos can be viewed using a VR headset.

Take a VR dive just off the shore and explore what can be found within the shallow waters of a sandy beach. Fish can be founding cruising amongst the seaweed and numerous crustacean (Crabs, lobster, prawns, shrimps) species can be found walking around the seafloor. Common Spider Crabs (Maja brachydactyla) are one of the largest crabs species found along the coast and during the early summer, they aggregate in large numbers to moult which allows them to grow.


Follow Jake aka JD Scuba on the YouTube channel @Don’t Think Just Blog.

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Dive Training Blogs

Join Me On My Commute To Scuba Diving Key Largo! (Watch Video)

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Sunrise was so beautiful the other morning, I wanted to take a time lapse of my drive from home in South Miami to Key Largo before morning dives with Horizon Divers.

I thought you might enjoy taking the ride with me! Silly I know! But here’s 2 minutes of chill!

D.S.D.O,

James


Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/DiversReady

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Competitions

Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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