Post my Favorite Shots – Day 1 of 5

It was with some amusement yesterday when I noticed that I had been challenged by one of my students to a five day “Post your favorite shot” challenge.  I see these go by on the Facebook feed all the time, but this is the first time I’d actually been challenged by anyone.

Day one of five of my challenge to “post my favorite shot”. Considering with no exaggeration that I have millions of shots to choose from, this isn’t going to be easy for me. The first part of the challenge was to decide what criteria I’m going to use. I’ve decided that I’m going to go with the emotional component. That is to say that I’m not going to decide based on what I think are my best shots from a technical standpoint, I’m picking my favorites based on the moment in time that they captured and my emotional response to it. These are not necessarily in order…

It should be no surprise to anyone who knows me that in general, I prefer to be either on, around or better still, UNDER, water. In keeping with that, day one of five is this image from the October 2013 expedition for the Underwater Sombrero project. This image was taken at a depth of about 22FSW looking through the decaying ribs of the ocean going Flagler Barge. This barge was sunk a number of years ago as an artificial reef just a few miles south-southwest of Sombrero Key. It was allegedly involved in the construction of the Flagler Railroad which bridged the keys and is the site of at least one burial at sea, that of a local captain who was instrumental in bringing the barge to it’s current location for use as a reef.

This is a published image and other than color correction, has had no adjustments or other post processing.

I was actually accused by the company that published the image that I somehow managed to get those red fish to pose that way for me. 😉  31mm focal length, D200 in a Sea&Sea underwater housing. Manual exposure f13, 1/40, ISO 200 with manually fired dual underwater strobes.

While there are many shots I love from my underwater work, this one is a particular favorite, not only for my love of the
site and the area, but in how hard I worked to get the large depth of field, crisp focus and wide color gamut, balancing ambient with added flash by dragging the shutter, all while breathing on life support, hovering in the water column and drifting back and forth with the swell of the waves above. It was a challenging shot 🙂 Everytime I look at it, I wish I was there again.

Yeah. Now I really need a compressed air fix…