Thursday, July 23, 2009

Spade Fish

While ascending from a wreck dive last week in Panama City Beach, Florida, there was a school of atlantic spade fish that swam to us. This group was exceptional for taking photographs, because they swam tightly packed together, and they were completely unafraid of me and allowed me to come very close. I have recently been wanting to get some fish school pictures, but I haven't had many chances where I could approach close enough to fill my wide angle lens.

I took a lot of pictures, and it gave me an opportunity to practice lighting silver fish. Silver fish can be difficult to light, because if you light them too brightly they reflect it back as white light. If you don't get enough light on them, the blue of the water will wash their color out. So this gave me a chance to practice several methods including only using natural light and color balancing after the fact, using my typically strong powered strobes with a small aperture (the size of the hole that opens up in the lens to take the picture), and turning the power of strobes down to get some highlights lit up on the fish without lighting up the entire fish. The easiest way to get acceptable results is to turn the strobes off and white balance (the second image above), but my favorite pics came from using the strobes but at their lowest power setting.

More spade fish photos and Panama City Beach scuba photos here.
Thanks for reading.

Lucas Price
Underwater Encounters


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