Light Under Cover

May 05, 2017

Underwater environments offer exciting opportunities to create photographs; underwater environments covered in bright green duckweed far exceed the often hoped-for clear-water, bright-coral and plenty-of-light opportunities.

Recently I was at Manatee Springs in Chiefland, Florida. Catfish Hotel is a natural sink where water rushing through the underground aquifer eroded a circular hole in the ground. Duckweed, a naturally occurring tiny plant, covers the surface most of the time. I was hoping for a full-cover of duckweed and bright sunshine overhead for optimal shooting.

Alligators often enjoy floating in the still water of sink hole but luckily I didn't bump into any. I definitely kept my snake-sense awake so I could avoid potential territorial disputes with grumpy cottonmouths.

The two dives in Catfish provided great fun, especially when other divers stopped stirring up silt on the bottom (which tends to make me less-than happy to see them). Light beams came and went as clouds passed overhead. It took constant adjustment of f-stop and shutterspeed to capture the effects I envisioned.

After emerging after the second dive I believe some of the duckweed made it into a salad I had for lunch...even though it wasn't intentional. 

Daring to put ourselves into new shooting situations expands our skills and builds greater creative talent. Where have you shot lately that challenged you?

Happy shooting!


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