I took Julia on a tour of the hospital. Ordinarily, it’s not a big deal to show your daughter where you work. I did a lot of ‘take your daughter to work’ days with her. But the architecture is pretty stunning. So once again I got this fortuitous shot of her LCD as she lined up her shot. One thing that they do a lot is to make elaborate displays for new babies. The balloons are draped around the doorframes. Here’s what you see before it’s installed.
I can’t quite describe this confection. It’s a glazed roll, but more like a cream puff. The center is laden with melted butter at its bottom. The glaze bakes on and provides a sweet crisp topping. I found them quite delightful. Julia found them heavy and too much for an afternoon snack. All I can say is they are really the best right out of the oven. I’ll see if David enjoys this when he visits. It’s not something that I have come across in New York.
You might laugh since you saw the dive shots in the Red Sea. But I’ve been to the brand new Jeddah aquarium a couple times now. Julia wanted to see it, so off we went. Looking back on the images I can see what she meant when she said that the coral in the Red Sea was more than any she had seen else where in the world. We saw a bunch of sharks. Julia was under the impression that there are no sharks in the Red Sea. So while we dived she was relaxed until the instructor set her straight. I suppose she will be looking over her shoulder when we next dive. And there was this unusual orange stone fish. This would be hard to miss in the sea, but hey, I miss seeing a lot of things when we dive.
What I like here in Julia’s shot is that she has a head on view of the fish. My shots have mainly been profile shots. Hers is a real fish portrait. As they say, it’s in the eyes. She nailed it! Have I mentioned before that this is not easy to do? You hover, the fish hovers, everybody is moving in 3D and then you have to get the exposure, pose, and composition …. ah you get the idea.
This is the term used to describe looking at your camera LCD to judge the last photo you took. This shot was purely fortuitous. I happened to get the LCD screen as Julia was lining up her shot. If you tried to do this you would miss nine out of ten times. Hey, I got lucky. Underwater, you don’t really get to use the viewfinder, and the LCD at best is just an estimate. You really let the camera do the hard stuff, focus and exposure.
These shots are examples of why Julia is better than me. She was able to float into place and just press the shutter at the perfect moment. Hence, she got these spectacular shots. The females are bright orange and do not look at all like the males. She got great shots of them also. What impressed me is that she got the hang of underwater photography on the fly by just listening to me and the she applied her own technique to get these shots.It’s a great feeling to have your kids exceed your own skill.
Maroun told us there were two octopi out on the reef, a male and female. As to where, he simply spread his arm and made a general gesture. Julia found this one also. She was looking at a rock, that she thought was a moray eel, which turned out to be an octopus. They change color and you don’t really get to see tentacles. So they are hard to spot. They can really mimic the surrounding coral, so you have to catch them while they are confused about what camouflage to take on. And shy… this one scooted under the rock and hid from us as best it could.
Julia and I were taken by Capt Omar (instructor) to his secret dive spot. It’s less than one hundred yards from the dock, but it’s not at all obvious. His co-instructor, Shamia, has yet to find it. So much for sharing… It was spectacular, but I’m still trying to get a great shot. We were there every time we dove and Julia even missed it as we swam through because it’s not so obvious. What it amounts to is a tunnel in the reef coral, that is beautiful to swim through. From one direction (as in these shots) it’s great and from the other side it’s nothing special. So that’s why Shamia is mad at Omar.For once, even Julia didn’t realize we were swimming through the tunnel when we approached from the wrong end.
We, Julia and I, were on our own, having passed the confidence test of the instructor, Shamia, and were swimming along, when a professional photographer beckoned and pointed out the presence of the larger stonefish (above). It’s not easy to notice because it blends in so well. I called Julia’s attention and we had a ball taking photos. The professional had completed his shoot. He had a serious DSLR and housing with high-end flash (big bucks). Julia to her credit was aware of everything around and motioned to me to look at another rock. It was another smaller stonefish. I wanted to ask someone if it was male and female, but underwater, questions are hard to put. Hey! I don’t see one (stonefish) before and then we see two in one dive.
Julia was visiting a few weeks ago. She actually learned to dive before I did. I’ve had more dives. She’s better. When I say this, I mean she’s got better buoyancy control and she’s a better dive photographer. She didn’t start off with an underwater camera, so she says that she had a lot of practice just floating and maintaining dive control. The kid can hover like no one’s business.I got her an underwater housing for Christmas and she used it once before she arrived. No water leakage, that’s the first test. Ah! What fathers can do to make their kids embarrassed. She’s used to it though. So as a good sport and knowing that I was taking her diving in the Red Sea, she consented to let me shoot pictures. Me, I’m still all over the map with buoyancy. So I adjusted weights and by the second day could drop like a stone and with a little help from my BCD could hover, somewhat. It’s still a work in progress.