Word and Image

Archive for May 28, 2015



It might be Willow. The two cats are brothers and they look alike to me. The point of this picture is that it represents a new change for me in underwater photography. Willow actually likes water. But this is not a series about cats swimming underwater. I bit the bullet and got a dive strobe. This is a considerable expense and a big step up in commitment. It is one more piece of equipment to potentially ruin with salt water. My recent trip home was so busy that I did not experiment for four days. Then I got the thing working in about ten minutes and in about 10 wasted frames. Now I needed a willing subject. Aha! The cats – and off I went. They were pretty tolerant. A bright light flashing is no fun. Nellie, my dog, invariably blinked and I would get closed eyes more than 90% of the time. Go figure.

Okay! I got this whole thing figured out. I was pretty smug. When I got back to Jeddah I experimented again. In all I shot about two hundred images and pretty much knew what to do. It’s like swimming on dry land. You need to be in the water.

The first problem I encountered was the batteries were in wrong. Somehow a pair slipped and were backwards going into the flash head. Dive one – a bust. No flash. Dive two – there was water in my housing. Once the camera is exposed to water (it was not wet) the flash stops working. No flash again. Third dive – a charm – I switched cameras and all went according to plan. Finally! Fourth dive – an orgy – we did four that day – it was a night dive!! And the flash and the camera were in sync and I got some good shots. There were no great subjects. But the thing worked as I had practiced. There is still a steep learning curve to get comfortable. But at least I am getting images now. It’s all good from here.