The thing about this image is that I had every opportunity to make it right. Ooops! The right side is way over exposed. I know that. I knew that. I should know that. I should have known that. Did I miss any tenses? Missed! Darn! There probably won’t be a next time. Getting the falls in the winter with the ice is an image I’ll likely not have a chance to do again. The important thing – did I learn from this mistake? Oh bother… another regret.
I wanted to capture the image on my phone. We were in video face chat. No time. Do it. Fast! Ok. So I took a picture of my screen with my camera. It worked. Gotcha!
There have been a few of late. The next will be in 2034, so they say. I keep running into one. The last was in Saudi a couple years back. It’s nice that the news keeps telling me that a supermoon is in the sky. At least the sky has not fallen given recent events. I had to make adjustments for the supermoon to expose itself on my point and shoot. It ain’t easy. But I got it. I’m not at all certain to be here when the next one comes around. In the meantime, could you dial up a blue moon soon?
Selfie. It’s a wrap. I’m not bragging. It’s been an incredible journey.
Dives: 399 – Minutes: 25877 – Hours: 431 – Images this year: 21834 – Total four years: >50,000 images
I have logged 399 dives. Darn, just one short of 400. I did not log early dives nor training dives. That would be about six months until I got a dive computer. Some dives were short, maybe 30 minutes. And the longest was in excess of 100 minutes, 109 on a recent dive. I got better at air management. The average dive was about 64 min. This year I dove a lot and took 21, 834 images with a Canon G7. I have used a Canon G11, two Canon G12’s, and three Canon S100’s. Basically, I used three housings. I have two strobes. Redundancy was a must. Saudi has very limited access to equipment and supplies. All my stuff was largely brought from the US. I traveled with extra everything – batteries, memory cards. I always had a flashlight for unexpected night dives. I often had an extra camera housing – just in case. I have had about any camera problem you can think about. So be prepared. Everything fails. It’s a bit like wedding photography. You have two of everything. It’s a rule. Something always happens. I saved my buddy the other day. His memory card was full. I have forgotten to load my memory card. It’s better than forgetting to turn on your oxygen. But, I’ve done that too. (Ask your buddy to turn you on.)
There were three fantasy things I wanted to do in life. Dive. Fly. (I flew with a buddy in a Bell 47 helicopter.) And parachute. Two out of three ain’t bad. And I got to do both extensively. I’d have liked to have done one more night dive. And there are pictures in my head that I never got to image. Four years on the reef and I still saw something new on the last dive. I went into the water never expecting to make statistics. Fun, learning, pushing my personal limits – when the fork in the road came, I took it.
Today (a few weeks back) was my last dive for a while. So there will be no more wondrous finds for a bit. I have quite the treasury of images by now. And yet, there seems to always be that one elusive image…. This is a popcorn shrimp. It was nestled in the middle of an anemone. It was there for an instant. Amr got these shots with my camera. I’d have had a go. But it was gone. I’d have never seen it myself. Are you seeing this? After he focused and pointed it out, it was still a challenge to see. It blends in. It does not want to be eaten. It doesn’t care that all I want is a picture. Just hold still for a second. Please!
Is it my image? If you shoot it but did not find it, is it yours? Is the challenge the hunt or the shot? Technically it came from my camera. But no, the shot is not mine. I credit my dive buddy and give thanks. We found it together. He was gracious on my last dive. A good friend. Thanks.
Shisha – it’s what they smoke. I know it as a water pipe. Hookah, another name. It connotes smoking through water. I read that the dose of toxic nicotine is equivalent to hundreds of cigarettes in a single session of smoking shisha. Don’t do it! It’s bad for you.
It started when I passed a store that sells water pipes. It was the tip of the iceberg. Around Jeddah there are stores which will sell you custom made thobes. The stores are congregated in a few places. There might be a dozen or more shops side by side competing for business. There is another location for honey and another for olive oil, dates, and so forth. It’s silly economics. All the prices must be comparable.
The water pipe stores are on a narrow street. And then, much to my surprise, an artisan was right there. He was working away in an open shop with horrible fluorescent lighting. I paused, he looked up, and I did something I never do; I asked if he minded if I took his picture. And he was okay with it. And I got a couple. I did not try to overstay my welcome. Yay! It’s street photography and ordinarily I just shoot and look like I’m doing something else. But we were eye to eye. There was no hiding intent. And he was gracious and I said thanks. We had our moment and I moved on. I’d buy one. They sell his product next door. But, I don’t smoke. So, no…
Green eyes – the water is green, grey. Does that mean the green eye pigment helps? The only reason you see the color I show in my pictures is because the strobe has compensated for the lack of red color underwater. It returns daylight colors to the otherwise green looking see. And then there is the matter of “red eye.” Light reflects off the retina of people and produces “red eye.” You knew that, right? So here you see the red eye. It looks orange to me. And here you don’t. So, see, it works. I love it when science works!
See? Here’s an example. I thought of this post based on the shot I knew would be on my memory card when I got home. It ain’t perfect. Like my English. ..and my grammar. Miss Digman (seventh grade – sentence diagramming) would be all over me. Subject verb tense, oh my! And don’t forget the commas. Maybe I should’a been a poet. No rules. No capital letters….
Golden spotted flatworm. The name, silly. Apropos. I never knew that there was a front – and back. And you know ‘cause I have posted about this in this very blog, somewhere in the distant past. If you don’t remember, do not fret. It’s Alzheimer’s! Tra la! Anyway, it would not be a story unless I digress… Night dive, pointed to it courtesy of my buddy. I did the requisite catalog shot. Then I got another low angle creative, why am I here?, shot. Yes! The spots are even raised. The downside? The depth of field is so shallow that everything is not in focus. Usually there are eyes. None here.
Head shot? Lots of connotations. Kill shot for an assassin. Glamour shot for an aspiring actress. Getting the front end of golden spotted flatworm? At night?! Priceless!
Happy 4th of July. No fireworks for me to shoot. I guess I will have to make do with another day of diving….
Crab, lobster, and shrimp all love to hide. Not love, survival. They naturally don’t want to be eaten. And it’s true, because I don’t see them much on the reef. On this dive I was queasy. Bad pizza or current pushing me around, who knows? But I was thinking ahead to dry land and settling my stomach. My dive buddy pointed. And usually it’s obvious – the subject. He was wide angle and helpless to shoot this. The crab was in a hole. This means that the focus was going to be hell. The camera focuses on the closest nearest subject. No face recognition here! And then if you point your camera into the hole, your strobe will not fit too. I need a ring flash here. They do not make one underwater. Serendipity! Luck! Lots of it! Persistence! And time! The crab and I played peek a boo. I’d shine the light. He’d move. So I shined in one spot and waited for him to move into the field of my camera and strobe. It worked…till he caught on and moved away and under another coral to be lost to this poor photographer. Bye! I wasn’t going to eat you…promise!… heart crossed and hope to die….
I finally got it…for now! This is my best ever! Look at the detail! I know you have no frame of reference and cannot possibly know how rare an opportunity…
Macro. Green eyed shrimp! If you live long enough you can do this! Too! But I often wonder. I can dive the Red Sea freely and often – for now. And on any given dive, this would never ever happen to me. So if you persist and luck is on your side, well, you too may find your unicorn. I have many. There are a couple shots still on my bucket list. Green eyed shrimp are shy! They are found when the light reflects off their eyes from my brilliant LED flashlight. And as soon as the light hits their eyes, they retreat. This poor shrimp did not get the memo that it is safer to stay out of the light… and he will be someone’s meal soon. But meanwhile it got a shot, then got closer, got another and another, and then my dive buddy signaled me that we had to go – now! Darn! (My language would be a lot more colorful!) But, he’s boss, we go, when he says. Safety! Remember? He was concerned about tide, current, and rip surges. But it only takes a single shot. I got it! Macro! Close. Yes! Close enough to “see the white of their eyes….” Well, green…. I like the quote attributed to the Revolutionary war leader… don’t shoot till… Hey, can you tell I’m pretty excited about getting this shot. Everything works against you. The odds! Yup. Right place right moment. Eureka! Yeah, I’m a happy camper!