Category Archives: Underwater Photography

Me freediving

Camouflage and why I’m not good at catching fish

The other day I went with a friend to dive on a local shallow wreck. I have seen millions of pictures of other people freediving, spearfishing and generally being under the water but this is only the second time I have seen pictures of me (the first time were Go Pro selfies with the wrong camera housing so they are a bit out of focus). For the first time this has allowed me to compare what I look like above water, with what I look like below.

We all know that the light underwater is different, depending on depth some colours are filtered out and therefore some are emphasized, this is why things tend to look blue and green, while reds tend to disappear. But what I didn’t realise till I saw the picture below is the thing that stand out so boldly, which must ring alarm bells with any nearby fish, is the white writing;  this is assuming they see the same colours as us, which they probably don’t!

Me freediving

Me freediving –  ignore the bubbles, poor form, I think I was trying to talk through my nose..

The logo on the back of my gloves is almost fluorescent, and also the wetsuit logo, why would someone produce a camo wetsuit then put a bright logo on the arm and chest?

Even when I’m not spearfishing I still want to watch marine life close up without disturbing it, so I’m going to have to paint out those logos on the gloves, but the watch is also very reflective, maybe a neoprene flap to cover that over?

When I was researching kit I thought that the attention really good spearos pay to camouflage was a little over the top, but now I am beginning to see what the problem is. The viz the other day was pretty poor and my buddy was almost invisible at anything more than 3m, but the thing that stood out was the yellow flash on her hood (she is a scuba diver, and they have so much shimmering metal and rubbish about their person that they don’t seem to worry as much about being visible).

I’d be grateful for any info on how fish perceive us, what they see and what they don’t, if anyone has any knowledge in this area…. Could I paint myself with lots of small silver bait-fish to attract hungry bass??

Louis Shield Wreck

A second test of my GoPro Hero2 underwater housing – Another lesson Learned

Well today we visited my most local beach as I knew the visibility was going to be good and I hoped to see some of the big barrel jellyfish that are swarming up the coast at the moment. Unfortunately I didn’t see any, but the viz was probably about 6-8m and there was plenty of other stuff to see.

Unfortunately I have learned the hard way about the standard GoPro Hero2 underwater housing. It doesn’t focus properly underwater! What! I think it is fair to assume that an underwater housing good for 40m will actually take reasonable pictures underwater, but no, I got it wrong. I need the flat lens dive housing. The standard one, although waterproof to 40m doesn’t actually work properly underwater, it is still really just meant for surfing etc. where it is expected to take pictures above water.

You can see a short video here that illustrates the problem (apologies for the spelling mistake).

It is colourful, and the subject matter would be quite interesting, but it never going to be great until the focus problem is sorted so watch this space for some more impressive video when I get a new housing.

The trip was still worthwhile, the local wreck, Louis Shield is just off the rocks. There are some bits in open sand in the middle of the bay, on a very low spring tide these are just visible. Today the top was about 2m down, and 4m to the sand and tangled with old nets and lobster pots, quite dangerous in fact. The bulk of the wreck is just off the rocks, again this is almost too shallow to dive sometimes.

Louis Shield Wreck

Loius Shield Wreck

 

My new GoPro Underwater Housing – More to learn!

Yesterday I took my new GoPro housing and underwater selfie stick for a test. I have had a GoPro camera for a long time so I am used to the benefits and otherwise of using it, but this is the first time I have tried it underwater. The housing was watertight, that’s the main thing, so I haven’t lost a camera. Other than that, well, let’s just say I don’t have much to publish that will win me any awards. Part of this is due to the fact that the water was so cloudy, full of bloom and microscopic stuff which left everything looking green. That and the fact that there wasn’t much marine life around to photograph, a few small crabs on the sandy bottom to follow, one big ugly spider crab, and no fish. I didn’t even look great when I turned it on myself. Nothing to look at here!