Before And After II

Continuing in the before and after series (previous post), here is a Caribbean Reef Shark which I photographed in the Turks and Caicos.

We had put out an ‘attractor’ for the sharks (namely a small piece of fish in a metal box) and we had five to six circling around and swimming amongst the divers. In those sorts of situations I tend to look at the patterns the sharks follow, place myself in their path and wait. They are quite inquisitive and will come by quite close to check out the divers (insert your own jokes about tasty morsels here) at which point you can get some really nice shots as they stream by. I had positioned myself on the seabed very close to the attractor and was watching sharks come by and it stuck me that I could get better shots by lying with my back on the seabed. Indeed I had been noticing that the sharks would just swim over me. So I turned over and started taking shots.

This is the initial shot of a shark as it swam over me. The shot is tinged with red because I had calibrated the white balance on the camera my shooting down at the calibration slate and now I was taking shots upwards so getting more sunlight from the surface (we were at about 50 feet). You will also notice some ‘snow’ in the picture and a diver’s fin. Unfortunately the camera I was using is pretty slow focusing so I lost the nose of the shark.
Caribbean Reef Shark (Master)

So cleaning up the picture, I adjusted down the red, brought out the blues a little, better contrast, then removed the ‘snow’ and the errant fin. The result is a fairly decent blue for the water, though I could have done a better job on the texture on the left of the shark, there is some blotching going on. One thing that was really brought out are the sharks “Ampullae of Lorenzini” all across the shark’s snout. Basically they are a network of electroreceptors, which you can read up on on Wikipedia.
Caribbean Reef Shark

There are some divers who will massage shark’s Ampullae of Lorenzini which makes them very docile, but I was not about to attempt that.

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2 Responses to Before And After II

  1. findingfu says:

    Hi Francois,
    Finally figured out how to fix my WordPress acount so I can leave a comment!
    I’ve been enjoying following your blog, especially the diving/photography posts! Great tips here and very interesting information. Great blues in the water. Must have been so great to be up close and personal with these beautiful creatures!
    Cheers,
    -Fu

  2. Thank Fu, as you know my camera is pretty old and I have to rework the pictures pretty extensively to get them to look good. Being so close to these creatures was quite amazing, we were told not to go chasing after them and we did not need to because they came by very close to us. I found that all you needed to do was wait patiently and they would come closer to a point where they were maybe 6-12 inches from me, and I had to get out of the way to avoid them hitting me as they came by. Personally I thin they are beautiful creatures though I understand most would not agree with me.

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