PHOTO TECHNIQUE

Big-beam Backlight

A British WW2 BSA M20 motorbike on the upper deck, port side of the Thistlegorm’s hold 2, is backlit with two strobes.

Taken with a Nikon D4 and Sigma 15mm. Subal housing. Seacam strobe on camera (low power) and two Inon Z240 strobes off-camera, diffusers removed (high power). 1/320th @ f/11, ISO 1250.

AS I EXPLAINED in my talk at DIVE 2017, this is a photo that took me most of a decade to get. I’m a slow worker.

My inspiration for creating these beams of light came from seeing the beautiful beams created by distant divers’ torches as they explored the wreck.

I wanted that light in my photos and I finally figured out how to do it, when writing about how to capture stunning sunbeams in a Mexican cenote!

The key is to make sure that the light-source is completely hidden from the camera. That is a little more difficult with strobes because you can’t see the light until you see the photo. After much trial and error, this was the result.

Appeared in DIVER January 2018