This week member Mike Clark gave us a talk on his experiences with underwater photography. Mike had given us a taster of his underwater work more than a year ago at our “International Dutch Members Evening”, which we enjoyed so much we asked him to give this full presentation. We were joined by Mike’s new fans from the Netherlands: Hans van der Boom and Denise Gielen.
Just like our previous underwater speaker, David Keep, Mike had also been inspired by watching “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau”. Mike began the evening by showing us his equipment. Mike fits his camera into a waterproof housing which lets him operate his Nikon DSLR camera underwater. The housing has a spherical transparent outer shell which gives even wide-angle lenses a panoramic view. Cleverly placed levers and mechanisms allow Mike to operate the controls of his camera from outside the housing. The housing is fitted with two strobe lights and flotation tanks, which can be manoeuvred on flexible arms. Mike usually operates the strobe lights at less than the maximum brightness because their battery life is limited. Most of the camera’s automatic systems don’t work properly underwater, so Mike needs to adjust the settings manually. Underwater photography requires a lot of concentration, since Mike not only has to watch out for photographic opportunities and adjust his equipment, but he also needs to monitor his air, depth and diving time.
Mike went on to show us a video presentation describing different aspects of his underwater photography. Most of the photographs had been taken around the coastline of Scotland. There were impressive shots of marine wildlife: from seals and monkfish, to squid and colourful sea slugs, ending with sharks and a truly gigantic skate! There were beautiful marine landscapes with delicate anemones and fish. There were also were ship-wrecks with barnacle-encrusted, twisted metal shapes, with a ladder leading invitingly into a dark and dangerous hold from which some divers have never returned. Mike also included some of his signature images: stunning split shots showing a shark or seal underwater together with the diving boat and fellow divers. If you are interested you can see more of Mike’s work on his web site or Flickr photostream (below):
Thank you very much, Mike, for preparing and giving us this presentation. It was very well received, and the Zoom chat was full of admiration for the stunning photographs shown. Best of luck with your future underwater adventures.