Photography Life is all about the Lines

Harlequin Ghost Pipefish

Wow, it’s already Tuesday, my new book has arrived and my first orders have already been sent tonight. I’m feeling very giddy.

So today I thought I would start to explore the wonderful world of lines and how they can help to pack a punch to your underwater images.

It’s all too easy when underwater to simply shoot a subject which catches your eye and relying on it’s beauty to make your image stand out from the crowd. Even just a little thought, time and effort will turn a good image into a great one.

One technique which is just so simple is to place your subject on a diagonal line. For example, this harlequin ghost pipefish was a complete dream of mine to see, especially as it was pregnant. I got underneath my subject to accentuate the shape of the tummy and waiting for the subject to turn so that it was on a perfect diagonal. This really helped to create a much stronger image and I also increased my shutter speed to create a black background. I used the same technique with the little goby, watching it for most of my dive whilst it sat on this hard coral, occasionally hopping about, until it got into the right place where I wanted to create an image.

So why do diagonal lines work so well? They really help to draw the eye of an image’s view through the photograph, particularly when starting at the bottom left and moving to the top right – probably moreso to do with the way that our eyes read. Ask yourself where is the strongest line taking me? Use the surrounding textures and colours to bring even more interest to the overall scene.

In this final image to share with you from the shallow Mangrove Swamps in Raja Ampat, Indonesia (yes, apparently there was a crocodile there somewhere), I was in just a few feet of water and fell in love with how the branches of the mangroves led up to the surface of the water. I placed the soft corals on a diagonal line, using one strobe to highlight them and bring out their textures whilst also increasing my shutter speed to darken the surface of the bright sunlight to bring the overhead scene through to the image. I also loved the green vegetation surrounding the coral, bringing colour contrast to the scene.

More ideas will be covered soon – but for now I’m off to my A & E department for my night shift. If you need any help with your own photos, just get in touch. I’ll always happy to help.

Take care everyone and stay safe xx

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