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Sardines school


Sardines school
Photo Information
Copyright: Luko G R (Luko) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 111 W: 53 N: 198] (445)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2003-08-10
Categories: Nature
Camera: Olympus C4000z
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/125 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Scuba diving, the pros and cons [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2004-04-17 10:04
Viewed: 4556
Favorites: 3 [view]
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Fish schooling is a sight you really wait for when scuba diving, even though the fish speciy might be mundane or not very colorful.

Dense silver fish schools, such like these sardines, are like a flow of melted silver, compact and moving altogether, whenever some fishes turn their reflective belly to the sun, a part of the school shines like a jewel.

The challenge is getting close to the school to get a shot, it seems slow moving but if you happen to blow air out from your lungs, the whole school will be 5 meters further away in a snap of the finger.

You then need to take a deep breathe, hold it for at least 30 seconds, time you sink slowly under the fishschool, get close to make a shot orienting the camera upwards to the surface.
It's always better to take different shots because you never know how the fish will reflect your strobelight. This is also why when shooting silvery fish I tend not to set the flash directly to the fish but rather like the lightbeam only reaches a part of the scene in order to reduce reflects from direct light.

This is taken at an approx depth of 25m on Chumphon Pinnacles spot, off Koh Tao, a backpackers and divers island in southern Thailand.

I don't like very much that place in terms of diving quality but I must say this specific spot was excellent as it had that big shool, very good soft corals and most of all 3 or 4 big grey sharks, 10m below the fish school.
However I couldn't get closer than 5m from the sharks, which is already too far to get good pics...

flip89, Riz, Isabelle, andybrook, manny, AdrianW, adam, wata4no, joso, Midnight_sun, Miks, jhonny_blue, allanjameslipp, gringofil, darryl has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • flip89 Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 45 W: 0 N: 120] (585)
  • [2004-04-17 10:10]
  • [2]

What a sight! Wonderful shot, diagonal going down - very dynamic suggesting movement.

This is spectacular when seen in an aquarium (like in Monterey, California) but it must really be out of this world when seen in the wild and swimming with them. This is living vicariously for us who are not divers. Thanks for sharing. Really. Notes are exceptional too.

  • Great 
  • Riz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 192 W: 31 N: 101] (523)
  • [2004-04-17 10:34]

what a great shot Luko-deeply thank you for your note. the metalic shine about the uniform of them all, well done underwater photograghy is very interesting to me thanks for explaning the lighting as well.

ha, what a nice composition - all those sardines on the diagonal of the frame.. and beautiful colors...
hm, I think I should learn diving - there are beautiful scenes in the water, but first I should learn swimming I guess ;)

Amazing colour and composition,a great shot and note.
I must take up diving!
Very well done!

  • Great 
  • zto Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 916 W: 122 N: 24] (14)
  • [2004-04-17 12:31]

Lovely shot Luko. Nice pattern and colours. I like this deep blue colour and the reflection from the fish. The diagonal compo is also fine. Must have been a very special feeling to see this in real life Luko.

  • Great 
  • manny Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 502 W: 24 N: 1499] (12033)
  • [2004-04-17 13:04]

VERY very good. Repetition is awesome. I like the diagonals and the shining light sparkling like diamonds. I like to see more of your underwater shots.

Nice shot! You've captured this shoal of sardines well! Good note too, as always. If it were one of mine I think I'd add a little more contrast to the bottom right, but that's marginal. Lovely :-D

I was feeling playful so I've reframed the image as a Workshop, I hope you'll take it humourously - as that's how it's intended!

Fascinating shot, I love the angle looking up into the dark blue at the top left. As I scolled my screen up, it seemed as though those fish were actually swimming. A wonderful sight for those of us who may never have a chance to actually see it themselves.
Great work.

Magnifique ! ce n'est déjà pas facile de réussir de bonne photos à l'air libre, alors là sous l'eau chapeau, car il faut en plus retenir sa respiration. Les couleurs sont magnifiques, le détail également, et en plus une composition en diagonale, quoi demander de plus ? une version imprimée peut-être pour mettre sur mon mur ?

  • Great 
  • adam Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 16 W: 0 N: 16] (132)
  • [2004-04-18 1:34]

This reminds me of one of my favorite fish exhibits from the Monterey Bay Aquarium; the sardine tank. It's a small cylindrical tank with what seems to be a million sardines, swimming around and around in circles. Monterey used to be a big sardine cannery town I believe, which Steinbeck wrote about in Cannery Row.

That you experienced them in their natural environment is awesome. You captured the density of these fish perfectly. I like the diagonal positioning of the school.

A classical submarine view but amazing every time again...
The sharpness, the glittering blue & silver and the perfect crop make a very attractive image, though it seems almost too perfect to recognize you in it! ;o)

Wow great shot. It really invites us to image we are swimming with them. Beautiful fish and great result. i like the composition, with the fish nearly blacking out the 'sky' and how we can't tell which way is up. Great.

  • Great 
  • Miks Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 14 W: 0 N: 15] (74)
  • [2004-04-22 1:15]

Didn't know you did UW, but not surprised that you do that well too given the variation of your work.

I like this one for four reasons: (1) Despite the fact that the pic is crammed with fish there is a perspective to it, (2) The see-through to the big blue in the upper right, (3) the spot-on lightening and (4) the diagonal. Very good work!

Do you by chance know of any site dedicated to UW photography? (I guess the creation of TrekSea would be too much, even for Adam's broad shoulders;)

Very beautiful picture Luko ! It´s fantastic composition !
The colours are great !
I miss dive watching your photos !
Thaks for this ! :)

Great shot thanks for the notes as well... I like the fact that the fish schools density is graded from bot Left to top right which draws you eye to the surface... the flash has also aided this shift as Bot Left side is darker...

Thanks for sharing

This is just...WOW...simply amazing, Luko. Not only to capture this, but to be there and see it live and in person. Anyway, thinking about compo underwater must be a nightmare (you've got lost of other things to worry about...like oxygen, etc.) but here you've done very well. Excellent shot!

  • Great 
  • linus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1797 W: 13 N: 1442] (15482)
  • [2006-03-05 17:24]

Hi Luko,
An amazing photo. Scuba diving is something that I always wanted to do, but never got around to. So your picture is a reminder to me to get off my butt and learn this. Very instructive note.

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