A YEAR UNDERWATER WITH OLYMPUS
GUEST POST BY PETE BULLEN
Gozo is an amazing diving destination, with clear water, fantastic underwater topology and great value diving – people return here year after year and many of my customers come back 2 or 3 times a year. The easy shore based diving, combined with good food and an easy going lifestyle out of the water, make Gozo attractive all year round. 2013 has been a busy year, I’ve been guiding and coaching photographers in our waters all year with many memorable highlights, a few of which I thought I would share with you here.
Adam Davidson, who I first dived with 2 years ago has become a regular visitor. This year he won the Underwater category in the Ulster Wildlife Photographer Competition with this lovely image shortly after a week with me
He also took the following shot, macro is Adam's sweet spot and moving him to a wide angle with his Olympus 9-18mm has been a fun challenge
Emily also took this shot which I love
I’ve been shooting with Olympus PEN cameras for 5 years now and was an early adopter of the Micro Four-Thirds format, the combination of top class image quality and low weight in a small package that is easy to push through the water or squeeze into small spaces makes it a perfect format for serious or semi-serious underwater photography. However, not all my clients use Olympus cameras and early in August I witnessed a tragedy. Reinhard had come out to dive with me bringing all his own equipment and on his 2nd dive his housing leaked, killing his brand new 6D – not something that could be fixed here in Gozo.
I was able to rescue his holiday by lending him my OM-D E-M5. He loved it so much that he bought one and got some wonderful results, like the following image. Reinhard has a wonderful eye for a subject, but like so many people he was firmly stuck in program or auto mode for all his shots. I don’t believe that either mode works well underwater, as controlling the light is always a challenge but never more so than 20 or 30 metres underwater and I always push people to shoot in fully manual mode. Once they fully understand all the manual mode controls and the reasoning behind when to choose which, then we can sometimes move to A or S priority. By the end of Reinhard’s holiday he was happily shooting in fully manual mode all the time and claimed he’d learned more in 2 weeks with me, than he had in the previous 20 years.
Tim’s holiday coincided with a visit from my daughter who happily volunteered to model for us as Tim was keen to get some wide angle shots in the Blue Hole and under the Azure Window, two of our signature dives here in Gozo. Needless to say we also found time for some macro work too.