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Behind the Shot: Encounters in the Blue
By Juan Jose Sotano, May 7, 2013 @ 06:00 AM (EST)

Editor's Note: Juan Jose's sensational double eposure image won first prize in our August monthly contest.

By Juan José Sotano 

The beaches of La Herradura and Marina del Este, Granada, Spain, are ideal places not only for diving, but also to observe and photograph a variety of marine species, especially nudibranchs, the predominant organisms, and main claim of this dive site.

The Idea

The idea for this image came from my desire to practice few techniques, ideas, and innovations. This desire comes from the daily observation of the work of other photographers online and in person that push us to get past the limitations of our own image techniques. 

Juan Jose wanted to push the limits of his creativity with double exposures, like this one


The Shot  (Rather, shots)  

To make the award-winning shot, I used the technique of multiple exposures, now allowed by most SLR cameras, in my case the Nikon D200. This technique works by taking two separate images and combining them in the camera. 

This technique may seem innovative in the underwater photography world, but it’s nothing new; actually, it originates from film photography, where you would literally expose the same section of film twice. It’s not the most difficult thing to do, but you will need a lot of perseverance (trial and error) in order to achieve satisfactory results.

The two test exposures leading up to the multiple, combined frames

Needless to say that prior to obtaining final shot, there were other different pictures of just the sun in order to determine the correct exposure so that part of the picture would involve a black section to interlay the nudi subject. Then I had to determine the correct exposure and framing for the nudibranchs—a lot of test shots! 

I then adjusted the camera with the option that would allow me to perform multiple exposure, indicated the number of exposures desired, to finally make the two images that would make up the final frame. I kept in mind the settings for each frame: an exposure of the main subject, in this case, the two mating nudibranchs (Cratena Peregrina), and a second exposure, the sunball. The result:

Camera settings: Nikon D200, Micro Nikkor 60mm lens. f/20, 1/250, ISO 100.













































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