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Pure Silk
 March 15, 2010 @ 03:56 AM (EST)
Editor's Note -
Pure Silk, Debi Henshaw's shot of a ribbon eel was the winner of the DPG January Monthly Photo Contest as well as the 1st place winner in the DEEP Indonesia Animal Portrait Category.  While Debi attributes the image to being lucky, only a talented photographer can recognize the opportunity and take advantage of it. It should remind us all to always be prepared.  - Matt

By Debi Henshaw

On any dive trip, we all have a “wish list” of the critters, large and small, we’d love not only to see but to shoot too and also have an idea of the composition of “getting that shot” in my minds eye but in truth, the majority of the time, until you submerge yourself within the riches of our underwater world you never really know what you are going to find and Lady Luck has a huge part to lay in getting that unique shot.
 
 
Location: Lembeh Straits, Indonesia. Equipment: Nikon D200 in a Sea & Sea DX200 housing using a 60mm lens and twin Inon Z240 strobes. Settings: f/14, 1/125 ISO 100

It was such a case with the shot I call “Pure Silk” the female Ribbon Eel in full flight. We were about 40 minutes into a fairly uneventful dive when I spotted her darting in and out of the rubble bottomed reef - she was in a hurry and I don’t know if she was out hunting or perhaps looking for a new home but I was able to follow her shooting almost indiscriminately as I went, after all its not every day you find one of these creatures in any other pose than we have all seen before. I fired off about 10 shots hoping that I would get lucky with at least one of them and the flat topography found at TK1 in The Lembeh Straits, North Sulawesi made it fairly easy for me to keep up with the eel. Luckily diving with my husband David mean’t he was also able to get a crack at a shot or two as well.

For me there are definitely at least two types of underwater photography, the planned shot where you can virtually set the shot up yourself with static objects and perhaps a model, then there are the “Pure Luck” shots and just being in the right place at the right time - of course some of these can be planned too if you know your subject’s habitat but we all know its not a zoo down there so when an opportunity presents itself - grab it with both hands and preferably your camera too!


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Karen Doody
Mar 13, 2010 9:58 PM
Karen Doody wrote:
This shot is so outstanding that when I first saw it I KNEW we would see it scoring well in the annual photo comps this year. Everything about it is so "spot on"...composition, behavior, exposure...Well done Debi! Congrats!
Debi Henshaw
Mar 14, 2010 5:49 AM
Debi Henshaw wrote:
Thanks Karen much appreciated!
Matt J. Weiss
Mar 18, 2010 10:35 AM
Matt J. Weiss wrote:
I agree, great job of taking advantage of the moment and getting perfect composition and lighting.
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