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Dive Photo Guide


Photographer of the Week – Steve Woods
By Lia Barrett, May 8, 2014 @ 02:00 AM (EST)

Green turtle, Gili Islands, Indonesia

I guess you could call Steve Woods a bit of a naturalist. And not just in the carry little containers around and collect defenseless little creatures, Darwinian sense. No, it’s not slugs and other bugs that tickle his curiosity, but rather images of the crawlers and trawlers of the subsurface world. Armed with a background in photojournalism, Steve takes his photographic foundation underwater in cohesion with messages of conservation, and does so using mostly natural light!

Ever since he was a wee little lad with a wee little lad’s British accent, Steve has been consumed with travel fever—a condition befallen many a fortunate soul. And so it passed that during his adolescent adventures, Steve took his first scuba plunge at age nine, an adventure that would later shape his future.

Since taking that nail-biting leap of shoving his beloved camera into a sealed box and submerging it, Steve has become an Ikelite man, and takes what he calls a “sturdy construction” with him on shoots around Indonesia and other locations. Maybe he’s prone to Ikelite, because he’d rather be paying attention to subjects like manta rays or the ladies of “America’s Next Top Model” on a shoot rather than worrying about whether he has a leak or having to cater to perpetually onerous housing maintenance. But honestly, who can blame him?

Whatever his equipment preference may be, Steve’s images have an almost organic feel. From shadowed figures to monochromatic color gradients, Steve uses photographic techniques to his advantage. As a viewer, you get a sense that you are part of the posse, one of the crowd, just another set of gills in the pack. I haven't decided whether this effect is due to a cheeky breath-hold and subsquent unawareness by the fish, or a mood evoked by the natural light. Whatever it is, there is a slight feeling that you are a silent intruder veiled in an invisible cloak. 

So who doesn't love silhouettes and sunbeams and all the glorious tricks of the available light trade? Steve's inspirational use of basic photographic principles might just make you want to ditch the strobes for a few dives and embrace those light-absorbing layers of water as a fresh canvas of creativity.

Manta ray, Nusa Penida, Indonesia

Manta rays, Nusa Penida, Indonesia

Gray reef shark, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Barracuda, Komodo, Indonesia

Manta rays, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Barracuda, Komodo, Indonesia

Steve Woods

For more of Steve’s work, check out his website, www.stevewoodsunderwater.com. You can also find updates on his Facebook page. You can find Ikelite gear like Steve’s at www.ikelite.com.


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