www.underwaterpics.co.uk

No Winter Blues!

Limacia clavigera
Limacia clavigera

There will be no winter blues for me! Winter in many parts of the UK is often a damp, overcast and relatively mild affair with just the odd day of cold, still, sunny weather to stop us all getting depressed and longing for the summer.

Photographically it can be tough to produce worth-while images. Many marine creatures have left the coastal waters for safer deep water wintering grounds and the water clarity is very often sub-optimal as winter storms batter the coastline.

For the nudibranch enthusiast (like yours-truly) these dark winter months can actually be quite rewarding. A number of species hatch in the early winter and spend the next few months munching on hydroids and visibly growing on a weekly basis.

Skeleton shrimp
Skeleton shrimp

An added bonus of the drop in water temperature and clarity is the beautiful green colouration our waters can sometimes take on during the winter months.

On a dive recently when a favourite slug-hunting spot was beginning to produce some superb specimens, we had the most amazing emerald-green colour in the water. The combination of poor visibility and the low angle of the sun brought an eerie-green glow to the ambient light at about 10m.

I was fortunate to find a subject that made it possible to shoot upwards and take advantage of this gift of  colour. It took some care to balance the low ambient-light levels with my single, snooted, flash but the results were some of my favourite images of 2016 :)

A tiny shrimp on some sea-mat
A tiny shrimp on some sea-mat

As well as these open-shutter macro shots, recent conditions and critter-levels have allowed for some more traditional black-background imagery too. I’m enjoying my macro shooting at the moment and may even have to invest in a Nauticam CMC, just so that I can give Terry his back!