SUP in Paradise – Chris McLennan

 Posted by on February 14, 2014  Add comments
Feb 142014
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“Some of my favourite images are those that I have pre-visualised beforehand.  No doubt there is something fun and exciting about turning up somewhere and seeing and photographing the unexpected, but being able to create an image that I already have in my head is even more of a thrill for me.  Especially when it comes out as great as this one.

Paddle boarding is a huge sport that is taking off around the world and I am a keen fan myself.  Ever since getting my own boards I’ve been dragging them all around the world to include in photo shoots wherever appropriate.  Having worked in the islands of Tahiti before I knew the amazing clarity of the water over there, and of course the incredible sea life!  So on this trip I really wanted to showcase both alongside someone on a paddle board.  And hence my idea to do a half under / half over image to showcase the beauty below – and the beauty above!! 
I have always been fascinated by sharks (from the reef sharks of the tropics to the Great Whites of Africa – I have photographed both).  So my idea was simple, have someone paddleboard amongst the sharks and create a stunning half under / half over image.  Creating the image in the camera took a little longer than creating it in my head, there are a lot of challenges involved when shooting split images – especially when your subjects move at their own free will!  But in the end getting these shots was just as much fun as imagining them – snorkelling in these crystal clear waters amongst these gorgeous black-tipped reef sharks was definitely one of the highlights of my trip.  And the resulting images were exactly what I wanted.  And just in case you were wondering, this image (and all of the others in this series) was created exclusively in the camera – they are not composites.”

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  6 Responses to “SUP in Paradise – Chris McLennan”

  1. Hi Chris. In addition to the great effect of the camera being half in and half out of the water, I like the focal length you have chosen. it has made the sharks and the birds look very active. wish I had been there. Great image.

  2. There is no way I would be able to create an image like this – not with the technical toolkit I know and use. Which of course begs the question we have when we see other photographers work and want to know more – the how did you’s ? and the What’s ?

    • Hi Pauline, definitely a bit of trial and error the first time around, but I’ve been doing half and half’s for a while now and have the hang of it. I use an AquaTech housing and dome port so the image is actually projected in front of the dome, which means manually focusing for the projected image. It takes testing to find the exact spot as each dome port is different. I then use a high ISO and a smaller aperture to give me greater depth of field. As always, practice, practice, practice!

  3. You set your targets high when you pre-visualise something as wonderful as this. I also enjoyed the one I saw from this series in “the photographers mail”.
    I’m sure that there was a lot of work in understanding the “half in, half out” technique just to be able to imagine the possibilities.
    Thanks for joining us and sharing

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