After the first day of fish portraits it was time to go and dive the Thistlegorm, this can be an amazing dive site but also very challenging as the wreck is not sheltered by any reef formation.
We got there early in the morning and attached to the wreck using the classic 3 point method: anchor, line on the bow and line on the stern we were all ready to go.
I have to say Dr Mustard prepared this very well and had a wealth of information on the wreck and the specific features.
The first dive was suggested to be a guide tour of the wreck from the outside with a limited penetration, the second would have been a penetration and the third dive a play with remote strobes (that I did not have).
As I had dived the wreck a number of times I decided to change the order so on dive number one went for a penetration of hold 2 and played a bit with the motorbikes.
There were already some others surrounding the bike as I went down so I played a bit with the divers themselves before being able to get in position.
It is amazing how much more interesting is a picture once you have a person in it. Eventually I got hold of the Bike in hold 2 also known as Elle’s bike. I looked around and there were some hatchet fish that I thought would have made the picture more interesting compared to the usual single fish in front of the bike.
I love the reflection on the fish that the strobe produced.
On dive 2 it was time to take some ambient light shots and I was expecting some divers to be around the stern that I could capture. Unfortunately the day boats had gone and the Thistlegorm was pretty empty so dive 2 was a bit of a waste as the boat itself says very little without a diver or a school of fish.
It could be the size of a RIB but you could not tell from here the massive size of the boat. It is quite dark at the 28 meters I took the picture so there is not a lot of color.
On dive 3 people that had them were playing with remote strobe. I fired a few shots when my cabin mate was placing his strobe, funny enough his remote strobe fired and I blackened him in lightroom so he is actually still there!
The remote strobe creates the blue in the truck glass that would not be there otherwise.
Next trip I will take my third Z240 and the gorillapod, I have to get a remote trigger but I think this is relatively straightforward.
The briefing from Dr Mustard included map of all the bikes and trucks and suggestion for shots and strobe positioning really impressive detail there.
After 3 dives on the wreck we moved to Beacon Rock where the Dunraven rests not to dive the wreck but to experiment with dapple light.
This was a very productive dive for me I had some of the best shots in relatively poor conditions.
The surface was not flat but this made it even more dramatic as the waves were breaking through.
There were also barracuda and goat fish shoals. The barracuda were not really cooperating so I focused on the goat fish
I also had a 26º snoot this time so I played a bit with an octopus
The good thing about the Inon snoot is that you can remove it and take normal shots with two strobes
This is the same octopus as before just to give you an idea
I was very happy with the performance of my RX100 Mark II one of the only two compact on the trip especially comparing to micro 4:3 that did not really look that much better.
Part 3 will be out soon with the first shots from Ras Mohammed