Today my relatively new dive buddy, Daniel Sloan, convinced me to do a “let’s get out of the house” dive so we headed up to an old favorite, the Edmonds Oil Dock. Conditions could not have been better, mirror seas, 75 degrees and sun was shining. On top of that, the visibility was about 30 feet which seemed to be far better than average for summer time. The dive started a little uncomfortable with a strong downward current on the outside of the pilings but by the time we worked our way back up the slope the current died off and all went extremely well after that. I spent most of the dive hunting for a shot to illustrate just how cool those pilings can appear. I found a great sea star that had a good negative space of anemones on pilings and dialed in my exposure and composition. As often happens, when I settle down into one spot for awhile, the fish decide I’m there to stay and they return to the area. It’s as if the fish can read your mind and know your not interested in them so they become interested in what you are doing. In this case, it hadn’t even occured to me to have a fish in the shot, but the moment he swam into the viewfinder I knew the magic was happening and the shot was now much better, and complete.
Many years ago, a good friend of mine, Curt Nakon, and I coined the phrase “personal stock photos”. We are always goofing around taking funny photos and/or memory shots on trips but, unlike the average tourist, we’re a couple of pro photographers playing with our fancy photo equipment. Our “snapshots” often have the look, and all the elements, of high end commercial photography, except that we are always doing something in them that pretty much ruins any possible value for the photos for anyone else. Here is an example of one these type images that has become permanently assigned to our personal stock photo collection. This was taken as Curt was coming to pick me up with his boat just after I finished a photo shoot near Sucia Island in the San Juans. Curt’s embellishing the photo with a peace sign.