4th Place Portrait Ocean Art 2020 Thomas Gaitley

4th Place Portrait

Thomas Gaitley

"The Eyes Have It"



The Story: I love diving the cold, green waters of the Atlantic Ocean off the shores of New England. The marine life is abundant, unlike the singular experience of life on a reef. Marine life can be challenging to find though, since most of it blends in with the surroundings rather than standing out and because more than ten feet is considered exceptional visibility. This bay scallop was lying on the bottom of a shallow cove in Ft. Wetherill State Park, Rhode Island. Longfin squid, juvenile shrimp, blue crabs, seahorses, and more were nearby, begging for attention. Seen from the top, this scallop looked like one of many bivalves -- relatively indistinguishable from the gray-brown bottom muck characteristic of this site. That is, until, my dive light caught its blue eyes. Risking a complete silt out, I lowered myself as much as possible in the water to settle level with the scallop. Seeing it through my viewfinder, and capturing the image using an optical snoot to enhance texture and depth, this benign (and tasty) creature looked more like a thing from my nightmares. My only regret is that my children are too old now for me to hang this photograph above their beds on April Fool’s Day.

Location:  Jamestown, Rhode Island, USA

Equipment Used: Nikon D800 Camera, Nikon 105mm Macro Lens, Nauticam NA-D800 Housing, Sea & Sea YS-D2 Strobe, Retra LSD Snoot

 Camera Settings: 1/200, F22, ISO 200


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