Honorable Mention Compact Wide Angle Ocean Art 2020 Alexandra Vautin

Honorable Mention Compact Wide Angle

Alexandra Vautin

"The Beast of Koh Tao"



The Story: Koh Tao's beloved HTMS Sattakut might just be the most dived wreck in the world, but i can almost guarantee that only about 1% of these divers have ever seen it in conditions like this. Resting at depths between 27m-30m, with a length of 49m and a width of 7m, you realise just how much of a beast the ex navy ship truly is when you have visibility beyond its average of 5 metres.   

Diving came to a halt on our little island for 2 months due to Covid-19 restrictions, and this shot was taken on one of my first dives after the ban was lifted. As you can imagine, spirits were high, the water was like glass, and we were the only boat in the ocean-something totally unheard of on our island. If i have my camera, I usually try to avoid the Sattakut, as its poor visibility, overcrowding, and depth make it a nightmare to shoot, but i gambled anyway- even though i was leading a customer who was restricted to 18metres, the shallowest point of the wreck . As i jump in, i immediately see the beast beaming from the bottom, something i have never seen in over 300 dives at this site, and we quickly begin our descent. I remember screaming with excitement as we slowly dropped onto the ship, you could see from bow to stern, and everything in between. As per depth restrictions, we began circling from above, looking down at the other divers from a birds eye view, a completely different perspective for me. Every time i look at this image i am reminded of this magical post lockdown moment. The small body of the diver and the bow of the ship perfectly illuminated from above, creating a dramatic depiction of the beast. 

Location:  Koh Tao, Thailand

Equipment Used:  Sony RX100 VI Camera, Fantasea Housing, AOI UWL-09F Wet Wide Angle Lens

Camera Settings: 1/160, F3.2, ISO 125



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