The British Society of Underwater Photographers (BSoUP)
Inspiring and informing underwater photographers since 1967

© Images and articles on this website are the copyright of the photographers and authors.

 

facebook

 

 

About BSoUP : Code of Conduct : Coming Soon : Competitions : Constitution : Contact us : Courses
Cover shots
: Directions : HistoryMagazine : Meetings : Members websites : News Archive
Programme : Online shop - Books : Online shop - Electronics : Site Index


BSoUP's Sponsors

Carpe Diem, Sponsors of BUIPC 2017

Mikes

O'Three - Sponsor of the BIUPC 2015 and 2016

Oyster Diving, Sponsors of BIUPC 2017

Diver Magazine - Sponsor of the Annual Beginners Portfolio Competition and the BSoUP/DIVER Print Competition

DiveQuest - Sponsor of the Underwater Excellence

Scuba Travel

Kungkungan Bay Resort

Cameras Underwater - Sponsor of the BSoUP/DIVER Print Competition 2015 - 2017 and BIUPC 2015 and 2016

Deadly Oceans

Doug Allan - Freeze Frame



Underwater photography in the Red Sea

or Why go further than Eilat?

by Peter Rowlands

Reproduced from in focus 18 (Oct. 1986)

Israel

There is no doubt that the reefs around Ras Mohammed are spectacular and perfect studios for the keen underwater photographer. There is a tendency to treat all sites further north as barren by comparison and not worth pointing your lens in their direction. Having spent two weeks in Eilat, I am sure underwater photographers are missing out and driving past some very productive dive sites.

I must emphasise that it is underwater photographers who should consider Eilat for we are content to settle on small outcrops teeming with macro life and let our compositional imagination run amok. It is these small coral outcrops which abound around Eilat and which are dived from the shore as easily as falling off a luxurious dive boat. They don't look exciting when you first approach them but, on closer inspection, they are an oasis for marine life and for your camera. Most of them are very shallow, being no deeper than 40 feet with the majority being even shallower, so your diving time is virtually unlimited.

The most famous and possibly largest outcrop must be Moses Rock which is buoyed and even has underwater arrows to make sure you don't get lost. The life around this area is abundant and tame - being used to divers and cameras for over three decades. Perhaps the only drawback is the constant visits of glass bottomed boats showing non-diving tourists the beauty of the underwater world. These boats care not for the safety of others so keep one eye and one ear open if you are near the surface.

Elsewhere, there are outcrops almost wherever you go within a few yards of the shore - the most popular being The Lighthouse and Taba. They vary from hour to hour so you will be assured of a constant change and a multitude of subjects. Wait for a night dive and you will be rewarded with an incredible change in subjects as the nocturnal creatures emerge from their coral hideaways.

The most useful lenses for likonos users would be the likonos close-up outfit or Oceanic CU 001 with either the 35 mm or 28 mm lens. Extension tube subjects are abundant for all ratios from 1:3 right through to 2:1. For those with cameras in housings, the 50mm macro lens may never be prised off your lens mount. The versatility of this lens will capture all but the largest subjects.

For diver shots, the outcrops are small and good angles must be carefully chosen. There are times when the 90 degree lenses are a little too wide, but they are ideal for marine life foreground, diver mid-water and sunburst background.

For the underwater photographer who doesn't perform very well on organised diving trips, Eilat is perfect. Hire a car, hire your tanks and off you go. Your time is your own and your results should be limited only by your efforts. There can be no better way to concentrate on your hobby / sport. Team up with a like minded buddy and you will be safe, productive and not too much out of pocket.

Eilat is a modern town with all the associated facilities. Accomodation is available to suit all pockets and there are several diving centres who will hire cylinders and other equipment - the most well known are Lucky Divers at the Noriah Hotel in the centre of town and Aquasport and Red Sea Divers based next to the Caravan Hotel just south of Eilat.

Colour print films can be processed for around £6.00 for 30 exposures in just over 2 hours, so it is an ideal way of checking your equipment is functioning before ploughing on. E6 is not so quick unfortunately, as it has to go to Tel Aviv and back and takes 10 days! Film is not much dearer than UK prices so if you run out, as you may well do, there is a good well stocked camera shop.

These facilities have established Eilat as a good resort for the underwater photographer. So don't drive through it or fly over it. Get down and look for it, Its there there and its there for the taking.


Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional   Top of page