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Martin Strmiska Photographer

Working with big animals & fish schools

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Encountering a pod of dolphins beneath Maldivian waters was more than a lovely experience. It reinforced my photographic instincts, and prepared me for an even rarer opportunity. Below the surface, I waited for the dolphins to pass by and focused my thoughts on the image I hoped to produce.

About the photographer

To avoid motion blur I used a faster-than-normal shutter speed. To combat exposure problems I excluded the sun. Pleased with my results and aware of this encounter’s fortuitous nature, I never wished for more. But on this special day, my expectations were exceeded.

Off the bow, the sea roiled as a whale shark fed on a swirling baitball. Heart pounding, I knew this was a magical moment, one that I had to shoot first and think about later because the giant fish’s shy behavior made second chance retakes improbable. Water clarity and perfect light allowed minor setting tolerances. In the heat of the moment, however, it was experience that helped compensate for the school’s reflectivity and size.

Fish schools are big, shape-changing objects, difficult for predators and photographers to judge on approach. If visibility and the baitball’s composition remain ideal, the trick is to frame the school so that it appears as large as possible and generates a fitting »Wow«. Moving closer to light the scene, I framed the baitball instinctually. The resulting eye contact endows this dramatic image with greater impact.

Discover the Gallery

Ball Game
Martin Strmiska
Big Mouth
Martin Strmiska
Dedicated Direction
Martin Strmiska
Flying Through Space
Martin Strmiska
Frosted Blues
Martin Strmiska
Orange flames
Martin Strmiska
Perfect Harmony
Martin Strmiska
Sandy Phantom
Martin Strmiska
Saving Turtles
Martin Strmiska
Silent Moments
Martin Strmiska
Stubborn Character
Martin Strmiska
Suspicious Eyes
Martin Strmiska
This portfolio is featured in Edition Fifty Fathoms 2012 .
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