Cover image © Annie Cardoso, Dive Master - All Star Liveaboard's Aqua Cat
Earlier this year we had the pleasure of sailing the All Star Liveaboard's Aqua Cat, diving our way through the Exumas, Bahamas with Ikelite staff, Ambassadors, and customers. It was a chance not just to dive beautiful waters and road test new cameras and lenses, but to get to know our customers too.
Featured below are underwater photos from customers Robert Heyrich, Stan O'Dell, and Gary Williams, captured during our week on board the Aqua Cat. We enjoyed seeing each of their unique styles and creative approaches to photographing the flora and fauna of the Exumas. Check out their featured photos and some of their behind the scenes commentary on how they got the shots.
Big Eyed Gobie | This Big Eyed Gobie was taken with a macro lens and I saw him popping out of the coral and snapped my picture. F/10 • ISO 160 • 1/200 with a Canon 100mm macro lens. © Robert Heyrich
A Beautiful Gray Angelfish | The angel fish was looking at itself in my dome port and stayed still and I was able to get this shot. F/10 • ISO 160 • 1/200 s with a Canon 16-35mm lens. © Robert Heyrich
The Crabs Are Here | A beautiful aero crab defending his place on the reef. F/10 • ISO 160 • 1/200 with a Canon 100mm macro lens. © Robert Heyrich
Pumpkin Patch | Beautiful coral with two orange Christmas tree worms and a beautiful orange and green background. F/11 • ISO 160 • 1/200 shutter speed with a Canon 16-35mm lens. © Robert Heyrich
Nassau Grouper at a Cleaning Station | This grouper was 5 inches from the front of my dome port looking at his reflection in the dome port. F/8 • ISO 160 • 1/200 with a Canon 16-35mm lens. © Robert Heyrich
Fingers | This close-up photo was taken at the Smuggler's Plane Wreck. Equipment: Canon G7X II, set on macro and wide angle, F/4 • ISO 250 • 1/125. In Photoshop the image was slightly dehazed, a very cluttered background was removed, and the color altered slightly. © Stan O'Dell
Alien Structure with Divers | The photo was taken without knowing what the structure was for. The divers and their lights gave it size perspective and a strange glow. Equipment: Canon R5 with Canon 16-35mm lens (set at 16mm) with two DS161 strobes. Exposure F/4 • ISO 400 • 1/125. In Photoshop image was lightened, dehazed, and leveled. © Stan O'Dell
Turtle Plus | This is a combination of two images. The white plant was taken at a plane wreck and the turtle taken in a dark swim through. The flowery plant was rotated and repeated to create the background. The turtle was very underexposed but, with the raw file, it was possible to lighten it to a normal exposure. Equipment: Canon R5 with Canon 16-35mm lens (set at 16mm) with two Ikelite DS161 strobes. Exposure F/4 • ISO 400 • 1/125. In Photoshop imaged was lightened, dehazed, color corrected, and some of the area under the turtle burned and dodged. © Stan O'Dell
Giant Purple Sponge | This sponge, very popular with divers, lives on a cable coming down from a large underwater tank. Without other coral, etc. to compete with it, its growth and symmetry are rare. Equipment: Canon R5 with Canon 16-35mm lens (set at 16mm) with two Ikelite DS161 strobes. Exposure F/4 • ISO 400 • 1/125. In Photoshop image was lightened, dehazed, color clarified, a dark area in the upper left was replaced with branches, and some vignetting was applied. © Stan O'Dell
Blue Fish | This was a simple photo of a coral mound with one blue fish. Equipment: Canon R5 with Canon 16-35mm lens (set at 16mm) with two Ikelite DS161 strobes. Exposure F/8 • ISO 200 • 1/125. In Photoshop the image was lightened, dehazed, color clarified, and some lightening of shadows. Top branches were lightened. The bottom of the blue fish was slightly cut off. That was repaired in Photoshop. © Stan O'Dell
On Wax Cut Drift, we came across this school of angelfish. We all commented that we had never seen a school of angelfish before, usually just one.
Canon R5, Dual DS 161s, RF 14-35 Lens (at 29mm), F/13 • 1/200 • ISO 400. © Gary Williams
Stingray buried in sand at Cannonball Reef.
Canon R5, Dual DS 161s, RF 14-35 Lens (at 35mm), F/13 • ISO 400 • 1/200 © Gary Williams
While my attention was on the tiger grouper and the cleaning goby, I never saw the Nassau grouper photobomb the picture.
Canon R5, Dual DS 161s, RF 14-35 Lens (at 30mm), F/13 • ISO 400 • 1/200. © Gary Williams
Coral reef on Conch Cut drift.
Canon R5, Dual DS 161s, RF 14-35 Lens (at 14mm), F/13 • ISO 100 • 1/200 © Gary Williams
Elkhorn Coral at Parrot Reef.
Canon R5, Dual DS 161s, RF 14-35 Lens (at 28mm), F/13 • ISO 400 • 1/200 © Gary Williams
Rob Heyrich lives in Montclair, New Jersey and has been diving since 1976 and started shooting underwater photography with a Nikonos III film camera. Rob has been using Ikelite housings and strobes since 1978 and is currently shooting today with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera in an Ikelite Underwater Housing and two DS51 Ikelite strobes. Rob loves to dive in Grand Cayman, Cuba, Bonaire and had a two week adventure in the Philippines. He owns a plumbing and heating company in New Jersey and his hobby is underwater photography. He is Cathy Church taught of the Cayman Islands and dives there at least twice a year.
, Ph.D., ABPP, lives in Oxford, MS. Until he retired to be an artist and photographer, he was a Psychology Professor at Ole Miss. He has been an on-land photographer since building his first darkroom in 1964. Although he was PADI certified in 1972 he only began diving regularly and doing underwater photography four years ago. He has dived in the Keys, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Roatan, Maldives, and Indonesia. In the next year he will dive in the Galapagos, Cuba, and return to Indonesia. His diving photos are displayed primarily on Facebook
. You can check out more of his non-diving artwork at odellphotography.com
has always loved the water from growing up by the beach, surfing, evolving to sailboat racing, and finally to diving. His experience with diving has brought him to many countries, but he also likes to utilize his rescue diver certification as a volunteer diver at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, as well as a rescue diver for power boat racing. He loves to share his experience underwater with non-divers, whether through work associates or guests at the aquarium. His underwater DSLR started with a Canon 60D, then 70D, and now a 5D Mk IV in a 200DL Ikelite Underwater Housing
with dual DS161 strobes all along. Learn more about Gary and see his full photography gallery via his website www.bytebuilder.com
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