Josh and I set out on this dive with a bit of a mission. I really enjoy wide-angle photography of wrecks, but given the bad visibility and the limitations of my camera (It’s not a DSLR, so I can’t slap a fisheye lens on it) I haven’t taken too much. Enter Hugin Panorama Photo Stitcher. Using that utility, I can snap a series of photos and stitch them together into a wide-angle-like photo!
The catch is that the photos need to be taken from the same spot. On the surface there’s a bit of leeway, but given the poor visibility underwater, photos need to be taken very close together so that each shot doesn’t have differing visibility. Likewise, the difference between dark on the bottom and the sun coming from the surface means a high-dynamic-range exposure shot.
To tackle the challenge getting a solid reference point for photos in a mild current, we experimented with deploying and anchoring an SMB a few meters above the bottom. The reference concept went well, the execution of anchoring it was a leaning experience. The photos themselves didn’t turn out good enough to stitch together (we chose a bland part of the Nakaya, more to try making a reference than get actual photos). Regardless, we came away with some really good data-points and I’m confident that I’ll be able use this method to make some interesting photos in the future.
After half an hour on the Nakaya, we headed in shallower and explored the other usual suspects at Porteau. I noticed a dead starfish, of a different species than we’d observed at Whytecliff in the previous weeks. This one I believe was a Giant Pink Starfish. Interestingly, I saw another one maybe 10-20 meters away that appeared to be normal. I’m unsure if it’s related to the mass die-off of other species or not, as one a statistic does not make. (See the next post for a greater discussion of what we observed on a dive a week later)
There were also several dead salmon scattered around the dive site as well, as it’s spawning season right now. Luckily it wasn’t littered with them!
Not too much else to say about the dive, other than the fact that we ended up staying under for 92 minutes! I’m not sure if I’ll be able to manage such long exposures in the winter when the water cools down a bit.
All in all, it was a great, well-executed dive where we tried something new and learned a lot in the process. Can’t ask for much more than that.
Some random photos in the gallery below.