To my bubbly delight, I was able to spend upwards of three hours today in the Red Sea. I hit up my favorite reefs on the south beaches and visited many of the spots where I filmed the "Beneath the Surface" footage only a few months ago. Though I anticipated the physics involved, I was genuinely surprised at how long I could stay down on a tank of air when the majority of my time was spent kneeling on the sandy floor of the ocean. My first 200 Bar lasted me an hour and fifteen minutes beneath the surface and I still emerged with a safe 50 Bar in the tank. I'm competing in two categories at this year's Red Sea Underwater Shoot-Out. Both are in the amateur (non-DSLR) division and I chose to enter the "Macro" and "Portfolio" categories. Macro is what it sounds like and I'm looking forward to applying the same skills that I use to shoot flowers and vine tendrils at night. The Portfolio category involves picking a series of five images and presenting them together, ideally with a common theme connecting the series. I still haven't found an inspiring theme from which to build a photo series, but there's still two more days of shooting. I toyed around with the idea of shooting garbage drifting in the sea as a sort of social statement about stewardship. That felt cheesy. Another idea was to have a series of pictures with fish or invertebrates set out of focus in the background while the foreground flora is in sharp focus, giving the impression that the animal was shy. This, however, was less an actual idea and more a reaction to my habit of taking lots of shots where the composure was right but I blew the focus. My final hope is to be able to do something in the way of a time-lapse at some point in the next couple days. We'll see if I'm able at any point to get up early and capture the sunrise from beneath the surface.
Tomorrow, I'll take some time to reflect on techniques and composition.