fbpx
Connect with us

Community

Finding Peace in Macros

Feast your eyes on the little stuff that keeps British finance leader turned underwater photographer Mark Coles up at night.

Published

on

By Mark Coles
Header Photo by Mark Coles
. Location – Koala, Anilao, Batangas, Philippines
Photo Details – Nikon D7200, 105mm, ISO160, F14, 1/250, no strobe, snoot lighting
Subject – Thecacera Picta, Painted thecacera doridina suborder of nudibranch.
 Generaly spongivores but some can be cannibalistic.  Used a snoot (narrow focussed
beam of light) with no strobes to light the nudibranch, leading to a dramatic effect
.

Forty-year-old Mark Coles is a Finance Leader focused on asset management for the UK Electricity Transmission Network and is based near Warwick, England. His passion? Underwater photography. “It’s a way to escape the pressure of day to day work life,” he explained.

Central Province, Solomon Islands
Photo Details: Nikon D7200, 9mm, ISO160, F8, 1/250

Coles’ first exposure to diving was on a Discover Scuba experience in 1998 during a Caribbean cruise ship vacation with his family. He was hooked. He got open-water certified in Grand Cayman that same year and continued with his training while making dive trips around the world. He is currently a PADI Master Scuba Diver. InDepth caught up with Coles during a recent liveaboard trip to Papua New Guinea.

Coles began making underwater photos in Hawaii with his iPhone eight years ago. Then in 2016 in between dive trips from Raja Ampat to Cairns, AUS, he made an “impulse” buy and sprang for a Nikon D7200 SLR and Nauticam housing. He’s been slowly building his system ever since and found himself focusing on macro-photography. According to Coles, “When I have my camera underwater and find a subject to focus on, everything else in my mind fades away; all that exists is the subject and my camera. I find it peaceful,” he said.

Below you can see a selection of Coles’ macros. You can find more of his photos here.

Location – Coconut, Anilao, Batangas, Philippines
Photo Details – Nikon D7200, 105mm, +10 diopter, ISO160, F25, 1/250
Subject – Sufflogobius Bibarbatus, yellow bearded or pelagic goby.  A very cute fish who pair up in monogamous relationships and live symbiotically with the coral.  A very timid fish who is very skitty, it is a challenging job to get a photo and it took around an hour to get this picture, focussing is hugely challenging when the goby will not stay still.
Location – Retak Becho, Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
Photo Details – Nikon D7200, 60mm, ISO200, F13, 1/125
Subject –  Neopetrolisthes Maculatus, spotted porcelain anemone crab, female carrying on average around 600 eggs in her brooding flap in the abdomen, the eggs will hatch as free swimming larvae which will feed on plankton.

Location – Kirby’s Rock, Anilao, Batangas, Philippines
Photo Details – Nikon D7200, 105mm, ISO160, F16, 1/50
Subject – Stomatopoda, mantis shrimp, a fascinating creature with beautiful colours, they have clubs as arms which can move at 23 metres per second, around 50 times faster than you can blink with the force of a .22 caliber bullet.  They also have 16 colour receptors in their eyes vs our 3.
Photo Details – Nikon D7200, 105mm, ISO160, F20, 1/160
Subject – Amphioctopus Marginatus, coconut octopus. Found on sandy bottoms often buried in the sand, also often use coconut husks or clam shells as weapons or for concealment against pray. Fascinating to interact with and it took some time for the octopus to trust that I was not a threat, so slowly the shell opened and he was on display.
Location – Serena Pata, Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
Photo Details – Nikon D7200, 60mm, ISO400, F16, 1/160
Subject – Nudibranchia Aeolidina, aeolids suborder of nudibranch is covered in cerata
which contain the digestive gland, the brown colour is unexploded nematocysts which
are the stinging cells of cridarians which the nudibranch uses for defence against prey.
Location – Aer Prang I, Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
Photo Details – Nikon D7200, 60mm, ISO200, F16, 1/125
Subject – Neopetrolisthes Maculatus, spotted porcelain anemone crab, feeding time with its filters extended, it takes plankton out of the water and mucus from the anemone.
Strip down, cleaning and packing begin…… Nikon D7200, Nauticam housing, Nauticam 230mm dome port, Sea & Sea Y2-D2 strobes, Snoot and regular lights, Weefine smart housing for phone, floats, diopters, all packed in a pelican case at 31Kg.

Community

Our Most Read Stories of 2020

Dive into our most read stories of 2020. Can cameras kill? What about those peculiar GUE rebreathers? Gradient factors anyone? Was it a world record dive? Find out.

Published

on

By

Header photo by Sean Romanowski

Greetings Tekkies,

This December marks the second full year of publishing InDepth, and what a crazy year it’s been. With the pandemic still raging throughout most of the world, it has been a most challenging year for the diving industry, as I’m sure you’re aware. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, our readers for your continuing interest and support, and also thank our thoughtful contributors who make the blog possible.

Over the last year, we published nearly 100 InDepth stories covering the latest developments in exploration, technology, training, conservation, diving science & medicine, image making and technical diving culture. We also added select translations into Chinese, Italian, and Spanish . In doing so, I believe that we have grown our coverage in terms of breadth, depth and sophistication. Call it, a geeky labor of love!

In addition, we’ve added some depth-full sponsors to the mix, that have made it possible to grow and sustain InDepth. Our special thanks to DAN Europe, Dive Rite, Divesoft, Fourth Element, Halcyon, The Human Diver, and Shearwater Research. May your brands continue to flourish! 

Similar to 2019, we celebrate the coming new year with our Most Read Stories from 2020/2019. If you like what you read, please SUBSCRIBE, it’s free! That will ensure you’ll get our latest stories and content delivered to your inbox. Here’s to a hopefully wet and most excellent 2021!

—Michael Menduno/M2


Photo by Natalie Gibb

1. Cameras Kill Cavers Again 

Cave explorer, photographer and instructor Natalie L Gibb wants to make “taking pictures” the sixth rule accident analysis. How can toting a camera underground get you into trouble? Take a breath, clip off your camera, and say cheese, Gibb will explain.

Photo by Ortwin Khan

2. The Thinking Behind GUEs Closed Circuit Rebreather Configuration 

GUE is known for taking its own holistic approach to gear configuration. Here GUE board member and Instructor Trainer Richard Lundgren explains the reasoning behind its unique closed-circuit rebreather configuration. It’s all about the gas!

Photo by Joakim Hjelm.

3. Gradient Factors in a Post Deep Stop World 

World-recognized decompression physiologist and cave explorer David Doolette explains the new evidence-based findings on “deep stops,” and shares how and why he sets his own gradient factors. His recommendations may give you pause to stop (shallower).

Image courtesy of DeeperBlue.com.

4. Fact or Fiction: Revisiting the Guinness World Record Dive 

Newly released information calls into question the validity of former Egyptian Army Colonel and instructor trainer Ahmed Gabr’s 2014 world record scuba dive to 332 m/1,090 ft in the Red Sea. InDepth editor-in-chief Michael Menduno reports on what we’ve learned, why this information is coming out now, and what it all may mean.

Photo courtesy of Sea Shepherd.

5. Can We Save Our Planet? What About Ourselves? Interview With Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson.

Managing editor Amanda White poses the BIG questions to environmental activist Captain Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and the architect behind its strategy of aggressive non-violence. His answers may surprise you—and even bring you to tears. What motivates the 70-year Environmental Hero of the 20th Century to keep up the fight despite widespread ignorance, apathy and greed? Find out.

Photo by Derk Remmers.

6. Isobaric Counter Diffusion in the Real World 

Isobaric counterdiffusion is one of those geeky, esoteric subjects that some tech programs deem of minor relevance, while others regard it as a distinct operational concern. Divers Alert Network’s Reilly Fogarty examines the physiological underpinnings of ICD, some of the key research behind it, and discusses its application to tech diving.

Photo courtesy of Michal Guba.

7. Deepest Freshwater Flooded Abyss in the World 

The efforts to explore and map Hranice Abyss, located in Hranice (Přerov District) in the Czech Republic span more a century. Currently, the monstrous chasm is known to reach 384 m/1260 ft deep. Explorer and member of the Czech Speleological Society Michal Guba has the deets.

Photo by Rich Denmark.

8. Urination Management Considerations for Women Technical Divers

Tech diver and doctoral student, Payal Razdan, offers an in-depth review of the options available to women tech divers for handling the call of nature.

Photo by Kirill Egorov.

9. Situational Awareness and Decision Making In Diving

Situational awareness is critical to diving safety, right? But how much of your mental capacity should be devoted to situational monitoring, e.g., How deep am I? How much gas do I have? Where is my buddy? Where is my boat? More importantly, how does one develop that capacity? Here GUE Instructor Trainer Guy Shockey, who is also a human factors or non-technical skills instructor, explores the nature and importance of situational awareness, and what you can do to up your game.

10. Examining Early Technical Diving Deaths

The early days of technical diving were marred by an alarming number of fatalities that threatened the viability of this emerging form of diving. Here InDepth editor-in-chief Michael Menduno presents the original accident analyses of 44 incidents that resulted in 39 fatalities and 12 injuries, as reported in aquaCORPS Journal and technicalDIVER in the early to mid 1990s.

11. A Voice In The Wilderness

Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, along comes underground picture-maker SJ Alice Bennett, who is shedding new light on the dark, moody, twisting karst passageways that form what explorer Jill Heinerth calls “the veins of Mother Earth.” If you’re ready for a new perspective on the ‘doing of cave diving,’ switch on your primary and dive right in.


Continue Reading

Subscribe

Education, Conservation, and Exploration articles for the diving obsessed. Subscribe to our monthly blog and get our latest stories and content delivered to your inbox every Thursday.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Education