Getting snooty

Backscatter is a constant problem in underwater photography. So, the less water is lit up, the “cleaner” the image. I have always struggled with backscatter in these turbid UK waters and I have marvelled at the spotlessly clean images produced by other photographers. My buddy Trevor introduced me to the idea of “snoots”, which limit the area of lighting from a strobe, and which produce noticeably cleaner images, as well as opening up interesting lighting possibilities.

In his typically practical way, Trev uses various plant pots and cut-down drinks bottles to produce the fabulous lighting in his images. I’ve made my own “Trev-style” bottle snoot and very much enjoyed the images it has allowed me to produce.

Here’s a pic of Trev at work, with his Nikon 85mm macro lens and dioptre (which is why you can’t see the subject of his photo!).

Trevor Rees at work in Loch Long using home-made snoots. This one in use is made from a Tonic Water bottle, so making it involves drinking a Gin and Tonic! This image was taken with D200 and Tokina 10-17 lens @10mm and lit with dual Sea & Sea YS-110 strobes.

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