Sunday, 15 September 2013

Wildlife in the Wind and Rain

The change from summer to autumn has not been subtle this year. Over the course of the last week we've gone from warm, sunny summery days to ... well, today! As always, please click on the images to see them properly.

I can't imagine why no-one was sitting on that bench...

Still, bad weather can make for some cool conditions to take photographs in. A lot of wildlife won't come out when the weather is really bad, but one of the nice things about photographing coastal and marine wildlife is that a little bit of wind and rain doesn't tend to faze them very much!

Breaking waves hammering the seawall at Troon.

So despite the forecast, today we headed south of Glasgow to check out the beaches at Troon (one of my regular spots), Irvine and Ardrossan and see what we could spot. The tides shouldn't have been that great for getting close to the birds (it was low water around lunchtime), but the horrible weather had forced plenty of them high up the shore so we had some nice opportunities. Along the shore we had turnstones and redshanks:

Turnstone on the beach at Troon

Redshank on the shore

I was hoping to find eider ducks sheltering from the weather at the harbour, but they were apparently elsewhere today. There were eight grey seals hanging around though:

Grey seals in the fishing harbour

Of course, it was at this point in proceedings that my trusty 7D + 300mm F4L + 1.4x T.C. combination reached the limits of its weather-sealing abilities and stopped working. No screen, no autofocus, no buttons... Oops. Fortunately a towel dry and a few minutes on the car heater seemed to fix it so hopefully there's no lasting damage. At least it was freshwater for a change too! Of course, that wasn't the only thing I did to the camera today...

After Troon we headed further up the coast to Irvine just in time for the sun to break through for a few minutes.

The beach at Irvine

Having spotted a couple of eider ducks, I decided to test my new walking shoes and climb down the seawall to get down to the beach for a closer view. Neither the boots nor the photo worked particularly well unfortunately and I have a couple of rather large new dents in the camera (and my arm). It still works though, so happy days!

Another couple of war wounds to add to the collection. I suspect I'll never, ever be able to sell this camera second hand. Ever. 

The eider duck photos turned out to be pretty boring in the end, but fortunately a curlew came to the rescue and stood in the sea spray and sunshine for a little while:

A curlew in the waves

After this set I decided I'd left enough blood and camera metal on the shore at Irvine for one day and we headed back to Glasgow via Ardrossan and Largs past some more promising looking beaches which I will check out next time I have a free day.

So all in all it was a pretty successful day out really! Nothing broken, nothing (very) flooded and a few decent photos to show for it. I might wrap the camera in a plastic bag next time right enough.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Photos from Inverary

I'm back! If you're wondering where I've been, read on. If you just want to see some photos from Inverary, you can skip most of this and head straight down to the images!

So if you've been following this blog at all, you've probably noticed that things here have somewhat ground to a halt over the last three months and I have to admit it's entirely PhD-related. I'm coming up to the end of my 3rd year just now, and courtesy of a (really important) conference in June followed by two months working flat-out in an attempt to meet a self-imposed, unrealistic and unnecessary deadline, my stress levels have been creeping progressively higher for a while now. It's been more or less entirely self-inflicted too, but it's meant that I've not been going out to do the things that I find relaxing (like photography) because I've been feeling too guilty about not working. But then the stress gets higher and your work gets worse and all in all, it's a pretty bad place to be. It's fine when it's short-term, but not so great in the long run. I'm sure pretty much everyone has been there at some point.

Last week got to the point where the workplan clearly wasn't working, so I binned my deadline and went back to working the way that works for me (no Gannt charts!) and instantly felt better. This was also pretty much the point I noticed how crap the last 2-3 months have been, and when I also learned that if I don't want to go out with my camera to photograph wild things because of work, I'm probably working too much!

Anyway, this weekend I got the camera back out for wildlife for the first time since my last research cruise in April(!) and we headed up to Inverary (west coast of Scotland) for a day out with the dog. Since it was an an unusually sunny day the town was pretty busy, but there were still a few birds rummaging around the flats at low water when the dog wasn't charging around! I didn't get anything amazing, but here are a few of the better shots:

There were a LOT of jackdaws on the beach, which is a little unusual - most of the times I've been up that way it's been hooded crows everywhere.

These two had a brief fight over a patch of seaweed, which was over in about 5 seconds!

The bright sun didn't make for ideal shooting conditions without a polariser, but allowed for some nice silhouette shots. These are three redshanks and an oystercatcher feeding below the tide line.
Redshanks feeding along the shore.

Until the dog couldn't wait any longer to play in the sea and came to see what I was doing!

Most of the trips our dog gets to the seaside happen when I'm out to take photographs, so it was a pretty awesome day out for him too! Sonny's a rescue dog from the cat & dog home in Glasgow and can be pretty reactive around other dogs, so finding a quiet spot to let him off the lead and play is great!

Of course, if I'm taking photos I'm not the one who has to dog-sit. I'm not sure if Kevin had quite as good a day as Sonny and I did!

Heading home via the Loch Fyne brewery, we spotted this small herd of red deer on the hillside too.

So that was our trip out! I'm fully intending to do this more often from now on, so with a bit of luck the blog posts will pick back up again over the next few weeks. Until then, don't forget you can keep up to date with my news and various happenings in the marine world via my facebook page at

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Science, Photography and Freebies!

To say that the last few weeks have been busy is probably the most ridiculous understatement. The PhD has hit crunch time and I'm working more or less flat-out to have 3(!) presentations prepared for the Deep-Sea Fish Symposium being held at Glasgow University in 2 weeks time all of which are on data which is still being processed.

Unless the fire spreads to my hard drives I don't care and I'm not leaving my desk!

On top of that I've been helping out at the Glasgow Science Festival as a photographer at some of their events which has been brilliant fun, but also a MASSIVE learning curve for me (you'd never know how many strange faces people make when they're talking until you try to photograph them doing it!). I think I was getting the hang of it by the end though!

Helen Arney performing in the Admiral Bar, Glasgow

Happily, while the extent of my social interactions with the outside world have dwindled away to almost nothing, you guys have been brilliant at spreading the word about Wild Ocean Photography's Facebook page and we hit 500 fans on Friday (hooray!!). As a thank-you, I promised to make the four images I entered into the Glasgow Science Festival's 'Dear Green Places' photography competition available to you for free as desktop backgrounds, and I have now got them up on my main webpage for you to download as you like.

My four entries to the GSF competition. Click to enlarge.

The competition was a celebration of Glasgow's green places and asked people to send in images that showed what these places meant to them. For me, a big part of what I love about the city is the amount of wildlife it contains, and the canal is one of my favourite city photo-spots and is where most of the shots were taken. Of course, it's not just the big parks or rivers that are great for wildlife - virtually any green patch is used by something! Outside our house, there's a concrete carpark, a 1m band of hedge and then a 4-lane road. That tiny hedge is where a local family of foxes make their den every year and is exactly where I took the photo of the fox cub which won 'Highly Commended' in the competition, so I'm pretty pleased!

Anyway, without further ado, here's where you can find them:

These links take you through to my main website's download page (where I can host files for downloading MUCH more easily than on here); just click on the resolution you want, then right-click and select 'save image as' and it's all yours!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

New Deep Sea Gallery on Wild Ocean Photography

Good morning all!

Black coral from 800m

Now I'm back on land after a very muddy two weeks away, I've had a chance to update the website a little bit and have added a new 'Deep Sea Animals' gallery to the Marine ID section. You can check it out here:

And let me know what you think in the comments section below.

A polychaete worm living on a cold-water coral.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Work, work, work (and sea monsters)

It's been a hectic two weeks.

Busy busy busy.

After the weather finally decided to stop chasing us around, we got ourselves over to our study site at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain to start what has probably been the most diverse range of deep-sea work I've encountered on a cruise! We've deployed and recovered environmental moorings, autonomous gliders, and a time-lapse camera ("Bathysnap") that's been photographing the seabed for the last 12 months; we've sliced mud, trapped amphipods and sampled a LOT of water!

Trawling in the Abyss

But the work that I came out here for was the trawling, and despite a couple of minor issues with the net along the way, we managed to catch ourselves a decent selection of fish which will help massively with confirming the species identifications of the fish I'm seeing in my photographs from the region. It's also a bit more data to add to our long-term dataset from the PAP which has been being added to gradually over the last 20 years and is one of only two such datasets to exist in the world, so all of this is pretty valuable.

The benthic fishes include the grenadiers (top four images) and eels (bottom image).
My primary interest is in the benthic fish (the ones that live on or close to the seafloor), like the ones in the image above. However, from a purely photographic point of view it's the pelagic or mid-water species that have been holding my attention over the past few days, because they are brilliantly monstrous little things! Here's a selection (most backgrounds have been photoshopped out and replaced with black):

Female Anglerfish

Female angler fish (head detail).

Gulper Eel (head detail)


As usual though, we unfortunately also collected a lot of litter in our catches. It's not surprising - this far offshore there are few regulations regarding the disposal of waste at sea (it's legal to dump most things once you reach international waters), but it's still a shame to think that even out here in an environment that is so distant from us, we're still disturbing and impacting it.

The litter brought up in our first trawl.

A coke can in the net.  

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Stormy Weather!

Guess where our study site is? I'll give you a clue - it's under where the red bit's going

Well, it’s been five days at sea now, and so far we’ve spent most of that time steaming towards our survey site at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP) and then bravely running away again! In fairness, the forecast has had Force 11s right over where we want to be working and since those are neither comfortable nor safe conditions to be attempting to launch and recover hundreds of kilos of equipment in, we opted to pick up a monitoring buoy from a nearby site instead and then try and sneak back to our survey site around the back of the weather. The headwinds mean we can only do around 4 knots at the moment (about walking pace) so it’s looking like it’ll be Friday before we can start work at the PAP properly – keep your fingers crossed that we manage to get the fishing gear in the water before we have to come home again!

It's always good value when the sea is actively trying to get in your cabin!
The sun came out today so I took a break from working on PhD stuff in my cabin to try and take a few photos of the gales we’re trying to push through. I’ve got a few videos which show the size of the swell a lot better, but with the restricted internet you’re not going to get to see those until we get back to land! Still, at least we’re not out here in a sailing ship...

A square-rigger we passed yesterday evening. Anyone know what it might be?

Other than occasionally popping outside to admire the weather, I’ve been working on some of the photos from last year’s cruise to the PAP site when we had the AUV with us, and there are some pretty cool images of the fish:

Abyssal fish from last year's cruise - hopefully we'll get to see a few for real when we start fishing

With a bit of luck we’ll get to see a few of these in the flesh if we manage to get the fishing nets in the water this week!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

I'm on a boat...

After a rather hectic weekend of data processing and frantic presentation-writing in time for a meeting yesterday, it's now time to pack up my rigger boots again and head to Southampton for another two weeks at sea for what is likely to be my very last cruise as part of my PhD.

Mud and muddy animals! Yeah! 

This time, we're heading back out to the Porcupine Abyssal Plain to learn how to trawl for sample in deep-water! I've done a similar trip before, but the guys who knew all the details of how to work the gear and get it properly set up are starting to leave or retire now, so there's a bunch of us heading offshore to gather as much knowledge as we can (and hopefully catch some interesting things while we're out there too!).

An abyssal grenadier almost 5000m down

As well as a lot of mud-sampling (it just wouldn't be a trip to the abyss without it!), we'll be conducting at least two seabed trawls and hoping to collect another batch of samples to add to the long-term dataset which has been being collected at the PAP site since the early 1980s to track temporal changes in abyssal animals over the course of several decades to improve our understanding of the fragility of those systems. As always, I'll be on the lookout for fish specimens to bring back with me, and will of course keep you posted on our progress as we go. Keep your fingers crossed for us getting good weather!

Monday, 1 April 2013

Dive Guide: 5th Layby on the Left (Loch Creran)

Site Summary
I don’t know if this site has a real name, but this one is at least descriptive! From the one entrance point you have the choice of diving one of three shallow rocky reefs, all of which are at depths of around 3m - 25m. The off-reef areas are ideal for training on a sandy seafloor, but the real attractions here are the serpulid worms which form beautiful, fragile reefs with their calcareous tubes. For some reason (no-one knows why), this loch is the only site in the world where these worms form large reefs like this and they are well worth seeing.

Type: Shore dive (rocky reef / serpulid reefs)
Depth: 3m-25m 
Tides: None
Suitable for: All diver grades (but good buoyancy essential near serpulid reefs)

Getting there and getting in
From Google Maps. Click to enlarge.

5th Layby on the left site access.

To get to this site, drive north along the A828 towards Fort William, past the Sealife Centre, then turn left at the next roundabout and go under the bridge at the north of Loch Creran. From there (believe it or not!), it’s the 5th passing place on the left. There’s a large parking space there which can fit 4-5 cars. 

Site Access
From the parking bay,  you'll see a path and steps leading down to the shore. It can get a bit slippery underfoot when it's wet or icy so watch out, but basically you just walk straight down the beach and wade in!

You have a couple of options for your dives at this site. See below for details. 

Approximate map of the 5th Layby dive site. Click to enlarge.

Once under the water, you have a few choices to make. 

Option 1: If you head straight out from the shore, you'll swim over a sandy seabed to a depth of around 6m where you'll find a small rocky reef. It slopes down quite steeply to a depth of around 10m and at some point someone has tried to build an artificial reef out of old tyres, so you should find those pretty easily. It's a pretty small area though, so you should see most of it within about 20-30 minutes depending on how thoroughly you explore!

Option 2: Keep the line of rocks on your left and follow them out into the water. As you drop down, you'll see a stretch of bedrock on your left which is covered in mussels and horse mussels. Then just keep this rock face on your left and follow it round to about 12-15m. At that point, you'll come to a bend in the rock and you have two more choices: Either follow the rock round to the left a little then double-back over the top of the bedrock slope (option 2a), or head to the right and explore the boulders further out (option 2b).

Option 2a: Head back up and over the bedrock to a depth of about 6m and then search around and you should find a large serpulid reef (approximately 1m high) which is well worth a look, as well as some smaller colonies. They are extremely fragile though, so do not touch them and do NOT swim over them! From there, continue onwards and you'll get back to your entry point.

Option 2b: This is a route I've only ever taken once, so I don't know it as well as the others. But, if you head out towards the right away from the bedrock slope, you'll find yourself in a boulder field which has some nice life on it. Just retrace your steps to get back or follow Option 2a.

Whichever option you choose, you may find you run into a bit of current once you get past the end of the bedrock slope, but it never gets very strong here and you can swim against it quite easily.

Recommended Equipment

What to See
The serpulid worm reefs are really the main attraction here, but there is a LOT of life on these reefs and they are lovely dives even if you miss the worms. There is a lot of encrusting life over the rock surfaces including plumose anemones, cup corals, Sagartiogeton sp., crabs, fan worms, soft corals and sponges. There’s not usually a lot in the way of fish life, although I’ve seen thornback rays here and quite a few pipefish. In the shallows there are large stands of Ascophylllum seaweeds and horse mussel beds to investigate too which usually have loads of little animals living in amongst them.
Visibility is usually fairly good, but varies a great deal depending on prevailing weather conditions and tide. If you dive here after a period of heavy rain and on an ebb tide the visibility can drop to almost nothing.

On the surface it's pretty common to see seals and otters here too so keep an eye out for those!

Serpulid worm reef at Loch Creran

Greater Pipefish

Close-up of a serpulid worm. The trumpet-shaped operculum is a defining character of this family of worms.

Looking for more? Check out the Dive Guides page!

Friday, 29 March 2013

Friday of Interesting News: 29th March 2013

Sorry for the short break in news posts over the last couple of weeks, my life has become a bit of a rollercoaster with regards to the amount of work to do and time I have to do it in... However, we are back today with another week's worth of exciting news from the marine world. Do enjoy!

Wild Ocean Photography
It's been a busy wee week on the blog, with a new series of Dive Site guides started up and another new addition to the 'How to...' photography guide series:

The Deep Sea

Sea Beasts

Human Impacts & Sustainability

Other News

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Dive Guide: The Caves (Loch Long)

Site Summary
The Caves is a very cool little site in Loch Long which is essentially a steep slope of large boulders with the gaps between them forming 'caves' for marine life, and there are loads of big plumose anemones  and other filter feeding animals all over the rocks. There are quite a lot of fish around this area too though, which makes it a popular fishing spot so fishing line is unfortunately a danger here and carrying a knife or pair of shears is a must. 

Type: Shore dive (rocky reef)
Depth: 0m-33m
Tides: None
Suitable for: Experienced ocean divers+ Good buoyancy required.
Notable hazards: Fishing line (entanglement) / awkward entry & exit.

Getting there and getting in
From Google Maps. Click to enlarge.

There's space for 2 cars to park here, then it's a bit of a scramble down to the water's edge. 

The Caves dive site is about 2 miles south of Arrochar on the A814. There's a small parking place by the side of the road which has enough room for two cars or a minibus to park in, so space is pretty limited. It's a very popular site for sea anglers as well, and they tend to arrive early, so unless you get lucky it would be worthwhile having a Plan B just in case you can't get in here.

Site Access
From the parking place, you have two options to get down to the water's edge, but both are pretty awkward. The first option (1) is to scramble down through the culvert that runs under the road and down that way. The second (2) is to follow the little, narrow path that runs down to the shore from the other side of the bridge. Both options are steep and can be very slippery if it's been raining!

A lot of the shoreline along this part of the loch does look rather similar from the water, so it's definitely worth leaving a marker on the shore if you're not sure if you'll be able to find your way back to the right spot again to get out. The only way out is the way you went in (the rest of the shore here is too steep to climb) so you need to get back to where you started!

Approximate underwater map of The Caves dive sites.

Underwater, the site is comprised largely of a steep boulder slope leading down in steps from the surface to a flat, muddy seabed at around 30m-33m depth. It's nice all the way down though, so you can just pick your depth. If you get a day with decent visibility though, there is a stunning view from the bottom of the reef looking back up it towards the surface!

The site is relatively easy to navigate - just keep the slope on your left as you head out and down, then work your way back keeping the slope on your right.

WARNING: There is a LOT of loose fishing tangled in the rocks here so a decent torch and a pair of line cutters are absolutely essential. I know a lot of people who've got snagged here before and it can be extremely dangerous.

Recommended Equipment
Torch (essential)
Line cutters (essential)
Glow stick / flag to mark exit point

Things to See
I've not been to this site in a while, but there used to be lots of fish here, including pollock and other white fish, and it was a good site for dragonets and gurnards too. There are loads of filter-feeding animals too which take advantage of the elevation from the rocks to feed in the current including big plumose anemones, dead-mens fingers and the ubiquitous (for Loch Long!) sealochs anemone. It's also a cool place to see some different starfish like the Bloody Henry

There are a LOT of filter feeders here, making this a beautiful scenic dive site. 

Looking for more? Check out the Dive Guides page!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

How to: Photograph Birds in Flight

A flying bird is probably one of the most challenging subjects you can try and photograph, and will require an enormous amount of patience to get good results. However, there are a few tricks and techniques that I have found make the process easier, and I hope they will be of some use to you!

Before you go:
Kittiwakes are great birds to practice on if you can find them as they will fly in a repeating figure-of-eight pattern around the back of a boat as they follow it which makes them really predictable.
  1. Research your subject: You don’t need to predict exactly what species you’ll see on your trip, but it helps to have a rough idea as this will have a bearing on the best kit to take with you - you will need to take a different approach for fast and timid woodland birds compared to ducks at the park for example! Learning as much as you can about the general habits of the bird you want to shoot (e.g. preferred habitat, what it feeds on, what time of day it is most active) will also help you predict what they will do and where they will most likely be when you do get out into the field.

    Knowing the size of the bird, and how close they are likely to come to you are also aspects worth considering when picking your equipment. You may only need a short lens to photograph gulls flying around a seaside town for example, but may require a much longer one to photograph those small finches in a forest. If you know you are only going to have a short time on-site to see some behaviour (e.g. gannets diving at Bass Rock) then spend some time watching videos of it on YouTube or similar so you will have some idea of what to expect.
  2. Set up your kit (and know how to use it!): Birds in flight obviously tend to move very quickly, and you’ll need to be able to adjust your camera settings rapidly to keep up and make sure you get the shot. Which settings you prefer to use are up to you, but I usually set my camera (an affordable and quick Canon 7D) to:
      • Manual Mode: Unless the light levels are changing rapidly, this will make your life MUCH easier as it's one less thing to worry about while you're tracking your subject, particularly if the brightness of the background is very variable.
      • Fast burst shooting: I don't advocate just holding down the shutter button whenever anything happens until your camera buffer fills up, but taking a burst of shots at the peak of the action can often be the difference between a clipped wingtip or a less-attractive posture and a really nice photo.
      • Autofocus on (central point): The central autofocus points are generally more accurate on most (non-professional) camera bodies and I stick to them to ensure a higher 'hit rate' for birds on the move.
      • Shutter speed > 1/1000s: Seriously, this makes all the difference in the world! It doesn't matter if you can hand-hold your camera and long-lens at 1/50s, the pictures WILL look fuzzier than if you get the shutter speed up. If this means you need a higher ISO then use it, but get the speed up as high as you can get it.
      • Aperture: Usually I'll leave this wide open, but I might knock it down to F8 if the autofocus is struggling or if I'm being rolled around a lot like on a boat and I want to make sure the bird's face (especially the eyes) are sharp.
Quick lenses are expensive, but the improvements in auto-focus speeds and smoothness can be worth the cost if you're looking to take your photography more seriously. For most of my wildlife photography, I use the Canon 300mm F4 IS L lens with a 1.4x converter which is absolutlely ideal for what I need. 

In the Field: 
You can use unusual lighting to great effect, but it might not always be what you're looking for! 
  1. Choose your spot: How much you can do this will obviously depend on where you are shooting, and whether you have to stay in a static public hide (as is the case in some nature reserves for example) or whether you have the freedom to move around. Wherever you are though, do make sure and consider your background (is it cluttered? Are there distracting elements?) and the lighting (do you really want your subject to be backlit? Is the target area in bright sunshine or shade?) as well as a good view of the birds you are wanting to photograph. It’s a massive disappointment to find out that you've nailed an in-flight shot, but the shot is ruined by a bit of brightly-coloured litter in the background or too much contrast.
  2. Just Watch: Unless an amazingly rare species pops up or something really unusual is happening, it’s worth spending a bit of time just watching your birds fly. Get used to watching their flight patterns and their general behaviours before you pick up your camera. Most animals display a relatively limited range of behaviours and it's usually possible to learn to predict which actions will precede a fight, take-off, diving or feeding for example. Similarly, different species will fly in very different ways - a heron has a 'lazy', slow flight style, whereas swallows are fast and far more erratic, but will congregate around specific feeding areas. A little bit of patience early on will mean you are in a much better position to predict when and where you are likely to get the shot. Shooting a couple of frames at exactly the right moment is usually better than just keeping your finger on the shutter button taking the 'spray and pray' approach!
  3. Too fast to track? Catch them at a set point: An alternative to tracking a fast bird, or one with an erratic flight path is to manually focus on a particular spot and wait for the bird to enter it. This is much easier if there is a point that the bird is repeatedly flying to (e.g. a food source) so you have something to pre-set your focus on, but with a combination of narrow aperture (for larger depth of field) and a high shutter speed you can get good results (especially if your camera has good high ISO performance!).

    If a bird is flying too fast to catch, try setting your focus manually to a target (in this case , the baby swallow or the bird feeder) and shoot the bird as it enters the frame. A tripod is very helpful to keep the point of focus in exactly the right place, but these examples were both taken handheld.
  4. Be aware of the whole scene: When you are totally focused on a bird in your viewfinder, making sure it is in the frame, in focus and looking lovely, it is very easy to forget the rest of the frame, and what is happening in the background, or to the light levels. If you shoot using one of the semi-automatic settings like aperture or shutter-priority, the camera should make allowances for any changes in the light, but you have to be aware of changes in the background that will confuse it. For example, when shooting seabirds, they quite often swoop and dive around the boats, meaning that the background is constantly changing between a dark blue sea, and a bright, (though usually grey) sky. It is very easy to get the exposure of the bird wrong as a result, and you need to be prepared to keep adjusting the exposure even as you are panning after the bird. This is one of the major reasons I prefer to use manual mode, because it involves a LOT less effort to keep the subject correctly exposed while tracking it!

    Shooting against the dark sea can throw off automatic metering when the bird flies back up and frames itself against the sky. Using manual exposure settings avoids this problem. 
  5. Finally, practice, practice, practice! This is absolutely the most important thing you can do. Once you know your camera and subject, there is nothing better than getting out and practicing with them.
Looking for more photography tips? Check out my other guides on how to compose a great wildlife photo and how to take photographs at sea.