Choices – Colour & Monochrome

The vast majority of the images we have created at Below the Skye Line have been in colour.  The reason, in many ways, is obvious, as it is often the colour in the underwater environment that captures and captivates.  Whether this is the young mussels from earlier this year, a brightly coloured wrasse or vibrant seaweed brought to life by sunshine as it streams through the loch waters.  One of the most vibrant creatures we have created images of has to be the Lion's Mane jellyfish.  However does its colour mask some of the beauty of its detail?  We recently ran a series of 4 images in monochrome which was chosen to bring out some of the detail and below we have reproduced the same images along with their colour counterpart.  Life, after all, is all about choice.

When we create images we make our own choices either through camera settings or what we choose to do in post production.  With the Below the Skye Line project we rarely use filters, relying instead on the powerful adjustments of light levels, contrast and white balance.  At the end though the aim is always to highlight the environment we are capturing.  Whether that is its detail or interaction of colour viewed through a wider canvas.  Having these choices brings its own responsibility that we do not stray from the inherrent beauty of the underwater world.  We are fortunate that around the ISle of Skye that beauty is both colourful and detailled.

Just the Two of Us

The Lion's Mane Jellyfish

Do not expect these blogs to be too full of words, we would rather let the images tell their own story.  This inaugural blog if from a single dive at Fanks.  Using the Canon EF100mm f2.8L IS Macro lens Gill has created a number of images that study in detail the Lion's Mane Jellyfish.  For my part I have done a little post production to take the images from their raw file to the finished photograph.

Click on image for Lion's Mane Jellyfish wiki page

The Lion's Mane Jellyfish - A king of the Ocean

Tim Rice's lyrics from the Lion King song the Circle of Life seem very apt:

From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun
There's more to see than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done
There's far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found

Well through the course of our project and our blogs we hope to scratch a little way beneath the surfcae of the waters in and around Skye.

The lion's mane jellyfish is the largest of the jellyfish found around Skye and is characterised by the dense, centre tentacles that are tightly clustered and provide a blaze of colour as the jellyfish gently propels itself through the water or simply drifts with the tide.

But what about close up?

Well we invite your to explore for yourself, looking over Gill's shoulder, as she captures some of the fine detail of the Lion's Mane jellyfish from all angles and allows you to exmine these fine creatures closely without the risk of being stung!  None of the colours have been changed during post production although some images have had the background reduced to blackness to better contrast the detail captured underwater.

If you click on any of the images you will be able to flick through a carousel of the images in a larger format.

Gill & Geraint

28 July 2019