Behind the Photo – Underwater Portrait by Blue Glass Photography

behind-the-photo-underwater-portrait-blueglass-1 All Photos © Blue Glass Photography

You might recognize this stunning underwater portrait from the 2016 Destination Photo Collection. The couple and the school of fish surrounding them seem so in sync it’s downright magical. And even more magical than the final image is the story that led to its capture. How did Blue Glass Photography manage to snap a photo of their couple so perfectly surrounded by a school of fish? We’re sharing all of this and more in today’s Behind the Photo!


Turtle Bay Beach at Caneel Bay Resort, St. John USVI




Nikon D810 with Nikon 14-24mm 2.8 zoom in Aquatica AD810 Housing with Aquatica 9.25” Megadome Glass Port

Camera Settings:

f16 at 1/160 sec at ISO 100


Growing up in the Caribbean, I always had a passionate love affair with the sea. And I always wanted to share this passion with travelers so they could witness the majestic beauty and understand my madness & desire for these beautiful islands.

This particular image did not require any planning as we captured it on the fly. However, it did require a bit of luck with nature, a patient and adventurous couple with lots of romantic chemistry, crystal clear calm water, and my proactive assistant Brittany who helped keep me steady at the ideal depth and who also quickly wiped off water droplets from the glass dome so that the images remained unobstructed. It all started as I positioned Jaime & Michael at the ideal angle to capture the morning light and fired a few test images. All of a sudden, a flock of pelicans began dive bombing in all directions and the bait fish immediately converged and surrounded Jamie & Michael. Feeling safe, the fish swam in a circle around the kissing couple until the frustrated pelicans flew off. This amazing moment only lasted a few seconds as the fish swam out to deeper water as soon as the birds were gone.


Post Production:

For post production, I worked exclusively in Adobe Photoshop CC and Silver Efex Pro 2. There wasn’t much that needed to be done to the image except sharpen, dodge a few areas in their faces to soften shadows, and remove sensor dust spots that become prevalent due to the large aperture (f16-f22) required to capture razor sharp over/underwater images.


Massive thanks to Blue Glass Photography for sharing this nature-filled behind-the-scenes moment with us!

You can check out the rest of the 2016 Destination winners in our collection gallery.


(1) Comment

  1. What an amazing shot. proves that by taking chances you get rewarded.

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