Cake
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    • Wow do I have a story to tell about this! A few years ago I had the brainy idea that I could make a panorama for flooring to cover SmugMug's lunchroom. You can now buy industrial-strength photographic flooring and I had placed some around SmugMug. I liked the prints with the perspective of looking straight down:

      I thought the coolest thing ever would be looking straight down on a colorful seafloor in our lunchroom. Problem: what's a HUGE print for our walls, 90 inches say, is like a small throw rug on the floor. So this needed to be a stitched panorama.

      Anyway, being such a braniac, I bought a James Bond-type sea scooter for lots of money and took it to Fiji for a week to get the shot. The plan was to have it pull me through the water in a grid pattern with the camera firing every second and then stitch the shots together back home.

      I spent a lot of time fashioning an underwater camera to it.

      Problem 1: Fiji fish don't like the sound and scatter immediately when the quiet electric motor and propeller comes on. And they don't come out until it shuts off.

      Problem 2: The best light is shallow. Not very far down you have to be using strobes to bring out rich color. And the best photos are with really wide lenses so minimal water haze and particulates are between camera and subject.

      Problem 3: The most colorful everything is where oxygen and water movement is abundant, which means surge. For awhile I'd go backwards when the motor thought I was going forward, then a sudden rush forward at high speed. Or sideways. Or up. Or down.

      Fiji's an incredible place and I went with family so it was epic, got lots of individual shots, but all without the sea scooter because I prefer fish in my shots.

      (This photo not in Fiji but whatever.)