Cherie Deacon exploring Bali's Undersea Temple Garden

08-Apr-2014 Back to Image Gallery

Cherie Deacon exploring Bali's Undersea Temple Garden

Last year I discovered an undersea temple complete with Hindu gods had been created by Balinese divers so I was immediately inspired to capture images that combined both the beauty of their art and the beauty of their undersea world. There are three dive sites in the area that feature the gods & goddesses of Bali. The beautiful Saraswati is in a shallow coral & sand garden viewable by snorkelers and divers. The Bali Temple and temple guards are at the base of a coral reef at 28 metres, and the Temple Garden is on a nearby coral reef shelf ranging from 12-15 metres depth. Cruising the Temple Garden I was drawn to this Bali Statue as a bright orange sponge had created a beautiful coating on the gods face. This provided that splash of colour that draws the eye into the picture and entices the viewer to discover the story within. In May 2014 more Balinese gods and goddesses will be erected in the temple garden thus expanding the habitat for marine life and providing a unique `dive to discovery' experience for divers.

Photo Data: Location: North Bali. GENRE: Extreme Wide Angle. Photography Data: Nikon D800E, Nikkor 16 mm Full Frame Fisheye lens, Seacam Housing, Dual Seacam Sea Flash150 Strobes, and Manual Exposure Mode. ISO 200. Exposure f16 @ 1/80th sec. Image by Kevin Deacon.

Photo Hints: Extreme Wide angle style is achieved by the use of full frame fisheye wide angle lenses used at very close distance. In this example my camera dome would have been less than one metre from the statue. EQUIPMENT COMMENTS: Apart from an extreme wide angle lens it was also important to use very long strobe arms to reduce or eliminate backscatter as there is a lot of plankton and nutrients in the water at this dive site. Dual strobes are also very helpful for even lighting in a wide angle scene. One strobe was aimed at the statue, the other at Cherie. The power of the strobes was adjusted manually based on the strobe to subject distance for each.

Interesting Facts: When I met Chris Brown from Bali almost 25 years ago he had already conceived the idea of a Balinese Undersea Temple Garden. It is marvellous to see such ambitious concepts become reality. It is a project he is still supporting today with additional Balinese Gods planned for 2014.

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