Rui Guerra

The best place for underwater photography must be in the Sagres area

See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine July 2015

This month’s Picture Perfect photographer is Rui Guerra (46). Born in Lisbon, Rui was attracted to the sea from an early age. In the nineties he discovered a passion for diving. Photography has entered his life almost by chance, as Rui wanted to show other people what he saw on his dives. He certainly succeeded: his pictures have won countless national and international underwater photography competitions.

Rui is also a CMAS** Underwater Photography Instructor and shares his skill with others by giving workshops. Interested? His next workshop on underwater photography is held in Sagres, from September 16 to 20 ( Expect 35 hours of teaching crammed into 4 days. Anyone can join, but having previous diving experience is useful.

Rui on photography in the Algarve: “The best place for underwater photography must be in the Sagres area. Usually, the visibility is good here, as the water is cleaner than in the rest of the Algarve. Also, there’s an abundance of marine life; the caves are full of fish, starfish, corals, and anemones. It’s where this picture was taken as well, in the Cathedral cave. Close to Sagres you’ll also find the Ilhas do Martinhal, a small group of rocky islands at the south-western end of the Algarve. They’re at the end of the harbour, just in front of Martinhal beach. ”


Underwater photography

This month’s Picture Perfect shows a cup coral (Caryophyllia smithii) in the Cathedral Cave, a diving spot at the Ilhas do Martinhal. Rui took it with a Nikon D800 – Subal ND800 housing – Nikon 105mm lens f2.8 VR – Light & Motion SOLA Nightsea illumination- yellow barrier filter in front of the lens port – ISO 1250, f/10 @ 1/125 sec. Like this pic? See more on:
Want to try and make a perfect picture like this one as well? Here are Rui’s top three tips on underwater photography:

  1. Shooting fluorescent creatures underwater is easier done by night or inside caves, (as done in this picture), because you can see which subjects glow.
  2. When shooting fluorescent subjects, use equipment that’s especially made for this, meaning strong blue light (or dichroic filters in front of the strobes) and yellow barrier filters in front of the lens.
  3. High ISO is almost always necessary because fluorescence is a very weak light emission that occurs in a different wave length (colour), when some marine life is exposed to strong blue/UV light. Also, experiment with different white balance settings to produce some colour shift.

Cup coral (Caryophyllia smithii) by Rui Guerra

See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine July 2015

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