Category Archives: 2012 BonnierCorp DG Media

Ready, Set, Freeze

I can’t help but be draw to anything behind the scenes. I unwittingly gravitate toward promises of insider information and exclusive access.

That may be why I was so excited when Carrie Garcia and Elizabeth Fleener, Sport Diver‘s photo editor and art director, respectively, asked if I wanted to help in the photo studio. I couldn’t wait to see the process behind the glossy front-of-book photo.

On this day, we were shooting gear for Sport Diver‘s August issue. Carrie and Elizabeth had enlisted the help of Jon Whittle to get a perfect freeze frame of water splashing against a dive computer.

Here’s the scoop–



First, we set up the equipment, which included saran wrapping some of the photo gear to keep it safe from misaimed water drops. Above, Carrie adjusts the bar so the dive computer hangs optimally in the splash zone.


The external flashes were connected to a motion sensor, so the lights flashed as we poured the water. In the photo, Jon does a test run to make sure everything is in working order.

All set up and ready to go, we turned off the lights and began the shoot.

In order to freeze the moving water and get the clear, crisp shot you’ll see in the magazine, we needed a hyper fast shutter speed. Jon suggested using the fastest shutter speed possible. You can’t get any faster than the speed of light, he said.

So, the flash acted as our shutter speed. We turned off the lights. We tossed the cup of water at the computer console. This activated the motion sensor, which fired off the flash, which captured the image.

And then we filled the paper cup, and repeated the process.

We spent the afternoon making tiny adjustments and coming up with more effective ways to douse the console. In the photo above, you  can see the paper towel roll we switched to in order to more accurately aim the water spill.

By the time we were finished with the photo shoot, we could have played a decent game of Slip ‘N Slide on the photo studio floor.

Instead, we disassembled the setup and began the cleanup. Shown above: Elizabeth and Carrie untying the computer and unclamping the flashes.

 When a mop wasn’t available, we had to get creative with the cleanup.

A few paper towels though, and one effective fan later, the studio was as good as new.

Check out the August issue of Sport Diver to see how the shoot turned out.


Diving Blue Grotto and Other News from Winter Park

Well, it has stopped raining.

With Tropical Storm Debby in town, I was starting to wonder if the sunshine state was named ironically. It’s all bright and shiny here in Florida now though.

Enough about the weather, and on to more important things–like my internship at Bonnier. So far it has been great, even better than I expected, and in general, pretty amazing.

I learn something new about the dive world every day. I get to fact check articles about the latest and greatest gear, read proofs on incredible destinations and write about marine conservations efforts.

And then there’s the added bonus of diving during the work week.

Last Tuesday, I was invited to go diving with the test divers at Blue Grotto. I gladly acceptd, loaded my scuba gear in the white van and headed out to Williston, FL.



The Blue Grotto is a spring that stays 72 degrees all year long. We were there to test dive computers (read all about it in the September issue of Scuba Diving) and I was helping with some of the topside organization.

The water was clear–not at all like diving in Arizona, where you’re lucky to get 15 feet of visibility.

I did two quick dives and stayed out on the last dive to take some photos of the test divers.




See what I mean about loving this internship?


Special thanks to Patricia Wuest, senior editor of Sport Diver, and Eric Michael, editor of Scuba Diving, who have gone above and beyond to make me feel welcome here. From inviting me to dinner to pointing out the best beaches, from informing me about hurricane preparation to making sure I am working on projects I’m interested in, everyone at Bonnier has been just incredible. I’ve never been so far from home while feeling so at home.

I’ll stop there and save the rest of my thank you speech for the Academy.

In the meantime, I’m going to go enjoy that Florida sunshine.

Wishing everyone calm sees and plenty of shark sightings.


– Alec