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Half In & Half Out

From the Underwater Lens
Half In & Half Out

Armando Jenik bought his first underwater housing kit in 1978 during a time when underwater photography was in its early stages. Since then, Armando has developed a body of work that needs little introduction. His love for the underwater world combined with his passion for photography allows the versed diver to share what he sees with the rest of the world. One technique Armando has mastered is half and half—or “split”—photography, which halves the dry world with the wet. “And the reason I like to connect the two is quite simply to combine both worlds—above and below,” he explained. In a recent interview, Armando shared some of his fondest half and half photographs taken over the years and lent some insight into what went into each shot.


The Bold and Beautiful Baths
Armando loves shooting The Baths at Virgin Gorda—it’s his favourite place in the world to photograph. Why? Not only because of the volcanic boulders’ obvious majestic beauty overwater, but because of what occurs as they continue below water. “Underwater, the boulders make it look like a different planet altogether,” he remarked. In this photo (left), as Armando broke traditional rules and shot into the light, the sun refracted off the dark boulders above ground and the white sandy bottom and helped created a perfect contrast. “This is a place I would recommend anyone interested in half-and-half photography to begin … this place was made for split photography.”

TIP: Use an ND3 gel filter and cut it in half to expose for the bright sun above and the darker underwater settings.




Serene Sailing
Shooting sailing photography from the water can be particularly tricky, he explained, because the subject is moving at a particularly fast rate, and in order to capture these fleeting moments with a wide-angle lens, the photographer must be as close as possible to the boat. “I hide behind the markers, and when the boat is very close—three to five feet away—I just shoot and try to create the image and not get killed,” he said. “You have to be careful because when you use the wide angle, it looks very far. … Shooting sailing is like swimming with sharks—you don’t know if you’re going to make it or not. But if you survive you get fantastic pictures.” For this photograph (left), Armando used a 15mm lens with oceaneye housing, with a Nikon F2 and took numerous shots.

TIP: Shoot until you can’t shoot anymore. It’s the best way to capture the passing moment, and withdigital cameras, who cares about wasting film? Invest in a large memory card—16 GB or more.



Man’s Best Friend
Armando loves shooting his best friends—his dogs. He’s particularly fond of this photo of his former dog Rocky because it captures a moment of pure, unadulterated bliss. “Dogs are the love of my life, and I always wanted to photograph and capture these special moments,” he said. “When you take a picture of a dog swimming, you don’t get to see what’s going on underwater—which is just fascinating. Look at this picture. It just makes you happy. … He’s gone, but it’s a happy picture—it give you a sense of how happy he is and how beautiful the ocean is at the same time.”

TIP: Clean the dome—with Lemon Pledge for acrylic ports or Rain-X for glass ports—to get rid of unwanted water droplets.

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