Cornforth Images

Category Archives: Underwater

Lagoya Underwater Walrus 1

Lagoya Underwater Walrus 1

Posted by Jon Cornforth on February 2, 2016

This is my favorite underwater walrus image from my Svalbard sailing expedition last summer with my co-leader Tony Wu. Early in our trip, we encountered walrus resting on iceflows with ideal blue sky conditions that allowed for great underwater visibility. As both the trip leader and inflatable boat driver, I cautiously motored towards a group of walrus to allow my clients to photograph them without disturbing them. Eventually, I delicately approached them and got close enough to extend my underwater polecam out to shoot the most curious animal. I love how he is looking right at the camera and the detail in this image is truly amazing. I created this image using my Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera body and 15mm fisheye lens inside my Aquatech 5DmkIII housing with an Aquatech 8″ dome port and remotely triggered it on the end of my monopod. I processed the RAW file using Adobe Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC 2015, and Nik Software’s Color Efex 4‘s White Neutralizer filter.

Poolepynten Underwater Walrus 3

Poolepynten Underwater Walrus 3

Posted by Jon Cornforth on November 5, 2015

I want to start sharing some of my incredible new images from my spectacular Svalbard expedition that I co-lead with Tony Wu this past June. I have been hesitant to publish what I consider to be some of my best work ever given the fact that publishing photos is not what it used to be, not to mention that a lot of my work gets used without compensation by copyright infringers. However, I can not be afraid of holding back my new photos forever.

This is an underwater walrus image that I created while standing in the Arctic Ocean, holding my polecam, and waiting for a walrus from the nearby colony to swim up to me. Eventually, this very curious walrus took interest and swam directly at me as I nervously stood my ground with my polecam held under the surface in front of me. I blindly fired away as this extraordinary encounter unfolded. After the walrus grew tired of staring at its reflection on my dome port, it gently settled into the shallow water in front of me and proceeded to scratch itself for what seemed like an eternity. It was truly an unimaginable experience as both of us were just relaxed and hanging out at the beach while enjoying each other’s company. I created this image using my Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera body and 15mm fisheye lens inside my Aquatech 5DmkIII housing with an Aquatech 8″ dome port and remotely triggered it on the end of my monopod. I processed the RAW file using Adobe Lightroom 6 and Photoshop CC 2015, and Nik Software’s Color Efex 4‘s White Neutralizer filter.

Sport Diver October 2015 Cover

Sport Diver October 2015 Cover

Posted by Jon Cornforth on November 3, 2015

One of my false clown anemonefish images was published on the October cover of Sport Diver! I photographed this clownfish while visiting the Misool Ecoresort located in Raja Ampat, Indonesia in March 2011. (Man, was that trip really almost 5 years ago?) I had always wanted to photograph these charismatic fish ever since watching Finding Nemo a thousand times with my older daughter when she was little. When I returned from the trip, I recall one of my good dive buddies telling me that clownfish images were a dime-a-dozen and I would never publish them. Surprisingly, I have proven him wrong and published them widely. I created this image using my Canon 5DmkII and 100mm f2.8 macro lens in my Ikelite 5DmkII housing with dual Ikelite DS160 strobes set on TTL. This image required minimal processing using Aperture 3 and Photoshop CS5.

Canadian Wildlife September 2014 Cover

Canadian Wildlife September 2014 Cover

Posted by Jon Cornforth on September 23, 2014

One of my underwater Steller sea lion images is featured on the cover of this month’s issue of Canadian Wildlife. Scuba diving with these curious pinnipeds is one the highlights of my entire photography career. Over the years, I have had a lot of success publishing these images from my January 2009 dive trip to Hornby Island in British Columbia. (Doesn’t that seem like a long time ago?) It’s nice to see that an “older” image that I created using my original Canon 5D is still valuable and publishable.

Kona Sperm Whale 1

Kona Sperm Whale 1

Posted by Jon Cornforth on January 21, 2014

Since I am getting ready to fly back to Hawaii tomorrow afternoon, I decided to share an image from my last trip to Kona in November. I got very lucky several days in a row by experiencing my first encounters with sperm whales. This photo was taken moments after one swam directly at me to check me out and then inverted itself vertically in the water. I don’t know whether this image is epic or not, but it is one of my first sperm whale images all the same. What I like most about going out on the water in Kona is that I never know what I will encounter. Every day is different. I created this image using my Canon 5DmkIII and 17-40mm f4 lens inside my Ikelite 5DmkIII housing. I processed the RAW file using Aperture 3 and Photoshop CC, plus Nik Software’s Color Efex 4‘s white balance filter.

Scuba Diving January 2014 Cover

Scuba Diving January 2014 Cover

Posted by Jon Cornforth on January 14, 2014

I am excited to share that I have the cover photo on this month’s issue of Scuba Diving! I photographed this humpback whale calf while visiting Tonga in August 2012. It was especially playful and pretty much swam right over me while I was snorkeling next to it. I created this image using my Canon 5DmkIII and 17-40mm f4 lens inside my Ikelite 5DmkIII housing. I processed the RAW file using Aperture 3 and Photoshop CC, plus Nik Software’s Color Efex 4‘s white balance filter.

Kona Pilot Whales 1

Kona Pilot Whales 1

Posted by Jon Cornforth on December 16, 2013

Over the years, I have tried to photograph pilot whales while visiting Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, but been unsuccessful. However, during my recent visit I had a close encounter with this pod. After observing them logging (resting) on the surface, I cautiously entered the water and photographed this curious mother and calf. It was an exhilarating experience, especially given the unpredictable reputation of these large animals. I created this image using my Canon 5DmkIII and 17-40mm f4 lens inside my Ikelite 5DmkIII housing. I processed the RAW file using Aperture 3 and Photoshop CC, plus Nik Software’s Color Efex 4‘s white balance filter.

Ha'apai Humpback Mother & Calf 28

Ha’apai Humpback Mother & Calf 28

Posted by Jon Cornforth on June 20, 2013

I recently made some progress on editing my backlog of humpback whale images from Tonga last year and thought that this one was worth sharing. I was very lucky to be able to spend 90 minutes photographing this very relaxed mother-calf pair. They spent most of the time calmly resting on the surface during which the calf moved around a lot and curiously check me out. This was an amazing experience, which is why I can’t wait to return to Tonga in 2014 to lead a few week-long tours in search of more encounters like this. I created this image using my Canon 5DmkIII and 17-40mm f4 lens inside my Ikelite 5DmkIII housing. I processed the RAW file using Aperture 3 and Photoshop CS6, plus Nik Software’s Color Efex 4‘s white balance filter.

Namena Soft Corals 5

Namena Soft Corals 5

Posted by Jon Cornforth on June 19, 2013

What can be better than photographing sunset? How about photographing sunset while underwater? A number of variables had to perfectly come together in order to shoot this scene, including the soft corals, colorful anthias, and dramatic low-angle sunlight. I especially like the dramatic sunbeams penetrating beneath the waves. I created this image using my Canon 5DmkIII and a Tokina 17mm f3.5 lens inside my Ikelite 5DmkIII housing with an 8″ dome port and dual DS160 strobes. I processed the RAW file using Aperture 3 and Photoshop CS6, plus Nik Software’s Color Efex 4‘s white balance filter.

Beqa Bull Shark 1

Beqa Bull Shark 1

Posted by Jon Cornforth on June 18, 2013

This is my favorite image from my recent bull shark diving adventure in Fiji. I like the vertical composition of the shark coming directly at me with several other sharks silhouetted in the background. I wonder if this will someday make a nice cover? Man, that was a great trip. I created this image using my Canon 5DmkIII and Canon 17-40mm f4 lens with a +3 diopter inside my Ikelite 5DmkIII housing with an 8″ dome port and dual DS160 strobes. I processed the RAW file using Aperture 3 and Photoshop CS6, plus Nik Software’s Color Efex 4‘s white balance filter.