A photo weekend took place at the Deepspot pool in Mszczonow on January 14-15, with a report prepared by Malgorzata Sobonska- Szylinska.
This year saw the second edition of an event dedicated to divers who are into underwater photography. Fotoweekend in Deepspot, the deepest pool in Europe, was organized by Nautica Safari from Krakow, with the participation of Irena Stangierska Photography, Foto Podwodna Marcin Trzcinski, www.fotografpodwodny.pl Tomasz Plocinski and Deepspot itself.
The event was sponsored by Digiprint, which printed the photographs for the underwater photography exhibition displayed on the walls of Deepspot’s foyer. The lavish opening combined with a gala banquet took place on January 14, 2023. Phenomenal photographs of the underwater world will be on display throughout the year until the next Fotoweekend. The 3rd edition will take place – we already have the date confirmed – on January 13 and 14, 2024. This year’s Event took place on January 14 and 15, 2023, and was full of attractions.
On the first day, underwater photographers from all over Poland, more than 60 in number this year (some flew in especially for Fotoweekend from abroad), had the opportunity to listen to a series of lectures rich in substance. Piotr Stós, diving and underwater photography instructor, hydrobiologist, co-owner of Nautica Safari, talked about the rules of etiquette, safety, ecology and good habits during underwater sessions. Then the audience could listen to my richly illustrated lecture on safe shark photography in bodies of water around the world.
In the second part of the day, Wojciech Męczynski delighted everyone with a show of his photographs armed with super powers of tiny mollusks and crustaceans inhabiting the waters of Southeast Asia and giant humpback whales hunted with his lens near the islands of Tonga.
In turn, Tomasz Stachura, Baltic technical diver, wreck exploration enthusiast and owner of Santi, among other things, introduced the history of his photographing and eventually assembling of 650 photos (selected from 1200!) of the famous mosaic of the wreck of the Swedish ship “Mars” sunk in the 16th century in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Sweden at a depth of 70 meters. Composed of hundreds of individual photos, the “Mars” photograph was the third by a Polish photographer to be featured on the cover of a foreign issue of National Geographic (in Germany and Sweden).
The day ended with two technical lectures – by Pawel Tworek, a photographer with 35 years of experience, a traveler and passionate about marine nature, on composition and working with backgrounds in underwater photography, and by one of Poland’s top underwater photography equipment specialists, Marcin Trzcinski, on the pros and cons of using flash and fixed lighting in an underwater photographer’s work. The crowd of enthusiasts present at the lectures had the opportunity to relax in the evening at a banquet entitled “Evening of Photographers”, part of which was the opening of a group exhibition of underwater photographs by, among others, participants of the Fotoweekend itself.
The second day of the convention was dominated by practice. Divided into two groups, the participants began the class by listening to a practical lecture by Tomasz Plocinski, animator of www.fotografpodwodny.pl, a popular website among dive photography enthusiasts, on working with exposure, and more specifically on combining steady and flash lighting when photographing subjects and models underwater. Saturated with invaluable knowledge, the divers dived underwater to try the learned tricks in practice. And here a pleasant surprise awaited them….
The clear depths of the Deepspot pool were teeming with mythical creatures with striking mermaid tails, who flitted gracefully among the certified freedivers….
To become a certified mermaid it takes quite a lot of courage, strong abdominal muscles and trained breathing. All this to be able to descend even several meters underwater without the support of air from a cylinder. Real mermaids are athletic freedivers who, in addition, often dive without a mask, with their eyes open in chlorinated water, to get a good look for underwater photographers. The girls of Deepspot’s Mermaid Academy are professional in every way. This is evidenced by their elaborate stage costumes, jewelry and extremely sophisticated, completely waterproof makeup. All these elements looked great in the photos.
This year’s Fotoweekend at Deespot was again very popular. It fostered the establishment of new and consolidation of existing friendships and above all, the development of a common passion for diving and photography. Undoubtedly, this type of event integrates the diving community perfectly. All indications are that Fotoweekend will become a regular event. The organizers promise further editions, enriched with an underwater photography contest and another exhibition of underwater photos!
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