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Frequently Asked Questions

Sun Kissed

Fine Art Photographic Prints


Do you sell prints of your images?

Absolutely! When you're in one of the Image Galleries (such as 'Sharks', 'Crocodiles', etc.), click on an individual image. Then in the lower right-hand corner you'll see a 'Buy Photo' button. Click that, and options will be displayed to buy prints on either paper, canvas, or metal (metal being my personal favorite!) in a large variety of sizes.


Are the prints signed?

When you order a print from the website they are shipped directly from the print maker located in San Francisco, so they are not signed. If you would like a signed print, please email me at tanya@blueelementsimaging.com before placing your order and we can discuss options to purchase a signed (and personalized!) print.


Will you donate a print to my charitable organization or fundraising efforts?

I wish I had the means to donate prints to everyone who asks, especially considering the wonderful causes they would support! But I have to pay a print maker for each one (I do not print them myself) and the costs quickly add up. So unfortunately I am not able to donate prints.



Working With Sharks


Have you ever been bitten by a shark?

No.


Are you afraid you're going to be bitten by a shark?

Not really.


Not even a little? I mean c'mon, they're SHARKS!

I get it. Many people have a fear of sharks, especially after how sharks are portrayed in the media. I actually used to be afraid of sharks too (thanks, JAWS!), but once I started diving with them I quickly realized that in no way do they deserve their negative reputation. On average around the world, 5 people are killed by sharks every year. But during that same time period, humans will kill over 70 million sharks. Sharks have much more to fear from us than we do them. I am not scared of sharks, but I do have a very healthy respect for them being the predators that they are.


You must hate the movie JAWS then?

I love JAWS! It's a classic. Great movie. I even met Richard Dreyfuss when we both appeared at Shark Con. Told him about JAWS contributing to my irrational childhood fear of sharks, which he got a laugh out of considering my current career.


When you're working with sharks, you're in a cage, right?

There has actually only been one time that I've been in a cage, and that was when I was was photographing great white sharks at Isla Guadalupe, Mexico (it's the law there that everyone must be in a cage). For all of the other encounters I have had with sharks, I have not been in a cage.


How can I help save sharks?

So glad you asked! The best way to help sharks is to get involved with some of the wonderful shark conservation organizations around the world. A 'Conservation' page with more information is coming soon on the website, but if you'd like some recommendations in the meantime, just email me at tanya@blueelementsimaging.com. And while you're at it, please don't use or consume any products made from sharks!


Are Megalodons still alive?

No. Megalodons went extinct about 3.6 million years ago.


But how can we be sure? There's so much of the ocean we haven't explored!

No one wants megalodons to still be around more than me (can you imagine all the magazine covers I'd get with a meg photo???). But the truth is megs are long gone. There are popular dive sites in North Carolina where divers regularly go to find fossilized megalodon teeth. And not like 1 or 2.....dozens at a time! So we know megs shed a lot of teeth when they were alive. If they were still around, we would have found fresh teeth by now. There is zero evidence that megalodons still exist, no matter what you may find on YouTube claiming the opposite.



Photography


What kind of camera system do you use?

Right now I use an Olympus OM-D EM-1 MkII. Prior to that I used the original Olympus OM-D EM-1. My go-to underwater wide angle lens is the Olympus m.Zuiko 8mm f/1.8 PRO fisheye lens. For those rare times I shoot macro, I use the Olympus m.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 lens. I am an ambassador for Isotta Housings, and I proudly use an Isotta EM-1 housing, along with Isotta arms and ports. My current strobes are i-Divesite Symbiosis SS-2, although I am excited to soon begin using the revolutionary new Isotta RED64 strobes when they are released.


Do you shoot video?

Professional top-quality cinematic video capability up to 8k is coming soon! Stay tuned for more info!


What camera settings do you use?

The settings I use are entirely dependent on the situation. I shoot full manual with the exception of using autofocus. So I am constantly adjusting my camera settings and strobe power/positioning, often several times during the same dive depending on how close I am to my subject and how much light I have to work with.


Do you edit your photos?

Yes, I edit my photos in post-processing especially since I shoot in RAW instead of JPEG, which results in a more 'dull' image right out of the camera but contains more information in the image file than a JPEG. I commonly adjust things like color, brightness, and contrast, and I will remove spots from images (known as 'backscatter' and very common in underwater images as a result of light hitting particulate matter in the water). I do NOT add things into my photos (I don't even really know how to do that). I don't know of any photographer who doesn't edit most of their images. This isn't a new concept. Photo editing has been done since the beginning of photography; it's just that now we use a computer instead of laboring away in a darkroom.


Can I send you some of my images to critique?

If you are interested in a critique, contact me at tanya@blueelementsimaging.com. Please know that I do charge for this service, and the fee is dependent upon the number of images and how much of an in-depth critique you would like.


Do you provide instruction or hold workshops?

At this time I do not provide photography instruction, nor am I holding any workshops. If that changes, I will post information on the website and social media.



General Questions


Do you host interns?

I do not host interns due to the unpredictable nature of my work schedule. Some of my jobs I know about a year in advance, and sometimes I get a week's notice before I have to go to the other side of the world. And oftentimes I don't have the latitude to bring someone with me depending on the job assignment.


Can you come speak at my event?

I regularly do speaking engagements all around the world on topics such as underwater photography, sharks, ocean conservation, etc., at a variety of venues  from local photography or dive clubs to international locations such as Singapore, Shanghai, and Paris. If you are interested in my speaking at your event, please contact me at tanya@blueelementsimaging.com and let me know what you have in mind! For travel considerations, please note that I live in Virginia just south of the Washington DC area.


How do I go about hiring you?

Let's talk! Email me at tanya@blueelementsimaging.com to let me know a little about you, your project, and how I might be able to help!


Do you answer all of your emails?

I really try to but every so often one will slip through the cracks (sorry about that!). Sometimes I may be out in the field as well, although if I will be away for an extended period of time or without reliable internet I will usually have an out-of-office automatic response stating that. So if you email me and haven't heard back in a few days, please email again. (Unless you're asking me for the 5th time why I'm so certain megalodons don't still exist....)



Have a question you don't see an answer to here? Send me an email at tanya@blueelementsimaging.com!