This is our first all-digital cover, and I'm extremely proud of it. I'm especially happy that our first digital cover should be an animal as majestic as the whale shark. Douglas David Seifert is probably the best shark photographer in the world, and once again was first on the scene when an astonishing discovery was made. In this instance, it was the mass spawning of reef fish off Belize. Large numbers of whale sharks are drawn to this phenomenon, and feed on the protein-rich fish eggs.
Spectacular it may have been, but shooting large animals in water clouded with eggs and sperm is no mean feat. Douglas has demonstrated that - in the right hands - the D60 is more than equal to such a challenge. We had an amazing range of images to choose from, but opted for a moody shot of a whale shark taken from below. Its underbelly is darker and more mottled than most sharks, but the mass of its head is nicely contrasted with the sunlight at the surface, and Douglas has obligingly captured two divers in the frame to give a sense of scale.
I have noticed certain correspondents arguing that current digital photography is not appropriate for magazine use. Hopefully this cover shot - and an A3 portrait of a great hammerhead we are using in our Shark Special magazine will disabuse them of that notion. Make no mistake - digital has arrived.
Editor, DIVE magazine
A Note from Douglas David Seifert:
From: Douglas David Seifert
Sent: Monday, May 26, 2003 5:59 PM
Subject: Re: dive magazine on wetpixel!
I am just off the plane -- with even better digital pix of the spawning phenomenon,
which you will see once I get the RAW converter from phaseOne. It might be
worth clarifying [Alex Mustard's post]. The cover was shot in mid day, which,
if I had had an RS and Kodachrome 64, would possibly have been a better picture
(the top water burns out with the D60). But the truly great images, shot around
5:30pm as the sun is close to setting would only be possible with digital,
set to ISO 400, 1/8 power Ikelites. Any film images would have been too grainy
or muddy to be interesting. The doublepage spread referred to was also shot
midday at 130 feet, so it could have gone either way. Once we get a true wide
angle format, then digital is my choice so long as one doesn't shoot into the