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Living on Maui, being a photographer, and now having underwater capabilities is in many ways a new beginning. The more I dive and study the creatures I am encountering, the more I am convinced that the ocean world really is like visiting a different planet completely. I am enjoying my dives more and more, and having a good SLR I can bring underwater with me changes everything in terms of enjoyment. I am learning a lot and hope I can improve both my techniques and images. There will be many entries coming about this.
For the most part scuba diving is pretty safe as long as you follow the rules and get trained according to how you expect to dive. That said, scuba diving has dangers. In what little free time I have, I've managed to squeeze in a fairly short and interesting read called "Diver Down" which details about 2 dozen or so instances where divers have exercised poor judgement and gotten themselves killed or seriously injured. While this may sound morbid, I want to familiarize myself with any kind of mistakes that others have made in the past.
I was amazed to read the number of accidents that occurred when trying to exceed one's own training, poor gear inspection or the inability to drop weights and surface. Some of the situations described were truly terrifying; like entering a shipwreck 100 feet down and getting lost inside it, or doing a boat dive, sinking quickly to the bottom of the ocean only to realize your BCD isnt working. (The guy was at 170 feet before he stopped his descent).
A recommended read for anyone interested in scuba diving.
Here is an image my dive buddy Rick took of me. This isnt the first image you guys have seen of me diving in the water as I slipped one in on my 365 project a few days ago. Not many people noticed it. I was taking a picture of a turtle overhead, it was moving, and I found myself kinda just falling over to try to get the shot. There are a lot of body position techniques and movements to be mastered. Laying on my back to take a picture from the ocean bottom is extremely uncomfortable.
I will be describing my gear set up here real soon. Still trying to figure it all out and have run into a few issues. One thing I am learning is that #1 most important thing to good underwater images is water clarity. If you dont have that you really cant do much.