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Besides boating, kayaking, skiing, surfing and skydiving, the GoPro HERO3 is also popular for capturing footage while scuba diving. This tiny camera has revolutionized the way people shoot video when participating in action sports. It's so popular, that some ski resorts have public editing stations, which allow guests to download and edit their footage before heading home. Likewise, it's now impossible to go on a dive boat anywhere in the world without seeing the GoPro being strapped to divers, along with their fins and tanks.
Editor's Note: This is a guest blog post by Larry Cohen
Not all dives are created equal. Many divers just want to dive a shallow reef while others would rather strap on double tanks and explore a shipwreck in 300 feet of water. Other divers want to discover what is inside an underwater cave. The kind of diving you do will determine the camera and housing system you should use. The other question is: what are you using the photos for?
Most of my photographic interest involves working underwater. However, some places in the world are as interesting above water as below. A trip to Egypt would not be complete without visiting the Pyramids and other sites of the ancient world. Planning such a trip is a logistical nightmare, though, involving domestic flights and ground transportation. It is best to use a travel agent who specializes in your destination.
About 90 miles from NYC is a playground for scuba divers. Dutch Springs, a limestone quarry, attracts northeast scuba divers to train, practice, try new gear and socialize. Many divers thumb their nose up at diving Dutch.
When divers think about underwater photography gear they immediately think of Ikelite. Here’s how it came about. While he was wreck diving in 1962 all of Ike Brigham’s lights kept flooding or imploding. With necessity being the mother of invention, Ike invented the first o-ring sealed underwater light to incorporate a sealed beam bulb. Word throughout the diving community spread like spawning coral and everyone wanted one of Ike’s lights. That is how Ikelite was born. From that time forward Ikelite has remained an inventive company producing camera housings, video housings, underwater strobes, video lights and of course dive lights.
The first question non-divers usually ask is, “Have you ever seen a shark?” If you answer yes, they want to know if you were scared. Well, for most divers, seeing this majestic animal is a thrill. To be able to see dozens at one time is an experience most divers dream of. One does not have to travel far to realize this dream. In the Bahamas, on New Providence Island in the city of Nassau, you can swim with dozens of gray reef sharks. Nassau is less than a three-hour flight from New York City. The island is merely 178 miles from Miami, Florida. Nassau is known for sandy white beaches, calm blue water, casinos, resorts and gift shops. There is enough to do to keep any tourist happy. Vacationers come to this island by cruise ship, airplane and private boat, to relax and party. But if you want adventure, you should venture beneath the Bahamian waters to see the numerous reefs, walls and shipwrecks teeming with marine life.
From the beginning of time the human race has used the world’s lakes, rivers, and oceans for gathering food, transporting goods, for sports and recreation. Modern human beings have a need to document activities, usually by taking photographs. We want photos for record keeping, showing people where we have been, what we explored, and who we, our family, and friends are. And for creative art and fun.
People go scuba diving for many reasons. Some divers are interested in the natural beauty of coral reefs, and the animals that call this environment home. Wreck divers are interested in man-made objects that have ended up underwater by disaster. Ships and airplanes sink because of bad maintenance, fire, weather, collisions and war. Once sunk, the wreck becomes a time capsule. When diving to explore wrecks, the experience is enhanced if you know its history. When swimming through one of these underwater museums, one can't help but imagine what happened during the sinking. If your objective is to create images, knowing the wrecks history will help.
As I prepare for another dive off the Island of Roca Partida, everything is perfect, as it has been the past five days. It is a beautiful day, sea conditions are ideal, and I am thinking about the wonders I will photograph as this amazing trip is coming to an end. I check all my life support equipment and camera gear before boarding the Zodiac (rubber raft type boat).
Bonaire, along with Aruba and Curaçao, form a Caribbean Island group referred to as the ABC islands. They are located north of Venezuela. The island has pristine reefs close to shore, and is below the hurricane belt. Many people consider this island “Diver's Paradise,” just as it says on the automobile license plates. When a group of friends said they were going to Bonaire, my dive partner Olga Torrey and I decided that after a season of Northeast wreck diving, practicing photography at Dutch Springs, and a trip to the cold waters of Alaska, a nice and easy pretty-fish trip should be put on the calendar.