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Buoyancy advice for starting uw photography

Discussion in 'The Olympus Outlet' started by ksporry, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. Tigerman

    Tigerman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Norway
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    Id be more worried about LOSING the camera gear rather than "having to ditch it".
    How often does the **** hit the fan so badly you need to do that? How often would it be impossible or even impractical to bring it with you back up? Even if you have to assist an unconcious diver, you can just attach the gear to them instead of you if thats more practical. You should be pretty badly overweighted for the whole "I have to ditch my camera gear" scenario to strike.
    Being as correctly weighted and trimmed as possible should ALWAYS be a priority.
     
  2. danvolker

    danvolker Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lake Worth, Florida, United States
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    Totally in agreement about the weighting.... I will add that one time last year, when out with a group from a charter boat....one of the bad divers in the group ( not buddied or related to me), ran OOA in the first 15 minutes of what should have been a 50 to 60 minute dive.... I happened to see it, and be near.....the thing is, with a big camera....you really are hosed if the OOA diver is not paying attention to you..I had to swim to her, and shove my primary in her mouth, and wait for her to realize this and not freak--before I could get my hand back to grab my necklace reg and stuff it in my own mouth....lucky for me I free dive and am fine holding my breath a long time!!! The alternative would have been dropping a $10,000 camera set up....

    I do have a way to clip it off for deco, but this is bad for shooting, so it does not stay clipped.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
  3. Tigerman

    Tigerman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Norway
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    I have a coiled lanyard that stays clipped at ALL times (although extended, so it would dangle a bit till it gets the "shortening" clipped) as well as a second (stainless) steel wire line that I can attach for safety.
    One goes to my hip, the other to my shouder, so its clipped to the side of my body :)

    My setup isnt quite $10k yet, "only" something like $7k on any given dive (plus a bit more left in the case on the boat) there so losing or dropping it is a highly unwanted idea (although it IS fully insured its a bit of a hassle getting it all back together).
     
  4. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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  5. ksporry

    ksporry Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
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    I agree with both of you tigerman and danvolker. Divers will need to learn to evaluate what situation warrants dumping gear. In an OOA situation, you want to ensure the OOA person gets air quickly. If they are close you don't necessarily need to ditch your gear. If they are further away, and the area is not too deep (recovery is possible on a next dive), I'd probably dump the camera and prioritise the diver in distress. If it appears the equipment is not recoverable you'll have to assess for yourself if you ditch the gear and go for the rescue 100%, or if you drag it along to the diver in distress. Such a decision would probably have to factor in distance, nature of distress, expense of the gear, insurance for the gear, experience and fitness of the rescueing diver, etc (not necessarily in that order).
     
  6. watboy

    watboy Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Thailand
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    I've only gotten into photography in the last year. As a photographer now, my dives are very different. I see less things, but what I do see, I see in great detail. I few years back I was fortunate to have some time to take a dive master course and internship and briefly work as a guide. Working as a guide taught me a new level of situational awareness, navigational skills, and fish spotting skills. I learned alot about fishes, their behavior, where to look for them. Guiding, and especially fish spotting, has been invaluable experience to my photography. I got interested in macro photography by seeing how much more detail there was that I was missing. I now know that there's that special appendage I must frame in the shot, or to wait until the fish displays that thingy to hit the shutter. But there's a natural tunnel vision that occurs with a camera. End of dive chats inevitably mean that others saw more things (i've missed a whale shark thanks to a nudibranch photo). But its less of an issue for me now because i've seen most of the things in my neighborhood. I just think as a beginner diver, where everything is new, and there's so much awe and wonder, you will miss out a lot of it if you have a camera. I still remember the first time I saw a manta ray, and he came within 2 meters of me, a most amazing moment... that would only have been ruined by trying to take a picture of it, one that would mostly likely have come out poorly at that. There's soooo much to learn, which it seems like you are well on your way with. But there's so much to experience and enjoy in your first 100-200 dives... why ruin that fiddling with ISO settings or dealing with housing leaks? Every dive trip I go on, I make sure I have a dive day with no camera. No matter how situational awareness you think you have, there is a whole lot you miss out on.... plus my SAC is 20% higher with a camera.
     
    ksporry likes this.
  7. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
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    Practice buoyancy, control, trim and situational awareness, until you reach an acceptable level. Then expect a degradation in that performance whenever you add subsequent task loading. Cameras are a lot of task loading.

    This skill degradation occurs because you are no longer capable of devoting your full attention to the primary, underlying skill. Any deficiencies in that skill (not fully ingrained, automatic and unconscious) will be exposed when you aren't actively resolving them as a priority.

    It's okay to anticipate a degree of skill deficiency when pushing your comfort zones and task loading on dives. That said, and with that anticipation in mind, do compensate for the deficiency by decreasing the overall complexity, risk and demand of the dives that you undertake.
     
    jbb, ksporry and Tigerman like this.
  8. ksporry

    ksporry Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
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    Yes, I noticed that with my landbased photography. People always compliment me on how I see some details that i take photos of, but personally I always feel I miss the whole experience by pressing that trigger constantly. Luckily I have learned now to enjoy the view without looking through the viewfinder. Mind you, my photographer's eye is always switched on. When I walk the streets of Shanghai my brain always tries to make compositions of what I see before me. At least my experience also taught me my limitations, so nowadays, sometimes when I see a scene that I think would be great to capture, I don't even raise the camera to my eye, because I recognise the scene as something that I would not be able to relay in a photo, so instead I just enjoy the moment.
    Since it's also true that as a beginner I am still awed by many sights, I will certainly take that advice :)

    By the way, a mate of mine went diving recently. First time in 20 years he said. He took his gf with him (her first time). He send me a gopro video clip and was very proud of that experience. Now, he behaves very much like a woman (I'm serious, the words he uses and the way he talks is as if your girlfriend is talking to you...It's scary...). What I saw really made me cringe... I decided not to tell him anything (I am a bad liar). I don't know what kind of guidance they had. It looked quite shallow, and close to a jetty of some sort. But basically I saw him chase after a turtle who all the divers in the water seemed to want to grab and pet. Now, the turtle seemed to be pretty much ignoring the divers, and didn't seem in any kind of distress (maybe it's used to that?), but that to me seemed like a no-no. I always learned to interact passively with aquatic life. Let them come to you, don't chase after them and refrain from touching them (there are known exceptions, such as dolphins I guess, who do like to play). So I wasn't too impressed with that. I also saw his gf water trampling like she was a shrimp! No one next to her, no one seeming to pay attention to her. SHe was pretty much walking across the bottom with her fins. I don't know how intro dives work (I don't mean the discover scuba diving thing, but the quick n fast one off dive experience), maybe they overload them with lead and keep their BCD deflated at all times to prevent potential runaways, but honestly, that technique just seemed wrong to me... There was sand silt and dust all over the place because of this (It was obvious it was stirred up crap, not stuff that floats in the water naturally). All in all the clip showed me things that simply did not impress me.

    It's funny, I saw the same behaviour when I was taking flying lessons. Some people just get it impressively right, whilst others, even highly experienced trainers, sometimes really disappoint big time...

    Personally I'm very honoured that I get the chance to practice this sport, so at work I talk about it a lot (I always talk a lot about new things I learn in life), and when colleagues ask me, I always suggest them to go to a reputable school and do a discover scuba diving experience, so they truly learn skills that they could potentially take with them to certification if they want to. The whole fun dive experience thing, sure, is good money for operators, but I can see it being a massive erosion on aquatic life...
    For this reason I personally always look for operators that always pay a percentage to Project AWARE, and/or are PADI green award resorts. It just feels like they are more responsible in the water... (doesn't mean others are not of course...:) )
     
  9. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace

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    I loved your first paragraph, ksporry, because I've developed a bad case of the photographer's eye since I started shooting underwater. I was never a photographer on land . . . now I drive around thinking, "Wow, that would make a great photograph," and not stopping because I realize there's no way I can capture it :)
     
    ksporry likes this.
  10. Tigerman

    Tigerman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Norway
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    This is why I alsways drive around with a camera in my car :p
     

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