PADI Rescue Diver and Nitrox certified.
I started scuba diving during Discover Scuba in 2005 at Sport Chalet, West Hills. Breathing off the regulator felt very comfortable for me. For many people that can be quite awkward and cause them to get claustrophobic. Fortunately that was NOT the case for me. From there I decided to sign up for the National Geographic open water class because we would get to do extra dives and learn a little about underwater photography. After getting certified, I got in a few more dives on my own then signed up the advanced open water class (AOW). In AOW, we get to work more on skills such a buoyancy control, navigation, night diving, fish identification, and of course my choice, photography. After completing the AOW course, I went all around the world on multiple diving trips. That is the best way to improve buoyancy control, which is really the key skill in diving if you want to consistently get great images. It doesn’t matter what kind of camera you have if you can’t stay steady enough to not scare the marine life to take a picture. In 2011, I completed the rescue class and got certified in that. The rescue class was perhaps my favorite, but those are good skills to know that you hope you don’t have to use. For the next few years (2012-2016) I took some time off from diving to focus on triathlon training and racing, and learning to become a Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) specialist practitioner. Life is short, and I have missed diving. I finally spent some time gathering my images and making this new website. There are many places we would like to dive, so planning for some future trips.
Diving in Palau (March 2010). This is the infamous Blue Corner. It can have ripping currents, so for this particular dive we used reef hooks to stay relatively stationary and just watch the big fish swim by. The image below was taken by Captain Scott of the Palau Aggressor Live-aboard. I am trying to give the OK signal, although it really looks like I am pinching my fingers.
In Palau, I was still using my Ikelite with the Canon G6, single DS 51 substrobe, and occasionally the wide angle wet lens. I upgraded to using the Canon 7D with Nauticam housing and Canon f.28 60mm macro as my primary setup later that year in December 2010 in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. I love to shoot macro, but am trying to work on improving my skills of shooting wide angle. There are definitely plenty of things to experiment with for photography.
For my 40th birthday, we went diving at Catalina and while still being a fun day, I had a handful of equipment problems. My weight (trim) pouch buckle broke so I had to put the weights in the side pocket, while the weights were in the trim pouch on the other side. My regulator mouth piece was half way bitten off that during the second dive, I almost ended up using my alternate air source. My wet suit was loose in the abdomen so I was getting cold, and my slave strobe was not firing (so no kelp and sunball shots). I was determined to get the broken parts replaced, get a second strobe and dual sync cord so there would not be any slave problems. I also found a lady that does wet suit alterations. She was able to take in the gaps on the back so it will be more snug (and warm hopefully).
Oh, yes. One fun fact. I married my long time friend Michael Burt who was also my scuba diving instructor for the National Geographic open water class. He is an PADI MSDT Instructor who also specializes airbrush painting. Visit his work at Gorilla Airbrush.