Getting my first underwater camera reminded me a lot of having a child; an insanely expensive endeavor that you somehow instinctually know you will take on “someday”, it’s just a matter of knowing when you’re ready. With children, a friend once noted, “If you wait until you’re ‘ready’ to have children, you’ll never have them.” I think the same is true of an underwater camera system.
Of course, people don’t just randomly, suddenly, one day decide to buy an underwater camera (and ideally the same would be true of having kids). It's a notion that evolves over time, a series of events that lead up to that magical day when take the plunge (literally), and bring your baby home from the store (or, in this case, have it delivered to your house; among the many perks of underwater camera gear over children.) For some, it’s a challenging side road from top-side photography. For others, it’s an almost inevitable extension of scuba diving. In my case, i came at it from both angles at once.
Granted, I’ve only been diving since 2001 (more on that later) but I've never known diving without underwater photography. In fact, with only a single exception, I’ve never been on a dive trip that wasn’t centered around photography. For many people, scuba diving alone is enough while for others, photography is a life-long quest by itself. Individually, both diving and photography can be rather expensive hobbies but underwater photographers are, for whatever reason, uniquely compelled to fuse them together into a single, money-sucking vortex of frustration and rare-and-fleeting opportunities.
An unlikely candidate as I was, I essentially took on both hobbies at the same time. I wasn't a terribly good (or knowledgeable) photographer but I was okay, nor did I ever particularly have a “wild hare” to breathe under water. In fact, quite the opposite.
by Daniel Brown
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