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Review of Bret Gilliam's Diving Pioneers and Innovators


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#1 echeng

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 06:36 AM

I've posted a review of Bret Gilliam’s Diving Pioneers and Innovators written by Eric Hanauer on the front page:

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http://wetpixel.com/...and-innovators/

Excerpt:

His book consists of 19 in-depth interviews with some of the pioneers, movers, and shakers of diving. They range in time from the 1950s Zale Parry to present day icons like John Chatterton and Wes Skiles. The careers of some of these still-active divers span nearly the entire history of scuba diving: Stan Waterman, Bev Morgan, Ron and Valerie Taylor, and Chuck Nicklin. Michele Hall rates her own chapter, as does Howard. Peter Benchley, Bob Ballard, and Greg MacGillivray have transcended our diving world and are well known outside its provincial boundaries. Bob Hollis and Dick Bonin were innovative manufacturers. Al Giddings, Mike DeGruy, Paul Humann, and Ernie Brooks round out a pennant winning lineup.

Gilliam himself is the subject of the final chapter, interviewed by longtime professional collaborator Lina Hitchcock. He claims to have been dragged in kicking and screaming. Fred Garth, Douglas David Siefert, Danielle Alary and Michel Gilbert, and I wrote chapters; the rest are Gilliam’s.

The book fills 489 pages and weighs 4 ½ pounds, so it hardly qualifies as airplane reading. Instead it’s something to take into a comfortable chair in the living room and read a chapter or two each night. It’s almost like having a diving legend sitting in the chair next to you, and carrying on a conversation with an old friend. The divers reveal their personalities, their sense of humor, their philosophy, and some amazing tales ranging from triumph to tragedy


eric cheng
publisher/editor, wetpixel
www | journal | photos


#2 tdpriest

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 11:43 AM

AMERICAN (Aussies are honorary Americans?) Diving Pioneers and Innovators?

I await flaming...

Tim

B)

#3 DeanB

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 12:13 PM

I concur

Dive safe

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#4 dhaas

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 10:34 AM

Amigos,

My copy just landed on the doorstep today! Eric's review is an understatement......

As one of the "old men" still diving and shooting I recommend all you young pups get a copy and read it :D

Then you'll know how people sacrificed and developed the gizmos we all enjoy today to work underwater, plus simply dive and make images below the sea!

David Haas

Crusty Old Salt......LOL......
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#5 John Bantin

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 02:02 PM

Bret, who I count as a generous and dear friend, sent me a copy on DVD last year before it went to print. I showed it to some British and European divers, on a boat I was on, who were completely non-plussed because it seemed to them to have omitted all the important (to them) European pioneers of diving.

I told Bret this, commenting that I was sure it will sell well on home territory. He retorted that he could hardly interview European pioneer divers since they were mainly dead!

I think it is a beautiful volume (Alas, I left my printed and signed copy with Bret at DEMA) but I guess that it won't do so well on this side of the Atlantic. Bret has no worries. Advance sales have already put him well into profit!

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#6 dhaas

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 04:38 PM

Amigos,

Well, I've blasted through the opening pages and have to say I now REALLY feel old! Even though I am constantly intrigued by technology and such, reading about the simple joys of exploring underwater back when diving was simple is simply a delicious treat :D

I recognize the names and exploits of those who I revered and read about voraciously from the time I started diving in 1969.

But.........

I also am questioning in today's fast paced world how many people, especially newer divers, will take the time to sit down and actually read this book.

If not it will be their loss, never understanding how diving grew and changed in a few decades!

Amazon has it for only $38.00 plus free shipping! Get one........

dhaas
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#7 pakman

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 11:07 PM

when's the paperback coming out :D

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