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Alison Perkins

Member Since 04 Jul 2008
Offline Last Active Today, 10:38 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: The Nature Conservancy 2015 Photo Contest Deadline June 30th

26 June 2015 - 05:12 PM

I'm nature loving, but not a US resident so that rules me out.


In Topic: Why do you shoot underwater?

11 June 2015 - 12:50 PM

I got into underwater photography because I really enjoyed the challenge of trying to capture the beauty I was seeing underwater in a photograph. I want my photos to be as beautiful as what I see. Mostly I fail miserably as the natural world I observe is much more beautiful than my captures. :-) So the challenge continues and I find this very stimulating, and rewarding on occasion when I get it right.


Recently though, I have seen a very distinct change, or growth, in my motivations for shooting underwater. Increasingly what I'm dipping into is documentation. This can vary:

  • documenting an interesting/unusual/rare/new species or behaviour
  • documenting a site of scientific/archaeological interest for scientists who aren't divers
  • recording "before" in case there is an "after" - to show change over time to natural environments


I think if you tried to make money from this type of underwater photography you could probably quite literally die of starvation. However, I am finding it to be very rewarding in its own right. I feel like I'm contributing to something bigger, the advancement of knowledge. It's not glamorous but I think it's really cool.


In 2009 I took a photo of a pair of sundial snails spawning. I was excited about:


a) spotting them

b) getting a photo

c) finding someone who cared enough to identify them


A couple of days ago I received a request from a scientist who is studying these molluscs and apparently there are very few photos of their egg masses. Getting my geek on!


I'm still aspiring to take the "wow" magical photos but I'm also finding great pleasure in taking underwater photos that would struggle to get a like on facebook. It doesn't have to be popular to be interesting.

In Topic: Does a harness bcd improve shooting uw?

11 June 2015 - 10:52 AM

I don't know if a harness BCD will improve your shooting but it will hopefully improve your dive experience. I always hated having the inflation around my ribs. My choice is Halcyon. It's another you could consider. The less D rings the better - you just want a small number in the right places.


In Topic: Taking pictures of transparent planktonic creatures

26 April 2015 - 12:22 PM

Some of the tips in this article could be useful for you:



In Topic: mexico whale sharks/cenotes from cancun

24 April 2015 - 10:49 AM

If you sign up to do some cavern tours of the cenotes, then you probably won't be given a choice of dive site, but here are some nice spots:


  • Cenote Chac Mool - lovely wide cavern opening with interesting boulders
  • Cenote Garden of Eden - lots of cenote fish (sailfin molly)
  • Cenote Taj Mahal - stunning rays of light beaming down into the dark cavern zone (any "rays of light" sites are time of year-dependent as it will change with the timing and angle of sun overhead)
  • Cenote Pit - rays of light
  • Cenote Pet Cemetary - bones
  • Cenote Angelita - layer of hydrogen sulfide penetrated by fallen trees
  • Cenote Car Wash - half the year has a dense green algal bloom across the top, lily pads, lovely big cavern entrance


The number of dive sites and photographic opportunities are much greater than that listed above. Cenote Dos Ojos is probably one of the most popular cavern tours but I haven't mentioned it mainly because I think it's a bit too chaotic and they charge for camera access. But it's a zoo for a reason - it's a great dive!


If you dive with an operator from the Cancun area, then I would think you are quite likely to go to places like Chac Mool, Eden, Taj Mahal and Chiken-Ha because they are closest. If you were to select an operator in Tulum then I think you would have a greater chance of visiting Grand Cenote, Temple of Doom and Angelita due to proximity.


I should qualify that I'm a cave diver, so my time in the Riviera Maya is spent doing self-guided cave diving, not doing cavern tours.


This page on my website has cenote-style photos from Angelita and Grand Cenote to give you an idea of photo opportunities: