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CamDiver

Why we do what we do?

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Hi guys,

Just thought it may be a good thing to get everyones feedback on what you individually hope to achieve with your work or hobby.

 

Personally, I may not be the most technically minded of people, but I love diving and filming the creatures I encounter. Having the good fortune to be based in Palau I get to dive in a massively diverse ecosystem on a daily basis where none of us, the dive guides or myself, know exactly what to expect. Its always an adventure.

 

I may never get rich from this way of life but for me its the richness of personal experiences and life adventures that take precedence over financial wealth. Strange as that may see in this world driven by the power of cash. If I can share that with people who seldom, or rarely if ever, get the chance to witness the amazing lifeforms I encounter daily, and for that to instill some kind of higher respect and understanding for the Ocean realm then I feel I have accomplished my mission.

 

My end goal? I have one project I want to work on which will take many years. The time will come in the future when I look forward to sharing that with you all. Lets just say its gonna be a voyage of discovery and adventure so far intended to last some 7 years in which I hope I will finally ba able to share and show how I percieve my underwater surroundings.

 

Regards,

Mark.

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Good discussion Marky,

 

Although you'd better stop eating the Betal nuts.. :);) Your turning into a Guru.

 

At first my idea was to fill the shoes of the soon to be retired Scoones/Allan/Hall etc..

But those old buggers just seem to keep going. Fair play to them if they keep producing the goods.

 

Although thats still my 'dream' I'd be happy just diving and filming for as long as I can. I've had people close develop cancer, have heart attacks lose family members and lay in coma's recently and it's bought home the frailty of life..So i'm just happy to be able to get wet.

 

Living in a land locked area I do not get to dive as much as I could but when I do and I capture something (to me) amazing its like being a kid in a sweetshop all over again. As long as the aquatic world grips me and makes me grin like a cheshire cat.. Then I'm happy and if someone in the future wants to pay me to do this then god love em...

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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To me, there is a lot of zen to diving. The flying or floating in the water column, the serenity, the wildlife.

 

I started taking pixs just to show my friends what I see and experience underwater.

 

I'm fortunate that my day job pays the bills as well as give me extra to go dive and to take time off. To me, this is purely a hobby. The moment I start selling or go pro, I'm afraid this will no longer be fun. This is not to mean that I would not like to continually get better, hopefully win a couple of competitions (especially the all impt wetpixel potw).

 

To me the voyage and the experience is what keeps me diving.

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Great topic!

 

For me, I'm on the 2-5-10 year plan of leaving my medical profession and following my passion of photography and selling prints. Even though I may not get rich from this, it would allow me to dive, hike or whatever all over the world shooting wildlife, while keeping me happy and hopefully healthy inside. I guess time will tell.

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"We just want to be free! And we want to get loaded!" (quote from Animal House)

 

Cheers

James

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Good answers one and all,

Nice to get feedback on peoples ideas of their hobby or job.

 

Dean, I think Scoonsy will still be going at 120 so you got some time to wait !!! He's a machine. When you get to be the head of BBC NHU gimme a call :)

 

I think for most of us we find solace in the watery medium. I know from past experiences in the military (my former life) I much prefer to be at ease in an environment free from the political and violent turmoil we face on land. OK, so reefs and underwater eco systems are hardly the most harmonic of locations to get away from the daily struggle for survival but there is a kind of beauty when you witness these struggles purely from a natural history standpoint. For me the struggle for survival in its purest form is not one derived from political or religious beliefs but one borne of the overriding desire to ensure the continuance of a species. Eat or be eaten, the law of the jungle. From that perspective there is a kind of inate beauty attached to it and its that which I wish to capture and share.

 

Cheers all,

Mark.

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I'm with LChan on this one. Diving for me is a place to totally disconnect. There are no phone, e-mails, faxes, blackberries, outlook appointments, et al. For 40+mins (a lot more when on the stealth box), I can totally free my mind (and no, I have NOT been chasing white rabits down holes B) ).

 

The video: well, that's new to me, but I guess I just wanted to share with others what I got to see. I also try and get people into the water, but some people just have to much trouble getting past the fears of: a) drowning b ) sharks (wierd huh, they're so cute :) ) c) not seeing the bottom, and my personal favorite d) afriad of getting their hair wet (no joke, we had an OW student show up, go through all the course-work, and finally end up telling us at the pool session that she had a phobia of getting her hair wet... no joke). Of course, its also nice to make reminders for a group of people that experienced something together as well.

 

My 2 ppO2

Edited by Dugongberbulu

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I used to have a salt water reef tank. I would kneel in front of it and just stare, looking at all the little shrimp, other invertebrates and small fish like gobies go about their business. It was incredibly relaxing and fascinating all at the same time.

 

Getting away from lifes financial pressures and immersing myself into the largest, most diverse reef tank ever, and seeing all the wild tropical critters, plants and animals in their native habitat and seeing the most whimsical creatures, well it's just a little bit of heaven to me....and I want to share with others that feeling I get when I see a beautiful creature of unbeliveable color and form that defies logic, and I want to share that with others who enjoy my passion for the oceans breathtaking magnificence.

Edited by RebreatherDave

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Quoting myself (since nobody else ever seems to! :) ) from the home page of my website:

 

Underwater photography is my great escape (both creatively and psychologically) from normal daily life. It totally immerses me (figuratively and literally) in nature. In fact, in the hundreds of hours I’ve spent underwater, I’ve never for an instant thought about my day job; I am always fully "in the moment."

 

Photography makes each dive an exciting opportunity and challenge—a quest to find/capture different subjects in new ways, develop skills and techniques, and retain/preserve experiences — "moments" — to relive and share with others.

Edited by bmyates

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Yeah, it's that total immersion in another world. But there's something about it that's primordially familiar at the same time. I also think it's about being able to fly in that world, and being more present among the animals. On land, even when we're out in the wild--the forests, the deserts, the grasslands, what-have-you--we're still not as readily able to move freely among animal inhabitants like we can underwater. It is a sort of freedom, and being part of--even if we can't stay very long.

 

And then there's the challenge of trying to capture that sense and evoke it through images. I love that part almost as much! The very first time I came eye to eye with a reef shark, I wanted to try to evoke that feeling through art. I tried painting, but never was much of a painter. And that's when I discovered video...and have been struggling with it ever since!

 

Mary Lynn

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Yeah, I hear all of you but how about this thought which has hit me from time to time several times over the years. I used to be a diver, dove everywhere, anytime. My friend Randy used to call me the Earl Schrieb of diving for those in the states who know who he is. But then I took up video and am rarely, if ever, in the water without my system. I know if I dive without the cam that will be the day the giant squid and sperm whale will have a battle right in front of me with only my eyes to remember it by. The problem is, sometimes, I think I have missed the entire dive because I am so busy with my eye on the viewfinder or monitor or setting up a shot. I am working, not playing. When I am on trips filming, I am not vacationing, I am working. Albet, damn fine and fun work, but work never the less. Sometimes I think I have become less a diver who films and more a filmer who dives. Its the missing of the dive because I am too busy filming that I sometimes miss.

Does that make sense to anyone?

Steve B)

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Absolutely Steve but when something amazing comes along it's still a buzz to catch it nicely on video. The trouble is that most of our enjoyment of the encounter itself has to be done later when we watch the footage on dry land.

 

I feel naked when I dive without my camera. It's like "what the hell do I do with these hands?" :)

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Yeh, I cannot remember the last time I have done a dive without a camera nor swam with a Floppy Whale Shark without one.

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Its the missing of the dive because I am too busy filming that I sometimes miss.

Does that make sense to anyone?

Steve B)

 

Steve, your entire post is exactly where I'm at.

 

To echo other users, I try to NEVER go into the water without my housing and feel totally bare without it. In recent years, each and every time I've gone in without the camera, that's when something miraculous happens. Hell, it actually changes my buoyancy because I've weight-and-trimmed myself perfectly to my housing setup - that's how much a part of my in-water gear configuration my camera has become.

 

I shared the exact same sentiment with a friend and mentor of mine who is a highly respected pro u/w photographer, and I also told him that sometimes I just have to take my head away from the camera at some points and just "enjoy the moment." He smiled at me and replied that when you're doing it for a living 100%, you just don't have the option of "enjoying the moment" because each breath underwater and each frame is worth money. Since that conversation, unless the evironmental conditions are complete crap for shooting, I very rarely stop shooting on something unusual or special. I take my time to enjoy the sweetlips or rainbow runners or the millionth spotted moray eel on any given reef in Bonaire as "enjoying the moment."

 

I'm pleased to be starting the path towards doing this more full-time, I guess the thing I'll miss is just being able to stop and soak it in purely as a human being communing with nature. I suppose the solace I take is that when I capture good footage it eventually - hopefully - helps others experience nature as well. Maybe even folks who will never be able to see the things we see in the flesh and on-location.

 

Oh, and yeah - it's also an incredible rush when you nail that shot. Am I right, or am I right? B)

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You're soooooooo right!

Steve B)

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This may be a different angle but I started in digital photography with a telescope. Photographing planetary nebulae and galaxies. In the mean time, I learned to dive. Eventually I connected these because to me the undersea world is as alien as the extraterrestrial world. It is exploration of who we are and where we are.

 

It is like looking out of the window/top of a convertible was we drive our vehicle through life. If we want to see what is trully different from ourselves, undersea photography is an ideal way. At least until I own a Hubble scope.

 

Regards,

Tom Stephens

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I just have a need to express myself, especially when I feel passionate about something. I use to only dive without a camera when I was teaching or spearfishing, but now I have placed a video rig on my speargun. It was only a matter of time.

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Nice answers one and all,

Nice to hear of the personal reasons for taking up this way of life.

 

I know for me that I can never dive without a camera, I feel lost. For as long as I continue to appreciate this amazing experience I for one will be delving into the Ocean to record its secrets and inhabitants. Lats all hope that respectively we can continue to do that with as little negative environmental as possible.

 

Cheers,

Mark.

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I don't know about anyone else but sometimes I listen to myself and think that I've become a crushing underwater video bore. But to get anywhere in this game you've got to be pretty much obsessed with it. I don't know of any other occupation that requires quite the same depth and diversity of skills. As a one-man band you've got to be a great diver, great shooter, great editor, great webmaster, great computer technician, great salesman... Divemastering would be a whole lot more straightforward.

 

(excuse whinging pom attack)

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Like so many of you, I feel as though I have forgotten something if I go diving without the camera. I started filming underwater in 2002 when I took my 12 year old son diving in Costa Rica. It was his first open ocean experience and, like a proud father recording baby's first steps, I wanted to record for posterity his first encounter with the world beneath the surface. Several years and hundreds of dives later I am still constantly trying to perfect each of the unique requirements of our craft. I love the child-like sense of wonder that overcomes me on the reef, the game of hide and seek that the fish play when you are trying to get "the shot", the manner in which they accept us into their environment, the struggle to survive that occupies all of their waking moments. I love the peace, the sensation of flying, the beauty, the harmony and the delicate balance that is nature. I have never felt so connected, so aware, so alive as I do when I am filming underwater. After viewing the video from a recent trip to Bonaire several of the participants, remarked, "I never saw that, or that, or that or that..." They were on the same dive, at the same time but instead of focusing on one small area, they scurried all over the reef. As videographers I believe that we see more by moving less. And then we get to relive the experience over and over and over again as we edit our footage to produce a DVD.

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