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ckchong

My buddy is my camera :p

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Hi, may be is not a right place to post here but I can find where should i post.

 

Ok here is my question. Normally how you manage your buddy and trip? I find out I always Lost with my group. As a photographer we alway spend more time with our object, some time more than 15-20min just for one shot.

 

I have 3 choice:

1. Look for group that no photographer. So that I can enjoy the object with my own for long long time. Hehehehehe but always get lost :lol:

 

2. Look for a photographer group. So that I'm always with they area but some time need to take 15min to Q-up.

 

3. Get a dive guide with you and u got more time more safe more enjoy but need to pay extra :) hehehehehe

Edited by ckchong

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I find that I really love diving with a group of photographers as you will all be diving the same type of profile – slow and not usually distance oriented.

 

When I find myself on a divemaster lead dive where I am expected to stay with the group, I try to trail the group at the back of the pack and usually at a 10-15 foot shallower depth than the rest of the group.

 

Theory being that I will use up more air pushing my rig through the water (less depth equals more air time) and that the extra time it takes for the other divers to turn around and come back to me will me a few more precious minutes to concentrate on photography before they pass me again on the way back to the dive boat. This also helps me to prevent less experienced divers from careening into me during their uncontrolled ascents and other ill-planed events.

 

If you are at the front of the pack, the other divers will crowd around you to see what you found so interesting . If you travel at the back of the pack, then most of the time they will not even know you are there when you spend that extra time to get just the right shot.

 

Hope that helps.

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I get a separate guide where I can if on holiday. It costs more but saves everyone a lot of pain.

 

Main thing I've found is needing to make sure its not the 'give them more experience' DM who has barely even been there, but someone who actually knows the site a bit if it has particular features. They dont have to know every nook and cranny, but knowing the basics is somewhat useful, eg that there is a known frogfish site or whatever.

 

Otara

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good idea.... Is better go with a photograher group and stay the last. What Normally happen to me is I always is the last person to go up and Some time They have to wait me to go back.

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At my local dive sites I enter the water with my mates and exit with them but spend most of the dive by myself. We are usually all in the same vicinity but in effect I am solo diving. Before anyone flames me - I have done the SDI Solo Dive Cse and I am set up for it and I am aware of my restrictions.

 

When travelling - such as to Bali in August - I am paying extra for a dive guide so that I don't have to worry about finding the critters I want to photo plus I don't have to worry about anyone else. I make an assumption that my guide is highly trained and qualified - that's why I am paying to have him as my guide. Nothing worse than getting lumbered with someone who is not a photographer or is less experienced than you and wrecks a dive.

 

Karl

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Get certified as a Solo Diver. More and more resorts are accepting Solo diver certs and have small pony bottles for rent. Yes this does require working on your navigation skills.

 

Pick resorts that cater to photogs. We are very upfront when we book a trip about being very slow and often ending up diving our own profile. This does mean you might miss things the guides are pointing out. As others have said getting a private guide is the best option.

 

Most resorts, live-aboards are willing to make accommodations as long as current is not a big issue. Since we don't want to slow down non photogs we have often asked to be "paired" with other photogs and it has worked better for everyone.

Edited by NWDiver

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. Before anyone flames me - I have done the SDI Solo Dive Cse and I am set up for it and I am aware of my restrictions.

 

Karl

 

:lol: i think wetpixel is the last place where anyone would flame you for solo diving.. :)

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I enjoy diving diving alone or with one other marine critter oriented friend. And sometimes include a dive guide. I often like diving without a dive guide and finding photo subjects myself (or ourselves). If you simply follow the dive guide to one subject after another, whose picture is it really? Anyone can shoot a pygmy seahorse or Coleman shrimp that the dive guide finds for them. Finding my own subjects makes the whole experience much more enjoyable and more personal than being part of the herd following a dive guide.

 

I believe each serious diver should master diving well enough to be comfortable diving alone. Just as you might go for a woods walk alone. It is really no more dangerous.

 

And then choose to dive with another person ONLY for the pleasure of sharing the experience and discoveries.

 

Fred

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Mostly solo diving and sometimes with my girlfriend as she is patient and discovers critters while i am taking pictures.

Diving a to me unknown location i would hire a local guide just for me, the extra $$$ more is usually well invested.

 

Chris

Edited by ChrigelKarrer

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I think that the best investment that a photographer can make is to do a technical diving course: my opinion is that it teaches far more about self-sufficiency than a "solo" diving course. A awful lot of insurance is invalidated by solo diving, by the way.

 

 

I've found that diving with other photographers has benefits that far outweigh the risk of queueing for the occasional popular subject: new perspectives, advice, cameraderie, sharing bits of gear, more experienced eyes for the critters,models who know what works in an image, people who know what the fishes are etc etc

 

Tim

 

:)

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90% of the time i am solo diving, i have done it all, trying do dive with the right people using pony bottle's etc! But after a few thousand dives with like almost zero incident's i am to confident and so i Solo dive without the speciality or extra tanks! but i know and understand what i am doing, and if i have to die so be it! for sure i will not take my buddy with me :-)

 

And i am more then sure i am not alone here on Wetpixel, but it looks like nobody likes to tell about it!

And i do not encourage people to do so! i know i am doing stupid but i will take the consequense for it.

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In my experience- I am always alone when I have the camera in my hands- no matter where I dive in this world.

I learn more about underwater photography when I'm on my own- ditto topside.

 

On vacation, I will always advise a non camera toting dive partner to keep close to the dive guide-not to worry about me if I fall behind- and just tell him/her to enjoy their dive.

After all, I dont know them personally- and they are paying customers just like me. They deserve to have as much enjoyment as me- they are not responsible for me- nor should they feel that way.

1 week after their vacation ends- they wont even remember my name-let alone what I looked like- and vice versa.

 

Having said that - I totally subscribe to the view that the best possible scenario for the underwater photographer is to dive with like-minded underwater photographers-or failing that- get a dive guide to yourself. I also subscribe to tagging along behind the main group and just 'orbiting'.

 

One more point re: solo diving- here's a thought..

If an instructor leads a trainee with, say 10+ dives , to a depth of twenty meters- surely that instructor is technically a solo diver too??

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Most of the time where I dive I am usually the only one with photo gear (other than my wife :) ) and go back to certain dive operators that know us pretty well. So we get a good amount of leeway. At this time I will shoot photos, while my wife shoots video, or vice versa and it works out pretty well. We usually have a good idea of where the groups are and the DM knows to look backwards to see where we are...

 

Once in awhile there are other divers with photo gear and for the most part never an issue. Other than a couple of dives where the photographers were a bit difficult (me getting hip checked out of nowhere :P ), I have been lucky in that the photographers I have been with have usually have been fine and we will usually point out things to one another. Hope I didn't jinx things now :)

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Hi, may be is not a right place to post here but I can find where should i post.

 

Ok here is my question. Normally how you manage your buddy and trip? I find out I always Lost with my group. As a photographer we alway spend more time with our object, some time more than 15-20min just for one shot.

 

I have 3 choice:

1. Look for group that no photographer. So that I can enjoy the object with my own for long long time. Hehehehehe but always get lost :)

 

2. Look for a photographer group. So that I'm always with they area but some time need to take 15min to Q-up.

 

3. Get a dive guide with you and u got more time more safe more enjoy but need to pay extra ;) hehehehehe

 

Depends on who I go diving with.

 

My diving friends know that I am a photographer and will be in the vicinity usually finding some subjects for me to photograph, especially nudibranchs. However I do carry a redundant air supply just in case.

 

On dive trips I travel solo the majority of the time unless my daughter is with me, and she is happy just to tag along and watch her dad play with his toys. When she is not with me it can be hit and miss, but usually I have found good dive guides in Indonesia and Philippines who understand that looking after a solo photographer can be rewarding too ($$)

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After yet another photo trip with 30+ underwater photographers, I come to the conclusion that we, underwater photographer are, for the most part, all diving solo. When down there photographing many (if not most) of us suffer from acute tunnel vision and a diver could be croaking a mere meter away from any of us and we would unlikely notice it.

 

So over the years I have learned to stay in a manageable environment (shallower depth, no overhead environment and frequent inspection of my air supply) whenever I feel that I am by myself even if surrounded by a dozen individuals… especially if like me, they are concentrated on the business at hand :P

 

I also am very stringent on the condition of my life support equipment, it’s always in prime condition and thoroughly inspected prior to any trip. This for me is vital as I assume no one will be coming to my rescue should I encounter equipment malfunction of any sorts.

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I totally agree, Jean. Tunnel vision is a good term for it, and I'm as guilty as the next guy. Recognizing that, I ALWAYS travel with either a pony or at least a 3cf Spare Air. That way, at the depths I'm typically diving (<60fsw), I could make a calm ascent if needed. That's the only way I've been able to reconcile my solo "tendencies" with safety concerns. It's a hassle to always travel with a pony or S.A., but it's worth it to me for peace of mind.

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It's a hassle to always travel with a pony or S.A., but it's worth it to me for peace of mind.

 

it's an even bigger hassle to be out of air at any depth, (been there, done that, didn't get the T-shirt!) schlepping around a spare air beat going camping in the deco chambers anyday :P (this I have not experienced so far)

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Private guide every time for me.

 

1) Circumvents any hassle from the operator.

2) They can act as a model for you, show them the basics of what you want

3) Mine are encouraged to go looking for something photogenic (I'll even give them a list of what I'm looking for)

4) It is a good idea to have someone else around when you are diving!

 

R

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When diving, my buddy is my camera...while my son or husband hang out in the water nearby. (thank goodness they have a lot of patience with me when diving). I do "zone" out as others have mentioned. I get engrossed with a shot and I tune them out. So in effect, I am diving solo. I pay alot of attention to my gauges and when I look up from taking pics, I always look around for the rest of the group.

 

We also favor the back of the pack when diving - that way we do not have others running into us, and can take our time with photo subjects and in general go slower. I do not like it when I feel pressured by others to hurry up when I am setting up a shot. This helps to prevent that. If DM finds a subject, I try and wait until last to take pics or take a couple and move out of the way for others and go back at the end if I want to get more pics.

 

Becuase of these things, we really like Bonaire (can do our own thing) and live aboards/dive ops that understand a photographers needs. I also try to tell my son or husband if I have something particular in mind photo wise as part of the pre-dive planning.

 

Interesting thread - thanks for starting this. - DiverPam

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Well, the same applies to all UW photographer.

I am no diving alone whenever I can, or with my girlfriend who is sometimes modeling for me.

 

I was in Spain last week, in a diving center managed by friends and they never asked me to guide a dive or assigned any buddy when my girl was not on board.

I worked there as a scuba instructor and they know me, so I do what I want.

As an instructor, you also dive solo when you lead a group of 4 newly certified divers to depth below 40 or 45 meters... If anything happens to you, you know that they can not manage the situation.

So I dive solo with my UW gear in premium condition, and a 15 liter.

 

Even in Coco, I considered myself as a solo diver. With difficult conditions, if you also have to manage a buddy, your rig, the dive parameters... you don't take any shot.

 

Damien

Edited by Bigeye Bubblefish

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