The Privilege of Diving
What was your first window to the ocean like?
Through mine everything was black and white, it could speak and had no remote control.
I believe almost everyone's diving
career started with a mouth full of potato chips, eyes glued to
the screen ...breathing in – stop – breathing out.
Diving was dangerous and we knew
very, very little about life in the oceans.
Well, we still don't know everything,
but we have made some progress. I am not talking about the invention
of color TV or remote controls – today for example we know that sharks are
no man eaters and not all dolphins are called Flipper!
We know all this not only because
scientists told us, but also because we have the chance to look for
ourselves. We have this first hand experience!
We have the Privilege of Diving
because pioneers like Ludovico Mares started to construct
equipment that helped the human body to adapt to the liquid
More than 60 years have passed since,
and technology has improved enormously.
Diving without a diving computer?
Well, I believe some of you never did and some others have
difficulty remembering. The window that opened became a huge gate
and it did not take very long before recreational divers started
to bring snapshots and video sequences to the surface. Today
almost every diver shares diving videos and pictures through
social media with the world. Your first hand diving experience in
the Maldives ends up in front of mine, and a thousand other's, noses
with just one “click”. Isn't that crazy, amazing and
wonderful? A million eyes are recording and transmitting images constantly, even from the most remote places on earth!
But as with everything, there are always two sides to the coin. You might say the good old
times when we were sharing our “big fish stories” with our
dive buddies/pals at the bar while having a cold deco beer are over.
Today the fish are smaller and the beer is getting warm while
everyone is trying to see something on their tiny little camera
display. “Was it a shark, a dolphin or just the dive guide …..?"
It was the dive guide who tried to show
you the shark which you didn't see, because everyone in your group
was trying to videotape that turtle! But at least you can have a
360° shot of the turtle if you stitch all your images
I tell you, sometimes it can be really annoying
when you frame a scene or stalk an animal...holding your breath and
then – a tiny little action cam with a diver attached enters
the frame - turns to you - pointing to the spot where the octopus "WAS" and gives you the OK sign.
You know from my first blog I am
also trained in freediving, ...so in those moments I can
practice what I preach. Take a deep breath and relax! And
later on the boat I can talk about the advantage of taking a class
like the SSI underwater video or photo specialty course, where you not
only learn about how to manage your camera, but also how to
approach an animal ...and how to behave as a guest in this fragile world. I
promise it will improve your pictures enormously
end you cannot even take a BAD picture of an animal you spooked
away, right? And a strobe or a diving light can enhance the
image of a nudibranch, but it can also simply fry it !
We, and I include myself here, are sometimes too eager to get the picture. We easily forget
how privileged we are to visit this fragile underwater world.
Today we have all this modern technology and equipment at our hands
which makes the VISITS so convenient and safe. From time to time we
should remember that with the privilege of diving also comes a
responsibility. Lets not take it as a burden, but as a chance
to be a role model and an ambassador for the oceans. The best
equipment is only as good as the person who is using it!
I hope to see you soon again - somewhere on the blue planet. In the meantime take care of it, because it
is the only one we have! Happy bubbles and happy NO bubbles,
PS. my video for today is : "Always look on the bright side of life" scored with the famous Monty Python song performed by Eric Idle .... enjoy