When, where, how did you learn to dive?
My introduction to diving wasn’t down the usual path of PADI (’til later). Had a friend who’d just done the course and the opportunity arose to have a go. Sitting off the transom with my friends gear now strapped to me and mask on, I still remember those potential last words. Reg in mouth, was asked ‘can you breathe?’, with a nod I was shoved forward and in. I kept breathing and still here to talk about it. Dived on and off for years using gear from friends and family and was a typical cray diver and occasional spear fisher depending on opportunity. I eventually got my ticket after being told I needed it to dive the Swan wreck, and has turned out to be one of my better life choices (still miss skydiving). Got me underwater more and now getting wet with a camera most weekends. Don’t log dives so have no stats, just enjoy it and have fun finding interesting stuff and taking images of them.
How did you get into …diving, underwater photography, mentors or inspirations?
Started diving my last year at school and even found a photo a few years back diving at Rottnest when I was seventeen. I had a Minolta weathermatic for surfing shots and looking back, it was really my first run at underwater photography. Was many years later that I took an unusual nudi shot and sent it in to Neville Coleman for an ID. His reply and quite a few other emails over the years about other ‘finds’ would make him one of my mentors, sadly now passed. Inspirations, too many to list but any good image is inspirational.
Your camera equipment/toys?
Presently an Olympus E-PL1 4/3rd’s, with the 14-42, 9-18 and new 60mm macro lens options. OEM flat port or Zen dome plus a couple of wet lenses, Inon UCL-165 and a Jeff Mullins 6x (my present favourite toy). A couple of Inon strobes and some home made snoots to experiment with. Like making some of my own gear and so far have made a few custom single tank back plates for wing set-ups. The most recent is a custom tray for the camera housing so I can try alternative positions, bit of a work in progress. Presently playing with led and other lighting options.
Favourite dive site, WA, interstate/overseas location, dive buddies, accessories?
After my most recent trip toBali, would have to say the Amed region, can’t wait to get back. Locally, would have to be Robb jetty. The walk is often the brunt of many jokes and excuses (the dune of death), but I’ve had a lot of great dives there and would be my first choice when asked. Dive buddies, whoever wants to get wet. There is a bit of a crew who get linked to the ‘aquarazzi’, but like fight club, you don’t talk about it (or admit it). Accessories, well that would have to be the bum bag, sun glasses and cap. If you’re nodding now, you know. My bucket list site/trip is doing a liveaboard through New Guinea, theBismarkSea and the WWII wrecks, one day.
Most memorable UW moment?
For me they’re all memorable. I use each dive as an opportunity to improve and hopefully get better images, practice, practice. It’s the good ones you take that push you to each next level. I have a few printed and up at home, a couple are just my first ‘in focus’ and not just back of head and tail shots. Then there are the shots that made me buy a better camera and strobe, do courses, read, practice and learn. Others are from competitions I did well in, and these shots for me are my stepping stones. Good or bad it’s what makes me get up on those cold mornings, getting into a still cold dripping wetsuit and hoping the vis will be worth it, and today I find something
Anything else others may find interesting ?
At present just that if I win lotto, going to by myself a resort in the tropics and retire. And you all can have mates rates…:)