Committee member 2013-16
When, where, how did you learn to dive?
I started diving in 1999. I did a try dive at Airlie Beach and that was it, I was hooked. I joined WAUPS after doing a course on UW photography with Ann Storrie. I joined to go on dive trips and then got sucked into photography. Diving has been a source of inspiration for my artwork and completely changed my life. I’ve been on many dive trips with WAUPS from Bremer Bay to the South China Seas, made wonderful friends and had some memorable diving. Owen Blockley and Wayne Storrie gave me lots of advice when I started with wet film. Seems like the stone age now and Jeff Mullins has been instrumental in making my transition into digital photography possible.
How did you get into …diving, underwater photography, mentors or inspirations?
I learnt to dive with Perth Diving Academy at the end of 1999 and have done over 1000 dives to date, many of them prawning in the river, but I’ve dived most of the popular sites along the WA coast up to the Rowley Shoals. I love diving in Asia; warm, clear water, lotsa big fish or fantastic muck diving.
Your camera equipment/toys?
I started with a Nikon 5 with a huge strobe and the limitations of maximum 36 shots!! I now have a Canon S90 with an Ikelite housing, Inon S2000 strobe with a couple of macro lens. Most of my shots are macro, anything that doesn’t move fast and often textures and orifices. I am trying to try some wide angle shots but that’s kind of difficult when most of my dives in WA have 2m viz or less!
Favourite dive site, WA, interstate/overseas location, dive buddies, accessories?
My best diving I have done is in the Komodo Islands. It not only has a great variety of photography but the best “dive, eat, sleep” holiday imaginable, all organised by Jeff and Dawn Mullins. Just the best! I also love diving in Bremer Bay; deep cold water with an amazing array of fish, critters and stuff. I have done many of my dives with WAUPS members especially Jenny Ough and Viv ML.
Most memorable UW moment?
The disused Udang Oil Rigs in the South China Seas were the most extraordinary dive sites I have been to. They were covered in beautiful soft corals and their associated critters. Huge schools of GT and Barracuda did huge circuits through the legs on most dives. Owen Blockley and I dived to about 50m and watched a huge spotted Eagle Ray lift itself off a cross bar and glide off into the deep. It remains etched in my memory.
Not a Nudi – I found this on a dive on Cannibal Rock in the Komodos. It looked so like a nudibranch, that I couldn’t resist photographing it. It is just hard coral and algae! Taken with my Canon S90: F8, 1/160th 100 ISO, a standard setting of mine.
Seapen with Gobi- This was taken in Alor in Bangeabang Bay. Macro shots had always been so difficult before digital photography and it still amazes me I can take shots like this with my “little handbag”. Settings as above.
Nudi laying eggs – Taken at the Ammo jetty. Downloading photos from my camera is always a treat as my vision underwater is not wonderful. I was delighted to have a shot of the eggs extruding from this Nudibranch.
Pyjama Squid – I took this with my Nik 5. It was a lucky shot. Dave York found him and encouraged it not burrow into the sand! I think this is my favourite shot.
Hand fish – I had not seen a Handfish before this one was found on Cannibal Rock in the Komodos by the dive guide. It was surprisingly large, about 30cm long… a face only a mother would love, but despite this, well photographed!
Leaf fish – Taken on the first dive in Alor, a night dive, with a borrowed mask (because I forgot to bring mine!). It leaked constantly. I came across this pair of leaf fish which were obviously up to no good. I photographed them for several minutes and then they shot up into the water column, there was a cloud of sperm and eggs and then they settled on the bottom exhausted. Amazing!