UPCOMING BLACKWATER DIVES:
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“Come on a blackwater dive with us” my friends and photographer buddies kept telling me. “It’ll be fun” they said as I thought to myself “Yea, ok…I’ll get to it one of these days.”
I’m not exactly known for macro photography; I like wide-angle portraits underwater but I’m always up for a good challenge. Now that I’ve finally gone out with Pura Vida Divers for my first blackwater dive aboard Sirena, I can honestly say that I’m hooked and can’t believe I waited so long to do it! I’ve done plenty of your typical night dives on wrecks, reefs and at the Blue Heron Bridge but this one was different, a truly unique experience.
It’s a strange feeling floating 30ft underwater, at night, where you can’t see the bottom 400ft below you. In fact, at first you can’t see much of anything at all. I’ve got to imagine it’s the closest most of us can get to the feeling of an astronaut floating around through space. Once you slow down and orient yourself though, the night really comes alive! There are so many tiny, alien-like creatures that can only be seen on a blackwater dive that I think everyone should try it at least once, even if you don’t bring a camera.
I was a bit nervous being the new guy on the boat but the crew and blackwater veterans were all happy to provide tips and tricks for getting the most out of my dive. From a photographer’s perspective, my first blackwater dive was both exciting and challenging as you have no idea what you’re going to discover and when you do find something you can’t take your eyes off of it or it’ll disappear.
As far as equipment, the recommended lens by the blackwater veterans is a 60mm macro lens. I hear a lot of people say “well I only have a 100mm (or 105mm for the Nikon crowd) so I can’t go.” That’s the wrong answer! I brought my 5DmkIII with 100mm lens and was able to capture some photos of these little squids in the 1-6-inch range that I was really happy with. Not bad for a blackwater, macro newbie if I must say so!
Author: Michael Scott
Check out more of Michael’s photos and blogs on his website: Finsupproductions.com