Apr 092012

Bailed out rEvo deco About the site Over the Labour Day long weekend in March, I joined students and instructors for a dive of their rEvo rebreather course. After the initial training dives in Goulden’s Sinkhole, the rEvo courses had moved on to the much more photogenic Kilsby’s Sinkhole where these shots were taken. Following the successful morning dive for both student buddy pairs and their instructors, I jumped in with afternoon sunlight streaming down. By this time of year we’ve progressed from summer into autumn, and it takes longer for the beams of sunlight to hit the bottom of the sinkhole in the morning. The stairs cut through the high rock walls allows spectacular beams to hit the water later in the day and later through the year. Simulated rEvo failure About the dive For this dive we had Marc Crane running a course with two students, and Rubens Monaco running his first course as an instructor trainee. Also in the water to assess him as instructor trainee was Paul Raymaekers, designer and creator of the rEvo. Paul was kind enough to juggle two off camera strobes and spend some dive time as a lighting assistant to help me get some great shots of the training in progress. With almost every diver on the course choosing an all black drysuit, lighting these ninja divers becomes very tricky. The large size of Kilsby’s means many shots are divers against a dark or black background, and black divers disappear into it. On the other hand, not having to time the bubbles coming out of my models and their impact on photo composition gave me more opportunities to frame each shot. This was especially true for images with multiple divers in the water. About the photo With seven rEvos in the water, I was hoping to grab some great marketing shots of both rEvos in the water, and rEvo training in action. As this was dive training, these photos show simulated failures under instruction, not actual failures in the wild. The first photo here is from the end of the dive, with the two students doing decompression on their open circuit bail out. The loops can be seen floating above their heads, with their instructor watching on through filtered sunlight. I especially like the lines in the this shot, and the angle also gives a good view of the yellow rEvo covers. The rock walls and arch above the water can be seen through the surface, and the spacing gives nice separation between each diver. The second shot here is a simple simulated failure from the instructor’s air gun. As well as being a shot of training in action, it shows the difficulties of lighting black suits underwater – it’s very hard to spot the arms and legs here!

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