Dec 312012
Chasing fish in wide angle

About the site Both of these photos were taken on different bits of Lonsdale Wall. The rich temperate waters support a lot of life, including huge populations of the yellow zooanthids and other colourful sponges and corals. The walls look beautiful underwater but the colours can be really hard to photograph well. Strobe light drops off a couple of metres from the camera and balancing natural and artificial light sources without having some portion of your yellow zooanthids looking a sickly green can be tricky. A few years on, I’ve perfected lighting zooanthids so they come up yellow against a blue background. With some clear blue waters hanging around Melbourne over the last month, I’ve done a handful of brilliant [read more…]

Dec 242012
Reflections in Weebubbie Lake

About the site I talked about my quick trip out to Weebubbie Cave a couple of weeks ago. As well as having a stunning tunnel, it has the largest “cavern zone” of the regularly dived Nullarbor caves and was selected to allow our newly rated Deep Cavern diver room to move. To reach the underwater cave divers swim out from shore for a couple of hundred metres down a wide tunnel. In a circular, domed room at the end we descended down the rocky floor and into the underwater continuation. You can check out the photos from this massive space here. With most divers focussed on reaching the back of the cave, I suspect we’re all swimming on the surface to [read more…]

Dec 172012
Hidden lights in Piccaninnie Ponds

About the site Piccaninnie Ponds is a sinkhole rated site out of Mt Gambier. With a permit you can snorkel there, and clear water means you can watch cave divers descending into the darkness. The dappled sunshine, white walls and green weed in the open sections means Pics is a regular feature in tourist videos of the Limestone Coast – it’s a very pretty dive. About the dive Usually I try and get into Pics for the first booking slot on Saturday morning. While the booking slots are spaced three hours apart to let the water settle out between divers, once a number of groups have been through on a weekend the water starts to get distinctly murky. On this [read more…]

Dec 102012
A sunny day on the J4 submarine

About the site The J4 sub is the most-often dived of the J class subs that were scuttled out of Port Phillip Bay. Built late in WWI in response to rumours that the Germans were developing something better, they were sold to Australia by Great Britain after the war ended. Despite an expensive refit process here in Australia, by the 1930s there was no use for them and they were scuttled. The J4 was rediscovered in the 1980s, and is also known as the 26m sub for the depth of water that it sits in. Shallower than the others and with correspondingly less narcosis, it’s an easier wreck to photograph. About the dive This dive was about five days after [read more…]

Dec 032012
Lighting the tunnel in Weebubbie Cave

About the cave Weebubbie Cave is out on the Nullarbor Plain, a long way from anywhere. The brilliant white limestone and huge water filled passages are the incentive for cave divers to drive across half a continent with half a tonne of dive gear to camp in the red desert dust. The water tables lies between 80m and 100m below the Nullarbor. The trek with dive gear starts by lowering the lot over the edge into the doline, and continues with a hike into the darkness. Tanks, weights, dive gear, cameras, lights, lunch and everything else make the trip up and down the rocky slopes to the water’s edge. About the dive I was visiting Weebubbie for a filming trip [read more…]