Feb 272013
Two years later

Ag died in Tank Cave, two years ago today. It’s still not clear exactly what happened that meant she couldn’t return to the surface. I don’t know that it ever will be. More importantly, I don’t know that it matters as much as the fact that two years on, she’s still dead. Last year I felt very strongly that sometimes divers take risks for themselves without considering that their friends and family are the ones who will have to live with the consequences. This year I’m getting closer to really understanding that being dead lasts for a very long time. In the weeks and months after Ag died, I saw her on a near daily basis. A stranger walking across [read more…]

Feb 252013
Soft foreground lighting in Tank Cave

About the site Tank Cave consists of several miles of interlinking tunnels and passages north of Mt Gambier. The cave has shallow, clear water and changes character as you swim through the different tunnels and rooms. I suspect I’m now well past 25,000 photos in there and familiarity gives me a great opportunity to experiment. About the dive With camera wrapped up and a mission in mind, Ken and I headed down the line, up the Goat Track and to the Elephant Room. We were trying a new strobe set up with an off camera strobe mounted on the top of each sidemount. This worked well through the restrictions, with Ken able to reach back and rearrange the strobes as [read more…]

Feb 212013
Weebubbie Cave on Catalyst

Just a quick reminder that Weebubbie Cave will be featuring on the ABC’s Catalyst program, airing tonight at 8pm – set your reminders now! I dived with Anja from Catalyst and filmed in Weebubbie back in late December, and I can’t wait to see the footage on the small screen. Weebubbie is a beautiful cave with huge spaces, white walls and clear blue water. Anja’s written up her impressions of the cave in the Catalyst blog for another perspective. For some of the photos I took on the same trip, check out the surface lake here and the “Railway Tunnel” passage here. If you’re interested in the other Nullarbor caves (including some great “back in the day” shots from the [read more…]

Feb 182013
Wreck of the Thai Muang

About the wreck Continuing on from last week’s post about the Thai wrecks we dived from the MV Giamani over Christmas, here’s some shots from the next shipwreck on the schedule, the Muang Thai. Before tourism came along much of Phuket’s economy was based on dredging for seabed tin. As the basis of people’s livelihood’s changed the old tin boats were run and used until they sunk of their own accord. There’s a few old tin dredges on the seabed up and down the Thai coast and if they’re all covered with as much life as the Muang Thai they’d be excellent dives. About the dive I suffered from pre-dive indecision on whether to go with my wide angle or [read more…]

Feb 112013
Fish around the wreck of the MV Sea Chart

About the site For all this talking about macro shots and fish, and cave diving and dry caving recently, I’ve been a little light on for wrecks. We did some brilliant wreck dives at the end of our stay on the MV Giamani as we headed back down the coast towards Phuket. All three vessels were in “terrible vis” for Thailand – which is to say it was comparable to average to good Melbourne vis, and there were a hell of a lot more fish. The first wreck dive was the MV Sea Chart. The Sea Chart was running from Myanmar around and down to Vietnam with a load of illegally logged teak when she ran into some bad weather about [read more…]

Feb 072013
Lessons from a macro lens: Isolating the subject

When I take large, wide angle shots of reef there are several ways to overcome the confusion of a densely packed ecosystem swirling through the scene. By getting up close to a foreground feature, using strobes to highlight reds and oranges, or choosing an angle where the reef stands out against a blue background, there are techniques for drawing the viewer’s attention to the subject. With the above water photography I’d done before taking a camera into the depths, these techniques came naturally. I hadn’t done all that much macro photography above or below water, and I had to sit down and think about what I was trying to achieve with my various subjects. As in wide angle underwater photography, [read more…]