May 312016
Green water in Piccaninnie Ponds

It’s been a little quiet here on the website, which is a good indicator that I’ve been ridiculously busy. I have some exciting upcoming plans and there’s been a lot of travel logistics to arrange. I’ve also just realised that my website passed its five year anniversary while I wasn’t looking. Two hundred and forty four posts later, I haven’t run out of inane things to say about photos. Looking back through the archives gives me a great sense of satisfaction in how far both my underwater photography and my ability to write about it has developed. If you’re thinking of creating a more comprehensive online record of your photos than Facebook provides, I can highly recommend getting started on a [read more…]

Jun 032014
The Cathedral in Piccaninnie Ponds

About the site Pics is a gorgeous dive. The site earned a RAMSAR listing in 2012 and early last year works were carried out to slightly raise the water level and flood an additional 25ha of wetlands. I dived there earlier in the year with a film crew working on a shoot for the History Channel. We had a brilliant day of sunshine and very clear water, and I was keen to get back to shoot some stills for myself. About the dive Diving here is a very vertical experience. The cave is a narrow rift from the surface down to 40m. In places it’s cut away underneath and on a normal scuba dive the exhaled bubbles run up the [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…]

Sep 122011
Snell's window in Piccaninnie Ponds

About the site I’ve previously talked about diving in Piccaninnie Ponds, and I’m about to again. Unlike other caves where I’ve had to work to find different angles on photos, the Ponds seem to be photogenic from every angle. The stunning blue, green and white colours, the clarity of the water, and the chance to contrast sunlight with the darkness inside the Cathedral create photographic opportunities everywhere you look. About the dive On this particular day, we’d booked permits to get in early in the morning for the best water clarity, and closer to midday for the best sunshine. The Chasm in the Ponds runs roughly North-South, so early and late in the day the angled sunlight tends to get [read more…]

Aug 082011
Bathtub in Piccaninnie Ponds

About the dive The eagle eyed may have noted an extra diver in the background of the last Piccaninnie Ponds shot I talked about here. The little white speck in the distance is actually a diver heading into the usually-forbidden depths of the cave. The photo was taken on a weekend reserved for research into some of the more unusual aspects of this unique wetlands and cave site. In particular, the team was checking on salinity monitors that had been installed in the cave on a previous project weekend. Piccaninnie Ponds is just over the sand dunes from the ocean, and a reduction in ground water flows following the recent drought may lead to salt water incursion from the ocean [read more…]

Jun 062011
Cathedral in Piccaninnie Ponds

About the dive Piccaninnie Ponds is one of my favourite sites for cave photography. As well as the crystal clear water and very white rock, there’s the novel aspect of being able to get natural light in the shot. The main drawback is that, once inside the Cathedral, you don’t have very long to experiment before silt starts to drift down off the roof. Naturally, taking advantage of the opportunities is also dependent on the sun coming out to play. I previously talked about a photo taken in the Chasm of Pics, looking up through the scalloped limestone walls. Swimming forward from here divers move under a limestone ceiling, and enter the Cathedral. Large rocks sit across the path between [read more…]