July 26, 2003

Longest Dives

Everyday is making history I did my longest dives ever. I topped 90 minutes (max. 27m) while diving Pescador Island and 124 minutes (max. 15m) while diving White Beach. This is quite easy as the temperature is a cool 27C and it is a very relaxing diving here in Moalboal. Moreover I'm the only diver so there is no one to cancel the dive after sucking his tank in 30 minutes and I'm having excellent DMs that use as little air as I do. I really love it.

For the non-diver, the average diving time in most place is about 45 minutes, sometimes arbitrary fixed by the dive center. In some dive centers, you surface when one diver in your group is running out of air, in other, divers surface one after another until the group reach the time limit. The latter avoids a diving experience shortened by some people that can suck a tank in 15 minutes ( i saw it with my own eyes).

More than often this problem is caused by overweighted divers (ie having too much lead on their weightbelts) that do not control their buoyancy and kick and move their hands everywhere. Not only do they make their dive shorter and waste money but they also scare fishes, kick the sandy/rocky bottom making the crystal-clear water suddenly a murky one and in the process often break corals.

In some other cases this is because of stress (though the overweighted diver usually is stressed because he cannot keep is buoyancy and need to move all over the place).

Anyway, in the morning the main objective was to find the frogfish around Pescador so that I could try to take pictures again. I keep experimenting various settings trying to figure out which combination of aperture/shutter speed is appropriate depending on the conditions (depth, lighting, water color, object). I'm focusing so much on the settings that I can hardly free my mind and do a correct composition.

The black frogfish seems nearly impossible to take with my camera, there is low-lighting conditions at 25m and the camera focus is completly lost with this huge black shape. I cannot see anything in the LCD which does not help as well. Ideally I wanted to have a blue background but the frogfish was not very cooperative and did not allow me to experiment much, I could have move it to a better place but I hate doing this.

Spotted frogfish (antennarius pictus) Spotted frogfish (antennarius pictus) Spotted frogfish (antennarius pictus) Spotted frogfish (antennarius pictus) Spotted frogfish (antennarius pictus) Spotted frogfish (antennarius pictus) Lionfish (pterois volitans) Giant frogfish (antennarius commersonii) Junior and Stephane absorbed by their frogfish hunt White-eyed moray (siderea thyrsoida) Blackspotted puffer (arothron nigropunctatus) Pescador Island's coral reef Pescador Island's coral reef Spinecheek clownfish (premnas aculeatus) Pincushion sea star (culcita novaeguineae) Halgerda aurantiomaculata (asteronitidae) fisherman in Panagsama beach fisherman in Panagsama beach Crown of thorns starfish (acanthaster planci) Cowry on a soft coral branch

Posted by stephane at July 26, 2003 08:29 AM

Agreed, black frogfish are really really difficult to photograph well. Maybe Simon Oliver has a few good shots tucked away somewhere! Good luck.

Posted by: Simon on January 25, 2004 06:28 PM