Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Shooting Fish While Scuba Diving In Thailand

If you're checking to see if it's legal, and how you plan to punish me, please allow me to explain. I'm a PADI Master Instructor of Scuba Diving, and I spend my working days teaching scuba in Thailand. One of the most rewarding experiences for my diving students' is shooting great photographs of aquatic marine life.

Making underwater photographs in Thailand has many advantages for divers searching for that 'perfect shot';

  • Clear blue water

  • Warm water averaging 28 degrees centigrade

  • Pristine Coral Reef formations

  • Established Diving Centers and Scuba Equipment Shops

The most popular tourist areas for scuba diving in Thailand are Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui. These resorts offer great fun and excitement for beginners and certified divers. Whether it's vibrant fish life, colourful corals or sunken ship wrecks, the camera won't stop clicking while you're scuba diving in Thailand. I've captured pictures of Seahorses and giant Gorgonian Sea Fans in Phuket, Black tip reef Sharks in Koh Samui, and World War 11 ship wrecks in Pattaya.

Todays modern camera equipment has changed the way that scuba divers 'shoot' fish underwater. The traditional film camera is still used by many diving professionals, but digital underwater cameras have made underwater photography both accessible and affordable to the majority of scuba divers. Learning to Scuba Dive is not difficult for most people who are comfortable in the water, but snapping great photos under water takes novices some time to learn. One of the most important attributes is good buoyancy control. Apart from all the obvious advantages that neutral, relaxed buoyancy has for scuba diving, if you're trying to compose that image of the tiny yellow blob, commonly known as a Frogfish, being able to hover almost motionless just centimetres away from your subject is what sets you apart from the norm. Also, as recreational scuba divers descend, water absorbs colour. Starting with Red, Orange and then Yellow, and as you dive deeper, you'll lose Green and Blue. Strobe lights help to restore some of the colour that's lost, which is how the professionals obtain fantastic vibrant colours from their images.

I fully appreciate that not every diver has a passion for taking pictures of the new world that they've discovered. Many divers are more fascinated by ship wrecks, perhaps diving deep or making dives using nitrox (an increased amount of oxygen) but most of my scuba buddies have admitted that they are very keen to share the wonders on the underwater world by shooting pictures of fish and other marine life. With modern technology as a friend, it's now possible to store and share underwater images with your family, friends and even the general public via social sites and the internet. The dive may have been the most amazing experience that you've had, but it's so much more powerful to share the adventures with those for whom it may not be possibly to try scuba diving. PADI scuba courses teach student divers how to capture and share underwater photographs, and the Digital Underwater Photography course is now available to all scuba divers from the age of ten.

Private scuba lessons are becoming more popular now, especially in Thailand. Taking a dive course with you own private scuba instructor offers exclusivity, the personal touch, and usually more flexibility. So to enrol in the shooting fish course, otherwise known as the PADI DUP (digital underwater photography) course, you do need to be a certified diver of at least ten years old. But be prepared for some underwater fun that diving in Pattaya has to offer. The coral reefs are shallower here than other dive sites in Thailand, and the other advantage is that scuba diving in Pattaya is available year round because the Gulf of Thailand tends to be sheltered from the southwest monsoons that arrive in Phuket from June until October. Pattaya is not a famous diving destination, but beginners and experienced divers will be rewarded with some of the best wreck diving in Thailand. So, clean up the lens, replace the batteries and make sure that you have a watertight seal, because when you dive in Pattaya the camera never lies. You really can see Turtles, Seahorses and Sharks, and the wreck dives will leave you breathless (pardon the pun) as you drift along US Landing Crafts from the Second World War that were intentionally sunk by the Thai Navy for the local Thai divers and tourists on a scuba diving holiday in Pattaya.

Tag : thailand,scuba,scuba diving,pattaya,phuket,thailand hotels

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