Unfortunately, the sinus thing didn’t really get much better, and even now two weeks later I’m still treating it. That didn’t stop me from doing as much as I could, however. I did shore dives when my balance was off and couldn’t take the rough pitching of the boat, and did the boat dives when it was a little smoother.
The class on buoyancy was fantastic, and brought to light the issues regarding different BC’s or buoyancy compensators. I was using a BC with a rear bladder. When these inflate, they have a tendency to hoard air in pockets unevenly, and if you don’t know how to handle it, it will cause you to roll. DH uses this model and loves it. Me, not so much. I spent more time being rolled over on to my side or back, and fighting it. It was not very enjoyable, so by the third day I decided to rent one that did not have that type of inflation. It made the difference between have a really good time underwater looking at creatures and spending all my energy trying to stay in the right position.
So that problem solved, it was time to start photographing some sea life.
I loved the coral, I think because I tend to like landscapes. But getting the white balance to work underwater proved pretty tricky. You really have to keep an eye on your depth, because you lose wavelengths of light as your depth changes (or gain back if you are coming up). As a result, you really have to WB every couple three feet. If you are not paying attention, then your photo’s color will be off. Also, once you get below 30 feet, WB really isn’t effective at all, and you need to go to flash. The thing about flash is, unless you’ve invested a ton of money on strong flash equipment, your effective distance with a flash has to be pretty darn close. Which is easy with coral, but fish have different ideas. My first day with a camera was rather a disappointment. I found I really needed bifocals in my mask, because I thought they were good pictures underwater, but many turned out to be blurry. We spent a lot of time in the shallows just shooting with white balance.
I did find out what happens when you are trying to use WB and also turn on the flash…
Yikes! If there is a way to fix this with photo editing, I have no idea what it is. And believe me, I tried. I read an article that said it is always better to get the picture correct when taking it than to rely on correction after the fact. And I tend to be a purist anyway, I don’t like spending time correcting photos or tweaking them on photo software. I’d rather just have a beautiful photo.
Here, I think I’m finally getting the hang of it.