A Different World

A couple of months ago, Pirate John introduced me to the world of sailing and now he has rekindled the love that I have lost years ago –Scuba Diving. I was probably about eight years old the first time I watched Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s undersea exploration shows. I was mesmerized by Cousteau’s beautiful underwater world and his French accent. I remember telling my grandma that I wanted be a scuba diver, undersea scientist like him when I grow up. While I ended up studying art, I never abandoned my desire to explore the ocean. A few years after moving to Seattle, I became a certified scuba diver. What an amazing experience. During my first open water dive, I encountered a huge octopus and that was it… the experience made me want to pursue my dream of being an undersea explorer. However, my undersea world was short-lived. Motherhood took center stage and I had to quit scuba. Over the years, I’ve thought about going back to the scuba world but for one reason or another, the timing and money just didn’t work out… until now. Pirate John gave me a wondrous gift — scuba lessons. Since it has been twenty years since my last certification, I have to start over. I will complete my certificate in a few weeks. It’s truly an amazing gift to combine my passion for photography and scuba diving. While I realized that I no longer wanted to be a great undersea scientist like Cousteau, I am looking forward to being an undersea photographer.

Since I can’t shoot underwater yet, I spend the weekend photographing Pirate John, scuba instructors and students from Evergreen Dive Service; the school where I will get my certification as a scuba diver. It was a fun and challenging shooting experience. The day was gray, the water reflective and the divers were mostly black moving objects. Talk about exposure nightmare. It was very difficult to get both the water and the divers with correct exposure at the same time. I decided to shoot a little under exposed so that the sky and water would not blow out. I find it easier to fix an under exposed dark area in Lightroom than a blow out area. Another challenge I encountered was the low light from the gray sky and the constant movement of the divers. I didn’t want to use high ISO so it was difficult to capture sharp images. But in the end, it was all good. I learned a lot on technique and processing. Mostly, it was great shooting and observing the divers in action… I can’t wait to be one of them in a few weeks.


Pirate JohnPirate John

Pirate John & Cool Scuba Instructor, Chad.

_DSC1021A student requiring extra help to put on her fins.


Calm, cool, dive instructor Chad. So patient and understanding.


_DSC1239Pirate John, Alex, and Paul.

_DSC1356-2Finally, Pirate John noticed the camera.

Alex, happy like a fish in water. He passed his dive tests. I’m sure he is looking forward to his diving trip he has planned already…

Paul, Alex’s brother. He also passed.

And Hernan… the big smile says it all.

OKAY! We are certified divers!! Alex, Hernan and Paul.

6 thoughts on “A Different World

  1. It sounds like life has been good lately, Emily. I’m so happy for you. My husband used to scuba dive when we lived in Florida and loved it. I know it is a totally different world in the cold waters where you are. Getting your certification will be fun. Be safe!

    1. Hi Karen, good to see you. Thank you for the comforting thoughts. While life still constantly brings me challenges, it has brought me something positive and fun. Im looking forward to explore the underwater world. Unlike Florida, the water here in the Pacific Northwest is cold and viability not always crystal clear. However, I hear we have the largest octopus in the world. I’m looking forward to shooting one with my camera. 🙂

  2. Emily, good to hear from you, and I’m impressed by the scuba photography >>> but you’re braver than me, I can’t even swim! I hope you’re fine >>> take care! Adrian 🙂

    1. Thank you Adrian for the compliment. I am very excited on my discovery of scuba photography. I think the biggest challenge would be for me to keep track of my air while I’m down there chasing that “Great Shot”. I know oftentimes, I would spend waiting for 30 minutes on land just to get the right shot.

      I don’t know about being braver. Honestly, I can’t swim very well. I barely swam the four laps required for the scuba class… and I didn’t pass the water treading part. But all is good. I think when you are passionate about something, it’s easier to work through the fear. I’m sure I will learn how to tread and float like a cork eventually. 🙂

  3. Amazing…You have a wonderful gift…A gift that is meant to be shared Never stop… your talent can bring great joy to many hearts.

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