Lessons from under the sea?

Life Aquatic

Is it really not about the camera? I suspect that many of the people reading this will relate to camera troubles affecting the way that the think (and even beat themselves up).

Caroline and I had a fabulous holiday. We were fortunate enough to be scuba diving in one of the world’s most beautiful marine parks.

Apart from taking a few snapshots in the past this trip was the first time that I seriously intended to create 5 or 6 memorable underwater photographs. The only camera I had available was my old Canon G12 with an inexpensive underwater housing from Canon. Unlike my dry land photography I had no back-up or any kind of plan B. However, I had not expected what happened to the camera.

After only a few dives condensation developed in the camera housing and, inevitably got into the camera. One by one the camera controls started to fail. At first I was very frustrated as the zoom stopped working, then AV and TV modes so eventually I was only able to use the camera with a fixed focal length on either auto or programme mode with zero control over the focus points. During the last few days of our trip even exposure compensation failed me. Basically I was using a basic point and shoot.

By the end of the trip I was totally over my I-need-to-be-in-control-of-my-camera mind set. Instead I had decided to work with the tool at hand. Finally I was experiencing the truth from the oft quoted Chase Jarvis, “The best camera is the one that you have with you”.

Now we are back home, the camera has spent the past 24 hours sitting in a bowl of dry rice grains in the “faint” hope that it will function again. If not it has already done me proud, even in it’s limited functional state, by producing a good selection of RAW files that I am able to work on in my digital darkroom.

Thanks for reading.


stephen cotterell photography

07990 525 814

020 8549 3693



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  • Randell JohnGreat post Stephen, and it’s very true, as we all tend to get hung up on the technical aspects of photography and trying to squeeze the best out of the equipment we are using at the time.
    I’d be over the moon to capture an images like these, never mind what camera I’d used.ReplyCancel

    • stephenThank you for that. I am very happy indeed to be able to experience the Life Aquatic of Palau and share one or two photographs with you.ReplyCancel