Imagethief used to do a lot of dive photography back when he lived somewhere conducive to scuba diving. Beijing is not conducive to scuba diving. It’s not that you can’t do it, it’s just that your options are limited to the Blue Zoo (fun but claustrophobic and repetitive), the local lakes (yuck) or the reservoirs (illegal). Oh, sure, you can go to the coast, but from what I hear the Bohai’s omission from the list of spectacular, global dive areas is pretty well deserved.
Purely by accident, I was reading a great article from the CDNN diving news site –something I discovered on the excellent Instapaper home page– when I happened to notice an ad for Puerto Galera dive operation at the top of the page. It featured an image of a dolphin in mid leap, with its beak just breaking the water. It looked like this:
Huh, I thought. Reminds me of a photo I once took. And then I looked a bit closer and realized that it reminded me of an image I once took because it is an image I once took, nine or ten years ago: A leaping dolphin with two submerged wingmen (wing-dolphins?) in the glass-smooth waters off of peninsular Malaysia. Here’s the original (click for a larger version):
The black border is because this is a scanned slide. (Kids: in the old days we used to use something called “film” in our cameras. This was a strip of plastic covered with chemicals that changed color when exposed to light and then bathed in chemicals. Seems fiddly, I know. Uncle imagethief used to have to wait seven anxious days to get his slides back from processing, and then examine each slide with a loupe. How archaic is that?)
This picture was taken from the top of the wheelhouse of Vidar Skoglie’s MV Empress, to this day my favorite dive boat of all time, and the boat from which I did many of my most exotic dives. I used to spend hours on the roof with a camera waiting for opportunities just like this. They rarely worked out as well. This photo has long been a favorite of mine, and used to hang on the wall of my house in Singapore. Yes, there’s a little motion blur, but you try taking a panned shot with a pre-VR 300mm lens from the top of a moving boat with 100ASA film and see how well you do. It also used to be on my old and now defunct www.imagethief.com website, which is presumably where it was discovered. Action Divers is also using it on their website. I’m flattered they like it enough to use it. Would have been nice to get an e-mail (maybe I did, but I can’t find anything in my archives).
At any rate, it inspires me to shift that gallery back online, perhaps on my Flickr account. Stay tuned.
Previously on imagethief:
- Imagethief and the top secret dam of Panjiakou: A Great Wall diving adventure (video – displaying my Empress T-shirt)
- Diving with the whale shark at Dalian’s Tiger Beach (video)
- Video from the Lion City