I am a 72 year old retired teacher living in South Western Ontario, Canada. How did I get into underwater photography you ask? Let’s see. Oh yes. In 2007 - 13 years ago - my husband, NAUI Instructor # 504, bribed me with a trip to the Bahamas if I would learn to scuba dive - done!
Then in 2009, on our first trip to Belize, he surprised me with an Ikelite housing for my Nikon Coolpix 5100 point and shoot. When the Coolpix died, I was persuaded to upgrade to a DSLR - more tears and frustration as I learned about aperture, shutter speed and ISO.
I now use my Nikkor D5300 in its Ikelite housing and dual Ikelite DS160 strobes. I am a minimalist by nature, and all my macro shots are taken with a Nikon 60mm lens. My other lens, as I try to conquer wide angle shots, is a Nikkor 10-24mm. I am happy to say that I have mastered using manual settings on both my camera and strobes.
We dive at least twice a year in the Caribbean and I have photography goals for each trip. This Smooth Trunkfish cooperated by giving me a heads on fish portrait.
Because we usually dive with a group from our local dive shop, a lot of my photos are serendipitous. I had never seen a Sponge Brittle Star rear up like this and was lucky to capture the moment.
This Bicolour Damselfish is not the flashiest fish around yet I am pleased to add her portrait to my ever growing catalogue of fish I have known.
What is it about moray eels that they want to come out and say hello?
On dry land I quilt and I am very drawn to bright, cheery colours. Underwater I rely on my trusty strobes to light up my world as illustrated by this Yellowline Arrowhead Crab posing in front of a Rough File Clam.
I never swim past an anemone without first checking it out for critters. Here a Spotted Cleaner Shrimp gives me the once over.
Wide angle shots continue to be a challenge for me. I try to capture the colour in this alien landscape between the deep blue depths and the rippling surface water.
In Belize these Banded Coral Shrimp were so happy to see me, I just had to take their picture!
Bonaire - where the Longsnout Seahorses are large and the water is calm enough to get up close and personal.
Sand divers are excellent subjects and easily approached at eye level. Here I was trying out some directional lighting to achieve a black background.
Same goal, but Banded Butterfly Fish are more of a challenge :)
All photos Copyright © 2020 Valerie Quant
Valerie Quant of Ontario, Canada, is a retired teacher who has learned to love scuba diving during retirement. They make at least semi-annual dive trips with their local dive store, frequently in the Caribbean and South America. Upgrading from a compact point-and-shoot to a DSLR has been a worthy pursuit for Valerie for the added manual exposure controls. Valerie doesn't have an online portfolio (yet) but prefers to create Shutterfly photo books and share them with fellow dive trip passengers so that they can relive their experiences for years to come.
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