Mike Fowler, Author at Silent Diving LLC


Posts by Mike Fowler

Rebreather And Underwater Photography

Underwater photography is something that every serious photographer should consider, and only those who are in love with photography can expect to perfect it. It’s an extremely difficult and expensive form of art to master, but we’re here to help you understand some fundamental techniques to make your underwater photography match that of the pros.

Make Connections And Acquire Resources

As an underwater photographer, you’ll have to deal with regulations and travel restrictions. Two types of relationships can help you bypass those obstacles.

Knowing people who will allow you to access protected areas will give you an edge over every other photographer. You’ll be able to snap photos of fish that aren’t just rare, but they’re also protected by government programs. Many other photographers won’t have access to those fish in such a peaceful environment.

You should also get to know people who run fishing charters or other boat-oriented services. They can take you to spots that other photographers can’t access, and if you’re friends with them, they might just let you tag along on their trips for free.

Underwater Photography Is Not What You’re Used To

When you’re filming on the surface, it’s a lot easier to shoot. Lighting on the surface is very different, and there aren’t any obstacles such as light absorption and distortion to worry about.

A lot of beginners try to deal with the extra challenges by using insanely fast cameras. You don’t have to do all of that. All you have to do is use a 50 to 100 ISO camera more effectively.

This often means you have to use multiple sources of artificial light to illuminate your subject, and you have to get very close to your subject. Both of those can be difficult to do underwater.

Always Have A Backup

Underwater photography equipment is expensive, and it requires a lot of research to acquire it properly. Despite the investment necessary to attain it, you want to invest in backup options, too.

A big part of underwater photography is long-distance travel. That typically requires you to hop on a plane, and everyone knows how things tend to go missing at the airport. If that happens with your shooting gear, you’ll have an awfully boring photography session.

You also have to consider the abusive environment that you’ll be shooting in. Even the most durable of cameras can fall victim to a harsh crash into coral, and that can end your entire trip if you don’t bring a backup.

Learn To Dive

Learn to dive before you attempt underwater photography. It may seem as if you’ll just be swimming and taking pictures, but it’s a lot different when you’re diving. If you’ve never been diving before, hire a professional trainer.

The reason for this is that every one of your movements can potentially scare away the perfect subject. You want to have as much control over your body as possible, and that’s just not possible for beginners to do.

You should also make sure that you’re fully aware of how all of your equipment works before you leave. If you’ve updated your rebreather or other equipment, you need to check out its manual.

Don’t Be Afraid To Go Digital

A lot of photographers still swear by older camera designs. However, there’s a valid reason to use digital cameras.

When you’re under the water, you don’t have all day to mess around with your equipment. You have a limited time to capture the best photos possible, and every second counts.

A digital camera can take way more pictures than an older exposure-based camera, and you get more chances to take the perfect photo before you have to resurface.

Conclusion

Underwater photography is an entirely different ball game when it’s compared to more traditional forms of the art. However, with the right gear and mindset, you can easily master the art of shooting stunning underwater photos.

How Rebreathers Can Help You Get Closer To Marine Life

There are few vistas on this earth containing as much beauty as those available underwater. The color, size and shape variety of marine life is truly staggering, and this does not even begin to touch upon the natural beauty of coral reefs and other wonders below the waves. The attraction of the underwater environment is why so many have learned SCUBA diving in order to be able to fully immerse themselves in this world. It truly takes the concepts of travel and tourism to another level.

At Silent Diving, we have the instructors who can train you in all the ins and outs of SCUBA diving, so you can explore the exciting world under the sea. Based in Maine, we also offer the latest in CCR, or closed circuit rebreather, equipment to help you extract maximum enjoyment from your underwater tourism or explorations. Rebreathers have some impressive advantages over conventional open-circuit breathing apparatus gear. This is why we take pride in the fact that we are the exclusive distributors in North America, Central America and the Caribbean for high-quality Inspiration and Evolution brand closed-circuit rebreathers.

Spend More Time Underwater

Because of the enhanced efficiency offered by a rebreather’s closed system, the gas you are carrying with you underwater lasts longer. With traditional SCUBA gear, you are exhaling your unused gas, which is a significant portion of the total in such a system, directly into the water. In a rebreather, most of the oxygen and other gases are held in a closed loop with CO2 being regularly removed by way of scrubbers within the closed system. This enables your mix of oxygen and other gases to last longer without having to worry about CO2 buildup. This enables you to either go underwater with a smaller, lighter tank or get more time from an equivalent sized tank used in an open-circuit system.

Lack of Bubbles

Rebreather technology has long been used by the military for this benefit. Because it’s a closed system, you are not expelling gases, which means you are not expelling bubbles. For military divers, this means a Navy Seal’s presence is not given away by tell-tale bubbles on the surface as they are sneaking around underwater on some clandestine mission. For you, as a recreational diver, it provides a tremendous benefit when it comes to immersing yourself in the underwater world, which gives rise to the next benefit.

You Won’t Disrupt Underwater Life

The greater efficiency, correspondingly longer dive time and the lack of bubbles all add up to the ability to experience increased immersion in the underwater environment. You have a greater loiter time for the study of fish and other aquatic life, and there are no bubbles to give away your presence or to scare them away. This makes rebreather technology great for marine researchers and recreational divers alike.

Get in on the Fun!

At Silent Diving, we love what we do! We have a passion for SCUBA equipment, training and the world that it opens up for exploration and adventure. We have instructors for customers in the Eastern and Western United States as well as Canada and the Caribbean. We also have dealers in these areas who sell our advanced Inspiration model rebreathers and related equipment. Advanced rebreather SCUBA equipment requires professional maintenance to ensure your safety, and our team at Silent Diving has you covered here as well. To get the most out of your diving adventures, please contact our team, so we can offer you our knowledge, equipment and expertise.

When to service

How often should I get my dive gear serviced?

Maintenance is an ongoing task with diving equipment. We recommend the following:

Annual service

First stages
Auto Air
OCB.

Every year

Internal inspection of cylinders

Every 5 years

Hydrostatic test of cylinders 

(AP Diving do not offer cylinder testing but we do a cylinder exchange scheme for BCD mini cylinders.)

Every 7 years

Replace O-rings in all products