When you REALLY mess up
So, last weekend I got to dive with one of the best UW photogs in the country. My club had a trip visiting his club, and we went diving together. It's a bit of a thrill to dive with folks whom you respect a lot, even if you aren't buddied up with them.
Now, just to give a litte bit of background here, I'm a North European club diver. In that kind of diving, there's no DM in the water, and people are diving either as independent buddy pairs or - unofficially - solo. Solo diving isn't condoned by our Diving Association, but, hey, live and let live. Better to turn the blind eye than to buddy a n00b with a photog who essentially dives solo anyway. So there might well be a couple of same day, same ocean "buddies" if there are more that one UW photog on the boat. And this is cold water country. Virtually everyone is certified dry, and dives dry year 'round.
Anyway, back to my story. My club went on a trip to the coast last weekend, going out with the local club's boat. And - as I've already mentioned - one of the best UW phtogs in the country was on the boat. Cool. Colorful guy, lots of stories. Anyway, I and my buddy splash as one of the first pairs, and the dive is pretty uneventful. I snap a few pics on the outbound leg, and when my bottom time is a little less that half of our planned run time, I signal my buddy to turn the dive.
On the way back, we meet a few of the other buddy pairs, and then I see the guy. He's focusing on the same anemone I snapped a couple of pics of on my way out. I figure I'd like to have a pic of the bloke in action, so I start finning towards him. I try to stay out of his FOV, so I don't pick a beeline towards him, but circle around. And then things start to look OK. The guy is in the lower right of my FOV, the rock is in the upper left and the anemone is nicely located roughly in the thirds. Problem (or, what turned out to be the problem) is, the scene just screams for a portrait aspect ratio. I rotate my camera to get a portrait pic. Now, when I rotate my camera, I don't just rotate my camera. My body follows. And if you haven't dived dry, rest assured that that brings on a whole suite of issues. The keyword here is "air migration". It's noticeably worse if you're wearing a shell suit, less of an issue in a neo suit, and not particularly annoying in a snug suit like Scubapro's Everdry 4 or the Fusion. I was wearing a trilam shell suit. So, I totally lose control, and of course I end up on the sand bottom. Imagine a total idjit, arms and legs thrashing, on a sand bottom. I silted up the scene like you probably couldn't believe. With one of my country's best UW photogs trying to nail a shot.
Back on the boat, the dude had hardly doffed his fins before I was beside him, apologizing for what had happened. He seemed cool with it, so I started feeling a little bit better. Until we've had our supper and cracked the beers. The incident was - of course - embellished for each and every beer can that was cracked, and I... let's say "received a few comments". To my relief, I still haven't seen any video of the incident on Facebook...