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Refraction: My experience directing a Scubapro photo shoot

(DiverWire.com) – Going on a scuba diving photo shoot to Grand Cayman is the sort of business trip that people may dream about. It’s the sort of trip that my friends question whether I am actually “working” on, the sort of thing that makes the reception staff at the kennel question what I do for a living.

There’s a lot of stuff to take along. Specifically, an inventory of 12 wetsuits, 7 BCs, 9 regulators, 8 pair of fins, 16 masks, 3 cameras with housings… not to mention personal items, tools, et cetera. 6 enormous overweight roller bags, and 3 carry-on bags full.  Now, imagine 3 smallish people toting all this gear through airports, up and down staircases, in and out of trucks, boats and the ocean for 6 days in 90/90 heat and humidity. Fabulous isn’t the word for it.

We had put together a terrific team at the absolute last minute, and like everything that seemed to go wrong with this trip, it ended out working serendipitously. The gods looked favorably on me from being able to book a talented and busy photographer,  convince a skilled model to change travel plans to successfully battling moving winds, seasickness, a 5.8 earthquake, and lost luggage. The team adapted to these situations with what seemed to be carefree ease, but in the back of my mind I was rehearsing my resignation in case we returned imageless.

Between the toting of gear and the fear of something going awry I was exhausted.  I wish I could say the incredible images we got were the only thing that made all the hard work much more than worth it for me, but what did even more so, came as a surprise.

My last dive of the trip was a shore dive. The swim wasn’t far, and we were told there was a mini wall, followed by a wall straight out past the second buoy.  I took this with a grain of salt- I’d never been on a wall dive, and my interest has been in wrecks.  My buddy and I ventured past lumbering rays, a friendly turtle and all manner of corals, down the mini wall, and kept going. I watched as my dive computer went from 67 to 110 ft, and my buddy motioned to me that it was going to drop off ahead.  As we got close I felt my heart skip a beat.

I had a moment of realization – the ocean truly is another world- it was so humbling  to be in this meditative, foreign, blue space.  I forgot everything, totally awestruck, then my buddy grabbed my arm-1500psi. Time to turn around.

Kate Murphy works in the marketing department for Scubapro. Watch for the images from this photo shoot on the Scubapro website and in a future Scubapro catalog.

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