“Goes to Hawai’i Once, Becomes Ocean Photographer” - Oahu Winter 2019

To be real with you, travel is something I do as an excuse to hang with people. Seeing a new place is a cool bonus - but in the case of this trip to Oahu with Tommy and Amelia, the things we saw and did surpassed every expectation.

amelia  diving off the coast of oahu - feb 24 2019

amelia diving off the coast of oahu - feb 24 2019

I thought our underwater shoot with Ben and Shannon would be just another good photo shoot - but I didn’t go in thinking it would be as fun as it was. And I didn’t expect after getting out of the water I would feel this urge to drop everything and throw myself completely at underwater photography. Yet here we are. 

It’s such a multi-faceted art. Every aspect has to be dialed, no matter how seemingly unimportant - your fins and booties have to fit perfectly, same with your mask; you have to rent or buy a waterhousing - all of which has to be sorted out before you hop in the water. 

amelia  and  shannon  coordinating a dive down to the coral

amelia and shannon coordinating a dive down to the coral

the reef is so alive that, when you’re diving, it is loud with the sound of fish biting off pieces of coral to eat

the reef is so alive that, when you’re diving, it is loud with the sound of fish biting off pieces of coral to eat

countless fish soaking up the warm morning sun as it hits the ocean’s surface. shooting this as a team was the best move. it’s 100x harder than you think, especially being both of our first time out. photo by  tommy stokes

countless fish soaking up the warm morning sun as it hits the ocean’s surface. shooting this as a team was the best move. it’s 100x harder than you think, especially being both of our first time out. photo by tommy stokes

Once you’re in the water, you have to learn a bunch of things on the fly, such as how to de-pressurize your ears without blowing out your ear drums, how to shoot and breath and direct simultaneously, and then during the dive, how to orient yourself while floating in a blue void so you can actually lock focus on your subject and take your shot.

behind the scenes of ben and amelia shooting ben’s new print “the flipside” avaiable  here

behind the scenes of ben and amelia shooting ben’s new print “the flipside” avaiable here

Even with all these variables mostly figured out, and professionals to guide us, Tommy and I (as a team) still came away with 67 useable images out of 2,000. Crazy. And despite all this, or maybe because of it, I can decisively say I am now hooked. I am shopping for a housing, a wetsuit, and a face mask so I can continue doing this once I get back home in Canada.

And yes, the ocean is incredibly clean here, but this is becoming an exception. There are plenty of resources to learn about the effects of pollution on our oceans. I’ve personally been most impacted on the topic by reading here, and can vouch for this information because of the abudant cross-referencing. Give it a read!

Enjoy the pics!

Ben

ps, I will be releasing a short video from hawai’i soon cause we did a couple other things too

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In collaboration with:

Tommy Stokes - @tommy.stokes

Amelia Edmondson - @amelia.edmondson

Ben Ono - @silkymerman

Shannon Christerson - @shnooz

© 2019 Ben Prescott - @itsbigben