Namn: Lösen:

biggest threat to coral reefs: Prices on cameras

(Läst 2 109 gånger.)


Du måste vara inloggad för att skicka mail!

Här kommer en lliten grej som jag skrev för H2O som är våran lokala lilla dykblaska här i Egypten... Många tycker nog att jag hoppar upp på min lilla "soap box" här men jag tycker att detta är viktigt...

Någon som har åsikter?

.......anders.......


It’s been said that every photo taken of you shortens your life with one day. I’m not sure that this is intierly true since people like Brittney Speers is still around. However, Anna Nicole Smith might be of a different opinion. I am sure though, that this is true for the coral reefs in tourist dense areas. Divers have become the new “Japanese”…

The last few years the prices for under water housings for cameras has dropped like a dumped weight belt at the same time as digital cameras has become everyone’s toy. I’m not sure if this is a blessing or a curse. All of the sudden the majority of divers coming to dive the Red Sea carry a digital camera with an under water housing. Some small pocket cameras some big semi-pro cameras and most of them first time users that bought their photo equipment just before leaving for this holiday. Now, I don’t say that there is anything wrong with the desire to document a holiday, nor feeling the need to get a new approach to diving by picking up U/W photography. However, divers bringing photo equipment are likely to be the main reason we see so many broken corals when we dive.

It seems like the moment you put a camera in the hands of a diver is the moment he forgets the half metre extension of his feet, everything he ever learned regarding buoyancy control and the ability to listen to good advice. Dive centres rent out camera equipment to the left and to the right with no other advice than how to take care of the camera. Not a word about taking care of the reef. Divers of course have the same desire, and right, to document their holidays as the next bird watcher. Every one wants to show friends and family pictures from their trip to Egypt when they get back home. Especially if you have done something as exciting as scuba diving! On land this is hardly ever a problem. You take a photo of the pyramids or the swinx, no harm done. Under water the situation is different. You have delicate marine life that might have taken centuries to grow that can be destroyed in a jiffy by the smack of a fin or a thump of a knee. I have seen it so many times; the side of the reef getting both figuratively and literally scraped clean by divers with cameras that I’m actually surprised that we still have any soft corals left on reefs like Brother Islands or Elphinstone.

But it’s not only the reefs that are in danger. I’ve seen divers with cameras follow sharks out in the blue, way too deep or up to fast to get the “digital evidence” they need, risking to get swept away by the current, get bent or agitate the shark to a point on the brink of a leave-me-alone-nibble. Add some nitrogen narcosis to this equation and you have a potentially dangerous situation.

Some sea creatures get stressed easier than others, the carefree turtle for example, and the laidback dugong. They seem easily choreographed and willing to pose for the photographer but the reality is that they easily get stressed and might suffer mental and physical injuries if approached in the wrong way. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the diver is stupid or a bad diver, just that he is distracted or preoccupied with his camera.

When buying an under water camera equipment it’s easy to think “it’s a harmless camera that can hurt no one” and we have all heard the expression “leave nothing but bubbles, take nothing but pictures” as a way to describe environmental awareness. It might be time to change the second half of that expression. The truth is that a camera is not as harmless as one might think. It can make you, unwillingly, take unnecessary risks and make you damage the very marine life you love, what made you take up diving in the first place.

There are diving photographers and there are picture snapping divers. The photographers know how to compose a picture and how to get a good result. Also they are cautious and alert, not to add to the bad reputation under water photographers already have. The picture snapping divers have no idea how to create a good photo and they return home with hundreds of crap pictures of fish swimming away taken from above. In pursuit of these earthly useless pictures they often tear down the reefs like bulldozers.

A lot of divers are now also upgrading to their “second generation” of camera equipment. This means that many people who finally got used to diving with a compact camera in a small housing have to start all over again. This time it’s a NIKON D70 in an IKELITE housing and two big strobes. All of the sudden they have to think about shutter speed and aperture. And… oups… the subject left already… The strobe-arms are sticking out scraping soft corals off the overhang. The water resistance increases and the air-consumption skyrockets… And… oups… no air for safety stop…

I’ve also noted that the enjoyment factor of the dive often fades as soon as the diver brings a camera. Often they get out of the water saying they weren’t pleased about the dive and that there was nothing to see. Simultaneously other divers go into raptures over how fantastic an experience it was. Most of the time, the reason is that you miss a lot of what’s going on around you, if you spend the entire dive looking through a view finder.

When I used to teach U/W Photo courses I always started with the sentence “Today we’ll learn how to avoid taking the crap ones” and I think this is one of the most vital piece advice dive guides and instructors can give to guests who come to dive with camera equipment. Don’t take the crap photos! If you concentrate on getting only the nice shots and plan your photo dives, you would probably spare the reefs immensely. And you would actually learn how to get nice shots rather than just keep the “not so bad ones” out of a few hundred bad. Instead of picking on the divers after the dive for the mistakes they did during the dive, try to come up with hints and tips before the dive. Here I would like to quote my friend Kimmo Hagman, one of the old-school-photographers who lives by the rule; “If you can’t get the photo hovering, don’t try to take it.”

At the end of the day I think the task lands in the lap of the dive guides and dive centres to advise and teach divers with cameras to remember to respect the marine life. To create rules and enforce them. Take our responsibility when renting out under water cameras and include environmental aspects in the pre-dive camera briefing. And why not offer a course in underwater photography combined with peak performance buoyancy?

In the Red Sea we ask our guests not to use gloves to avoid damaging the corals but can we really ask them not to bring their brand spanking new camera equipment? Of course we can, and I think it’s our duty to do so if we see that the diver can’t dive sensibly. Or we might loose the beauty of the reefs and the very source and motivation of the dive industry.





Anders Jälmsjö
Anders Jälmsjö 2007-12-09 11:32:53
2 242 postningar

mail 


Du måste vara inloggad för att skicka mail!

 Visa alla svar

Huvudinlägg biggest threat to coral reefs: Prices on cameras Anders Jälmsjö 2007-12-09 11:32
svara Sv: biggest threat to coral reefs: Prices on camerChristian Karlsson2007-12-09 19:25
svara Biggest threat: Prices on SCUBA HOLIDAYS!Christian Karlsson2007-12-10 12:17
svara Sv: biggest threat to coral reefs: Prices on camerHenrik L Jonsson2007-12-09 20:29
svara Jag skulle...Amin Hermansson2007-12-09 20:40
svara Sv: Jag skulle...Henrik L Jonsson2007-12-09 21:42
svara Sv: Sv: Jag skulle...Fredrik Astlid2007-12-10 13:52
svara Sv: Sv: Sv: Jag skulle...Christian Karlsson2007-12-10 14:54
svara Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Jag skulle...Fredrik Astlid2007-12-10 15:41
svara Sv: biggest threat to coral reefs: Prices on camerasMonica Löfgren2007-12-09 22:10
svara Mycket välskrivet !!Per Lagerberg2007-12-09 22:53
svara Personlig upplevelse vs. miljörespektJonas Pavletic2007-12-10 01:44
svara Sv: Personlig upplevelse vs. miljörespektFredrik Astlid2007-12-10 13:57
svara Sv: Sv: Personlig upplevelse vs. miljörespektJonas Pavletic2007-12-10 22:33
svara Sv: Sv: Sv: Personlig upplevelse vs. miljörespektFredrik Astlid2007-12-11 08:36
svara Sv: biggest threat to coral reefs: Prices on camerasPeter Segerdahl2007-12-10 10:14
svara Sv: Sv: biggest threat to coral reefs: Prices on camerasFredrik Astlid2007-12-10 14:05
svara Sv: Sv: Sv: biggest threat to coral reefs: Prices on camerasPeter Segerdahl2007-12-10 14:28
svara Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: biggest threat to coral reefs: Prices on camerasFredrik Astlid2007-12-10 15:46
svara Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: biggest threat to coral reefs: Prices on camerasAndreas Brodow2007-12-10 15:53
svara Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: biggest threat to coral reefs: Prices on camerasFredrik Astlid2007-12-10 15:55
svara Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: biggest threat to coral reefs: Prices on camerasAndreas Brodow2007-12-10 16:17
svara Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: biggest threat to coral reefs: Prices on camerasFredrik Astlid2007-12-10 16:37
svara Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: biggest threat to coral reefs: Prices on camerasAndreas Brodow2007-12-10 17:27
svara Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: biggest threat to coral reefs: Prices on camerasFredrik Astlid2007-12-10 19:22
svara Sv: biggest threat to coral reefs: Prices on camerasBjörn Qvarnström2007-12-10 12:41
svara Sv: Jag skulle gärna se kamerafria utfärder/båtarMaciej Karpinski2007-12-10 14:05
svara Jag skulle gärna se idiotfria utfärder/båtarChristian Karlsson2007-12-10 15:20
svara Sv: Jag skulle gärna se idiotfria utfärder/båtarMaciej Karpinski2007-12-10 15:46
svara Sv: Sv: Jag skulle gärna se kamerafria utfärder/båtarFredrik Astlid2007-12-10 15:51
svara Sv: biggest threat to coral reefs: Prices on camerasJohan Fredin2007-12-10 19:58
svara Sv: biggest threat to coral reefs: Prices on camerasNick Bonnedahl2007-12-11 07:44
svara Sv: Sv: biggest threat to coral reefs: Prices on camerasNick Bonnedahl2007-12-11 08:47
svara Sv: Sv: Sv: biggest threat to coral reefs: Prices on camerasFredrik Astlid2007-12-11 09:00

«TILLBAKA

Svara på detta inlägg
Vi ber dig följa de riktlinjer som beskrivs under Netiquette. Rubrik:

Svar: