o Control your buoyancy o Do not touch anything o Avoid

o  Control your buoyancy While this seems like an obvious prerequisite for an underwater photographer, I’ve seen divers with cameras accidentally do major damage to the reef due to an inability to maintain neutral buoyancy. Take a buoyancy control class if necessary. And remember that donning a different type of wetsuit or a smaller or larger air tank can affect your weight and balance. The bo'om line – please don’t take a camera underwater un8l you are confident in your buoyancy skills. o  Do not touch anything As divers, we should all know to avoid touching anything underwater, however, I’ve witnessed photographers who believe that this rule doesn’t apply to them. Avoid resDng any part of your body on coral or living things. Make sure that your gauges are secured, and watch your fins when kicking. o  Avoid overexposing criHers to bright lights and flashes I’m excited about that new strobe or SOLA light too, but that doesn’t mean that it’s OK to expose a criHer to excessive amounts of bright light. How do you feel when someone takes your photo with flash? It’s hard on the eyes, right? Now think about that poor frogfish that can’t move fast enough to get out of your way. At some point, this becomes cruel. Generally, I think that 8-­‐10 shots is enough. Some photography groups have a 6 shot rule. Use sound judgment here. o  Do not move criHers to obtain “the shot” We’ve all seen the shots that look suspiciously staged. Whether it be three nudibranchs posed perfectly in a row, or that blue starfish in the “perfect” posiDon. Did the photographer just stumble on a scene like this? Probably not. It’s not OK to move underwater criHers and creatures. I’ve seen dive guides do this to please their customers. If you come across this, politely tell them to stop. o  Consider your fellow photographers Are you diving with other photographers? If so, please limit your Dme with a subject. Take a few shots and move on. Signal your fellow photographer that it’s OK to move in. And when you move away, avoid sDrring or kicking sand. You do not want to create addiDonal backscaHer for the next photographer. If you move away from a subject and there is no queue, alert another photographer to the presence of a cool subject (but don’t interrupt him or her while composing shots). o  Consider your fellow divers Picture this scene… A dive group is on the reef. There are photographers and non-­‐ photographers in the group. During the 40 minute dive, the photographers hoard all of the interesDng subjects and ignore the others in their group. This doesn’t sound like good underwater photography eDqueHe to me. Now, Let’s recreate this scene using proper, instead of poor, eDqueHe. A dive group is on the reef. There are photographers and non-­‐photographers in the group. During the 40 minute dive, the photographers have found interesDng subjects. They each take 4-­‐6 shots and then alert the other divers . Everyone in the group has had a chance to spend Dme with the cool criHers. While most underwater photographers are respecaul and polite, a few “bad eggs” give all of us a bad rap. If we all follow a few simple guidelines, the reef will be enjoyable for everyone . And please remember, we’re just visitors in the underwater world. www.Ree&raveler.com