Lower Your Camera and Enjoy the Moment

The reasons for diving seem to be many, but I think it can be narrowed down to four categories or combinations thereof: Seafood hunting, adventure (challenge), nature enjoyment and photography. Whatever your reason for diving, I want to encourage you to consider a serious thought: Enjoy the moment. Hunters and adventurers can be poor at this, but by far the worst are the photographers and videographers. So many of us always seem to have a camera attached to our faces or looking for the next subject or just the right angle or lighting. Lower your camera and take in the moment.

On a recent trip to Fiji, we had the unexpected opportunity to snorkel with mother and baby humpback whales in 100-foot visibility. Of course I took in my camera, shooting wide angle, and I got some great shots. But the most profound moment of the encounter came when the mother moved slowly toward me, uncomfortably close, with the baby very close by. I lowered my camera. I could see not just the mother’s huge eye but also her pupil and then her eyeball moving about to consider me, this strange tiny animal. Then she winked at me. I was in the moment, a moment I will remember as one of the most profound of my entire life. I did not take a picture and did not care. No photo or video would have done the moment justice. That magical moment is forever burned into my brain, my memory, and my heart.
And your moment(s) underwater need not be as “profound” as my whale encounter. Perhaps it can be something as simple as the way sunlight is shattered and streaks through the kelp canopy or the beauty of the face and intricacy of the garibaldi. I once had an octopus reach out and touch my face with as much curiosity about me as I had about him. Don’t make your efforts in diving so much as capturing an image as capturing a moment. A moment that will touch your heart and give you peace and joy that the ocean can do, if you just lower that camera.
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