Photography for me has been a long-standing pacifier. Silent and peaceful moments totally engrossed and away from the devil called mind, it has been an anchor for many years. It also had the ability to take me to states of “ekagrata” or in other words, “one pointed” awareness or concentration, the ability to focus the mind on an object without distraction for extended periods of time. But my skills were used in the film days and on “terra firma”, post which after the birth of my children, I completely gave up on this hobby engrossed in the joys and journey that a family brings, not to mention the herculean responsibilities.

In 2006 after a good 10 years the itch came back. I had done a lot of nature photography in the past and wanted to do something different. After a discover scuba course in Mauritius, I was hooked. The colours and life underwater were so unique and beautiful that I decided to take up underwater photography. Starting with a basic setup of a compact/prosumer camera the canon G7 I jumped in, little realizing the difficulties involved. Loss of various spectrums of colour was just one, being a better diver another and the new digital era had me flummoxed! So I took up a short photo course with a pro-photographer based in Bali and who is now a dear friend, Mr. Jeff Mullins. This really set me up and gave me wings Using this system for over two years I managed to get some decent pictures, which are showcased in a separate gallery. Post this I moved to the micro 4/3rd’s system the Olympus E330 and two powerful strobes the Z240’s. With this system there was definitely a feeling of being “liberated”. The ability to use different Olympus lenses with various ports and hardly any shutter lag reminded me of my earlier film days on land. It was with great regret and much procrastination that I moved to the DSLR stage getting a Canon 7D and Nauticam housing, which I am currently using.

The ability to take videos was another leap forward. But with this comes the learning curve of editing videos. Undoubtedly the process of taking pictures and video underwater is never-ending but let me assure you, more than satisfying. Or maybe i am suffering from OCD!! Well I am still learning and hoping to get images that would help showcase the beautiful underwater realm in various perspectives, colours, shapes, hues. Hopefully do something uniquely different and innovative sometime in the future.

– Digant Desai

 

Equipment I have used over the past few years:

  1. Canon G7 Camera, Ikelite housing, two strobes – DS50 and DS51. +5 and +3 wet diiopters. Inon wide angle wet lens with a dome. Various focus lights
  2. Olympus E 330 Camera, 10 bar housing, two Z240 strobes type IV, add on wet close up lenses, dome port, macro ports. 8 mm Oly fisheye lens. 50 mm Olympus macro lens. 18-70 f2.8 Sigma zoom lens. Various focus lights.
  3.  Nauticam Housing with Canon 7D Camera. 8-inch dome port. Mini dome port. Two Macro Ports. +5and +3 wet close up lenses. Two Z240 strobes. Various Focus lights. 100 mm Canon Macro lens. 60mm Canon Macro lens. 10-17 Tokina Fisheye lens. Various other canon lenses.