Hide And Seek: Look Closer!
Sometimes, diving is about hide and seek. That quintessential kids' game: can you find what's hiding from you? Something that I've learned from photographers and divers who are better than I am is learning how to look for things you don't expect. Here, I've shared a few photos from a recent trip to Dominica. The two photos I'm most proud of are the Squat Anemone Shrimp and the Juvenile Trunkfish.
I've really learned the importance of looking for things you don't expect, things that are camouflaged, So often, I am busy running from activity to activity in the quintessential definition of "busy." So, what happens when I learn to stop, relax, and look? What can I find that was recently hidden? Tiny shrimp hiding in an anemone? A small, dotted ball that will become a beautiful trunkfish? An octopus' home inside a small hole?
This is a tough lesson I have learned as I watched divers and photographers who are much more accomplished than I am. How do you make sure that your diving and your photography are in balance? Sometimes when I'm diving, I want to focus on the skills of diving: making sure that I'm perfectly trim, that I am carefully interacting with the ocean environment around me. Sometimes, I want to focus on making sure I'm up to the task at hand: diving in current, handling extra equipment like a wreck reel or a surface marker buoy. But, as I've become more comfortable with my skills, I've also learned that I can be more in tune with the ocean around me. That lets me look more carefully and see things I missed before when I couldn't stop to appreciate the wonder of the world around me.
In diving, I love to find things that are camouflaged! Here, a tiny shrimp, a batfish, a sand dollar, and a sea hare. Each of these was carefully camouflaged from the casual observer. But, by taking a break and reflecting on the actual object involved = stopping to notice something otherwise hidden from regular view!
On this trip to Dominica, Neil and our friend Mike taught me to stop and hover and look for the small things! I would never have learned how to spot something as tiny as that squat anemone shrimp. But, there I was, learning to really look and to my surprise, there was a whole new level of ocean to discover!