Rainbow Reef 1

Rainbow Reef 1

I have to admit that it was wonderful to get back in the water scuba diving during my recent South Pacific adventure. All the transitions and disruptions in my life the last few years simply did not leave me with any time to be able to dive. The last time I really dove was 4 years ago when I first visited Fiji. Fortunately, my recent trip to Vanuatu required me to fly through Fiji, so I planned a week of diving on the Rainbow Reef in the Somosomo Straits. This was an area that I had not visited during my previous trip, but had always heard fantastic things about. I flew up to Taveuni and stayed at a wonderful resort for 10 days. I ended up diving with another resort than where I was staying, but it all worked out. Over the course of 9 days of diving, I got to know a few sites exceptionally well and planned my subsequent dives around the ideal currents. The current was totally ripping when I created this image, so it was challenging to say the least. This is one of my favorite bommies which was covered in soft corals while being enveloped in clouds of colorful anthias.

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Pink Anemonefish 5

Pink Anemonefish 5

I photographed this pink anemonefish during my recent scuba diving expedition to Fiji. I love photographing clown anemonefish. They have a lot of character as they swim about in the tentacles of their host anemone. I like how it is looking right at my camera with an comical expression of indignation. I took hundreds of photos during this dive trying to get the fish to look directly at me as the anemone’s tentacles all were going the same direction in the current.

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Beqa Bull Shark 27

Beqa Bull Shark 27

Do I need to get any closer to my subject? This is as close as anyone ever needs to get to a bull shark. I took this picture while shark diving with Beqa Adventure Divers during my recent scuba diving trip to Fiji. Many people ask me if I am ever scared around sharks? I have total respect for these wild creatures, however, being timorous does not allow me to photograph them.

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Namena Soft Corals 10

Namena Soft Corals 10

I love photographing soft coral reef scenes. Who can blame me when there is more color in this image than almost any sunset that I have ever experienced? It was made in the Namena Marine Reserve during my recent trip to Fiji. I was happy that I was able to spend 2 days diving in this spectacular area and experienced ideal conditions. When I return to Fiji to scuba dive again, I am going to devote a week just to the Namena dive sites.

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Beqa Bull Shark 16

Beqa Bull Shark 16

During the second half of my recent Fiji scuba diving adventure, I worked with Mike Neumann of Beqa Adventure Divers to photograph sharks. He helped me get as close as anyone ever needs to get to upwards of 60 bull sharks at a time. I have been fortunate to be able to photograph a variety of sharks over the years and I have to say that this was my favorite shark dive that I have ever done. Since I was completely outnumbered by the bull sharks, I had to focus my attention on them rather than looking though my viewfinder. I became accomplished at shooting while holding my camera low next to my torso and constantly swiveling my head from side to side in the interest of self-preservation. This resulted in a lot of poorly composed and utterly useless images, but included in this agglomeration were a few keepers like this one.

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Namena Soft Corals 1

Namena Soft Corals 1

I have been back home from my amazing scuba diving adventure in Fiji for almost 2 weeks. I have also been on a self-imposed social media holiday for the last month, so hopefully my friends and fans will find my new underwater images worth the wait.

My Fiji trip began with 10 days of scuba diving based on the Nai’a liveaboard during which we traveled through the Bligh Waters to the Koro Sea. I dove most of Fiji’s better known dive sites, but my favorites were located in the Namena Marine Preserve. This is where I where I photographed this orgy of color which includes brilliant soft corals and swarms of colorful anthias. In order to create this image, I had to scuba dive when the current was moving fast enough so that the soft corals were inflated and the fish were schooling together. However, the current makes it very difficult to maintain my place in the water column, so I resort to a combination of kicking and drifting into position while composing with my viewfinder and making sure not to disturb the reef. No wonder I go through air so fast. I also spent most of the dive trying to get the reef fish to cooperate by all swimming in the same direction and filling out the frame. That is not an easy task, but I eventually got everything to line up.

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