UW Photo/Video Articles…Contribute Your Own!

Photo: Brian Dombrowski

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Articles in this section are geared toward the underwater photography and use of videos while diving, but can provide useful information to every diver. Articles about training, how to, reef dives, etc. are just a few of the many topics that can be found in this section.

As a member of Divingindepth.com, you can write and contribute your own article and get it published for everyone to enjoy and learn from. You can also submit your own pictures with your article, which can greatly enhance the article’s content. Be apart of the diving community and help to build this site for everyone to enjoy and learn from.

Please note that site administrators review every article before it’s posted, so it won’t be displayed the moment you submit it. Don’t worry though, we’ll get it reviewed and posted within 24 hours.

Thank you for your contribution…we hope to see you back here often!

Frequently Asked Questions

Cave Diving  Training Questions  

Where do I go for cave or cavern training?

A number of training organizations offer different types and levels of cave and cavern training. Training organizations such as NSSCDS, NACD, IANTD, and GUE all offer cave and cavern training. Finding a dive shop in your area with cave diving instructors may be difficult. Typically, only dive shops that categorize themselves as “technical” shops offer this type of training. You may have to travel out of your area to find a dive shop or instructor.

 

How long does my cave or cavern certification last?

Once you receive your cave and cavern training, your certification never expires. There are no requirements for continued education or retraining every year. It should be noted that if you received your certification a long time ago and have not done a cave or cavern dive since then, you may want to retake the class to make sure you are up to date with current procedures, etc.

 

How long is a cave and cavern course?

Cavern courses are generally taught over a two-day period, which includes classroom lectures, field exercises, line drills, and a minimum of four cavern dives.

 

Cave courses range from two to five days. There are different levels of cave courses such as intro to cave, apprentice cave, and full cave each that require several days to complete.

 

Do I have to be certified to dive in a cave?

Yes. Cave and cavern diving require very specialized training. Diving in an overhead environment can be extremely dangerous without the proper training. Never try to dive in a cavern or cave without seeking proper training first.

 

What level of certification do I need to get cavern or cave certified?

Generally, advanced open water is required to participate in a cavern course. To begin your cave training, you must have completed a cavern course. Other prerequisites may be required, so it’s important to check with your instructor or training agency to find out everything you need to begin your training.

 

How much does it cost to get cavern and cave certified?

Each training agency prices their courses differently, but cavern classes average around $200.00 or more. Cave required courses average around $400 or more for each level. Check with your instructor or contact a training agency for exact amounts.

Underwater Video Overview

Shooting video of the Eagle Wreck, Islamorada, FL - Photo: Steve Straatsma

For the recreational diver, shooting underwater video is one of the best ways to re-live a dive. Video captures images with the added elements of motion, time, and sound. The marine environment is loaded with unique animated creatures. Their behavior, and even character, is best represented on full motion video.

Recent advancements in consumer level technology have made it more practical for recreational divers to participate in underwater video. Systems have become smaller, more feature packed, simpler to use, and of course, less expensive. The quality of the images they record are better than ever thanks to advancements in CCD sensor technology and DV (digital video) recording formats. Thus, it makes sense for a diver with interest in underwater imagery to consider video as an option.

In our Underwater Photo/Video section, we take a look at the equipment required for shooting underwater video and what to look for when selecting your components. We also look at basic techniques for shooting video and touch on editing and DVD authoring.

Diving with a Purpose

Surveying the reefs of the Cayos Cochinos Natural Monument off the coast of Honduras

It was 7AM on Saturday morning at the Banana Republic Guesthouse in La Ceiba where I found myself with eleven other diving enthusiasts on the morning of the first day of our expedition. We had come together from various parts of the world to spend two weeks with Biosphere Expeditions to survey the reefs of the Cayos Cochinos Natural Monument in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Honduras (this part of the Meso-American Barrier Reef, the world’s second largest reef system, and has been identified by the Smithsonian Institute, The Nature Conservancy, the Word Wildlife Fund, and the World Bank as one of the key sections of the barrier reef system to preserve). The purpose of the survey program is to provide data on the current biological status and population levels of protected species of the reefs within the marine protected area for the Honduras Coral Reef Fund (HCRF), the managing agency responsible for the conservation of the islands. All this is part of an international coral reef research program, called the Reef Check monitoring program. The results from the Cayos Cochinos survey will be compared to other parts of the Meso American Barrier Reef System and worldwide in terms of the abundance and diversity of corals, algae, invertebrates, and fish.

Keep Reading

Housing material

Look for housings made of strong and rigid materials. The two most common materials are aluminum and polycarbonate. Other acceptable materials are polyurethane composites and ABS. Don’t bother with bag style housings. They are cheap, but aren’t well suited for diving and provide little physical protection to the camera.

Aluminum housings are usually the most durable and have the highest depth rating, typically 330 feet. They are also the most expensive since they require a lot of machining to make. The prominent makers of aluminum housings are Amphibico, Gates, and Light and Motion.

Ikelite is the most known maker of polycarbonate housings. Polycarbonate is a durable thermoplastic. It has the advantage of being clear. Thus, you can easily see inside the housing and quickly spot any leaks. Polycarbonate housings are much less expensive than aluminum housings and can safely operate to depths of 200 feet.

UnderSea Video and Ocean Images make housings with polyurethane composites. These are durable yet lightweight and are safe at depths from 200 to 250 feet. Sea and Sea manufactures housings from ABS plastic resins that are rated to depths of 200 feet.