Valerie started diving in 2001 after a trip to Australia opened her eyes. After certifying in the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest she never looked back, quickly taking course after course and diving week after week. She discovered a love of videography and still photography, which deeply enhanced her love of critter watching. Now Valerie is a PADI Divemaster, DAN and EFR instructor, REEF surveyor and avid photographer/videographer. After several warm water dive trips, she still loves the cold water diving of the Pacific Northwest and the unique creatures within.
I started diving in 1978 on a family trip to Bermuda with Dave McCleod’s Skin Diving Adventures. I was certified as an Open Water Diver in 1980 by Dave McCleod himself. While attending Humboldt State University in Northern California I majored in Recreation Administration with an emphasis in Outdoor Education. At HSU I took PADI Advanced, Rescue and Divemaster courses. After graduating I took the PADI IDC with Ocean Enterprises in San Diego, CA. I then continued to work with the HSU SCUBA program as the Support Instructor.
In 1989 I was offered a job with Norwegian Cruise Line’s Dive In Program leading snorkeling tours at every destination. NCL sent it’s first ship, the M/S Windward, to Alaska in 1994 and cruise ship based snorkeling in Alaska was born. In 2001 I started Snorkel Alaska. The tour is offered on all the major lines visiting Alaska. The Mountain Point Snorkeling Adventure has been voted the Shore Excursion of the Season for the last 6 years in a row by our guests from Princess Cruises.
In 2007 Snorkel Alaska began offering SCUBA diving tours for cold water experienced divers. The diving is at Mt. Point is to be considered advanced with access to deep water and strong currents. Dives can be booked directly with Snorkel Alaska but snorkeling must be booked through your cruise line.
Jennifer, a diver for only two years, has just recently had the opportunity to fulfill a longtime dream of capturing the mystery of life underwater during an underwater photography course offered at Brooks Institute of Photography. The class took numerous trips to the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, visiting Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Catalina and San Clemente islands. During this time, Jennifer logged thirty dives. She now travels back and forth from the Channel Islands to the Florida Keys in hopes of getting her dive master certification as well as to pursue a career in underwater photography. All of the images below are from the Channel Islands. If you would like to see more, visit www.JenniferStonePhotography.com.
Ron Watkins first experienced the thrill of diving at age 15 at Lake Mead, Nevada with his father, who learned how to dive in the Navy during the Korean War aboard the USS Oriskany. Although his father is no longer able to dive, he is able to experience the underwater world through Ron’s photography. Ron and his wife Heidi are PADI Advanced Open Water certified divers and have logged many dives together. Starting off with a simple Sealife point and shoot 35 mm camera in 1996, Ron was hooked on underwater photography. Ron has a photography specialty certification that he earned while diving on a live-aboard in the Australian Coral Sea. Ron attributes his success to countless other underwater photographers that have made time to provide advice and shooting many practice photographs. Ron was recognized by Seaspace 2000 with first place in the Wide Angle category for his gray whaler shark photo.
Ron and Heidi reside in New River, Arizona and have been on trips to exotic destinations including Micronesia, Indonesia, Fiji, Australia, Mexico, Central America, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. With 100s of dives under her belt, Heidi is Ron’s lifelong dive buddy and researches dive destinations and animals, assists with spotting photo subjects, provides lighting support, and keeps a watchful eye on the gauges.
After many years of sharing photos with friends, family, and the good folks at the New River Senior Center, Ron and Heidi took their urging to turn their passion for diving and underwater photography into a business. The couple recently launched SCUBAREWS LLC which is devoted to sharing the wonders of the underwater world with both scuba divers and non-diving underwater enthusiasts. SCUBAREWS provides underwater photography prints, framed art, stock photos, calendars, interactive CD/DVDs, trip reports, educational photo presentations and tips for underwater photographer. Additional photos can be seen online at their website www.scubarews.com. Keep Reading
Steve first started shooting underwater in 1973 with an old Brownie camera in a plastic housing in the springs in North Florida. He graduated to a Nikonos III and Sea & Sea strobes in 1978, and was encouraged to continue progressing by winning two categories in the Florida Skin Divers Association photo contest that same year.
Steve’s primary interest over the years has been photography in little-documented places, primarily deep cave sites, as no one else was doing this until Wes Skiles advanced the activity with multiple strobe cave photography, a technique which I promptly took up.
The Nikonos II was my weapon of choice as it would go deeper than any other Nikonos or housing (over 300 feet) and still function, using the superb Nikonos 15mm lense and either Sea & Sea or Ikelite strobes. Over the years Steve has dad photos published in Skin Diver, Sport Diver, Advanced Diver Mag, Readers’ Digest, NACD and NSS/CDS Journals, and numerous newspapers, books, and local magazine articles.
Steve converted to digital photography with Nikon/Aquatica/Ikelite equipment in 2004. “Digital is truely an incredible media…the possibilities are endless!”
You can see other pictures of Steve’s in various parts of Divingindepth.com. Steve has been a kind and gracious contributor to Divingindepth.com, and we want to thank him for that!