Basic Shooting Techniques

Our Basic Shooting Techniques section helps to bring together facts from all the other sections to improve your underwater photo shooting knowledge. This section also touches on subjects that impact your ability to have an opportunity to shoot, as well as shooting technique itself.

Scuba Diving in Africa – Top Five Destinations

Africa being a large continent, it offers all kinds of diving experiences to right from the novice divers to the most experienced scuba divers.

Apart from the Red Sea, which offers diving experiences unique to it, most of the diving experiences that Africa offers are in the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean which lies in the east coast of Africa. African countries such as Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa and Madagascar are all rich in diving experiences. Cape Town, which is the tip of the African Continent, offers good diving experience because of the combination of the Indian Ocean currents and the currents of the Atlantic.

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Side Mount Diving Overview

Side mounting is mounting one cylinder on each side of your body. A BC harness system is responsible for holding the cylinders in place. Side mount was originally developed to allow the exploration of restrictive underwater cave passage that was not accessible by standard back mounted cylinders.

Side mount configurations allowed the diver to maneuver through much smaller passage by placing the cylinders on the divers side, thus reducing the overall girth of the diver. Side mount rigs also allow for the easy removal and replacement of cylinders underwater, enabling the hard-core cave explorer to squeeze through even smaller restrictions by removing one or both of the cylinders and pushing the cylinder in front of them through the restriction.
Side mount cave exploration is not a new technique by any means. It has been around for many years, but only since 1999 has it gained any type of recognition as a viable method of exploration. Some of the first side mount cave explorers where Woody Jasper, Lamar Hires, Brain Kakuk, and Wes Skiles. They pioneered their own side mount rigs in their garages and made them work. Continued modifications to these original rigs brought side mounting into the more mainstream.

Specialty Certifications

There are numerous specialty courses you can take to advance you diving skills, comfort level, and experience. Each of these courses specializes in specific skill sets and techniques and can improve your overall knowledge about diving and open up new diving opportunities. Some of the certifications listed below require specific prerequisites, so it’s important that you contact your local dive shop or training agency to find out everything you need to know before signing up for a course. Some of the specialty courses are:

·         Night diver
·         Underwater photographer
·         Search and recovery
·         Hunter and collector
·         Cavern diver
·         Cave diver
·         Wreck diver (no penetration)
·         Wreck diver (penetration)
·         Ice diver
·         Deep diver
·         Nitrox diver
·         Training assistant
·         Scuba rescue diver
·         Advanced rescue diver

Setting up and attaching side mount cylinders

Diagrams below by Curt Bowen

Proper set-up of your side mount cylinders is essential to maintain proper buoyancy and streamlining. Cylinders mounted on your side must be positioned correctly for ease of use, safety, comfort, and proper swimming techniques. If your cylinders are hanging low and riding on your torso, the ability to navigate tight restrictions is lost and your streamlining is gone. Knowing how to rig your cylinders is essential for keeping them stationary in their correct position on your sides.

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