Only bad divers shoot fish and snap coral - I hear you cry.
Nonetheless, if you are checking to see if it is legal, and how you plan to punish me, please allow me to explain.
I am a PADI Master Instructor of scuba and I spent my working days teaching in Thailand.
One of the most rewarding experiences for my students' is shooting great underwater photographs of aquatic marine life.
Great shots require optimum conditions and you could certainly include;
The most popular tourist areas in Thailand are Pattaya, Phuket, and Koh Samui (Koh Tao). These resorts offer great fun and excitement for beginners and certified divers.
Whether it is vibrant fish life, colourful corals, or sunken ship wrecks, the camera keeps clicking while you are swimming underwater in Thailand.
You can capture pictures of seahorses and giant gorgonian sea fans in Phuket, black tip reef sharks around Koh Samui, and World War II ship wrecks in Pattaya.
Today's modern camera equipment has changed the way that divers 'shoot' fish underwater. The traditional film camera is still used by many professionals, but digital underwater cameras have made underwater photography both accessible and affordable.
Learning to dive is not difficult for most people who are comfortable in the water, but snapping great photos under water takes novices some time to learn.
One of the most important attributes is good buoyancy control. Apart from all the obvious advantages that neutral and relaxed buoyancy has, if you are trying to compose that image of the tiny yellow blob, commonly known as a frog fish, hovering almost motionless just centimeters away from your subject is what sets you apart from the norm.
Water absorbs color as you descend, beginning with red, orange, and then yellow. As you dive deeper you eventually lose green and blue colours. Strobe lights help to restore some of the color that gets lost which is one of the methods professionals use to obtain fantastic vibrant colors from their underwater images.
I fully appreciate that not every diver has a passion for taking pictures of the new underwater world they have discovered. Many divers are more fascinated by ship wrecks, going down deep, or making dives using nitrox (increased oxygen content). Nonetheless, most of my scuba buddies have admitted that they are very keen to share the wonders on the underwater world by shooting pictures of fish and other marine life.
Using modern technology it is now possible to store and share underwater images with your family, friends, and even the general public via social sites and the internet.
The dive may have been the most amazing experience that you have had, but it is so much more powerful to share the adventures with those for whom it may not be possibly to try scuba.
PADI scuba courses teach student divers how to capture and share underwater photographs. The Digital Underwater Photography course is now available to all scuba divers from the age of ten.
Private scuba lessons are becoming more popular now, especially in Thailand. Taking a dive course with you own private scuba instructor offers exclusivity, the personal touch, and usually more flexibility.
To enroll in the shooting fish course, otherwise known as the PADI DUP (digital underwater photography) course, you do need to be a certified diver of at least ten years old. But be prepared for some underwater fun that diving in Pattaya has to offer.
The coral reefs are shallower here than other dive sites in Thailand, and the other advantage is that scuba diving in Pattaya is available year round because the Gulf of Thailand tends to be sheltered from the southwest monsoons that arrive in Phuket from June until October.
Pattaya may not be a world famous destination for seasoned divers, but beginners and experienced divers will be rewarded with some of the best wreck diving in Thailand.
So, clean up the lens, replace the batteries and make sure that you have a watertight seal, because when you dive in Pattaya the camera never lies. You really can see turtles, seahorses, and sharks.
The wreck dives will leave you breathless (pardon the pun) as you drift along US Landing Crafts from the Second World War that were intentionally sunk by the Thai Navy for the local Thai divers and tourists on a scuba diving holiday in Pattaya.
Article Submitted 2009 by Scuba Steve