Neha Acharya -Patel's October Photo Journal: An Our World Underwater Rolex Scholar Journey

This past month has been a smorgasbord of activities and I haven’t had many opportunities to take my camera out in the water. However, these last two weeks I have returned to La Paz, Mexico to pursue technical dive training with Luke Inman at Cortez Expeditions. This type of diving is very new to me, and the extensive planning and theory required is all very interesting. On some of these training dives I have taken out my camera, and it has been great practice for task loading to increase my subtidal capacity. 


I have loved diving in La Paz because there is a good mix of mega and macrofauna that have been fun to capture. I have been using the bayonet mounting system with the wet lenses quite a bit this trip, and it has become quite easy for me to switch out the lens. I love that I am able to switch between macro and wide-angle on one dive. For example, on this one dive I was able to get some great wide-angle shots of the sea lions at Los Islotes, and then get some cool macro shots as well!


Using the camera while training with Luke has also been good practice as I am hoping to someday use these tech diving skills to conduct scientific dives to deepwater reefs. Therefore, practicing with equipment that will likely be useful in those situations is great. It was cool figuring out a convenient configuration of how to clip off my camera while dealing with my stage cylinders. On one of our training dives, we joined a scientist taking samples of black corals at 30m. Documenting this was great practice for using my camera system while also making sure that we didn’t deviate from the strict planning required by technical, multiple gas, dives!


As I increase my subtidal skillset, I also aim to increase my scope and proficiency with my camera system. As I have been learning throughout this year, the applications of underwater documentation are limitless, and being comfortable using a camera in any situation will be very useful!