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October 2022    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 37, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Rude Divers Can Ruin Trips (Part II)

it's all about competitiveness

from the October, 2022 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Rude divers were once few and far between. Nowadays, just about everyone is carrying a camera, and underwater photography seems to bring out the competitive worst in some divers. Not only do photographers compete to have the best shots in their group, they also compete during the dive to get more time with a specific subject. Go somewhere like Lembeh, Indonesia, and you'll witness groups of divers with cameras jostling for position around some unfortunate hairy frogfish, pushing ahead of the photographer who got there first.

His cameras hit the back of my head, forcing me down, and I was pinned to the bottom by his weight.

In fact, one of our members, Skip Parker (Ocala, FL), thinks rude photographers are the rule rather than the exception. "Every time I see a diver with a massive erector set of camera and lights on board my dive boat, I experience acute anxiety and depression. My dive is going to be ruined. I know it is very likely that a photographer will obscure any good sights underwater, and I will get shoved away by camera gear or wait so long for the photographer to move away that the good sighting will be gone."

And many of our readers share his view.

Photography as a Scrum

One trick rude photographers employ is actually pushing others away with their bodies, often pretending they are unaware of the other divers. Raymond Clark (Whiting, NJ) tells how on a Nai'a liveaboard trip in Fiji, a woman who was pleasant enough topside took to body checking photographers off their subject instead of waiting her turn.

Kathleen Poole (Walnut Creek, CA) tells about a diver in the Solomon Islands who would take his two hands and move people out of his way when he felt they were taking too long taking pictures. On another dive, he obstructed her while she and her husband were finning toward a wreck. "After I shook my fist in front of his mask, he backed off and didn't touch me again."...

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