Tanya G. Burnett, professional underwater photographer and a frequent contributor to Sport Diver, knows how to take advantage of the live-aboard experience to get the most "keepers" for her bottom-time. Here are her top ten tips to help you do the same:
1. Politely claim a corner on the dive deck photo table (preferably a dry zone). Keep a camera case out for essentials.
2. Keep your land camera out of air-conditioned areas for any length of time. Otherwise, you risk fogging when you bring it outdoors (it usually takes 30 minutes to clear up and you might miss the dive).
3. Upon boarding, set up your battery charging stations right away and start charging those batts if they need it.
4. Deal with your clothes and personal items later; get your camera set up first. This gives you time to work out any bugs before the first dive.
5. Always water-test your housing in the rinse tank before putting your camera in.
6. Bring a chamois-type towel to dry off your system before you open it.
7. Try not to open your system between every dive. If you're not changing lenses, batteries, media cards, film leave it alone.
8. Listen to the briefing to make an appropriate decision on whether to shoot macro or wide angle.
9. Do set up the appropriate lens/port for the dive ahead of dive time. Take your time rushing to dive causes mistakes.
10. Keep your system out of direct sunlightcover it with a towel.
Now that you're versed on live-aboard camera care, would you like to turn your "point and shoot" hobby into a profession (or at least a well-fertilized passion)? Consider taking a PADI Underwater Photographer Specialty course. Head to your local PADI dive shop for more information. In addition, click here to check out some of the best immersion programs in underwater photography offered by live-aboards.