I vacationed in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic recently and was very excited to have the opportunity to go scuba diving again. It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to get into the water.
When I asked the owner of our local dive shop if he could recommend any good places to dive in the DR he said not to bother, their aren’t any. “Come with us on our trip to the Sea of Cortez this September,” he said. “A week of some of the best diving you’ll ever do.”
Well I knew that was never going to fly with my wife, and since the vacation was already booked I was going to have to make the best of it. I’ve dove in places where you couldn’t see ten feet in front of you. The Dominican Republic sounded pretty sweet to me.
I went online and did some research on where to go and who to dive with. (I never dive with the shops the hotel suggests. They’re all about volume and, in this case, can literally kill you.) I found a highly recommended Dive Master named Herbert Mohr. He owns Aquatrack out of Punta Cana. Herbert suggested we dive the Caribbean side of the island due to its calmer waters and better reefs. The ride was an hour and a half each way, but it was worth it. We spent two days diving off the coast of Bayahibe and Catalina Island. The diving was great, even if we didn’t see any “big” fish. We dove a few wrecks and reefs at depths between 30′ to 90′ feet.
I took the opportunity to add to my diving certification, so although I was eager to test out my new GoPro Dive Housing I didn’t get the chance until our final dive on the first day. We were diving at the “Aquarium” dive site off Bayahibe at a depth of around 36ft. Herbert stars in most of the video.
The camera was as easy to operate below water as it is above. One thing I did notice was that the floaty backdoor attachment was rendered useless once I dove below a depth of around 10 feet due to the added water pressure compressing the “floaty” right out of it. Next time I have a chance to dive I intend to take the time to get a little more artistic with my shots. Maybe when visit the Sea of Cortez.
Water absorbs the various wavelengths of light depending on how deep you dive or how distant an object is from the viewer. The colors disappear underwater in the same order as they appear in the color spectrum. Red at around 15ft, Orange at 25ft, Yellow at 35-45ft, Green at 70-75ft, etc. There are a few ways to correct for this. You can shoot with underwater lights, add a colored filter or, as in my case, adjust the color in post.
I used the 3-way color corrector to bump up the red in the midtones. Below is a sample of identical frames before and after color correction.