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Bert

Ever since I was about 15 years old, photography is a serious hobby of mine. From the beginning I studied and experimented with things as composition, shutterspeed, diaphram, focus length, lighting valuues and depth of field. My first camera was a Canon EF (one of the first with an automatic diaphram) for wich I had to save working as a paperboy for months.

S.C.U.B.A diving is something I do since 1990. I took my first courses with Derek Chircop and Raymond Ciancio in Malta (in those days Derek's Scuba School) and now I am a C.M.A.S. 3* diver. So far I have made over 1000 dives. I started underwater photography in about 1992. Of course then still using analog 35mm film technology (Canon EOS 650RT in an Ikelite housing) because digital photography didn't really exist yet in those days (or in such low resolutions at such high prices that it wasn't worthwhile). The Canon + Ikelite for me eventually was not the ideal combination and I went looking for an alternative. At first I thought to have found it with a Nikon F3 and then a Nikon F4 camera, because of the exchangable large sport viewfinder. Unfortunately after I bought the camera, for a long time I lacked the means to acquire a suitable underwater set. I had my mind set on an Aquavision (later Aquatica) housing, which I eventually bought second hand on the internet. Althought I hardly ever used this combination afterwards, in 2006 I eventually left the analogue era behind me. The Nikon F4 with Aquatica housing are now a "curiosity" in a closet, along with some other vintage photographic equipment.

Now I use a Nikon D200 digital SLR camera for which in 2008 I bought a Hugyfot housing. In april 2010 I got an Inon Z240 flash which I replaced by two Ikelite DS161 Movie flashes which, other than the Inon Z240 in combination with the D200 in a Hugyfot housing also work well in TTL mode. Apart from that the Ikelite flash guns are somewhat more powerful than the Inon. The lenses I use underwater are a Nikon 60mm micro, a Nikon 10.5mm fish eye and my latest asset: the Nikon 16-85mm zoom. I still find the quality of slides for projecion still better than the digital snapshots, but eventually I fell for the incredibly fast and economic way of photographing on a digital medium. Besides that full films underwater (perhaps the greatest frustration of analog photography) are in the past, using a 16Gb SD card and you can evaluate your result immediately (even during the dive), which is an enormous advantage. The first pictures with my Nikon D200 I made in april 2008 in Bonaire (Carribean). "De Groene Heuvels" in Bergharen (NL), Grevelingen (NL), La Gombe (Esneux, Belgium) and Hamata (Egypt) supplied the next subjects and I am still amazed by the beauty I find in every dive.