by Skip Cohen
As bizarre as this might sound, there is one fun aspect to the pandemic - with so much downtime old friends regularly surface, and it's fun to catch up!
Meet an old friend, Helmut Horn. We met in the '90s when he bought Ansel Adams' '77 Cadillac through a Hasselblad fundraiser. A few months later, he called me "Chicken" because I was afraid to get my scuba certification. He kept on me, and thanks to his support, I got my certification at Cheeca Lodge in the Keys, early the following year.
That one event changed my life and introduced me to an experience and hobby, unlike no other. Through Helmut, I met other divers, friends from the industry, and my first trips with Tom Danielson and Bob Rose - two of my best buddies to this day. Their names are in my logbooks through at least 300 dives over the years.
When I spoke with Helmut a few weeks ago, we talked about one of the biggest scuba challenges - getting all your photography gear on a dive trip. The shot above is Helmut and his friend Peter Kühn with their combined camera and lighting gear.
Remember, unlike today's lightweight camera gear, this was all back in the film days. Housings, lights, and even the brackets were heavy.
Helmut's introduction of the ocean into my life resulted in dozens of trips over the years all over the world. The shot above was to Cocos Island - 36 hours by boat from Costa Rica. I refer to the trip as the "most fun I don't think I want to do again," but incredible nonetheless. Strong currents and definitely for advanced diving, each dive kept you on your toes. It wasn't relaxed, but unbelievable to be an observer and in the water with thousands of sharks who had no interest in us at all. It's an experience I cherish and one that few people can relate to.
A typical dive would be to follow the mooring line down to a section of the reef and then grab a rock to hang on to and watch the hammerheads swim in and pause at a cleaning station. Dozens of tiny butterflyfish would come and eat the parasites off the sharks. Essentially it was the equivalent of nature's car wash for sharks.
I found the very short video below, captured with Panasonic's LUMIX cameras. In fact, there's one shot of a GH5 in the video, one of my favorite cameras in the LUMIX line. Click on the thumbnail for more info
I figured I might as well add a little entertainment to today's post. As with any place we've traveled, it's a kick to be back, even though it's only in video. It's a definite reminder of the importance of staying healthy, getting through the pandemic, and back to a time with friends and trips like this!
Take time to wander through your archives and find a memory that makes you smile. Between old photographs and talking to friends, there's no better therapy to help you stay positive during downtime!
Happy Throwback Thursday!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.