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John Natoli

I was a late starter in the sport of scuba diving being certified as a Padi Open Water Diver at the age of 46. In no time, I became addicted to the sport and quickly advanced my certification to Padi Rescue Diver.

On obtaining my certification I commenced diving every Friday and have continued doing so ever since – clocking up no less than 100 dives every year.

Then came the digital camera and I thought “Why not? Capturing the images of my experiences would extend the thrill of diving into my home and allow me to share these moments with my family and friends.”

When photographing, I use a rule of thumb that generally works well for me – on days where the visibility is under 10m I will always use a 105mm macro lens and spend most of my time scouting for little critters. It is amazing what life you will find when you slow your dive down and take the time to spot the little wonders of the ocean – nudibranchs, crabs, little eyes of an octopus hiding in their holes, blue ring octopus, mantis shrimp, a variety of gobies and blennies and much, much more.

And then, when the visibility picks up over 20 metres, particularly when the Grey Nurse or Leopard sharks are about, out comes either the wide angle 18 – 70mm zoom lens or a fish-eye lens – either a 10.5mm fixed lens or a Tokina 10 – 17mm zoom lens.

Underwater photography is now an ever-consuming passion. In fact, I feel almost naked if I venture into the water without my housed camera – always on the lookout for the elusive award winning shot, which may one day grace the cover of National Geographic.

Neptune Island 2009 (21)

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Neptune Island 2009 (3)

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