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Amazing Women in Diving: Diana Paboojian

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Diana Paboojian

Diana and I met on a dive trip exploring the Socorro Islands (very far south of the Baja) on the Solmar V. She caught my interest early…her camera equipment was obviously “serious”, and her husband, Shannon, was the videographer. I enjoyed viewing her images during the trip as most of us hung out in the dining area categorizing our photography. Her images were, and are, light years ahead of mine. I learned quite a lot from watching her.

Like my family of four, she and her family are all divers, and enjoy dive trips together. Her two sons are now in college, and she and her husband raise quarter horses and are organic Alfalfa/Grass feed farmers who live in the northern part of the Central Valley of California. I’m trying to imagine something better….horses, diving, animals, traveling. Throw a dozen dogs and cats in the mix and that’s pretty close to heaven for me!

Diana Paboojian

A natural in the water, Diana didn’t get certified until her younger son sought dive certification. I would have guessed during the trip to the Socorros that she had been diving far longer than 6 years or so. Photography is tough to do underwater…one needs to be a damned good diver before you add a camera into the mix!

When I asked how she became interested in photography, she told me, “I have been always been interested in photography.  I loved taking my own pictures for my horse business and I am also an excellent sports photographer.  As for under the water, once I mastered my buoyancy, it was a natural progression to take a camera with me.  I started with a point and shoot, then upgraded to a micro 4/3’s camera, and now I shoot with a DSLR.  I have taken many pictures and have had a few great teachers to get me where I am now.”

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I also asked her about her photographic experiences, and which was the most exciting (I know that is a very hard question to answer). She replied, “I have had so many exciting adventures out of the water and in. Gorillas in Rwanda, Lions in Botswana, Leopards in Tanzania, Bull Sharks in Fiji, Mantas and Dolphins in Socorro, Whalesharks in Mexico!  When we were on a safari with Derrick Joubert in Botswana, we were watching two painted dogs sleep.  A herd of elephants with babies walked by.  After the elephants disappeared in the distance, the two painted dogs stood up stretched and started mating.  I took a few pictures, but then just sat and watched.  Derrick was filming the whole time so we stayed as quiet as we could. Every experience has been exciting but the most important advice is to make sure you put your camera down every once in awhile to truly enjoy the experience!”

Diana Paboojian

Diana doesn’t call herself a conservationist or activist, but an educator. She says, “People just do not know what is really happening in our oceans or in Africa.  I want to use my photography and knowledge to educate them to be more caring.  To make a difference.  I always say you can’t un-know what you know so all I can do is get the information out there.  Then we can only hope that the human race can evolve enough to save the world.”

Diana Paboojian

Her photos are amazing, and they make one care about the creatures she photographs. From sea horses no bigger than your pinky finger to gorillas in Africa, the photos keep you interested, and curious about the animal itself.  You can find Diana’s work on Zenfolio, and the link is www.dianapaboojianphotography.zenfolio.com. If you are looking for fantastic wildlife photographs, you won’t have to look any further than Diana’s photos. Her Macro underwater photography is particularly engaging. She captures the tiniest sea creatures in incredibly detailed shots.

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So, what is next for this traveling, empty nest, shutterbug? “Heading back to Indonesia in July.  We will be going to Villa Markisa in Tulumben, Bali to get a little muck diving!  We will then head to Komodo on the Liveaboard Damai.  We will finish off with Cenderawasih Bay to see the Whalesharks!”

There is never a dull moment in Diana’s life… she embraces all experiences. Her son is studying Marine Biology so who knows where that will send her family? I can’t wait to find out…and maybe go along!

I always enjoy following Diana’s travels around the globe, and hope to meet up with her again on a liveaboard somewhere…or a dive resort. Or a safari. She is an inspiring figure, and a great role model for women of all ages. And I love her photography!

For more from Tam, visit www.travelswithtam.com.

Tam Warner Minton is an avid scuba diver, amateur underwater photographer, and adventurer. She encourages "citizen science" diving, whether volunteering with a group or by one's self. For Tam, the unexpected is usually the norm!

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Mares & SSI launch new promotion

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SSI expands financial support to SSI Members worldwide. 

2020 has been an unusual and challenging year for the entire world, especially the diving and travel industry!  To weather the crisis, SSI immediately jumped into action to help Training Centers and Professionals around the world.  

In response to COVID-19, SSI launched the No Water, No Problem Campaign, put Final Exams online, and held hundreds of Webinars to train Professionals on how to use distance learning to teach the dry Specialties online. The FREE SCIENCE OF DIVING promotion resulted in SSI Training Centers worldwide register over 50,000 FREE DIGITAL KITS, funding more than $3.5 MILLION IN RETAIL VALUE. Additionally, SSI introduced an aggressive DOUBLE PRO REWARDS incentive to help SSI Professionals compensate 2020 Renewal Fees and reduce those for 2021. Currently, the WE WANT YOU Crossover promotion aims to fill the industry need for instructors and strengthen the entire SSI Professional community.

Now, in conjunction with Mares, SSI is launching the GO DIVING – PROTECT YOURSELF. OWN EQUIPMENT Promotion, which includes a FREE SSI EQUIPMENT TECHNIQUES DIGITAL KIT. This new campaign strives to motivate divers worldwide to go diving and buy equipment. Look for more information on this next retail support campaign within the next few days.

“These are just a few examples of how we have supported and are continuing to support our Training Centers, Professionals, and divers worldwide. To provide even more economic security and help in business recovery, WE WILL NOT INCREASE PRICES FOR 2021. While travel was restricted and some key resort areas completely locked down, SSI mainly focused on supporting domestic markets with retail-driven incentives. Now, in this next re-opening phase, we need to shift gear and assist resort markets that have no local diving community and are 100% dependent on the traveling diver. Therefore, SSI will grant certain special conditions and delayed payment options to specific resort markets which have been locked down for longer than six months or suffered from closed borders,” stated Guido Waetzig, SSI CEO.

Guido Waetzig, SSI CEO, explains further, “To financially support these needed investments which directly benefit SSI Members and to protect the health of our valuable members and staff, we will forego all 2021 Trade Shows over the next 12 months. Despite international uncertainty, every time we experience one of these events, the entire SSI Network emerges stronger and more resilient. Be assured, SSI is your trustful partner within the Diving Industry!”

For more information about SSI visit their website by clicking here.

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Photo Gallery: Shark Diving in The Bahamas

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In our Gallery feature, we let the photos tell the story… Each Gallery showcases a selection of outstanding images on a chosen theme, taken by our Underwater Photography Editor Nick and Deputy Editor Caroline of Frogfish Photography. This time they look at Shark Diving in The Bahamas.


The Bahamas offers some of the very finest shark diving experiences in the world. The islands have protected sharks in their waters creating one of the first Shark Sanctuaries in the world. Several species of shark can be seen and photographed, with each island offering a different type of shark diving, making this destination the perfect place for a multi-island, multi-shark trip of a lifetime.

Great Hammerhead Shark diving in Bimini

Bull Sharks in Bimini

Tiger Shark off Grand Bahama

Oceanic Whitetip Shark off Cat Island

Nurse Shark off Abaco

Caribbean Reef Sharks off New Providence

Lemon Sharks off Grand Bahama

For more images from The Bahamas and around the world, visit the Frogfish Photography website by clicking here.

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