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Amazing Women in Diving: Underwater Photographer 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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Tobias Friedrich: Creative Lighting in Wrecks at the November NUPG meeting (Watch Video)

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The November NUPG meeting saw Tobias Friedrich take to the virtual stage. Tobias has won several prestigious underwater photography competitions with his stunning wreck images and he joined the Northern Underwater Photography Group to talk about general wreck photography, using panoramas and creative lighting in what was an engaging and enlightening presentation. You can see more of Tobias’ wonderful images on his Below-Surface website by clicking here.

As always, the NUPG members also had a chance to show off some of their images in the monthly competition. This month’s theme was “Natural Displays” and it saw a range of ideas and images from the group.

The winning shot of a displaying cuttlefish was taken by Nick Robertson-Brown

The runner-up was a shot of mating Mandarinfish by Caroline Robertson-Brown

There were three shots in the 3rd place position. An image of mating Peacock Flounder by Ken Byrne.

Maggie Russel’s shot of a turtle in the sunshine

and Nick Robertson-Brown’s image from the Moalboal Sardine Run in The Philippines

The next meeting will be held on Monday 14th December will feature part 2 of a talk from Simon Rogerson: Difficulties with Sharks.

For more information about the NUPG please visit the website by clicking here.

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Gear News

Introducing the OrcaTorch D511 Dive Light

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Illuminate the underwater world with a narrow spot beam at depths as great as 150m with the new OrcaTorch D511 2200 lumens dive torch. Power is provided by two 26650 batteries. It is also compatible with three C batteries. The mechanical rotary head switch offers high reliability underwater. The light features a narrow, concentrated 8° spot beam, making it a great tool for focusing, exploring tight spaces, and examining sea life up close.

Featuring

  • Uses CREE LED, max 2200 lumens
  • Powered by 2 * 26650 batteries, Compatible with 3 * C batteries
  • 8° beam angle
  • Mechanical rotary head switch offers high-reliability underwater
  • Intelligent Over-Heat protection
  • Water pressure resistant construction, depth rated to 150 meters
  • Reverse polarity protection, to protect from improper battery installation
  • Over-discharge protection function
  • Aircraft-grade high strength aluminum material
  • The latest diamond grade hard-anodized seawater-corrosion-resistance finish
  • Two sides coated toughened glass with high water pressure resistance under deep water

For more information visit the OrcaTorch website by clicking here.

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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