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For more information on classes, trips, and photography schedules and costs - E-Mail Peggy Goldberg at pgoldberg@goldenimages- photo-scuba.com or talk to her in person at 352.591.1508.

The Best of Florida is Underwater - Right in Our Backyard

Manatee

Florida is known for the only living coral reef in the continental U.S., the atttractions of the Orlando Area, and the beaches along the coastline. Not as many people realize Florida has rolling grass hills with large oak trees, spanish moss, palm trees, numerous lakes, rivers and springs. How many people get to see when they drive to town, bald eagles and osprey soaring above, alligators, wild bison, deer, herons, storks and sandhill cranes? I do....living in the north central Florida area enables me to see this every day.

Our rivers run the gamut of being gin clear to tea colored, from the tannic acid of the cypress trees. Canoeing and kayaking are favored in some parks, like Alexander Springs, The Ichetucknee River and Juniper Springs.
Tubing Ichetucknee Canoeing and boating are popular in the Silver, Rainbow, Santa Fe, Suwanee, St. Johns and Oklawaha Rivers. Fishing is a popular sport along some of the rivers and in the many lakes. Several of the rivers, such as the Silver and Rainbow are first magnitude springs, bringing forth many thousands of gallons an hour of fresh, clear water. There are many other large springs in the area, some parks(like Manatee), some privately owned (like Ginnie Springs) that offer canoeing, swimming ,tubing, picnicing,and yes, snorkeling and scuba diving.

As a matter of fact, people come from all over the world to snorkel and scuba dive these rivers and springs. There are several privately owned dive sites that are deep sinkholes that connnect to cave sytems underwater that can go for miles. To dive these sites, you must be trained in cave diving.

As a photographer, you should expect to see many types of birds, turtles, manatees, alligators, otters, racoons,
Wild Hogs on the Silver River snakes, deer , wild hogs, and even monkeys (along the Silver River). But has it occurred to you what you might photograph underwater?

Imagine....you put on your mask, and you are either snorkeling or scuba diving - as you immerse yourself, you take a quick gasp, partly due to the cool water, and mostly due to what you might be seeing. You could be floating with the current, among the eel grasses, where numerous types of fish, turtles, snails, and comorants diving for fish can be seen. Because the water is so clear, any alligators that see you are beating a hasty retreat to hide from you.

Very hard to photograph underwater - fleeing tails are uninteresting. You come upon white sandy boils, or small caves where water is gushing out from the aquifer. Numerous shells litter the bottom. In some places you can peer into caverns, feeling the water pull at your mask with enormous force. In some places, depending on the season, manatees call this home, and can be viewed underwater. All this in my backyard. So, you are asking, how does one get started in underwater photography?

Click on PhotoTips, and I'll have a "How to " on getting started, and some tips on getting consistently good shots.

Please feel free to respond to any of the articles, and if you have news you wish to share, please email me at pgoldberg@goldenimages-photo-scuba.com .

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