Sunday, November 30, 2008

Freediving at night with Amanda Cotton

Felix Leander: "One of my best diving experiences ever"

So before I write about the night dive at Tiger Beach - I wanted to briefly introduce Amanda Cotton. She was one of the Ocean's 11 on our trip and we had become "friends" on Facebook before we met - I can now say she has become a real friend and one of the best photographers that I have met.

I have never seen anyone take more care of his/her camera than Amanda - we called it her baby... Even Wolf, widely known for being 'anal' with his stuff, was impressed... :-)

Amanda and one of her babies (Photo: One of the Leanders; neither remembers who took it...:-)

Says Amanda: "I love everything about being underwater including sharing my experiences through my photography. I shoot Nikon in Sea & Sea housing. I use a combination of several different strobes including YS110 and Inon Z-220s. I adore my wide angle Tokina 10-17mm. As a scuba instructing, cave diving, wreck loving, ocean and underwater obsessed "photog" I am simply trying to figure out how I can stay underwater 23 hours a day, everyday."

A little about Amanda: She is an advertising photographer specializing in underwater and travel stock photography.

Amanda is fueled by a passion to document the beauty surrounding us in our relationships and interactions with others, and in our physical existence within our environment. "Her innate talent and superb education at Brooks Institute of Photography, one of the world's leading Photography and Film schools, enables her to create photos that defy any ability to describe them." (Quote from Fuzionmedia).

Amanda has received many awards for her work including several from the International Photographers Association (Lucie Awards).

She currently resides in Florida,USA with her four year old daughter Kya.

Check out Amanda's work at: and

And back to the Tiger Beach trip:

Nov. 12th, 2008

“Night Dive”

While I have done a night dive in Bonaire, I have never been freediving in the dark, let alone with sharks. This probably has been one of my best dive experiences ever. While diving already is peaceful, night diving is even more tranquil. The lemons were resting on the bottom, being cleaned while the light of the moon and boat cast their shadows on the sand.

Interestingly the sharks were completely unphased by our presence and let us interact with them. So much for sharks being more aggressive or dangerous at night. I felt completely at ease with them and never at any point threatened.

Some of the divers had high density lights that allowed us to taking photos and video. During the dive we also found a strange looking crab that would dig itself into the sand.

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