2010 PADI Diving Society membership card competition winner - Colin Lee
Diver Level: PADI Master Scuba Diver / PADI Rescue Diver
Number of Dives: 270
PADI Diving Society (Society): What is the best part about being a PADI Diving Society member?
Colin Lee (CL): Keeping in touch with the diving community through the PADI Diving Society publication, Scuba Diver Australasia*. The magazine is superb with lots of interesting articles and fantastic imagery.
(Society): Which Society membership benefits are you taking advantage of?
(CL): I’m definitely under using the membership benefits as I only read the magazine.
(Society): Tell us more about the winning photo.
(CL): I have been trying to capture interesting ‘moments’ on land using a photographic medium since my school days, so it was a natural progression to want to capture the same underwater - once I started exploring the underwater world.
I was born and raised in the United Kingdom, and waited until I was in warmer waters of Australia before proceeding to complete the PADI Open Water Diver Course, but it wasn’t until I re-located to Indonesia about six years ago before I took the plunge with my camera underwater. Living in Indonesia, which is renowned for its many fantastic dive sites, I tried to dive as much as I could and very quickly learned how difficult but rewarding it was to capture the underwater environment.
I'm fascinated by all the small critters lurking underwater so I've been very lucky based in South East Asia where there is an abundance of critters. However, looking for a balance in my portfolio, I started to head to other destinations renowned for ‘slightly’ larger marine life. After reading dive reports/seeing photos from others of the community of sharks located in Bahamas, it wasn’t long before I was sitting on the dive platform of the MV Shear Water waiting to take the plunge into the waters below where I was trying to get my first glimpse of the magnificent Tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier).
The photo on the 2010 PADI Diving Soicety membership card (right) was taken at the infamous ‘Tiger Beach’ dive site and features a lone diver inching closer and closer to the Tiger shark trying to capture it’s alluring beauty – I too was trying to do the same. The resulting image captures the awe inspiring presence of the Tiger shark as it cruises pass both myself and the other diver.The thrill of seeing the Tiger shark, and in fact any shark in an open environment, is very hard to describe. Your heart is pounding but all you want to do is get closer, but whilst being cautious not to scare them away. Sharks are truly beautiful and every moment spent with them in the open environment should be cherished.
(Society): Tell us about one of your best dives
(CL): My happiest moment underwater is without a doubt the time spent with a pod of Australian Sea Lion’s (Neophoca cinerea) off the shore of Hopkins Island, South Australia. It was hard to stop laughing for most of the dive as they darted here and there as if they were playing hide and seek behind the small bits of sea grass! It was a shame I only managed to get one dive with them as we were enroute to Neptune Islands to look for Great White sharks (Carcharodon carcharias). Unfortunately, there were no Great White sharks to be found so I’m hoping to go back soon to try again…and of course another hide and seek session with the Australian Sea Lions!
Stay tuned to find out how you can enter the 2011 PADI Diving Society membership card competition.
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Photos: Courtesy of Colin Lee / ©Colin Lee
*Depending on where you reside, as a PADI Diving Society you can enjoy many exciting benefits. Magazine publications vary by region. Visit www.padidivingsociety.com for more details.