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My Cayman Crush
By Joseph Tepper, May 27, 2014 @ 02:00 AM (EST)


She’s been with me through it all, good times and bad. 

She’s seen me grow up from a 12-year-old bright-eyed resort course diver into a full-fledged divemaster. She was there for me whether I was shooting with a $15 disposable Kodak waterproof camera, or my first SeaLife Film Reefmaster, or my big-rig DSLR. She’s never judged me for my crazy fads—snooting, self-modeling and underwater HDR. She’s my Cayman crush.
 

One of my first images taken at age 13, with my trusty SeaLife Digital Reefmaster
 

There’s always some travel fad—a hot new destination halfway across the globe—where photographers flock for the chance to nab a shot of that prized creature. And while I’m not immune to the lure of the exotic (the Indo-Pacific is a bucket list for any photographer), Grand Cayman has always been my underwater photography steady. 

In that spirit, here’s Cayman through my lens….
 

A barracuda cruses the famous Cayman Wall (f/8, 1/125s, ISO 400)
 

Cayman's easy conditions make it simple to master advanced macro techniques, like bokeh (f/5.6, 1/250s, ISO 200)
 

Bright orange elephant ear sponges plaster the wall site, Orange Canyon (f/11, 1/100s, ISO 400)
 

It takes a close eye, but there are some real macro gems to be found in Cayman, like this skeleton shrimp (f/32, 1/250s, ISO 400)
 

A scorpionfish tries to blend in on a shallow Cayman reef (f/7.1, 1/100s, ISO 500)
 

There are few places in the world that provide the high numbers of turtle encounters more than the Cayman Islands ((f/8, 1/80s, ISO 400)
 

A juvenile filefish hides from my macro lens in a sea fan. Open apertures provide a pleasing blue background (f/5.6, 1/180s, ISO 160)
 

Yes, I have an enormous soft spot for secretary blennies. And that's a good thing—they're everywhere in Grand Cayman (f/29, 1/250s, ISO 200)
 

Think you've had a bad day? This squirrelfish may beat you there (f/5.6, 1/250s, ISO 320)
 

An arrow crab uses my focus light to pluck out a bite to eat during a night dive (f/4, 1/125s, ISO 400)
 

The calm conditions in Cayman make it easy for anyone to learn to overcome the challenges of shooting super macro photography—this guy is the size of a pea (f/32, 1/320s, ISO 200)
 

A diver explores “Trinity Caves” on Grand Cayman’s West wall (f/9, 1/125s, ISO 400)
 

I like to end my Cayman dive day on the water, with beer in hand, watching the sun dip below the horizon. Until tomorrow...

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