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Underwater scooters and underwater photography


Ido

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Hi

 

What do you think of underwater scooters when you want to save some energy while diving ?

With all that camera gear and that scooter, how do you do it?

 

Thanks

 

 

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Really interesting question, Ido. 
 

My experience has been that the more I photograph underwater, the less distance I travel. 
 

I could see a use for a scooter when shore diving and the ability to get to a site using less finning energy would be good. But the downside is yet more gear to lug especially if using a largish camera system. Entry could be tricky too - I'm thinking somewhere like Bonaire.
 

For boat dives, scooters can be a nuisance on a small boat and, quite often, you don’t actually need to travel far - or anywhere! - from the mooring to find subjects.  Maybe a bit different if you are photographing wide-angle scenic, but for macro or general reef photography, I suspect a scooter would be more of a nuisance than an asset. 
 

Great fun though for zooming around with just a GoPro!

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On 2/11/2024 at 2:09 PM, Ido said:

Hi

 

What do you think of underwater scooters when you want to save some energy while diving ?

With all that camera gear and that scooter, how do you do it?

 

I have a love/hate relationship with scooters. If I'm not taking photos, they are great; however, as you note, combining a scooter and camera can be tough.

 

I tend to dive deep wrecks and having a scooter is really a safety tool. I also dive in locations that can have quite a strong current so, once again, a scooter is a necessary evil. I was on the HMHS Britannic last year and with a rebreather, multiple bailout tanks and a strong current with a full frame camera, it really was a "must." 

 

I generally see three ways to combine a scooter and a camera (in increasing complexity):

 

(1) Use the scooter for transport to the site. For example, on the Britannic, use the scooter to get down and then to the place you want to be on the wreck for photos. Stow the scooter and then pick it back up. I also often use this technique when we are searching for a new wreck. I tie off to the downline, use a scooter to look around, when I find what I'm looking for, I drop it off.

 

(2) Use the scooter as transport but don't leave it. This works on large wrecks like the Britannic when you want to get around to different areas and don't want to take the time to remove & re-attach the scooter. It is a bit hard and I tend to rest my camera on top of the scooter when moving and then drop the scooter (which is about neutral in trim) and then take photos, pick it back up, move to the next spot. 

 

(3) Attach the camera to the scooter. I have a few friends who do this but I haven't yet worked on it. The idea is that if the scooter is trimmed natural and the camera is trimmed neutral, then you can just attach the camera and scoot around and take pictures. For my friends who have this setup, it works very well. They have the camera on a mount system that only takes a few seconds to mount/unmount.

 

I'm sure there are endless variations, but I've used the top 2 and seen friends effectively use the third. The real key is practice on "benign" dives before relying on any given system for a serious dive.

 

- brett

 

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Thank you so much for your response. The Britannic is way beyond my reach (120 meters..), but I wish I could dive there one day.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We have done it for several missions and still use it. Small dome (4", 4"3) and hang the rig on the right d-ring with a double boltsnap. No covers, etc or tight the neoprene cover, otherwise you will loose it. You travel fine and when reach the target, you stop etc. SUEX has nowadays several solutions to be used and am on the doorstep to buy one. 

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