Once upon a time I was gifted an old underwater analog 35mm - the Nikonos V - one of the fist film cameras that was capable of going underwater and still taking pretty decent photos. That camera's been sitting on shelves, untouched, accumulating dust for a couple years until I finally, finally had a really good excuse to use it - the bright, beautiful, vibrant fish off the shores of Kauai.
I've mentioned before that film photography is one of the ways I keep that little bit of magic in my life - if I'm feeling creatively stifled, I can shoot a roll of film for no real reason, sit on it, get it developed and once again feel that spark that keeps me going.
But receiving these prints back was a whole new kind of magic. There's nothing that can quite describe the wonder of gazing upon a scene like the one above - seeing mostly shallow, steady water - and then to plunge underneath and be met with a completely different, thriving, colorful world - coral reefs, schools of grazing fish in every color meandering through rocks and reefs, eels, trumpet fish, octopi, sea urchins and Justin even saw a shark!
And now entirely settled back into the much cooler, rainy Pacific Northwest winter - our trip to Kauai feels surreal. I'll look down, surprised at my own tan lines and remember - wait, were we in Hawaii just a month ago? It's such a completely differently world, now cozied in under a blanket here, it's mind-bending to imagine that that world is still going on. That these beautiful fish are still swimming around, that the sun is still shining so bright, that all those exotic fruits are still growing, and are probably, no definitely still so delicious.