December 4, 2011

A big smile

I took this photo 10 years ago. A decade! I like this happy smile. It's a "I'm happy after successful certification dive" smile, and not a "I survived a 30 minutes torture in a murky lake" relief. Or it was "hopefully next time I can dive in nice warm seawater" cheer? I don't know if she is still diving nowadays but I guess she isn't. Sometimes it happens.

I was a beginner when I shot this photo and I'm still diving. After more than 400 dives I can ask myself what changed. My country, Hungary joined the European Union 3 years later. There weren't wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We didn't expect world economical crisis. I even used a traditional analog photo camera in 2001 and before I saw the picture I had to make it developed...

And in diving? In those years a travel to Croatia was a dive trip of my dreams. Egypt seemed so exotic, so attracting, so distant, so expensive for me who just finished the studies and started to work. Only a minority of divers were able to afford an Asian trip so we hadn't ever thought about that. In those years all of us had to use a weight belt because there weren't integrated BC-s. Most of the divers I knew didn't use computer just followed the leader who had one. It was common to make a really deep dive just after certification, inexperienced divers made to 40+ depth regularly. We usually rented the equipment which was old, simple and heavily worn but we didn't care about this. We went to nearby quarries often and we were happy when we found a place where the visibility was more than 1-2 meters.

And on the photos we smiled as this lady. It was because of the happiness, the relief or the hope? Maybe all of them.

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