About 20-30 feet if your lucky. The answer is dependent upon
if you want to have color in the image. If you want natural light
effects then you can shoot without a strobe, and/or shoot sillouette
Remember that light is absorbed by water, and that the color
spectrum is absorbed accordingly. You will loose the Red's, Yellow's
and Orange's with in the first 20-30 feet (You start to loose Red's at
about 15-20 feet in reality). The deeper you go the less ambient light
you will have and thus less of the color spectrum to work with, that
is why at about 40-50 feet everything begins to looks greenish-blue.
Sorry, you will need to use a strobe on most of the diving
in Cozumel (some of the best reefs start at about 50-60 feet) if you
expect to have color (recognizable) in the image.
Of course, some one will suggest opening up your aperture (shoot
at f2.8, f3.5, f4, f5.6), but then you loose depth of field on most of
the 35mm and/or macro type images. Or there will be the suggestion to
use faster speed films, yes that will help the aperture problem and
get you more depth of field but it will not increase the color scale
of your images.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but using a strobe in
underwater photography is a fact of life and reality if you want to
get some decent images that have color in them. I have seen some
people using black and white in U/W work with some nice results.
Ernie Brooks of Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA.
just had a showing in L.A. about 2 months ago on his U/W B&W images.
Really nice work, showed that there is validity to using B&W for U/W
Hope I have not rained on your parade too much. Best of luck
to you in your photo ventures in Cozumel, and good diving for you there.
Palancar Caves and Santa Rosa Wall are some of my all time favorite
> How deep can one dive on a sunny day in Cozumel and still expect to get some
> decent photos without being forced to use a strobe?
> Robert K.. Jarman