uwphotographers: UWP: JEFF HAINES

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

UWP: JEFF HAINES































JEFF HAINES

I have always been interested in wild life, spending my childhood exploring the woods streams and ponds still remaining near my suburban home. I became interested in herpetology in my early teens and soon filled my room with an exotic collection of reptiles. My passion for learning about the natural world, in particular creatures that are not well understood my most people, has continued my entire life. I began taking my collection of reptiles to schools, teaching young children about reptiles. One of the high points of my life was receiving a thank you card from a young girl saying that she wished everybody could meet my snakes so that they would not feel afraid and kill snakes anymore.
In the intervening years the pursuit of career and financial security led me away from my roots as a naturalist. That fire was re- kindled while snorkeling in the Dominican Republic when I observed scuba divers passing below me on the reef. One of them paused to photograph some wondrous creature that I could not see from the surface, I was hooked. 
In 2005 I tried scuba for the first time in a discover scuba experience at a resort during my next escape from the cold New York winter. In 2006 I took the basic PADI Scuba Diver course and on my first dive took a point and shoot camera with me. Since then I have been diving as much as I can, always striving to improve my scuba and photography skills through training and practice.
Now that I have retired from my first career, I plan on spending as much time as I can exploring the underwater world with my camera, bringing back images to share what I find. Perhaps one of my photographs will have the same effect as my reptile show did many years ago, inspiring the next generation to be better stewards of the earth than we have been.
My early photographs, including the manatee shots, were with a Sealife DC500 with one flash. 
I now shoot an Olympus E-620 using Zuiko lenses,  50mm with a +5 diopter for macro, 9-18mm for wide angle with Athena ports, the Olympus housing for the E-620 and two Olympus UFL-2 strobes.