underwaterphotography by Lambertus Ras

Biography

I was born on may 15th 1981 at/on Urk (Holland). Since my youth I’ve been interested in water. When I was a small child my parents often had to pick me from the bottom of the swimmingpool, while I was laughing at them and watching them with big eyes. While the swimmingteachers were saying that I had a fear of water. I’ve done my first introduction dive in a swimming pool in 1997. For the first time it was very exciting, but after a few minutes you will get super calm.

It lasted up to 2004 until I started with my Open Water Diver-course. The same year I saw an article in our local newspaper about DuikClub Urk (a diving club in/on Urk) going to Bonaire (an island in the Dutch Carribean) for a diving-holiday. I called DuikClub Urk the same day to sign in for my first diving-holiday and to become a member of the club. A holiday with blue water where you can dive in versus the green water of Holland you won’t let that slip out of your fingers.

After the diving on Bonaire I became even more enthusiastic about diving. On Bonaire I had a compact camera: Nikon Coolpix 7900 with underwaterhousing with me. After four dives the camera got broken (read: I had wrecked it accidentally), a few regrets , but none the less I enjoyed my diving-holiday enormously. After this I got lots of photo-opportunities at divesites where I have been diving in different countries, like: Zeeland (Holland), Belgium, Germany, Curaçao, Australia, Mozambique, one more time on Bonaire and multiple times in Egypt. And every holiday my dive- and photographic equipment advanced even more. Since august 2007 I photograph with a Nikon D80 Single-Lens Reflex Camera, because in terms of underwaterphotography I couldn’t grow any further with my compact-camera.

Next to diving in foreign countries I of course can also be found in the green lakes of Holland. But is there nothing to see? There is lots of creatures to see! With that bad visibility? The visibility may vary from 2 feet up to 50 feet! My most favorite type of dives are night-dives. Floating around relaxed, while you’re only focused on the bundle of light in front of you. Where fishes are swimming around calmer, then they already are during the day. And you can make prettier pictures. Also because during the time when me and my buddy (quite often my father) are diving there’s no dust whirling around because of other divers. My most favorite night-dive is the Spiegelplas: here you can find everything in terms of life what’s to be found in Holland in fresh water.

Besides diving I also run. A big difference between both sports: with running you try to put down a specific distance in a fast as possible time and enjoying it. With diving you’re trying to float as slow as possible in the water, using as less air as possible out of your cylinder so you can stay longer underwater enjoying the marine life as long as the diving times from the dive-timetables allow you to. Some people say that diving is no sport, but that’s not right at all! If you also take a camera with you underwater it definitely is a sport!! Try to photograph a fish that doesn’t want to be bothered and finds the sound of your breathing apparatus quite irritating, while you have to hold your breath for a long period of time so you can make the prettiest pictures without the animal fleeing into his hiding place, gasp, gasp, gasp… You definitely got to have endurance to do that!!!

Since then I’ve grown to be an Instructor at DuikClub Urk. In an instructive way I can share my passion for the marine life with other people. Also with my underwater-photos. So students even can get more enthusiastic in diving. Though the underwater photographing is now suffering while I’m an instructor. Now I’m even more attentive towards my buddy, even more then I was in earlier times when I went diving with someone. That’s why you leave your camera on the waterside. It’s also wonderful to watch a student going totally out of his mind in the Oosterschelde (Zeeland: Holland) because of a few sea-basses that are swimming by. At the same time I’m pointing at a little baby lumpsucker (1 a 2 cm) you don’t see very often. At that sort of moments you think: I wish I had a camera with me. But in that way both sides have something beautiful.

In earlier times when I was a 10 year old boy I had mighty stories about me going diving and finding lots of treasures in the seas where I would go diving. I didn’t find any treasures yet in the years that I’m diving. But I’ve made lots of pictures of the marine life: the treasures in Holland and other countries. I hope the visitors of this website get interested or more interested in diving and the treasures of our sea. Enjoy the photos and the reports!!!

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