"SOCIAL MEDIA 101 FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS"
By Andrea Johnson
Also . . . .
"CLEARING UP COPYRIGHT"
By Amaury Cruz
Hi, I’m André Johnson. I was born in 1997 in Boulder, Colorado. When I was six, I moved with my parents down to Florida to fulfill their life dream of living on the water. I instantly became attached to the ocean and anything that had to do with the ocean. I started diving at age nine and got my junior certification at age ten. I learned how to dive from Fred and Melinda Riger owners of Grand Bahama Scuba who are lifelong friends and run an excellent dive operation, and without whom none of this would have been possible.
After a few years of diving and getting comfortable underwater, I started to get somewhat bored with my young minded short attention span, usually seeing the same thing when I went diving and only diving in the Caribbean and the Florida Keys. So at age 14, I became interested in underwater photography to keep me interested and engaged while diving. I started out with a small point and shoot Canon g-16 with an underwater housing but no strobes, I only used ambient light when shooting. I was moderately interested in it until I won a photo contest which was brought to my attention by my amazing art teacher Mrs. Markley who has been a big influence and mentor in developing my familiarity with software and my camera and its settings.
During the following years from when I got my first underwater photography setup, I continued to take photos whenever I went diving. I gradually got more familiar with my camera and its settings and continued to experiment and take better and better photos.
At age 16 during my junior year, I got into the prestigious top 25 at the Evening of Excellence art competition and ended up getting the Omar Cooper award which gave me a 1 year paid internship from an artist (Chris Guglielmo) of my choosing and $2000. I used that money to buy a new camera setup from one of my mentors from the South Florida Underwater Photography Society which I chose to carry out my internship with.
I am now finishing out my studies at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida majoring in Multimedia Journalism with a minor in Communications. I am currently working as a divemaster and underwater photographer aboard the Sea Siren with Odyssey Charters at Pompano Dive Center in Pompano Beach, Florida.
I love the ocean and am interested in Marine Biology and Oceanography. I like to use underwater photography and photography to spread awareness about the beauty of the world above and below the surface, although I do like to shoot below the surface a bit more.
I started snorkeling at an early age in the crystal-clear waters northeast of Havana. I never tired of the beauty of the reefs and marine life.
I had read Jacques Cousteau and dreamed of joining the crew of the Calypso. When I started diving in the early 60’s and discovered the ecstasy of weightlessness, I was hooked forever. Diving became my best medicine.
In the late 80’s, I bought a Nikonos III and substituted underwater photography for spearfishing, as I vowed not to kill any sentient beings.
When I joined SFUPS long ago, I started to learn a great deal from other members and presenters at the monthly meetings. After switching to a DSLR rig, there was a quantum leap in my results. Surprisingly, in 2007 I won digital photographer of the year.
Currently, I use Canon cameras and lenses, Ikelite housings, and DS 125 strobes. My main set-up includes a full frame (5D Mk II), 15 mm fisheye, 100 mm macro, and 24-105 mm.