Johanna Raupe Underwater Photography

Welcome to My World!

johannaI feel honored that I captured your interest long enough to have you stop in here and check out this site. What you will find here are underwater images that I've taken from around the world.

More about Myself and the Underwater World

The life changing event occurred in ’98 masquerading as but a simple Mother’s Day gift; a simple gift certificate for a basic open water scuba class.

The basic open water scuba instruction class includes class room instruction as well as a set of skills to be performed by the student. The mastered life-saving skills are performed by the student first in a controlled environment such as a swimming pool. The final certification is achieved by the student demonstrating the total set of skills in a typical open water environment. It is important to note here that the typical waters of the Pacific Northwest are very cold and often have less than perfect visibility.

I thought the class room instruction went fine as well as my ability to demonstrate the required life-saving skills in a controlled environment. But when it came to demonstrating those same skills in the open water environment I shuddered. The weather was far from being perfect. It was very cold and rainy. And the wind was blowing across the waters kicking up white caps. As for the visibility, as I recollect, I could barely see the instructor, who was no more than 5 feet from me.

Anyway ... here I am getting ready to enter the water so that I can demonstrate the skill of taking that mask off and then replacing it and clearing the water. Did I mention how cold it was? I couldn’t do it! I just couldn’t bring myself to the thought of taking a perfectly good mask off in the cold frigid winter water! For one thing my face would remain warm up until it was my turn to take off my mask. At that point it would have the same effect of having ice cold water poured down my back. What was I to do?

My daughter asked me, “ What’s bothering you?” I told her, “ I just can’t do it. I’m going to fail because I can’t bring myself to do the mask clearing III exercise.” At this point my daughter told me that it was an exercise that I’d only have to do one time. After that I’d never have to do it again; ‘Famous Last Words.’ Little did I know that she was referencing the first of many 'Last Time’s.' But it was enough to get me through my open water certification.

I remember looking straight into her eyes and saying, “ Really?” She confirmed. She told me, “ Just keep telling yourself ‘I only have to do it once.’ ” And I’m thinking I can do this one time if I muster up all of my courage. So that is what I did. I kept telling myself “ I only have to do it once. I can do this” over and over.

Well to make a long story short; I passed the open water certification exam with flying colors, which gave me the opportunity to discover how much I would come to love diving and the art of underwater photography. I love the experience so much that I’ve had my diver friends tell me that if they ever see me diving without my camera, it would be equivalent to diving naked.

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