So I’ve officially decided that after the absolutely gorgeous reef dives we did this morning, my editor is going to have drag me kicking and screaming back to Winter Park. The back of the resort looks like a screensaver! The first dive of the day was at Lea Lea’s Lookout, and although I have no idea who Lea Lea is, her lookout is pretty spectacular. We started out smack-dab in the middle of a kick-ass canyon, filled with massive barrel sponges, which can be tricky to photograph if one of your strobes is turned off (oops). Then it was off to Dot’s Spots, where the main theme was grouper, grouper and grouper. After some coaxing of one that was quite uncooperative, I was finally able to get a decent shot off, and I remembered to turn on my strobe this time. One of the best parts of this event is the nightly photo critiques, conveniently located next to the pool bar. Participants submit either three photos or one video and the Backscatter crew give their opinions on each work so far, what can be improved upon, and what was done well. It’s a great way to get honest feedback from people who know underwater photography inside and out. Some things I learned today: TAKE YOUR TIME! My buddy Michael noticed that every time an interesting critter came by, I would barrel in like a linebacker with my camera, scaring the fish off. His advice: Calm down, stay low (shooting up, not down) on your subject, and be patient. Once the animal realizes you’re not a threat, they’ll be more open to having their picture taken and with that comes the prize winning shots photographers dream about. Check out more of my coverage of Backscatter’s Digital Shootout tomorrow.