Editor’s note: Fresno Bee photographer Silvia Flores, a certified scuba diver, describes how she made the underwater photo of Breanna Bond.
I used a GoPro camera equipped with an underwater housing, scuba gear and a tank of air to shoot both stills and video of Breanna swimming during practice.
Initially, I shot photos and video from the pool, submersing the GoPro a few inches from the side of the pool. Another photographer, Eric Paul Zamora, shot stills and video during an interview at Breanna’s house a few days later.
The following day, the idea of shooting Breanna from inside the pool came up in the newsroom.
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Because the pool she swims in at Clovis North High School is 14 feet deep, I knew I couldn’t hold my breath that long, let alone swim down to 14 feet and then stay there while Breanna swam laps.
As a certified Advanced Open Water Diver for the past 15 years, I own my own scuba equipment. That evening, I called the head swim coach and Breanna’s mom to get permission to go back and shoot from inside the pool.
The following morning, I gathered my gear: a 3 millimeter wetsuit, regulator, gauges, weights, fins, mask, snorkel and buoyancy vest, and also rented a tank of air at a local dive shop, for $12.
Later that day, I conducted a safety test at a friend’s pool to make sure all of the equipment was working correctly, and also tested the GoPro from the bottom of the pool as my husband swam “test” laps above me.
The next day, I suited up, got in the water and sat at the bottom of the pool for about 25 minutes while Breanna swam warmup laps at practice for the Clovis Swim Club at Clovis North High School.
Silvia Flores: (559) 441-6058