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Ruben Bauwens – My First Steps in Photography

Dive: Artist - Photographer
Description: Using a camera to take pictures
Level: Level 1
Level Requirements: Has taken some artistic photographs and displayed them publicly
Certified On: Feb 14, 2020

Editor’s Note: On all dive certifications, we try to edit the writing as little as possible to preserve authenticity, personality, and writing style. We typically fix spelling errors, but minimally modify grammar and sentence structure (just enough to ensure readability).

Ruben Bauwens

Name: Ruben Bauwens Break Diving Level: Recruit Number of Certified Dives: 2 From: Belgium In: Belgium

1. When and Why Did You Decide to Pursue This Dive At This Level? What was your inspiration and motivation?

I was about 9 when I started getting into nature. My eldest sister had an old Canon camera and she would show me pictures that she took. From then on, I put nature and photography on my top list trying to find out all there was to know about it. I read hundreds of books on both topics trying to find out all the hard technical things about photography. I love how taking pictures can help you keep memories for as long as you like. I hope that others understand that photography isn’t just ‘clicking’ around aiming your lens at anything there is to see. It is about composition and interests and capturing what you love in a ‘shot’.

2. How Long Did It Take For You To Accomplish This Dive At This Level From The Day You Decided To Pursue It, And Why Did It Take That Long?

It took close to 11 years from my start until where I am today. I had to study a lot and finish exams before I could understand how to use cameras and how lighting worked. Many extra lessons came along including timing, ISO, F-values, etc., all components to taking great pictures. I failed my first 2 photography exams and had to redo a year of studies. But after that I came through with flying colours (2 years ago). I studied and followed lessons online all through the night, sometimes losing half my night’s sleep. But all this was worth it because that helped me get where I am now.

3. What Was The Hardest Part About Achieving This Particular Dive Level?

I think coming to grips with all of the technical functions and photographic settings. When you start and you get your first camera, you’ll say to yourself, “Ok, I’ld better read the manual’. But it’s really not that simple. The manual will tell you how to enter a memory card or a battery, and it will tell you how the buttons work. But it won’t tell you how to set your lighting levels or your ISO value to take a picture of the moon. To learn all that, it’s up to YOU. In my case, it was up to ME (haha).

4. What Was The Easiest Part About Achieving This Particular Dive Level?

I think the easiest part for me was choosing the camera and just going out with it everyday to try and improve. I also knew up front what it was that I wanted to ‘shoot’–in my case, it was nature.

5. What Is Your Advice For Someone Who Is Pursuing This Dive And Level?

If you have the courage to start pursuing this dive of photography, don’t hurry through it with the mindset of ‘I have to get it done’. Take your time (I took 11 years to get where I am). If you can, find study course to help you. Once you understand the basics of lighting, control, and other technical functions, I recommend taking your camera out for some field practice. This will help you understand how to use different settings for various locations and shots.

6. What Are Some Of The Best Resources You Recommend to Those Pursuing This Dive At This Level, And Why Do You Recommend Them? Please Include Relevant Weblinks, If Applicable.

Follow online courses.  They will help you.

Resource 1: Break Diving - Break Diving has a wonderful photography community

Resource 2: Alison - Alison has many great courses to help you improve as a photographer

Resource 3: -

Resource 4: -

Resource 5: -

7. Tell Us A Story Of One Of Your Adventures While Pursuing This Dive (At This Level).

When I bought my Nikon P900 about 5 years ago, I tried to take shots of lightning. I worked on my timing settings and lighting levels and practiced for over a year on various thunderstorms. It was an exercise in patience. Then, one day, a massive thunderstorm hit our little piece of Belgium. Fearless and ready, I exited the house in the middle of this storm (kinda against my mother’s orders) and begun ‘shooting’ at once. I ended up capturing multiple great lighting strikes and was very happy afterwards because after that storm I knew I now could shoot lighting very well. As I said, field practice helps. My one year of preparation made me ready for the opportunity, and when it arrived, I was able to take advantage of it.

8. What Evidence Did You Submit to Prove You Met the Requirements for This Dive and Level?

I have a portfolio of my work on Facebook:

And here are a few of my favorite shots. One of them is from that lightning storm:

9. Will You Be Pursuing The Next Level For This Dive? If Yes, Why? If Not, Why Not?

I will see what I am capable of doing. I am not sure that photography is necessarily something I want to continue doing. In time, I will decide what I most like to do in life!

10. What is the Break Diver's Creed?

No Rules. No Excuses. No Regrets.

Certificate photo:

And having made this post, and provided adequate evidence to the dive committee, Ruben Bauwens is now hereby certified by Break Diving, Inc. as: Artist - Photographer - Level 1. Congratulations ! Thank you for being an inspiration to others!

Certificate number: 25

The author above wrote this WYSEguidance post as one of the certification requirements to become certified by Break Diving, Inc. for a dive completed. Would you also like to find greater success, happiness, and friendship, and make genuine supportive connections with others around the world pursuing your same dreams? Come join us at Break Diving and soon your story will be the next one you read about on this site!

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