Freedive-Earth: Meet Jana of Soul & Sea Photography
Here at Freedive-Earth we're always on the lookout for great underwater photography. I mean, who doesn't want to see beautiful images of underwater creatures and critters? We were able to catch up with Jana McGeachy, of Soul & Sea Photography, to find out more about her love for the ocean and diving, her photography, and life in general.
Hey Jana, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. We'll just jump right in... What brings you to freediving?
I became interested in freediving because I wanted to dive deeper and hold my breath for longer while taking photographs. I also wanted to feel calmer and more comfortable underwater and I thought taking a course would help me to do that.
Are you also a scuba diver?
Yes, I love scuba as well; I did my Divemaster course in the South Pacific, in a beautiful little country called Niue nearly 7 years ago. I’ve been scuba diving much longer than freediving!
Which one you like the most?
They are hard to compare - while they both take place underwater, they are so very different from each other. I love scuba diving for escaping to the sea. Its easy to leave all your cares and worries on the surface and blow some bubbles for a while; its also great for taking photos; I can spend as much time as I want at a particular depth until I am happy with my photo. On the other hand, for me, freediving isn’t just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle.
What is it about freediving in particular that you like?
I love freediving for so many reasons. I love the community of freedivers, I love the sensation of freefalling, the relaxation of breathing up on the buoy. I love freediving for the opportunity it gives me to continually challenge myself and what I think are my limits. I love how yoga and healthy eating compliment my training. Freediving is where it all comes together for me and it helps me to be a better person.
Where did u do your freediving course?
Initially I did Level 1 & Level 2 with Apnea Total in Koh Tao, Thailand. I then decided to do an accredited freediving course and re-did Level 1 with Freedive Ningaloo, & Levels 2 & 3 & Masters with Freedive Gili, on Gili Trawangan, Indonesia.
How did you come into your current job (underwater photography with whale sharks)?
A friend of mine was touring WA, Australia with a music band and she told me about this placed called Ningaloo Reef where you could get paid to swim with whale sharks. I don’t think I even know what a whale shark was at the time but I thought ‘hell ya, sounds good to me’ I was in need to change!
What are your favorite kind of pictures?
I love underwater photography, Im amazed at macro photos and the behavioural photos some photographer get which I know must a lot of skill & patience. However I love wide angle photography, shooting reefscapes, people and megafauna. Give me big stuff any day! In particular I love shooting half-half shots with my fish eye lens.
What gear do you use for your underwater photography?
I currently have a Canon 7D with a Tokina 10-17 Fish Eye Lens in an Aquatica Housing with Inon z240 strobes. Its my baby!
You just did your master course level 3 at Freedive Gili. What's your next step after the master course?
I’d love to train and do my instructor course! Hopefully later this year!
What keeps bringing you back to Freedive Gili?
I love Freedive Gili and the community that instantly adopts & supports you when you arrive at the centre. Theres always a great vibe and a great bunch of people who are solidly training in an inspiring and motivating environment! The conditions are often amazing for diving around Gili T; blue water, little current and a stunning backdrop of Lombok island. It’s a cool little beachy island and I really enjoy spending time there.
Thank you Jana, wishing you the best of luck with freediving and your photography. Hope to see you again soon underwater!
Special Bonus Feature: How do you take off your wetsuit?!