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Going down under

By Staff | Jul 18, 2008

Kristin Anderson took this underwater photo of her friend, Suzy, with a batfish. Photo by Kristin Anderson

Wouldn’t it be great to take a vacation scuba diving in Australia and come back with loads of professional pictures?

Wouldn’t it be even better to do it for a living?

That’s what Kristin Anderson, Spirit Lake High School graduate and former Orleans resident, does every day. Daughter of Eric Anderson, owner of Valley Contracting of Estherville, Anderson was a Rotary exchange student in Perth, Australia her junior year of high school. She liked Australia so much that she traveled back and forth, finally settling there permanently in 1993.

“I’ve always been a water baby,” Anderson said, explaining her interest in diving. After she moved to Australia, she met people who had a dive shop. She started diving in 1993. “I was addicted from the first day,” she said.

Anderson and her husband, David Hall, have owned Exmouth Diving Centre in Exmouth in western Australia since 1996. The Ningaloo Reef, the world’s largest ringing reef, provides endless diving opportunities.

Kristin Anderson

Diving easily merged with another love of Anderson’s – photography.

“I’ve always been a happy snapper,” Anderson said. When she and her husband bought the diving center she got into still and video photography.

While the dive center focuses on diving, photography is a wonderful complement – after all, people want to prove where they were.

Magazine writers from Great Britain, Europe and Asia have come to the dive center for help in underwater photography. Anderson’s photography has been published widely and she currently has an exhibit in Exmouth. While she shoots mainly for pleasure, she finds that more and more her photography is finding a home promoting business and tourism.

Next January and February, Anderson is going on a 17-day Antarctic cruise on which she’ll be the resident photopro.

With her other business, Kristin Anderson Photography, Anderson does portraits, weddings, commercial and aerial photography as well as, you guessed it, a lot of underwater photography for her own enjoyment.

Anderson’s subjects have included whale sharks, manatees, dolphins, and blue whales. She’s also seen great white and leopard sharks. Anderson says the media horror stories of shark attacks are far overplayed and advises that swimmers and divers stay out of the shallows at dusk and dawn because that’s habitat for turtles – one of the shark’s favorite foods.

Check out Anderson’s Web site at .