EMAIL DELIVERY
NewsHCN ClassifiedsYellow PagesHCN Job ConnectToday's Print AdsHCN My Capture
Saturday 15 October, 2005
Community News
Spring resident launches hobby into business
Spring resident Christa Loustalot swims with a sea turtle in Cozumel, Mexico. She sells photos of her underwater photography online. She has a degree in biology and is enrolled in the Scientific Diving program at Texas A&M in Galveston.
Spring resident Christa Loustalot swims with a sea turtle in Cozumel, Mexico. She sells photos of her underwater photography online. She has a degree in biology and is enrolled in the Scientific Diving program at Texas A&M in Galveston.
Traveling the world is the first step in Spring resident Christa Loustalot's photography. Once she arrives in Mexico or the Middle East, her hobby doesn't begin until she drops her camera into the ocean.

"I've been into photography for a long time," said Loustalot. "About two years ago, I decided to try underwater photography."
That decision has taken Loustalot around the world to capture dangerous sharks, friendly sea turtles and beautiful coral reefs on camera.
"Photography was something I got into because I see it as art," said Loustalot. "You can paint pictures with a camera. There's a lot of opportunities for that underwater."
Loustalot has been diving since 1994 and obtained her certification while in college.
"I've been doing most of my diving in the past three years," said Loustalot.
One of her favorite places to dive is the local coral reef named the Texas Flower Gardens.
The reef is 100 miles off the shore of Freeport, according to Loustalot.
"It's a salt dome in 60 to 80 feet of water completely covered in hard coral. Everything you see in the Caribbean, you can see in the Flower Gardens. There are some coral heads out there the size of cars and they are full of life. You see a lot of sea turtles and eels. It really is a beautiful place."
Loustalot uses a digital camera for her underwater photography.
"It's a land camera with underwater housing," said Loustalot. "The housing is basically a box built especially for the camera that is water tight."
Shifting from land photography to underwater was a challenge for Loustalot.
"There are a lot of things you have to learn. I haven't had any formal photography training. I learned by doing."
According to Loustalot, a different set of photography rules apply underwater.
"The lighting is very important. Light is refracted differently. Subjects are magnified under water. The deeper you go you lose the spectrum of color. After 60 feet for example, you can't see red because it looks grey."
Loustalot created a Web site and began selling photos of her dives online last year.
"I don't have a shopping cart, but people can e-mail me if they are interested. Advertising has mainly been by word of mouth."
Loustalot was recently chosen by Scubadiving.com magazine as photographer of the week.
"I was really excited that they chose my pictures. I'm hoping next year to start showing some of my pictures at art galleries to move from the Internet to where the public can see them. It's hard to get really well known unless you push yourself out there. If I put my work in galleries, it will be easier for people to get exposed to underwater photography."
Loustalot has scheduled trips for Florida and the Yucatan Pennisula this year.
"I plan to do cavern diving and reef diving. I also have a trip to the Red Sea in Egypt for this fall," she said.
Loustalot has a degree in biology and is enrolled in the Scientific Diving program at Texas A&M in Galveston.
"This will give me certification to hopefully, start doing some diving with research projects for professional and volunteer organizations. I'm moving a little beyond the recreational aspect and hopefully doing some work with a purpose, as well as capture it with my camera."
Loustalot's work can be viewed and purchased at www.photograsea.com

Melecio C. Franco can be reached at mfranco@mail.hcnonline.net



Today's Print Ads
Click to Enlarge

Send us your community news, events, letters to the editor and other suggestions. Contact us at: HCNOnline .
Copyright © 1995 - 2005 PowerOne Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
NewsHCN ClassifiedsYellow PagesHCN Job ConnectToday's Print AdsHCN My Capture