HID­DEN GEM

Scuba Diving - - Eurosplash -

Dubbed “the queen of gems,” pre­cious opals dif­fract light to re­veal var­i­ous col­ors, from clear to black. They can oc­cur in the fis­sures of al­most any kind of rock. Here in the east of Slo­vakia, miles of tun­nels were ex­ca­vated for opal min­ing ( you’ll have to hike through tun­nels and down stairs to ac­cess en­try points). The walls shine in all col­ors of the rain­bow — pur­ple, pink, blue, green, orange, red. No hue is miss­ing. Cap­tur­ing a diver sur­rounded by these col­or­ful walls was my goal. I used dual strobes to light up the col­or­ful walls, while the off-strobe was used to de­fine the back­ground and the slop­ing cor­ri­dor.

WHEN TO GO Year-round dry­suit div­ing; wa­ter temp is 37˚F DIVE NOW opalmine.eu/div­ing.html SLO­VAKIA

LO­CA­TION Slo­vak Opal Mine, Dub­nik

PHO­TOG­RA­PHER Martin Str­miska

Where his­tory meets beauty: Part mu­seum, part dive site, the Slo­vak Opal Mine was one of the world’s largest.

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