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George 'Keoki' Stender

I enjoy observing and photographing marine life whether tidepooling, snorkeling, technical diving, or visiting aquariums.  I was introduced to the ocean at an early age, fishing and visiting tidepools with my family.  I learned to surf (kneeboard) at 12 and began building surfboards soon after.  To stay busy while the surf was flat, I started free-diving to spear fish and collect shells, and got my NAUI Scuba certification in 1984 (I take only pictures now, not live animals).   I own two businesses, Keoki's Scuba repair and sell stock photography as Keoki Stender-MarinelifePhotography.com.  I also teach scuba repair, underwater photography, scuba, and marine life identification for various agencies.  Certifications include PADI & IANTD Scuba Instructor, AP Diving Inspiration rebreather diver, Scuba Repair Technician for most brands, PSI Cylinder Inspector, Recompression Chamber Operator, Dept. of Interior Motorboat Operator.  I attended Kamehameha Schools, Windward Community College, and the University of Hawai'i at Manoa and earned a certificate from the Marine Option Program (MOP) for work in marine education and biological surveys on Moloka'i, Kaua'i, and Hanauma Bay.  Employment history includes training dolphins, diving, and veterinary lab support for the Navy, Windward Dive Shop, Island Divers Hawaii, University of Hawaii Diving Safety Program, manager of Midway Sport Diving at Midway Atoll NWR, marine educator/dive officer/boat & recompression chamber operator with Rapture Marine Expeditions, survey expeditions of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and educator for the Waikiki Aquarium.  Other interests include native Hawaiian plants, wildlife, jazz, cars, and airplanes.


Photographic History

My photographic background began in 1990 while teaching fish ID classes for fellow MOP students.  The school's slide collection was limited and quality varied so I decided to teach myself how to use a real camera.  After wasting lots of film taking horrible little fish photos (the wrong subject for a Nikonos), I spent all my savings for a housed autofocus SLR system.  Within a few dives I was completely hooked on underwater photography!  I contribute images to the Marine Option Program, Hanauma Bay, and other educational programs, and sell stock images for local hotel publications, calendars, and marine life books including Hawaii's Fishes, Hawaii's Sea Creatures, and Corals of the World.


We are currently using Canon EOS 500D (Rebel T1i) and G9 cameras in Ikelite housings and dual DS160 & DS51 Substrobes.  Lenses include Canon EF-S 10-22mm, EF-S 18-55mm IS, EF-S 60mm macro, EF 100mm macro, Tokina 10-17mm Fisheye, Sigma 120-400mm OS.  Up to 2009 we used Pentax SF-1, PZ-1, Z-1, and MZ-S film SLR's and  *ist DL digital SLR's with Pentax DA 10-17mm Fisheye, DA 18-55mm, DA 35mm macro Limited, F 50mm macro, D-FA 100mm macro, Sigma 15mm fisheye, 24mm, Tamron SP 90mm macro 1:2, 90mm + 2x teleconverter, & DL 75-300mm.   Ikelite housings, and dual Substrobe 50/100's.  Fujichrome Velvia 50 was our favorite film and it was processed at home.  Slides are scanned with a Canon F4000US film scanner.  Compact digital cameras include Casio Z40, Canon G9, and Canon S95 in Ikelite housings, dual Substrobe 51's, and Epoque 2x macro and wide angle lenses.


Yuko Okano Stender

Yuko is originally from Tokyo, Japan and earned a BA in Liberal Studies-Marine Science from the University of Hawai'i at Hilo and Masters degree in Geography at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  She is an enthusiastic animal-lover, surfer and PADI Divemaster. She has experience as a Assistant Dolphin Trainer and Bilingual Interpreter at Sea Life Park in Waimanalo, O'ahu, Finfish Aquaculture technician at the Oceanic Institute, and Environmental Lab technician, and Educator with Rapture Marine Expeditions,Waikiki Aquarium, Marine Option Program, and 'Alu Like.  Yuko was Scuba certified in 1987 and began taking underwater photos in 1992.  She is currently pursuing a PhD in Geography at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.