Backscatter Neutral Density Underwater Filter System
At this month’s Seaspace convention, James Watt showed some photos during his Digital Workshop that he took in Indonesia using a new filtering technique that results in dramatic improvement in the appearance of the sun in the frame. The photos were taken using a system under development by Berkley white of Backscatter.com. I had a discussion with Berkley today about his use of neutral density filters to aid underwater photography. He has developed a system where this type of filter can be mounted on a fisheye lens and the camera housing’s zoom control can be used to position the dark part of the filter to help control the sunburst effect.
Berkley White Socorro D2x Gallery
Berkley White has posted a gallery of photos from his recent trip to Socorro Island. He used a Subal ND2 Housing and the FE2 dome with the 12-24DX lens. There was a recent discussion here at Wetpixel about this lens’ performance and these photos provide an example of putting this lens to its ideal use.
Olympus Announces a Dome Port for the “E” System
Olympus announced yesterday on their website the upcoming release of a dome port, extension ring, and zoom gear, to use the Zuiko 7-14mm F4 wideangle zoom lens underwater in the PT-E01 housing. Olympus expects to release the port system in July, but no pricing info was given - however the dome is glass so it will not be a “budget” accessory. According to Olympus they: “now offer a range of 4 underwater lens ports and 2 underwater extension rings to support professional underwater photography using its 6 “Designed for Digital” ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses.” Of special interest was a hint that they plan to offer a fisheye lens in the future.
Inon Z220F Strobe Replaces Z220
Inon has released a new strobe, called the Z220F. The Z220 has been discontinued and replaced by this new strobe. The main difference between the two is that the “F” model has a focus light that can be turned on and off by the photographer, and it does not have an aiming laser. Click on the full article for a larger photo and the press release from Inon.
SeaSpace 2005 Report
Seaspace 2005 was held in the Reliant Center at the Astrodome complex in Houston June 4th and 5th. Eric Cheng and I attended the show together again this year, but this time, we did not have any duties, other than checking out the booths, seminars, and workshops of interest to the Wetpixel underwater photography community. If you are into large “scuba gear shows” like DEMA, then you would have considered this years event to be pretty small. However, from a photo-centric viewpoint, the show was perhaps the best of the 5 that I have attended. This article will be a brief summary of the show, as most of the information is contained in the photographs and photo captions.
Optimal underwater macro aperture
Borut Furnlan sets out to answer the following question: “… what f-stop should I use at underwater close-up photography with a reproduction ratio of 1:1 (life size) to obtain the best compromise between depth of field and the list drop in sharpness due to the diffraction of light on aperture blades?” Borut also answers the following question: do objects underwater look 1.33 times bigger or 1.33 times closer? [Thanks, James]
Borut uses film, but the test is still an interesting read for digital guys (digital systems have different sensor sizes and pixel densities, which affect circle-of-confusion calculations).
Disney Hong Kong and Shark Fin Soup Update
Here’s an interesting article that shows that the protests and bad media may be having an effect:
- HK Disney answers soup critics (June 9)
Disney will only serve legally-harvested shark fin, and will hand out pamphlets to interested parties
On my personal website, I’ve posted a template for a letter you can e-mail to Disney executives (easy, one-click e-mail links also included).
And speaking of protests and media campaigns, Wetpixel member Jason Grimes is also organizing a letter-writing campaign. Continue reading for more information.
Celebrate the Sea Photo Competition Results Posted
The Celebrate the Sea Underwater Expo and Film Festival has announced the 2005 winners. Wetpixel member Darek Sepiolo (aka Darecky) from Poland took a gold medal in the black and white print category with his photo of Southern stingrays.
Darek’s photo also placed in the Chech PAF Tachov competition.
- December edition of DIVEMAG now available to download (via )
- Japanese super sub discovered off Hawaii (via )
- December issue of DIVE magazine available to download (via )
- Seahorse shape aids stealth hunting techniques (via BBC)
- Protecting underwater real estate for fish (via )
- NOAA and state shark fin bans (via )
- New marine conservation zones for UK (via BBC)
- Video: Coral spawning on the Great Barrier Reef (via BBC)
- Hawaii’s Lake Waiau mysteriously disappearing (via )
- Tube worms fluorescence due to Vitamin B (via )