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Jim Abernethy hospitalized after shark bite Photo

Jim Abernethy hospitalized after shark bite

Jim Abernethy, owner of JASA and well-known to many Wetpixel members, was bitten by a Caribbean reef shark yesterday and hospitalized. Jim is at pains to stress that his injuries are minor and that he plans to resume his shark advocacy at the earliest possible opportunity. This is from his Facebook page:

“Thank you for your concerns and well-wishes tonight; I’m going to be fine. My concern is for the future of sharks. Each day more than 200,000 are killed - mostly for shark fin soup. Since the 1970s, sharks populations have plummeted by as much as 80 percent, with some species reduced by a staggering 97 percent. I’ve spent the last two decades of my life in the Bahamas with the sharks that I love. Today’s minor incident will not deter me. I will continue my mission to help protect these beautiful animals and share their grace and wonder with others. I am dedicated to promotion and establishment of marine preserves for these creatures and all marine life. This is the only way to help protect the future of our oceans – and the life, resources, and joy it brings to all of us.Thank you again for your concerns and well wishes. I plan to be back out to sea in a few days.”

I’m sure all Wetpixel member will join in wishing Jim a swift recovery.

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Women Divers Hall of Fame class of 2011 announced Photo

Women Divers Hall of Fame class of 2011 announced

The Women Divers Hall of Fame (WDHOF) has announced ten new members for 2011. The WDHOF is a non-profit organization dedicated to recognizing and honoring the contributions of women divers. Amongst those on the list for 2011 are: Anna DeLoach, Karen Straus, Maureen Langevin, Céline Cousteau, Michele Westmorland and Christina Zenato.

They will be inaugurated into the society at a ceremony during the Beneath the Sea Awards Banquet on 26 March.

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Nikon releases firmware update for D3100 Photo

Nikon releases firmware update for D3100

Nikon has released firmware version 1.01 for the D3100 SLR. The update addresses and corrects: A magenta tint on high ISO images, a failure to display images when using live view and continuous shooting modes, focusing issues with live view and Subject Tracking AF, date issues when images were edited using in-camera editing, a magenta cast to RAW images in NX 2 and the in-camera noise reduction function has been improved.

The free update is available from Nikon.

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P3 Update features Water Wonders Photo

P3 Update features Water Wonders

P3 Update, an online and print magazine “unifying global Preproduction, Production and Postproduction”, has featured the use of cameras underwater in an article called Water Wonders. The article comments on the lure of underwater locations for film makers, and then overviews some of the equipment producers that make shooting underwater possible. Among the manufacturers that get mentioned in the article are: Aquavision, Equinox, Ocean Tecnology Systems, Gates and ULCS. The article concludes:

“In the years since, as cameras have democratized the acquisition of media, the providers of underwater housings and ancillary equipment have kept up with the pace. It still requires an expertise that not everyone possesses, but the bar has been lowered-and that’s good news for all of the viewers enthralled by glimpses of towering waves or the briny deep.”

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New mounting options and reduced prices for Housing Sentry Photo

New mounting options and reduced prices for Housing Sentry

UnderWater Camera Stuff has announced a $100 reduction in the price of it’s Housing Sentry and three new mounting options. While the original units required the user to make an extra hole in the housing, the new options allow fitting via: A half-inch bulkhead, a bulkhead with an unused Nikonos connector or an unused bulkhead in a Nauticam housing. Using an existing opening simplifies the installation process.

The Housing Sentry creates a vacuum inside the housing and then monitors it to ensure a continued watertight seal.

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Tony Wu releases results of humpback whale study Photo

Tony Wu releases results of humpback whale study

Tony Wu has released a summary of the results of his Tonga humpback whale calf study for 2010. This incorporates the 24 juvenile humpback whales that he was able to identify during the 2010 season. These results, when compared to those of the previous two years, are showing some interesting patterns emerging from the data. Only time will tell whether the trends continue, but it’s certainly rewarding to see results from the time and effort we’ve put in.

Tony would welcome input from anyone with sightings of the calves listed in his study, or of calves not listed from the 2010 season. He plans to return to Tonga this year, and may have a few slots available for interested parties.

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Howard Hall’s sperm whale video from Dominica Photo

Howard Hall’s sperm whale video from Dominica

Howard Hall has posted a video of a sperm whale encounter in Dominica taken a couple months ago with a RED camera / Gates housing. As expected, the footage is buttery smooth and has been paired with the perfect music. I’m not in any way taking credit away from Howard’s impeccable technique, but this brings up one of the main differences between large and small underwater video rigs. A large rig is inherently more stable; those of us who have taken underwater video using a housed dSLR know that it is almost impossible to get stable footage on the surface.

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