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Adobe® Lightroom™ Public Beta Photo

Adobe® Lightroom™ Public Beta

Adobe has announced the public beta of Lightroom, “the efficient new way for professional photographers to import, select, develop, and showcase large volumes of digital images. So you can spend less time sorting and refining photographs, and more time actually shooting them. [sic]”  Lightroom is a clear shot at Apple’s Aperture, which hasn’t been received so well by working photographers.  Lightroom Beta is currently available for Mac OS X, with a Windows version coming soon.  By releasing such an early beta to the public, Adobe hopes to solicit feedback from users about how to improve the product.

[lightroom] [20-minute video] [dev story] [digital outback] [luminous-landscape]

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DAN America insurance not accepted at SSS chambers Photo

DAN America insurance not accepted at SSS chambers

This seems like a bad thing.  Does anyone have more information about this?

The Recompression chamber network branded SSS (Sub-aquatic Safety Services), in service in a dozen popular dive destinations worldwide (and in most cases the only chamber in a several hundred mile radius), has been forced to notify the public that certain facilities in some destinations effective immediately, and others progressively so, will NO longer accept the Divers Alert Network (DAN) AMERICA insurance as a payment method for hyperbaric chamber and medical services…

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Ikelite Releases Details of 8-inch Dome Port Photo

Ikelite Releases Details of 8-inch Dome Port

After much anticipation, Ikelite has released photos and details about their new 8” dome port for SLR housings.  Ikelite has also published an updated port chart, showing lens compatibility with the big dome, as well as a listing of which lenses Ikelite believes perform better behind the 8” dome as opposed to the standard 6” port.  Another feature requested by users and now implemented by Ikelite is the use of an extension ring system (Ikelite calls them stalks) so that one 8” dome with various stalks can be used with a variety of lenses.

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Amphibico Dive Buddy Evo HD and Pro HD Photo

Amphibico Dive Buddy Evo HD and Pro HD

Amphibico has posted detailed information about their Dive Buddy Evo HD and Evo Pro HD housings onto their website, which report that the housings will be available this month (they’re accepting pre-orders).  However, reports from our forums say that the housings have been seen out in the field since mid-November.  On the Evo HD, access to manual white-balance for the HVR-A1 is a $200 option (make sure you get it!).

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Sea Slug Forum Re-opens Photo

Sea Slug Forum Re-opens

After a 3-week hiatus for reformatting, the Sea Slug Forum is open for business as usual, according to a post by site creator Dr. Bill Rudman.  Most of the changes won’t be obvious to visitors, but two new features are available: 

1. the ability to display all relevant messages for a species on one page.  I particularly like this one as it eliminates the need to keep clicking back & forth through 20 or more messages at a time.

2. taxonomic searches from Order to Subfamily level - very handy for people who know the group but can’t remember the right genus or species. 

The Sea Slug Forum is the very best opisthobranch site on the web.  It combines images with information on taxonomy, id, distribution, and life history for thousands of species.  UW photographers are a major source of new images & information that enriches everyone’s knowledge of these gorgeous creatures.

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Hidden Cost of Shark Fin Soup Photo

Hidden Cost of Shark Fin Soup

Shark finning articles are becoming more mainstream. The NY Times has an article about shark fishing in Manta, Ecuador, a location I have been to and documented as well.  It’s a well-written article, but I find it strange that it focuses on a place where the entire shark is actually used.  In a large market area on the beach itself, virtually every piece of the sharks pulled up are sold to locals as inexpensive meat.  Where are the mainstream articles that document shark-finning proper, where the live carcasses are discarded?

By the way, I think it’s funny that the article talked about Jackie Chan.  While I was down there, a bunch of kids kept running up to me and chanting, “Jackie Chan! Jackie Chan!”  I wanted to show them a bit of my own Jackie Chan, but their blood-smeared, knife-toting fathers were just around the corner.

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Invasive Lionfish in Florida Photo

Invasive Lionfish in Florida

During the past few years, a number of exotic marine fishes have been seen and photographed by divers off the Florida coast. The red lionfish (Pterois volitans) is one of the most abundant, and now appears to be established and reproducing off the Florida coast. Since the lionfish is a top predator, it may negatively influence the structure of fish communities in Florida reefs.

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