Santa Barbara Ocean Film Festival, October 20-21, 2007 Photo

Santa Barbara Ocean Film Festival, October 20-21, 2007

The Santa Barbara Ocean Film Festival, “a competitive filmmaking event developed to bring the finest ocean films from around the world to Santa Barbara,” will be held on October 20-21, 2007. Sponsors include the Ocean Channel, Brooks Institute of Photography, and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and the festival is currently accepting entries in ‘short form,’ ‘long form,’ and ‘feature’ categories.

The submission deadline of August 31, 2007 is quickly approaching, so be sure to send a preview copy of your entry on DVD. Accepted films will be screened at Arlington Theater and the Maritime Museum in Santa Barbara, CA, and tickets to attend can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

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National Geographic: David Doubilet in Indonesia Photo

National Geographic: David Doubilet in Indonesia

September’s issue of National Geographic features a celebration of Indonesia’s diverse marine life. Renowned underwater photographer David Doubilet shares both images and text about his time spent in both Raja Ampat and the Bird’s Head Seascape (Fakfak, etc.).  Much of the text and images are online at Geographic’s webpage, but as always, the experience is different when holding the actual magazine in your hands.

Norbert Wu and I ran an informal Wetpixel trip last February to the Bird’s Head Seascape with guide Graham Abbott, who led Doubilet to the same area the week before we went [see my photos].  We were fortunate and had fantastic sea conditions on our trip, but we definitely felt the potential for the low-visibility and strong currents Doubilet eloquently describes in his article and accompanying field notes.

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Update on Galapagos diving situation Photo

Update on Galapagos diving situation

Ken Weemhoff of Galapagos Aventures has written up an informative update concerning the situation in the Galapagos that resulted in all dive trips being canceled last month. A meeting in Ecuador yesterday resulted in a decision “to accept a moratorium on the ban on diving until December 31.” Ken writes, “beginning next Monday (August 27) all previously booked dive trips to Galapagos which are scheduled for 2007 will operate as planned.  The authorities were instructed that they are to issue new tourist (diving) patentes to begin in January 2008 and that the local fishermen are to be given priority in acquiring these new patentes.”

Despite the good news for tour operators and divers with plans to travel to the Galapagos, it may take Ecuador a long time to recover from the incredible stupidity of its actions.  After all of this, what diver is going to believe that a trip planned to the Galapagos won’t have a high likelihood of being disrupted by local corruption and bureaucracy?  It’s a good thing its waters are still productive enough for people to take the risk.

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New DiveFilm Podcast Videos - Episode 46 Photo

New DiveFilm Podcast Videos - Episode 46

DiveFilm Podcast Video presents Episode 46 - “Trapped,” a moving look at the plight of Atlantic Salmon in Ireland and the recent drift net ban there. By Irish wildlife imager Vincent Hyland, this short film recounts the death struggle of salmon caught in the nets, with a voice of hope towards the future.

The most recent DiveFilm High Definition Podcast, Episode 7 -“Micronesia” by J.D. Duff, is a calming montage of common marine life encountered in this large region. Also available on the DiveFilm website is a collection of new web videos, including Simon Spear’s conservation video short, “Sharkbeat,” and from underwater filmmakers Richard Morris, Pablo del Barco and Deborah Wilson, and Jerry Seawell. 

DiveFilm Podcast Video is produced in association with Wetpixel.com and are “Featured High Definition Podcasts” and “Featured TV & Film Podcasts” at iTunes.

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Nikon announces D300, full-frame D3, and more Photo

Nikon announces D300, full-frame D3, and more

Nikon has just announced two new digital SLR cameras and a slurry of new lenses.  The long-awaited flagship, the D3, features a 12.1 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and is crammed full of modern features including 14-bit A/D conversion, super-fast frame rate, live view with auto-focus, and more.  The new D300 digital SLR offers nearly all of the same features, and will surely be a worthy successor to the venerable D200.  Nikon also announced two new professional-quality zoom lenses, the AF-S 14-24 mm and 24-70 mm F2.8G ED, as well as an entire line of VR-stabilized long primes.

DPReview has a detailed preview of all of the new products: [D3] [D300] [Wide Zooms] [Telephoto Lenses]
Update: Gizmodo has posted some hands-on photographs.

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FiNS Foto Feature interviews Eric Cheng and Alex Mustard Photo

FiNS Foto Feature interviews Eric Cheng and Alex Mustard

Wetpixel editors Eric Cheng and Alexander Mustard were both interviewed for the first annual FiNS Foto Feature. The questions weren’t standard (”Do you have anything against the use of ketchup?”), and the answers are…unique.

If you want to know about Alex’s way with words or how Eric’s culinary preferences affect the company he keeps, these interviews (which include responses from other notable photographers Stephen Wong and Takako Uno, Tony Wu, and Takaji Ochi) are a must-read. Also featured is an article by Justin Ebert and Wetpixel moderator Shawn Heinrichs on the realities of shark finning in protected marine areas.

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NCUPS announces SEA 2007 43rd annual photo competition Photo

NCUPS announces SEA 2007 43rd annual photo competition

The Northern California Underwater Photographic Society (NCUPS) has announced the 43rd Annual International Underwater Photographic Competition and the Bob Commer Award of Excellence in Underwater Photography.

Starting this year, SEA2007 will no longer accept 35mm slides, but scanned images entered in the digital or print categories are acceptable. Also new is the addition of the Marine Conservation category to complement the Macro, Wide Angle, and Underwater California categories. Prizes include liveaboard trips on the Nai’a, Bilikiki, Febrina, and Pindito and an assortment of underwater photography and videography gear. Entries must be received by October 12, 2007 - continue reading for the full press release, or visit SEA2007 to enter…

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Aquatica announces housing for Nikon D40x Photo

Aquatica announces housing for Nikon D40x

Aquatica has sent us preliminary photos of their new housing for the Nikon D40x digital SLR. The Aquatica D40X will feature a 200ft depth rating, a smaller, form-fitting design, and full compatibility with the Aqua View finder. The housing should be available in September 2007.

Aquatica also intends to reintroduce a 6” dome port with a more compact macro port for use with all current products. Continue for the full press release and accompanying product images…

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