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Bilikiki Cruises hosts Solomon Islands photo slideshow competition Photo

Bilikiki Cruises hosts Solomon Islands photo slideshow competition

Bilikiki Cruises has announced the winner of their video competition, “Treasure in Solomon Islands,” by Daniel Benson, and has started a call for entries to their follow-up Solomon Islands-themed photo slideshow competition hosted on YouTube - all submissions must be posted by December 31, 2008.

If you’ve photographed the Solomon Islands underwater while on either the MV Bilikiki or MV Spirit of Solomons, you could win a seven night trip on one of the boats, courtesy of Bilikiki Cruises, simply by posting your video to YouTube with “Bilikiki” in the title and following the competition rules. Entry is free, and this is second opportunity to win a trip back to a beautiful dive destination. View the latest Bilikiki enius for more details - good luck!

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Mangrove MVD L-2 for Sony HDR-HC1 and HVR-A1 review Photo

Mangrove MVD L-2 for Sony HDR-HC1 and HVR-A1 review

Aditech’s Mangrove range of video housings promise a strong set of features, including a high resolution LCD monitor back, optional Fathoms lenses and electronic Manual White Balance for some Sony camcorders. Wetpixel video moderator Drew Wong put the Mangrove MVD L-2 through the paces with a Sony HVR-A1 video camera while on a trip to the Philippines:

The handling was surprisingly good. I had good pitch and yaw control and slow steady panning wasn’t difficult either…the modular design of the Mangrove housing means it can be refitted to house a new generation of camcorders (which is commonly replaced every 12 months). The PC boards, front port bulkhead and tray position are changeable for a fee by Aditech. They say it will cost less than a new housing, which gives the Mangrove a partial future proofing for newer camcorders as they change.

Read on to find out if the housing delivers the goods…

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Manta Fest 2008 Wetpixel Coverage - Day 3 Photo

Manta Fest 2008 Wetpixel Coverage - Day 3

We have had two good days of manta action so far—I guess it must have to do with the name “Manta Fest!”  Our first day featured 2 dives at Goofnuw Channel, and both proved to be successful. We had encounters with three different mantas on the first dive and one long encounter with a small male manta on the second. 

The evening was capped off with drinks in the restaurant and a slideshow by Eric Cheng on the big screen. The slide show was entitled “Big Animals” and featured some of Eric’s best photos of large marine animals from around the world: sharks, rays, whales, dolphins, sea lions, pigs, and more. The show created a good buzz amongst the crowd with many folks asking him for his autograph! (well, maybe just Mike..) ...

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Dome Port Diaries - Introduction Photo

Dome Port Diaries - Introduction

Getting my first underwater camera reminded me a lot of having a child; an insanely expensive endeavor that you somehow instinctively know you will take on “someday”, it’s just a matter of knowing when you’re ready. With children, a friend once noted, “If you wait until you’re ‘ready’ to have children, you’ll never have them.” I think the same is true of an underwater camera system…

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Fantasea Line X Flash Naming Competition Photo

Fantasea Line X Flash Naming Competition

Fantasea Line has announced the upcoming release of a new underwater flash for compact digital housings with a guide number of 20 and designed with four pre-flash settings and power output adjustable from 10% - 100%. Built to utilize 4xAA batteries, the flash is fiber-optic cable compatible, and can deliver approximately 240 flashes per charge.

There’s just one problem - the Fantasea X Flash is as yet unnamed. Fantasea Line wants your help to name this new product, and is offering a free Nano Double Pro Lighting Set if the name you suggest is selected! Continue reading for more information about this new product and details on how to submit a name - submissions must be received before October 1, 2008!

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Tony Wu blogs from Tonga: Week Four with Humpbacks Photo

Tony Wu blogs from Tonga: Week Four with Humpbacks

Wetpixel friend Tony Wu has sent in an update to his fourth week of encounters with the humpback whales of Tonga:

After a nice spell of weather at the beginning of the week, a big rainstorm hit on Wednesday evening, and the weather really deteriorated again this week on Friday. We were out on the water, getting beaten up by 20+ knot winds, criss-crossing chop, whitecaps, tall swells and occasional cold, pelting rain. Not nice.

It is, of course, possible to go look for whales when it’s dark, grey and raining. It’s the winds that really make things difficult though, especially if you’re in a small speedboat. Within a few minutes, you feel both shaken and stirred, with a good measure of scrambled tossed in. The splash and spray kicked up by the winds gets in your eyes. It’s difficult to see your hand in front of your face, much less detect the subtle nuances of whale breath…

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Manta Fest 2008 Wetpixel Coverage - Day 1 Photo

Manta Fest 2008 Wetpixel Coverage - Day 1

Wetpixel’s Eric Cheng and Mike Veitch have both arrived in Yap to help host Manta Fest 2008. Great weather has greeted us with sunny skies and flat seas - this is Eric’s second visit to the island and a return to home for Mike who lived here for close to 3 years before relocating to Bali.

The festivities of Manta Fest 2008 kicked off tonight with a welcome cocktail and introduction of the week’s activities by Bill Acker, the founder of Manta Ray Bay Hotel and a legend of Micronesian diving. It also gave a chance for Mike and Eric to introduce themselves and explain a little about what they will be doing over the coming two weeks. The schedule for tomorrow’s first official Manta Fest day was introduced, and the morning dives will be at the famous Goofnuw Channel…

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2008 9th annual San Diego Undersea Film Exhibition coverage Photo

2008 9th annual San Diego Undersea Film Exhibition coverage

The 9th annual San Diego Undersea Film Exhibition (UFEX) was two weekends ago, August 22 and 23, at the magnificent Qualcomm Hall auditorium, with its state of the art digital projection system.  Thirty two of the 60 films submitted made the final cut, all but five in high definition.  Attendance numbered over 900 for the two nights.

The first exhibition was held in 2000, featuring short videos limited to 5 minutes maximum, with no entry fees and no prizes except for the distinction of having your film selected by the panel of three independent judges.  The same principles are in force today, as the show has become international in scope with near sellout crowds…

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