Face of Australia finalists chosen—vote now for the winner! Photo

Face of Australia finalists chosen—vote now for the winner!

February saw the launch of an international competition by The Underwater Channel (UWC) and PADI to find the Face of Australia for The Underwater Channel. Their quest - to find an ace Aussie diver / presenter who, with their regular TV dive reports would light up diving in Australia for the global viewers of UWC - the new web TV Channel for divers - and armchair divers!

Candidates were asked back in February to send in videos pitching for the job and your votes have now got us down to the 3 fab finalists—Bess, Josh and Hayley. Please head over to UWC to see more about the finalists and to cast your vote. The winner head off to Sydney to collect their prize. Vote now! Voting closes on 10th May, 2009 (23:59GMT).

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Northwest Dive and Travel Expo 2009 Report Photo

Northwest Dive and Travel Expo 2009 Report

Ellen Quale reports from this year’s Northwest Dive and Travel Expo in Tacoma, Washington:

On a cold and rainy morning, I left Portland at 7 AM for the 2 ½ hour drive up to Tacoma, Washington where the show was being held.  Michaela Brockstedt of Wetpixel Quarterly greeted me and showed me to the Wetpixel booth.  All of the issues of Wetpixel Quarterly were on display, and although I had a copy of the first issue, I hadn’t had a chance to see the other issues—I was like a kid in a candy store going through all the amazing images I’d not previously seen…

Michaela, Ellen, Kathryn, and Martin manned the Wetpixel booth and met many underwater photography and video enthusiasts from the Pacific Northwest. Continue reading for full report and photos!

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Aquatica announces HD WAVE housing for Sony XR500V/520V Photo

Aquatica announces HD WAVE housing for Sony XR500V/520V

Aquatica has announced the HD WAVE underwater video housing for Sony HDR-XR500V/520V high-definition camcorders. The new housing is machined from a solid block of marine-grade aluminum, is black anodized for corrosion protection, and is textured with a polyurethane powder coat paint for durability. It provides angled access to the camera’s built-in angled viewfinder, and features all-mechanical controls for reliability.

The HD WAVE is rated to 300 feet and retails for $2,395, including a wide-angle port. Continue reading for a bunch of product photos and for the full press release.

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Photographing models in a swimming pool Photo

Photographing models in a swimming pool

There is an interesting discussion in the Wetpixel forums about how to photograph a model in a swimming pool. Does one use topside studio lights or underwater strobes? What does one use for a backdrop? What lenses work best? How do you prevent bloodshot eyes in your model?

Check out the thread for advice from our experts and for photos from one member’s first and second shoots, including images of the lighting system and underwater backdrop.

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The history and impact of African shark nets Photo

The history and impact of African shark nets

Thomas Peschak, chief photographer of the Save Our Seas Foundation, has a 15-page article in Africa Geographic about shark nets at beaches at the subtropical waters off KwaZulu Natal (KZN), South Africa [PDF, 1.2MB]. The SOSF website features an informative 11-minute video about the history and impact of shark nets.

KZN is one of only a handful of places in the world where shark nets are still used. Many people wrongly believe that these nets are a continuous barrier that prevent sharks from approaching beaches. In reality they are gill nets designed to entangle, suffocate and kill sharks. In fact 40% of sharks are caught on the beach side of the nets on their way back out to sea… Between 1978 and 2008 the nets caught 33,684 large sharks and the present day haul is 600 sharks every year.

The web page also features a lot of historical images; if you’re curious about the environmental impact of shark nets off the southern cape of Africa, it’s definitely worth watching.

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Enter your video in the Sensational Seas Two DVD contest Photo

Enter your video in the Sensational Seas Two DVD contest

In March of 2009, we announced New World Publications’ call for entries for its upcoming DVD, Sensational Seas Two. Scheduled for release in March 2010, the DVD is another exciting collaboration between filmmakers, photographers and multi-media artists who have donated their work for the benefit of ocean-related non-profit organizations.

Wetpixel has a video slot reserved for the DVD, which means that our readers have two ways of competing for entry into Sensational Seas Two! Enter our free contest to be the Wetpixel feature in the DVD. The deadline for entry is June 15, 2009. Good luck! Continue reading for full contest details…

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Wetpixel.com speed increase, today! Photo

Wetpixel.com speed increase, today!

I’ve just swapped out part of the server infrastructure behind Wetpixel, and the new software is much, much faster. Everyone should see a tremendous speed increase all over the site. In particular, I’m told that the speed increase is particularly dramatic for those of you outside of the United States. Those of you who are part of Team Wetpixel shouldn’t see any change in the forum speed—you’re browsing ad-free, and that is where most of the slowdown came from.

Click around a bit and leave a message in the discussion thread if you have any comments about load times, or if you see anything strange.

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Photos from SDUPS Film Festival evening Photo

Photos from SDUPS Film Festival evening

SDUPS (and Wetpixel) member Allison Vitsky spent the evening of April 25th running around taking photos of people who attended the SDUPS Film Festival. There are quite a few household names in the list of honorees who attended. Luckily, all of the photos are captioned so we can associate faces with some of the names we’ve seen printed so many times—and, it’s an opportunity to see why Wetpixel admin Matt Segal was asked for his ID before being allowed to enter the DEMA show floor…

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