Call for entries: Ocean Views
The 2012-2013 Ocean Views contest is calling for entries. The contest, hosted this year by Alert Diver, Nature’s Best Photography and Wetpixel, is offering photographers the chance to win a Grand Prize of two live-aboard dive holidays, one on the Thailand Aggressor, and the other on the Carib Dancer. In addition, there are many other significant prizes for those in the competition’s placings, including great dive holidays and shiny scuba gear. All the winning images will also be published in upcoming editions of both Nature’s Best Photography and Alert Diver magazines as well as on Wetpixel. The contest is open at all, with no specific categories, but with prizes for the top 12 placings and 5 honorable mentions. Entries may be of life below, above or around the ocean’s surface and for a one-off $25 US entry fee, you can submit up to 20 images.
The deadline for entries has been changed to 18 December 2012, and full rules and procedures are listed on the Nature’s Best Photography website.
Parasites affect reef fish streamlining
A new study published in Biology Letters has looked at the cost of hosting ectoparasites to coral reef fish. The paper observed bridled monocle bream (Scolopsis bilineatus), parasitized by an isopod (Anilocra nemipteri), which attaches above the fish’s eye. Model parasites were attached and it was shown that although these did not affect the fish’s metabolic rates (the “live” parasites do), the main effect was reduced streamlining, which in turn reduces swimming performance at high-speed. Previous thought has been that the main cost to the host was the increase in metabolic rate necessary to sustain both fish and parasite. (Image by Valter Jacinto).
360 degrees field of view video from custom GoPro housing
Subsurface Media’s Brian Dombrowski has posted his 360° field of view video of a dive site in Dry Tortugas. It was shot using a custom designed housing linking 4 GoPro HD2, linked with custom electronics. The files are then joined by 5 different software processes, including one that is written by Brian himself.
The housing can go pass 400ft deep. It does synchronized start and stop of the cameras. It took over 6 hours to process the 2.30 minute video! It certainly looks better than the BBC one that was done last year for the Oceans series. Watch this special video on his website for a fully interactive video experience.
Nikon rumors for 2013
We don’t normally post rumors onto the Wetpixel front page, but the site Nikon Rumors is making some interesting predictions for Nikon’s camera releases in 2013. They forecast that the company will release a new pro/high-end DX camera early in the year. This will replace both the existing D7000 and D300s and will have a “pro” body with a 24MP sensor and 8fps. In late 2013, they also prophesize that a new version of the D4 will be released with a higher resolution sensor, with a 52MP version being mentioned.
I would strongly suggest that these rumors are treated with caution, however, if the “D7000 Pro” becomes a reality, it will be a very interesting camera for underwater use.
Underwater vehicle avoids objects in its path
Engineers from Stanford and the Monterey Bay Aquarium have joined forces to design an underwater vehicle that can steer and control its depth autonomously. The torpedo shaped vehicle uses a terrain-relative navigation (TRN) system that allows it to know its location by matching its altitude (above the ocean floor) to an existing terrain map. In addition, the autonomous craft applies algorithms to steer itself around obstructions. Applications for the new technology would include following moving objects in the open ocean while collecting pictures, video and data. The new vehicles are expected to be mission-ready next year.
Nikon updates D4 SLR
Nikon has released firmware updates for its D4 SLR. The update will make version A software up to release 1.03 and B to 1.02. The new version gives:
“Increased focus accuracy is achieved when a lens and teleconverter with a combined maximum aperture of f/8 are used.”
The updates are available from the Nikon Europe support site.
Using the Olympus OM-D E-M5 underwater
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 has become an important EVIL camera for underwater use. This can be illustrated by a fantastic thread about the camera in the Wetpixel forum that has attracted 23,464 views and 241 entries, all freely sharing information about it. In this article, Wetpixel Associate Editor Alex Mustard, together with Wetpixel member Coroander presents a synopsis of the current information in the thread, especially in how in relates to settings choices. Their goal is to assist fellow OM-D shooters to get the best from their cameras underwater.
New flourescence video by Jeff Honda
Wetpixel member Jeff Honda has been hard at work experimenting with the new Sola Nightsea lights. During the recent Backscatter trip to Lembeh, Indonesia, he shot this hauntingly beautiful fluorescence video. To capture fluorescence, two components are required: Firstly, a blue light source to excite fluorescence from the subjects and secondly, a filter to remove all non-fluorescent light. Honda spent an entire week “on the night shift” capturing this footage, utilizing a tripod exclusively as the amount of reflected light is much less than that of white light.
- Top 10 DPG Features from 2012 (via DivePhotoGuide)
- Sentencing of shark catcher welcomed (via African Diver)
- British Wildlife Photography Awards Now Open (via DivePhotoGuide)
- New York Underwater Photography Society Meeting: Adding Divers… (via DivePhotoGuide)
- Video of the Week: “Life of a Wave Photographer” (via DivePhotoGuide)
- Rumors: Post CP+ Show Speculation for Nikon and Canon DSLRs (via DivePhotoGuide)
- Video: Photographing Antarctic’s Leopard Seal (via DivePhotoGuide)
- Mobile Photography Awards Feature Stunning Pics (via DivePhotoGuide)
- Canon Announces Firmware Update for EOS 1D-C (via DivePhotoGuide)
- DPG Announces December Monthly Contest Winners (via DivePhotoGuide)