Photography: Is it art or is it reality? Photo

Photography: Is it art or is it reality?

Two weeks ago, Wetpixel member John Bantin started an interesting topic in our forums.  “Is it art or is it reality?”:

We learned about Photoshop and started to retouch away all those annoying grolleys that were in the water. Then mooring lines and divers inconveniently placed magically disappeared. With the skills so practised, I am now able to go back to the 500,000 snaps (no exaggeration) I have in filing cabinets and resurrect any that I care to….

However, this does mean that all my pictures are getting stylized (just like everyone else’s). I fear that they no longer represent the truth. I am not talking about exhibition or competition pictures. I am talking about the pictures that go into Diving magazines. Are they misleading in their new-found perfection?

What do you think? Is this new digital art misrepresenting reality? The camera never used to lie!

The thread has since attracted over 80 replies, and is well worth reading, if you are struggling with balancing photography as art and photography as reality.

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Canon 5D Conversion Kit for Subal C10 (10D) Photo

Canon 5D Conversion Kit for Subal C10 (10D)

As I posted here on Wetpixel a few weeks (or perhaps months?) back, my friend and master machinist Bill Reed created a conversion kit for the Subal C10 (Canon 10D Housing) to accept the Canon 5D.  Well, it is finally done.  I will be taking the rig underwater in about a week and a half to test out both the housing and the dome port adapter.  The beauty of the kit is that it allows you to retain use of the 10D as a backup body on trips!...

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Save The Dolphins Campaign Photo

Save The Dolphins Campaign

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006 is Japan Dolphin Day, an “international day of protest…to urge the Japanese authorities to ban the slaughter of dolphins.

Every year, Japanese fisherman round up dolphins by the thousands and brutally slaughter them - with permission from Tokyo. The Save Taiji Dolphins Campaign is calling for peaceful protests in front of Japanese embassies around the world in an effort to stop the killing.

To learn more about what you can do to help, or to find out where the nearest embassy is located, visit SaveTaijiDolphins.org...

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1st Annual DEEP Indonesia Photo Contest Photo

1st Annual DEEP Indonesia Photo Contest

On the heels of announcing the 2nd-annual, U.S.A.-based international photo and video competition, Wetpixel & DivePhotoGuide have organized a second international competition in association with DEEP Indonesia, Indonesia’s first-ever diving, adventure-travel and water-sports expo. Never before have 2 international competitions associated with dive expos on opposite sides of the world cooperated to establish a complementary series of categories and prizing opportunities.

Photographers will compete in 7 themed categories to win photo equipment, dive gear, premium dive travel packages to some of the top photo destinations in the world, and more…

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Amphibico’s EVO PRO HDV Underwater Housing Review Photo

Amphibico’s EVO PRO HDV Underwater Housing Review

Wetpixel video moderator Paul Wags has posted an in-depth review of the Amphibico EVO PRO HD underwater housing for Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC1 HDV camcorders:

While the Phenom is a solid housing and has been designed to last for many years, for the average diver or a diver who travels frequently, the huge Phenom may prove to be a little cumbersome.  However, Amphibico have overcome any concern with size when designing the EVO housing for the smaller Sony A1/HC1 HDV cameras, allowing everyone to shoot high-definition underwater video…

Be sure to also read Wags’ review of the Amphibico Phenom housing for the Sony FX1/Z1.

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Pre-Photokina 2006 Announcements Photo

Pre-Photokina 2006 Announcements

Digital Photography Review is doing a great job posting pre-Photokina 2006 announcements.  In pre-show craziness so far, there have been 74 new products announced, including a Leica M8 digital rangefinder (which I am really excited about even though it will have little-to-no impact for underwater photography).  Most of the announcements so far have been incremental updates to existing models, with 10-megapixel compact cameras being the new standard.

In other trends, new SLRs are all featuring anti-dust sensor vibration, and compact cameras are starting to produce acceptable high(er)-ISO images.  In particular, Fujifilm compacts have been producing images with relatively low noise levels when compared to offerings by other brands.

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Digideep Apparel! Photo

Digideep Apparel!

Our good friends at Digideep have announced a line of clothing designed for the underwater photographer. Sweaters, polo shirts, and different styles of t-shirts are all being offered with the words digital snapper or strobe power featured on the back, at a price range of 15 to 39 Euros ($20-$50 USD) before shipping.

For sample photos and ordering information, check out the apparel...

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Divester/Wetpixel T-shirt Design Contest Photo

Divester/Wetpixel T-shirt Design Contest

Wetpixel and the fabulous photo-folks at Divester are pleased to announce our first joint t-shirt design contest, and we need your help!  Deadline for entries is September 30. After the deadline, Divester and Wetpixel will narrow the submissions to a slate of finalists. Then, we will reveal the finalists and allow you to vote for your favorite shirt. Thereafter, we’ll accept orders for the shirts for about 2 weeks. Depending on the design, expect each t-shirt to cost roughly $15-18. Any profits will be donated to a non-profit involved in ocean conservation.

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Gates Sony HVR-Z1U HD Housing Review Photo

Gates Sony HVR-Z1U HD Housing Review

Wetpixel member Mark Thorpe (CamDiver) has written an excellent comprehensive review of the Gates Underwater Housing for the Sony HVR-Z1U 3CCD High Definition Video Camcorder. Based in Palau, Mark had the opportunity to put the housing and its accessories through a number of dives to fully understand and evaluate the capabilities of the system. Mark writes:

For professional everyday use it is a compliment to any serious shooter. It’s relatively straightforward to use and is a means to an end. It allows the user full access to the required controls for all applications of underwater shooting ... This system certainly allows you to shoot exactly to your style.

The 14-page PDF review is full of photos of the housing in various stages of assembly, of the system in use, and from videos of the dives. A must-read for anyone in the market for a new video housing.

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