Digital Shootout Bonaire 2007 Day 4 Photo

Digital Shootout Bonaire 2007 Day 4

We dove some really lush reefs today (and yesterday), with nearly complete gorgonian and sponge coverage. After spending so much time in the south Pacific, it is rare for me to find a reef that I’m impressed with, especially in the Caribbean. But some of the reefs here in Bonaire (especially in the far north and far south) are really healthy and host a ton of marine life…

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Sardine run updates from the field Photo

Sardine run updates from the field

An unofficial Wetpixel group run by video guru Drew Wong is currently off in South Africa photographing the sardine run, an annual event where thousands of dolphins, sharks, and gannets feed on a massive sardine migration up the eastern cape.  As a bonus, it is currently humpback whale season, so the participants have also been seeing whales pretty much daily.  I went with Drew last year and had a great time (ask him about the time he scared away the humpback whale while wearing a spiderman wetsuit).

Drew and the participants have been sending in daily updates via GPRS connection on a mobile phone.  Follow their progress in our forums!

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Digital Shootout Bonaire 2007 Day 3 Photo

Digital Shootout Bonaire 2007 Day 3

The evening slideshow was impressive. Following a pattern established in all the previous digital shootouts, the second image critique session showcased images so much better than those shown the night before that they might as well have been shot by different people. This always makes the staff happy because it means that we are having a real affect on participant photography skills…

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Live manta birth in captivity Photo

Live manta birth in captivity

A 1.9 meter baby female manta ray was born at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan on Saturday, June 16, 2007, and the event was captured on video. The aquarium reported that the gestation period was 374 days - a little over a year - and believe it to be the first manta born in captivity.

Underwater photographer Tony Wu has posted one version of the video on his blog, and there are a few more cuts floating around on YouTube. The newborn “emerges rolled up like a tube” before unfurling her wings and beginning to swim.

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Digital Shootout Bonaire 2007 Day 2 Photo

Digital Shootout Bonaire 2007 Day 2

Just in! : a bunch of images submitted by our participants. In previous years, we found that it was nearly impossible to get more than a dozen images submitted for the evening slideshow/critique after the first day of diving. Today, we received over 100 from our eager crowd of 40-50 still shooters. We even received video submissions. Given the difficulty of getting images together and putting together short video vignettes in such a short amount of time, we’re very impressed.

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Digital Shootout Bonaire 2007 Day 1 Photo

Digital Shootout Bonaire 2007 Day 1

Today is the official start of the Digital Shootout 2007! By late this morning, nearly all of the participants had arrived, and most had already started diving in earnest. At 10am, Berkely, Jim, and Russ ran another gear setup workshop in the classroom while Dan and Mary Lynn prepared the Capture offices for the week’s video workshops.

At 2pm, photography and video seminars commenced…

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SS Thorfinn dive boat aground in Pohnpei Photo

SS Thorfinn dive boat aground in Pohnpei

A few days ago, Wetpixel received an anonymous email with a rumor that the SS Thorfinn dive boat had run aground in Pohnpei:

The Thorfinn has an engine room filling up with water. It came into Pohnpei and loaded up 70,000 gallons of used oil from PUC and there were not enough pilots to have one come aboard on the way out. A pilot was on each of the two ships leading the way and the Thorfinn was following the two lead ships and went on the reef yesterday.

The email was confirmed in the forums by a series of photos taken by Pohnpei resident Michael J. Sipos. Recently, an oil boom was placed around the vessel, but repairs have not yet proceeded on an estimated 12” gash in the hull. Continue reading for the images, or discuss the environmental impact...

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Digital Shootout Bonaire 2007 Day 0 Photo

Digital Shootout Bonaire 2007 Day 0

Most of the staff arrived today and yesterday on flights from various parts of the United States along with an intrepid group of early-bird participants eager to get in the water with their cameras. Although the shootout doesn’t officially start until tomorrow, more than half the guests are already here. Serge, the manager of the dive shop at our host resort (the Divi Flamingo), gave a morning briefing on local dive policies and logistics, and by noon some of our participants had already spent a couple of hours in the water…

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Digital Shootout Bonaire 2007 Daily Webcast Photo

Digital Shootout Bonaire 2007 Daily Webcast

Welcome to daily coverage for the Digital Shootout Bonaire 2007. The Digital Shootout 2007 is being held in Bonaire, a small island in the southern Caribbean. Because nearly the entire island has been designed for access to easy shore diving, Bonaire is frequently referred to as a diver’s paradise; because of its fantastic diving and classroom-friendly resorts, this year is the Digital Shootout’s third year on the island, featuring 60 participants and 10 staff members…

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Complementary filters and wide-angle underwater photography Photo

Complementary filters and wide-angle underwater photography

On a recent trip to Little Cayman, Wetpixel administrator James Wiseman decided to try the technique of complementary filters. With a magenta filter on the camera lens and green filters on his strobes, James found that foreground lighting could appear normal while enriching the blue water background, and that the typical cyan ring around ‘sun-balls’ or ‘sunbursts’ was reduced or eliminated altogether.

James wrote an article about the results, and includes photos to provide a comparison of each filter/strobe/ambient light combination. “Complementary filter photography at first sounds pretty complicated, but it’s really easy to get started…after trying it one just one trip, I am completely hooked…

Continue for all of his observations…

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