Digital Shootout Bonaire 2007 Day 5 Photo

Digital Shootout Bonaire 2007 Day 5

Home stretch! We had a relatively light schedule today, with two boat dives in the morning, a short talk in the afternoon on how to shoot split images (by Jim Watt) and a mini-lecture on Photoshop techniques (sharpening and backscatter removal, by Berkley White). Jim, Berk and I held informal office hours for the rest of the afternoon, helping participants prepare their final image selects for submission into the photo contest.

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Photo/video pro positions open in Yap and Bonaire

Our friends at the Manta Ray Bay Hotel  in Yap, Micronesia, and at Capture Caribbean in Bonaire (at the Divi Flamingo Resort) are both looking for video/photo pros. Duties include shooting daily videos, renting cameras, downloading photos, teaching classes, and more.

For more information on the Yap opening, check out this Wetpixel thread.  For more information on the opening in Bonaire, contact Kathy Lapsys at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Sea & Sea YS-250 strobe prototype photos Photo

Sea & Sea YS-250 strobe prototype photos

Jon Davy from Sea & Sea / TUSA has been hanging out with us here in Bonaire at the Digital Shootout 2007.  In addition to bringing an underwater housing and strobes to give away as a contest prize, Jon brought two prototype Sea & Sea YS-250 strobes with him.  Originally announced at DEMA last year, the YS-250 has been awaited eagerly by photographers because of its high power and relatively compact size.  We took a couple photos of the strobes…

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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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