SeaSpace 2005 Report Photo

SeaSpace 2005 Report

Seaspace 2005 was held in the Reliant Center at the Astrodome complex in Houston June 4th and 5th.  Eric Cheng and I attended the show together again this year, but this time, we did not have any duties, other than checking out the booths, seminars, and workshops of interest to the Wetpixel underwater photography community.  If you are into large “scuba gear shows” like DEMA, then you would have considered this years event to be pretty small.  However, from a photo-centric viewpoint, the show was perhaps the best of the 5 that I have attended.  This article will be a brief summary of the show, as most of the information is contained in the photographs and photo captions.

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Optimal underwater macro aperture

Borut Furnlan sets out to answer the following question:  “... what f-stop should I use at underwater close-up photography with a reproduction ratio of 1:1 (life size) to obtain the best compromise between depth of field and the list drop in sharpness due to the diffraction of light on aperture blades?” Borut also answers the following question: do objects underwater look 1.33 times bigger or 1.33 times closer? [Thanks, James]

Borut uses film, but the test is still an interesting read for digital guys (digital systems have different sensor sizes and pixel densities, which affect circle-of-confusion calculations).

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Disney Hong Kong and Shark Fin Soup Update Photo

Disney Hong Kong and Shark Fin Soup Update

Here’s an interesting article that shows that the protests and bad media may be having an effect:

- HK Disneyland considers serving only shark fins obtained by non-cruel means

- HK Disney answers soup critics (June 9)
Disney will only serve legally-harvested shark fin, and will hand out pamphlets to interested parties

On my personal website, I’ve posted a template for a letter you can e-mail to Disney executives (easy, one-click e-mail links also included).

And speaking of protests and media campaigns, Wetpixel member Jason Grimes is also organizing a letter-writing campaign.  Continue reading for more information.

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Wetpixel Sardine Run Expedition 2006 Photo

Wetpixel Sardine Run Expedition 2006

Join us in South Africa for one of the world’s greatest spectacles of nature.  Every year, the world’s greatest marine migration takes place off the South African Wild Coast. Millions of sardines follow the cold winter currents moving north toward the warm Indian Ocean, bringing with them thousands of predators: dolphins, sharks, whales, seals and marine birds.

Doug Perrine won last year’s British Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year award with an image he took while on a sardine run expedition.

Wetpixel has 10 spots for this amazing trip scheduled for June 21-30, 2006.  Continue reading for more details. APR 26, 2006: THREE SPOTS JUST OPENED UP (LATE CANCELLATIONS).

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Wetpixel Great White Shark Expedition to Guadalupe 2006 Photo

Wetpixel Great White Shark Expedition to Guadalupe 2006

Wetpixel heads to Mexico in August of 2006!  Photograph great white sharks with Eric Cheng and Norbert Wu aboard the Solmar V in the clear, blue waters off of Guadalupe Island, Mexico.  This is a special, 7-day expedition. In addition to the normal surface cages, we’ll have a large “cinema cage” at 20’.

Continue reading for trip details. (APR 2006 - Trip has booked full!)

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Zigview Angled Viewfinder Photo

Zigview Angled Viewfinder

DPreview.com reports that a UK based company called Intro2020 is distributing the Zigview angled LCD viewfinder for SLR cameras.  The unit is basically a tiny CCD video camera and LCD monitor merged with a case that mounts over your camera’s viewfinder, much like a right-angle finder.  This unit may be of interest for underwater photographers as it looks like it could be enclosed in a small box and mounted on an underwater camera housing.  The 1.9 inch diagonal LCD display, while probably not fine enough for determining focus, would be very helpful for macro composition.

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LAUPS: 2005 43rd Annual International Competition

The Los Angeles Underwater Photo Society is pleased to announce that the 43rd annual International Competition is open for entries. Photographers will compete for outstanding prizes, including liveaboard and land-based dive vacations, diving equipment, and photo gear. This year, for the first time, the competition will be accepting digital files in addition to prints,  slides, and video.  Entry categories include macro, wide angle, west coast cold water, marine related, creative freestyle, raw (unedited) video and open video.

Last year’s competition drew entries from 17 countries and 23 states.  The deadline for entries is September 23, 2005.

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Fantasea Nikon Coolpix S1 Housing Preview Photo

Fantasea Nikon Coolpix S1 Housing Preview

Fantasea has sent us photos of their first (successful) testing of a new underwater housing for the Coolpix S1, an extremely-compact, 5-megapixel camera from Nikon. (continue reading for larger photo)

Fantasea strives to present affordable underwater housings for digital cameras.  For example, their FD-70 housing for the Nikon D70 costs $999 and includes a standard flat port and flood insurance for one year.

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Digital Sunbursts Discussion

Current digital cameras are hugely capable and most DSLR shooters are now happy that their cameras can match or out resolve slide film. The one area that film still seems to rule is in capturing sunbursts - and this is important as underwater sunbursts are such a characteristic element of our images.
That said, digital can do a much better job at capturing sunbursts than many people think. But requires a different approach to film. Join in with the current discussion on the Best Of Wetpixel forum where members are sharing their tips, experiments and opinions on this topic.

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