Wetpixel Bahamas Goliath Groupers, Sharks, Dolphins Expedition 2010
Posted 12 September 2010 - 01:13 PM
Two days ago, we received reports that goliath numbers had peaked already, and that hurricane Earl brought large bottom swells that had chased the animals deep. Still, we were hopeful that we would see at least a few of them. Yesterday, we heard that there were 40 on the Zion, which brought new hope!
When we jumped into the water in the morning, there were only a handful of groupers around the wreck (~6). Upon surfacing, Sterling reported that he had seen 30 goliath groupers in a group (and had photographic evidence to back up his claims). We found the big group on the second dive, but the visibility wasn't that great (40-50'). Also, we're told that there aren't as many this year as there were last year; still, it was incredible to see so many huge groupers clustered together.
I was shooting my 3D video rig, which is terrible in bad visibility. Here's a screen grab from one of the eyes:
Hopefully, someone who was shooting stills will join this thread and upload images!
Posted 12 September 2010 - 05:08 PM
If that represents only a "small group" then when there are "a lot" it must be really incredible.
Please send more pictures.
Posted 12 September 2010 - 07:40 PM
Golian groupers spawning aggregation on Zion wreck, Jupiter, Florida
Posted 12 September 2010 - 08:25 PM
(replaced with color version -- see below)
This particular video looks great at 1080p full screen on a 17" monitor, but suffers greatly when reduced in resolution and viewed as a postage stamp-sized video.
By the way, this 12-second clip took a few minutes to convert to ProRes, around 5 minutes to assemble into 3D with Dashwood Stereo3D Toolkit / Final Cut Pro, 13 minutes to export back out (to ProRes), and then a few more minutes to compress down to H.264 720p with watermark. Computers owned by mortals are not ready for 3D workflow.
Posted 12 September 2010 - 09:44 PM
Releasing the hatchlings (who had been found heading the wrong direction on the beach and rescued) was a real highlight for me. I had always wanted to swim with hatchlings - there is something incredibly touching about seeing something so small in an immense sea.
Swimming a little ways off the wreck, I stumbled on the mother load - the Goliath aggregation happening in higher in the water column. There are more than 20 in this frame, but there were additional fish behind me as well.
It's impressive to see one of these massive fish, but seeing them stacked up like this is truly spectacular.
Eric and his Keldan light canons swimming over the wreck of the Zion with a new found friend.
The groupers like the habitat provided by the wreck.
There was also a massive school of spadefish right near the wreck - perfect 3D subject for Eric!!
Posted 13 September 2010 - 06:09 AM
Dual Ikelite Strobes
Photo site - www.reefpix.org
Posted 13 September 2010 - 06:14 AM
Canon 5D3 and 7D, Nauticam and Subal, an assortment of strobes and too many damn lenses!
"Hey Dean! How do you work this crazy thing?!" Jerry Lewis
Posted 13 September 2010 - 07:41 AM
More pictures here:
Posted 17 September 2010 - 09:12 PM
Red/cyan anaglyph 3D glasses necessary:
Emma the tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) circles a reef in the Bahamas (3D anaglyph red/cyan). I apologize for the horrible color and terrible image quality. The Sony CX550V is the worse white-balancing camera I've ever used, and blue water is not really suitable for red/cyan anaglyph!
Also, here's some fun with a GoPro!
Posted 17 September 2010 - 09:30 PM
Some photos from the Bahamas below:
Eric at Tiger Beach (cornfields) with his custom 3D rig with GoPro camera mounted for an additional perspective.
Caribbean reef shark swimming past a colorful reef - an image made possible thanks to one of Jimmy's great bait stations.
What a difference it makes to have an operator who understands photography.
Loggerhead turtle seen on a night dive on the Sugar Wreck.
The night dive with lemon sharks at Tiger Beach was a highlight.
Caribbean reef shark, converted to black and white.
Emma came in twice to bait stations near the reef. She always offered some close encounters.
A gorgeous young female tiger shark named Kimberly at Tiger Beach (Crystal Tiger).
Kimberly comes in for a close inspection of Mike Black's (Shearwater crew) video camera.
Kimberly and Emma swimming together at Tiger Beach.
Max the friendly grouper spent a lot of time checking out divers by the bait stations.
Caribbean reef shark in magic light, a few feet below the surface.
Posted 17 September 2010 - 10:12 PM
Great stuff guys! Sorry I'm missing the party. Wish I was with you...
So sorry you couldn't make it Phil, but very grateful that Eric convinced me to rally to take your place on short notice. It was really worth it! You will definitely have to come another time.