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Doubilet's Nudi Beauty!


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#121 vincentkneefel

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 03:37 PM

I remember am amateur u/w photographer (I think it was here) getting a winning image (I believe it was 2 or 3 boxer crabs on a sponge) thrown out of a competition (maybe BTS?) and was raked over the coals for it. What is different about DD's images? I doubt that the boxer crabs were harmed any more than these nudies...possibly less. There is no doubt double standards.

Dave


I totaly agree there are double standards; a friend of mine was disqualified from the Dutch annual competition for taking this picture, his daughter holding sea stars with gloves on.

Anyone ever been to SeaWorld? They have these pools where children can touch and feed the rays. I do feel pretty sad for these animals (being poked and grabbed every day), but on the other hand they serve as a great education tool and really bring the youth ´into touch´ with marine life.

I also heard of a guide at Mabul who collects rare critters (flamboyant, harlequin shrimp, boxer craps, etc). He brings them to a part of the reef so his guests can take pictures of them and he doesn´t have to go out and look for them... :lol:
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#122 Giles

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 03:40 PM

So if I hear you right Giles, we should quit complaining because he has 'rights' we don't. Wrong!

I didn't once say that no one else has the right to do what DD does or did.
I think earlier on I may have pointed out that most people don't have the knowledge of marine life he probably does to know what is more acceptable to touch than other things. I also pointed out that due to his Nat Geo backing what he does is probably quite far out of most other peoples abilities financially and time wise.

But feel free to keep putting words into my mouth as well as assuming that animals were harmed in the photoshoot.
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#123 vincentkneefel

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 04:07 PM

Some facts:

1. Plastic waste kills up to one million sea birds, 100,000 sea mammals and countless fish each year.
2. Nearly 60 percent of the world’s remaining reefs are at significant risk of being lost in the next three decades.
3. Less than one half of a percent of marine habitats are protected -- compared with 11.5 percent of global land area.
4. Each year, illegal longline fishing, which involves lines up to 80 miles long, with thousands of baited hooks, kills over 300,000 seabirds, including 100,000 albatrosses.
5. As many as 100 million sharks are killed each year for their meat and fins, which are used for shark-fin soup. Hunters typically catch the sharks, defin them while alive and throw them back into the ocean where they either drown or bleed to death.
6. Global by-catch -- unintended destruction caused by the use of non-selective fishing gear, such as trawl nets, longlines and gillnets -- amounts to 20 million tons a year.

While all of this is happening (right now at this very moment), some people go fanatical about the ´emotional´ harm of the Nudibranches done by one of the worlds best underwater photographers (whose photoshoot will reach millions of people and contribute to the awareness for the underwater world).

Please get real and use your positive energy to help solve the problems above.
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#124 stillhope

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 07:31 PM

"this topic has been discussed many times before..."

And even this time, after 123 posts, it seems to me that key points are being missed. The question of "do the ends justify the means" has been brought up, and of course it seems to be a key issue. But just what are the consequences of the means? How much harm is done by handling nudibranchs?

I read through all of the above posts, and I could have missed a sentence or two, but the knowledge about harm to the animals in question has so far been expressed as: "probably", "I seriously doubt", "it seems like", "I'll bet", "I would not be surprised", "for all we know", and even "in the lab, at least..."

In other words, no real data has been presented about harm to the animals. No budgets have been proposed for monitoring the health of the affected animals, not even any criteria for measuring their health. What's the point of the discussion if no-one has any data?

What about the "ends" that purportedly justify the means? Educating masses of people about our marine environments so they will be better stewards? Again, I saw not a single piece of hard data to support that contention. Sure National Geographic reaches a lot of people, and one writer even provided anecdotal evidence about her mother. And NG may actually do surveys to see what impact their articles have on people. But if they do, no-one here presented any data derived from such studies, so we just don't know how much good is done.

As far as hurricanes and recreational divers creating more harm than the practice in question -- that's just irrelevant. Well, maybe it's relevant if you're into finger-pointing exercises, and justifying actions based on what everyone else is doing. But to actually discuss a cost/benefit analysis (do the ends justify the means) of the photo technique in question, all of the other factors impacting the ecosystem are irrelevant.

What is my opinion? I'm an ecosystem kind of guy. I'd rather see animals in the context of their natural habitat engaging in interesting behavior -- not laid out on a white slab like just another Madison Avenue product.

Edited by stillhope, 22 May 2008 - 07:32 PM.

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#125 jeremypayne

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 08:48 PM

>>> How much harm is done by handling nudibranchs? In other words, no real data has been presented about harm to the animals. No budgets have been proposed for monitoring the health of the affected animals, not even any criteria for measuring their health. What's the point of the discussion if no-one has any data?

Budgets? Data? We are talking about invertebrate slugs being gently moved a few feet for a short period of time and then moved back to where they were found.

All the data I need is David Doubilet's voice on the video telling me that they were moved gently and none were harmed. He says they put them back exactly where they were found. They didn't touch any that were mating, touching another nudibranch, feeding or engaged in "difficult nudibranch behavior".

I believe him. Are you calling him a liar?

Edited by jeremypayne, 22 May 2008 - 08:54 PM.

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#126 Cal

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 01:27 AM

What about if he just let them crawl onto the UW studio?

What would that constitute?

sorry if its been covered. got bored at page 3 :lol:

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#127 loftus

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 03:49 AM

DD can now get grief from those who don't think he should touch anything and those who say he shouldn't use photoshop.

No one said he should not use photoshop! Just that it's possible he could have, and if he did, it makes no difference to whether it's a great shot or not. If DD came on this forum and said they were not retouched in any way, I would accept that. If he said that some retouching had been done, I would not have a problem with that either.
Ultimately DD has succeeded exceptionally well here in creating great photographs and great art, generating much controversy in the process, as great art often does.

Edited by loftus, 23 May 2008 - 07:37 AM.

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#128 underwatercolours

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 06:47 AM

While many of the points brought up here might be a concern to some of us, this is not about shark finning & pollution, accidentally bumping into the reef and the unintentional damage we do as scuba divers, using Photoshop, gently moving around a couple of nudibranchs, the "greater good" these photos might have on the ocean, or whether or not DD is a liar.

Its about underwater photographer etiquette (or maybe even scuba diver etiquette in general) and the double standards for Doubilet and National Geographic. At what price is it OK to do whatever it takes to get the shot? Who makes that decision anyway?

#129 Giles

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 07:21 AM

Who told you you could not go and do what DD did to take these images ?

No one .. so there is no double standard.
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#130 underwatercolours

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 09:25 AM

Who told you you could not go and do what DD did to take these images ?

No one .. so there is no double standard.


Ummm...maybe my conscience? Perhaps common sense? Possibly a concern for the example I would be setting? Me! That's who told me I [could not] should not do this.

Edited by underwatercolours, 23 May 2008 - 09:55 AM.


#131 MatthewAddison

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 09:34 AM

My David Doubilet Junior underwater studio arrived in the mail today and going through the directions I noticed there was no Nat Geo list of sea creatures approved for physical manipulation. Where can I get such a list so I can make use of my new studio on the next Wetpixel Indo trip without incurring the wrath of the other divers? Sure, I could create a lightbox effect in photoshop, but where is the fun in that?
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#132 diverdon

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 11:32 AM

Marjo, I agree with nothing that you have said! If David Doubliet can handle marine life to make money then so can DiverDon. So if you do not think I should be doing it, then you are way off base saying this guy has some special privilege which the rest of us lack. Whats next David Doubliet using a sea turtle for a DPV? By you logic thats fine, after all he is the worlds foremost yada yada!
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#133 stillhope

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 11:33 AM

Budgets? Data? We are talking about invertebrate slugs being gently moved a few feet for a short period of time and then moved back to where they were found...I believe him. Are you calling him a liar?


I'm not calling anyone anything. My post (except for the last paragraph clearly labeled as opinion) was simply reporting my observations and raising questions -- mainly about the discussion itself, and mainly tongue in cheek. It made no judgement about what anyone was doing.

I agree that it seems obvious that no significant harm was being done. But my point was simply that no-one who posted really knew, or even knew anyone who knew. And what seems obvious isn't always accurate (apologies to the Flat Earth Society).

Sometimes we take risks without being able to know the consequences -- that's part of life. We make our best guess. The risks we choose to take and the potential pay-offs are sometimes controversial. If what we don't know is deemed important enough by society, the money appears to study it more closely. Unfortunately, that often happens after the horse has left the barn.
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#134 diverdon

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 11:41 AM

OK

I wanna see someone who thinks this can be done in photoshop do it and have the same quality and effect.

thats an open challenge .. i doubt anyone will come up with an image of the same studio style feel with the perfect lighting and shadows etc.

I am convinced it is better and easier to do it the old fashioned way, using a little bit of ingenuity and photographic talent still outbeats any digital post processing.


I believe you are correct. A background can be changed in photoshop but the studio perfectly uniform soft lighting can not be created from a normal use of the flash. I could have many more stunning Nudibranch shots if I would have only moved a piece of coral out of the way.
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#135 diverdon

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 12:02 PM

How ridiculous.

Doubilet is in a hostile environment, one in which no man can survive without aid of man made quipment. Much like space.
Liittschawger has the fish in a hostile environment, one in which they can never procreate and carry on their species, and probably as there is no food, survive for very long. (but thank god for those pumps pushing airated water through)

We aren't talking about photographic technique here, of course there is nothing new about creating a studio environment to achieve better images, what people are saying is it is wrong that he moved the critters to get photos. Your example of Liittschawger one of the images even shows someone prodding a pencil in the water to make the fish move.

My point is Doubilets technique while yes some may take offence to it is WAY better than anything people have done before, is less invasive and I would guess almost interruptive to the life of the Nudi's. Your example really does not help to prove any point apart from mine, Doubilet has improved upon what others tried to do.
As for people trying to imitate, i seriously doubt it, thats a lot of equipment. It would take hiring a crew and your own boat to get that sort of stuff done.


I see no difference between him moving the nudi into his portable little studio and you or I pulling one from an inconvenient location and placing it into a better setting for the pic and then putting it back. Is that ok? I have done that with crabs and lobsters. Indeed the front page of my website has a pic of my brother holding a Main Lobster (Man was that a cold dive.) So perhaps I do have a double standard, none the less I feel it is wrong to handle the nudis this way. I would not do it. I would not dive with anyone who did it. Nor would I dive with a dive shop that permitted it. And I think it high time for NG to set a higher standard.
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#136 diverdon

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 12:12 PM

Do you really think you cause no damage when you dive? Don't be naive.

Have you ever grabbed live coral when you needed a hold?

Have you ever shot your strobe in the face of an unexpecting creature?

Have you ever exposed a hiding creature with your light on a night dive, upsetting the delicate balance of predator and prey?

Have you ever been in an overhead environs and filled the place with air bubbles?

Has your camera never bumped against the reef?

Have your fins never disturbed or touched a soft coral?

Please ... be realistic. At the margin, almost every diver on every dive disturbs the natural order of the reef.

I think that if you condemn DD for this project you should really consider giving up scuba - that is unless you don't mind being a hypocrite.


There is a big difference between accidentally touching something with a fin once of twice every hundred dives and setting out on a dive to handle a great deal of marine life. I was on a dive once when I saw a photographers assistant use a rock to bust open a sea urchin. I am sure he got some good shots, of the ensuing frenzy. These people were from another dive shop so I did not have the opportunity to express my opinion until now. What they did was wrong! What David did was wrong!
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#137 Marjo

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 12:20 PM

Marjo, I agree with nothing that you have said! If David Doubliet can handle marine life to make money then so can DiverDon. So if you do not think I should be doing it, then you are way off base saying this guy has some special privilege which the rest of us lack. Whats next David Doubliet using a sea turtle for a DPV? By you logic thats fine, after all he is the worlds foremost yada yada!


I was not going to post anything on this thread anymore, because I feel there is not much to be added one way or the other. I am replying because you are addressing me directly. However, regardless, this will be my last port here, unless the discussion moves toward a more constructive direction.

Diver Don, you do not need to agree with me.

And I do think that you Diver Don, should also be able to handle Nudies, if your handling of nudies would draw attantion to the oceans at the same or similar scale as DDs images, if you went thru the same rigorous preparations and research as DD did before this project, if you have the same or simliar level knowledge and experience of handling underwater marine life as he did, if you had sought the same scientific advise and had the same support from everyone involved etc etc

Somehow I just don't think that you are quite there yet, Don. Yes, I do think that DD has "priviledges" that some of us lack at this point and I think that is a good thing.

Your remarks about using a turtle as a DPV are uncalled for and indicative of your motivations for posting.

I am sorry Diver Don, you are addressing someone right now that on a day-to-day basis is grappling with the frustrating task of trying to enlighten decision makers within their own community and to try to stop destructive development, dumpping of sewage on the the reefs, tremblenetting etc etc What I see here in my island EVERYDAY is how things are going down the tube for the simple reason that those who are in power DO NOT KNOW what is there under the surface, and in the extension they do not care. The best (and somethimes it feels like ONLY) good tool I have is my (and others) images of the underwater world. So I know first hand what real impact images carry. Like someone very wise and far more expereinced in this field than myslef recently told me, the purpose of of all who are part of the dive industry should be "to make someone care". Those are words that I will carry with me.

I wish you all find the same joy and inspiration when you watch those images as I do. I wish you will all one day have some of the same positive impact on the oceans as Mr. Doubilet has had over the years and still has. This is officially my last reply on this matter in their tread. Anyone wishing to continue a constructive discussion with me is welcome to PM me tho.

Marjo

Ps. I won't be checking in on this wetpixel probably until monday as I am off now to arrange a fundraiser for the benefit of educating our community here on St. Croix of the importance of the reefs. The event, which is on Sunday, will feature live music and an underwater photo competition as well as lots of disseminating information about protecting our reefs. A big part of what we are doing is to try to educate kids and get them into the water so that they can SEE what is in there. Anyone interested in doing something similar in your community is welcome to contact me, you can check out our website at http://www.reefjam.com

Edited by Marjo, 23 May 2008 - 12:24 PM.


#138 diverdon

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 12:24 PM

No, being a diver or an underwater photographer who accidentally or incidentally does harm does not, in and of itself, make someone a hypocrite.

Condemning a world-famous underwater photographer working with National Geographic for gently moving a few nudis ... while yourself "selfishly" diving on reefs for personal or professional pleasure DOES ...


So being world-famous carries with it privileges not shared by lessor people. Is it ok if a daughter is raped by a rock star but not by a delivery boy? I just ain't buying this.
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#139 Halabriel

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 12:43 PM

So being world-famous carries with it privileges not shared by lessor people. Is it ok if a daughter is raped by a rock star but not by a delivery boy? I just ain't buying this.

Just follow Hollywood media - you'll see that this is exactly what happens - distasteful but unfortunately true. :lol:

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#140 diverdon

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 12:52 PM

My David Doubilet Junior underwater studio arrived in the mail today and going through the directions I noticed there was no Nat Geo list of sea creatures approved for physical manipulation. Where can I get such a list so I can make use of my new studio on the next Wetpixel Indo trip without incurring the wrath of the other divers? Sure, I could create a lightbox effect in photoshop, but where is the fun in that?



When you get the list send it on to me. I plan to make my own out of a old milk jug.
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