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Wetpixel Ocean Safari begins Monday


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#121 Drew

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 12:19 AM

I must add this for everyone thinking of going on this trip. I've done this a long time and if you think every year the action is like this, you are in for a big surprise. The group this year was VERY VERY lucky for a combination of reasons, where the elements melded together. Was this the best run ever? No. However, the conditions (viz esp) held the longest I've seen it and it was the best conditions I've ever seen in the area.
I was chatting with another veteran and we were laughing at the newbies who think it's that easy every year, especially the skippers who don't dive it.
Things change and the elements change. This year the water was warmer in general thus you had more tropical predators like sailfish. Now the water is colder and you have the Bryde's whale coming in droves, something that happens way much farther south.
It's also about expectations. Everyone comes thinking about Doug Perrine's shot or the Blue Planet (Deep Blue) stuff. The production companies don't care if it's sardine or herring but the experienced ones knows the differences it makes the shots Doug shot all the more special.
So for those who are seriously contemplating this trip, forget all you have seen here and go and wait to be surprised. You may get a bonanza or not see one lousy baitfish. But I'm sure you'll see something you've never seen before. I know because I go every year and it surprises me still.
Most importantly, go on a boat with as few people as possible if you want the best pics.

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#122 pats0n

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 02:14 AM

I must add this for everyone thinking of going on this trip. I've done this a long time and if you think every the action is like this, you are in for a big surprise. The group this year was VERY VERY lucky for a combination of reasons, where the elements melded together. Was this the best run ever? No. However, the conditions (viz esp) held the longest I've seen it and it was the best conditions I've ever seen in the area.
I was chatting with another veteran and we were laughing at the newbies who think it's that easy every year, especially the skippers who don't dive it.
Things change and the elements change. This year the water was warmer in general thus you had more tropical predators like sailfish. Now the water is colder and you have the Bryde's whale coming in droves, something that happens way much farther south.
It's also about expectations. Everyone comes thinking about Doug Perrine's shot or the Blue Planet (Deep Blue) stuff. The production companies don't care if it's sardine or herring but the experienced ones knows the differences it makes the shots Doug shot all the more special.
So for those who are seriously contemplating this trip, forget all you have seen here and go and wait to be surprised. You may get a bonanza or not see one lousy baitfish. But I'm sure you'll see something you've never seen before. I know because I go every year and it surprises me still.
Most importantly, go on a boat with as few people as possible if you want the best pics.


Let's say we had two ok bait ball days and one very good bait ball day - last one with 20m viz - but we had strong wind and 4m swells, so finished earlier. Still we missed best days because this season all of them happened after we left :D We call it success, with that I fully agree, but still in terms of hit ratio it is below expectations of most people. You really need to be patient on Sardine Run, I have to say that during first 7-8 days I felt some frustration too that we are not going to see any bait ball action underwater at all - still we had fun with other things. And then suddenly everything turned sharply for much better.

#123 Drew

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 03:59 AM

Here are a few more pics to show the viz we had this year. More importantly, the pandemonium in the action:


Posted Image
Here the dolphins and gannets dive in on the redeye herring (not mackerel as Alex keeps saying) baitball.
Posted Image
Here a gannet and dolphin both score a fish. Usually the dolphins have to work harder with the redeye herring as they pack looser in their baitball defence. They also move a lot more.
Posted Image
Gannets manage to get more than 12m deep when they dive from up to 30m above the sea. They have been known to swim all the way down to 25m.

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#124 pats0n

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 07:13 AM

Here are a few more pics to show the viz we had this year. More importantly, the pandemonium in the action:

Here the dolphins and gannets dive in on the redeye herring (not mackerel as Alex keeps saying) baitball.

Here a gannet and dolphin both score a fish. Usually the dolphins have to work harder with the redeye herring as they pack looser in their baitball defence. They also move a lot more.

Gannets manage to get more than 12m deep when they dive from up to 30m above the sea. They have been known to swim all the way down to 25m.


Wow ! Fantastic moments Drew, luv one with gannet and dolphin both with fish in mouth.

Bit of advice regarding post-processing - instead of changing color temperature, try different trick - reduce "vibrance" (non-linear saturation, which will desaturate less saturated areas more) - by this you will preserve original water hue while removing blue cast from animals. "Vibrance" is available in Adobe RAW converters both in Photoshop and Lightroom.

Edited by pats0n, 15 July 2008 - 07:14 AM.


#125 Drew

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 07:45 AM

And have my pics look like yours with a pale ghostly look? Not what I'm after. I like my subjects to look somewhat like they do in sunlight, not a yellow/red-less version. I've never liked over processed looks. Plus I'm too damned lazy to work so hard on lousy web pix anyhow. Thanks for your suggestion.

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#126 pats0n

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 08:00 AM

And have my pics look like yours with a pale ghostly look? Not what I'm after. I like my subjects to look somewhat like they do in sunlight, not a yellow/red-less version. I've never liked over processed looks. Plus I'm too damned lazy to work so hard on lousy web pix anyhow. Thanks for your suggestion.


Well question of taste , I believe :D Anyway, try it, vibrance works ok for some shots and not ok for others, as pretty much any other technique... sometimes it does miracles ! :P and it preserves hue of water, unlike temperature shift..

Wetpixel Ocean Safari is on "Daily Dozen" photo page of National Geographics Magazine today - http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/. Frontpage history will die tomorrow I suppose, but it is possible to look it up in archive http://ngm.nationalg...-shot/your-shot

Posted Image

Edited by pats0n, 15 July 2008 - 09:14 AM.


#127 loftus

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 09:45 AM

What an unbelievable collection of photographs you guys have shown (and maybe more to come). If either Drew or Alex are interested in making prints available, I would be interested.
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#128 BottomTime

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 10:33 AM

What an unbelievable collection of photographs you guys have shown (and maybe more to come). If either Drew or Alex are interested in making prints available, I would be interested.


Ditto,

I'd be interested also.

Cheers,

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#129 Drew

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 01:25 PM

I think Colin and Andrej have yet to show their shots... so there are better ones yet to come. :D

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#130 pats0n

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 01:36 PM

I think Colin and Andrej have yet to show their shots... so there are better ones yet to come. :P



Andrej got fantastic stuff with his fisheye, can't wait to see it ! Colin must have a lot of material too. We had few good days :D

Edited by pats0n, 15 July 2008 - 01:36 PM.


#131 wagsy

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 03:51 PM

WOW great shots there guys. :D
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#132 Drew

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 12:24 AM

For those who want to join the Wetpixel Ocean Safari 09 trip, PLEASE do not contact me via email or PM. Eric Cheng isin charge of putting together the trip and if there is an announcement, you will shortly see it on the board.

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#133 colinrobson

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 01:36 AM

Hi everyone.

I just got back from Mozambique on Sunday (without cameras, lenses or housing - missing en route but thats a different story) so I havent posted previously.

Here's a few samples:

_CJR1438.jpg

_CJR1575.jpg

_CJR1627.jpg

_CJR1629.jpg

Colin













And a few more:

_CJR1814.jpg

_CJR1840.jpg

_CJR1886.jpg

_CJR2103.jpg

Colin

#134 pats0n

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 01:43 AM

Hi everyone.

I just got back from Mozambique on Sunday (without cameras, lenses or housing - missing en route but thats a different story) so I havent posted previously.

Here's a few samples:



Hi Colin ! Welcome back - good to see you :D

Wow ! All shots are superb, but one with two dolphins scoring small fish - you know, makes me really jealous :D :P Super-shot, congratulations ! I also like last one very much - very dynamic !

#135 Drew

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 02:24 AM

(without cameras, lenses or housing - missing en route but thats a different story)

Wow Colin, I hope it's all insured. Now you can upgrade to the D3 or D700 without feeling too bad. In fact you could even go Canon :D Drop me an email with the story.
I also took the liberty of removing your double post. :P

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#136 shawnh

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 11:23 AM

Hey Folks,
Drew asked me to post this while he is lost in Africa. The video footage is pretty awesome and well worth the watch!

"I was with the Earth Touch crew on their boat when we found this action: watch the commentary version for the sound track. You may hear the 8fps of my camera in the background (sorry Grant :D)"
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#137 loftus

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 01:51 PM

Thanks Shawn. Really great.
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#138 vazuw

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 03:29 PM

Our group at work just watched that video. All we can say is WOW. What an experience

#139 davichin

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:32 AM

Great video! I have surfed around that website and there is incredible footage.
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#140 echeng

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 03:44 AM

Damn. That is awesome. We never saw anything remotely like this two years ago. I guess you really have to keep going back to be there for the action when it happens...
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