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#41 Timmoranuk

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 04:18 AM

German girl called Pia by any chance ?

One of the best in the Red Sea (IMHO).

Paul C


Bavarian actually... :)

CJ and I will be diving with her in August. Its his first liveaboard trip (aged 11) and yes, I agree with you, this lady is probably the very best.

Edited by Timmoranuk, 02 July 2009 - 04:24 AM.

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#42 PRC

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 05:20 AM

Bavarian actually... wink.gif

CJ and I will be diving with her in August. Its his first liveaboard trip (aged 11) and yes, I agree with you, this lady is probably the very best.


Ha Ha,

Small old world!

Bavarian - I stand corrected. But regardless she is the best that I have come across in the Red Sea - actually understands the currents and knows the sites inside out - awesome, and a bloody good photographer to boot.

When I showed up on her boat she took one look and said "Ah then, I see you will be diving on your own this week!".

You probably know this but a box of licorice allsorts and you will be remembered in her heart forever - star turn - two boxes and... ah, best not to go there - stick with the single box and be safe.

Enjoy your week - give her my regards - we are trying to sort a trip with her later in the year.

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#43 Timmoranuk

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 07:09 AM

Pia and licorice allsorts and martinis have much in common; one isn't enough and three is far too many! And yes, she shoots a damn good photo with her Oli... Consider your best regards delivered.

A safari on the 'Pearl is like going home isn't it? Hope you get out there later. I expect that, like me, you do through Lydia at Oonas?
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#44 bvanant

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 10:14 AM

Bugger. My Typo... Thus spoke Zananthrustra

Here's a quickie...

Still huh? Thus Spoke Zarathustra at least that's what I learned (a long time ago)
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#45 allen

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 05:14 PM

Then don't sign up for 45 minute dives and everyone will be happy.


Wizbowes, as was said who do you work for? I want a dive op that respects that I am on vacation not going to boot camp. Screw that. If you want regular hours get a 9-5 job so can be home at night. Sound like you got into the wrong line of employment.

That said, I have yet to have a dive shop ever say before hand (i.e. before leaving the dock or when up signed up) that the dive is 45 minutes. That sounds like some dive ops from the 15 years ago when all but few dove with computers. And even then the ops I dove with never made such "requirements" BTW my last dive, we had two guides plus a boat driver. All for 5 divers. They seem to be making a profit.

BTW ... When I make inquires of dive ops I ask questions while still at home. Many times what they say and do can be different.

As for my nationality, bugger that. Just cause I live in the states does not mean sod. Your generalizations are nothing but ignorance. Guess you struck a nerve as I just returned from three weeks of diving with great dive guides.

Edited by allen, 03 July 2009 - 05:19 PM.


#46 Timmoranuk

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 08:16 PM

BTW my last dive, we had two guides plus a boat driver. All for 5 divers. They seem to be making a profit.


Not to detract from your comments Allen or the subject of this thread but the two guides may have been DM interns who even had to pay for their own gas... But that's another rant!

Edited by Timmoranuk, 03 July 2009 - 08:17 PM.

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#47 wizbowes

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 02:11 PM

Wizbowes, as was said who do you work for? I want a dive op that respects that I am on vacation not going to boot camp. Screw that. If you want regular hours get a 9-5 job so can be home at night. Sound like you got into the wrong line of employment.


I'm no longer working as a dive guide - I had to find a way to raise a family. But whilst I was I a very good one thanks. Like I've said previously you're missing the point here. The afternoon dive was sold as a 45 minute dive. It was perfectly clear - big letters on the board. My objection is not about people who want long dive times it's with people who sign up for a short dive and then think they have some kind of right to insist the dive's over when they declare it's over. You wouldn't pay for a forty five minute massage and then insist you get an hour would you?

#48 John Bantin

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 08:30 AM

I'm no longer working as a dive guide - I had to find a way to raise a family. But whilst I was I a very good one thanks. Like I've said previously you're missing the point here. The afternoon dive was sold as a 45 minute dive. It was perfectly clear - big letters on the board. My objection is not about people who want long dive times it's with people who sign up for a short dive and then think they have some kind of right to insist the dive's over when they declare it's over. You wouldn't pay for a forty five minute massage and then insist you get an hour would you?


Avoid this man - or if you're not going to, can I watch please?
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#49 wizbowes

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 08:53 AM

Avoid this man - or if you're not going to, can I watch please?
http://www.undercurr...es-to-be-broke/


I'm not sure I follow at all. Most of what he says I agree with (altough the choice of font leaves a lot to be desired). Am I missing something?

#50 John Bantin

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 12:12 PM

I'm not sure I follow at all. Most of what he says I agree with (altough the choice of font leaves a lot to be desired). Am I missing something?

If you've been on a boat with Bret, you know he gets what HE wants, and that might be including dive briefings of less than two minutes and dives of more than one hour. He isn't someone that people argue with.

Edited by John Bantin, 16 July 2009 - 12:13 PM.

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#51 Poliwog

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 03:06 PM

If I ever got on a boat where the divemaster said no strobe use for underwater photography, then my hand would be out, right then and there, demanding my money back and I would not do the dive.

Simple as that. When dive operators realize that they will be forgoing revenue because of some sketchy rules that they are administering because they “feel” they are the right rules to make out of some misguided sense of what “is” and “isn't” right underwater, and doing so on an ad hoc basis, they will more often than not decide that exceptions can be made in “certain” cases.

When your buddies stand behind you on this, and also decide to ask for their money back, it's amazing how fast the transition in special dive rules can be accomplished.

Avoid this man - or if you're not going to, can I watch please?
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John, the only other silly dive practice that Bret didn't mention is why does a left-handed diver have to put their weight belt on with a right hand release? In my instructor training I was always told it was for safety and rescue purposes. Who's safety? Surely not the left handed diver who can't get his belt off because it's on backwards for him. Maybe, it must be for the Rescue diver who will have a easier time stripping the equipment off the body of the lefthander after he has drowned because he couldn't undo his weight belt.

PADI really screwed up on that rule, but I digress...

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#52 John Bantin

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 09:31 PM

I recently went to Marsa Alam (with Emperor), and had 3 bouts of problems with the guides taking (or trying to take) photos with my flash...

Woody


The boss of Emperor in Egypt asked me to write to his fleet manager with my opinion on this. This is my reply:

Hi Gary


I have been a full-time underwater photographer for 17 years and before that I was an advertising photographer (25 years) who did a lot of work with animals including many ads for Whiskas, Pedigree Chum, Winalot and so on. I have also photographed male gorillas, wolves, horses, chameleons etc.

Firstly, for advertising photographs I habitually used 24,000 joules of flash. A typical professional underwater flash is about 40 joules. A compact camera's flash is a lot less. You can see the difference, I'm sure.

My experience underwater is this:

Animals ignore the emission of light from the flash. There is some anecdotal evidence that the vibrator employed in certain (now obsolete) underwater flashguns might attract sharks.

I habitually use a fish-eye lens and get very close to my subjects, all of which have the option to move away.
I also have a super sensitive underwater camera that needs no flash, so I can directly compare both methods.

What appears to disturb the animal more than anything is the looming shape of the photographer especially if it obscures the light source (sunlight) and the actual noise (or the vibration) of the camera operating. Quite frankly, two Inon strobes discharged from a distance of a few inches seems to get no reaction whatsoever.

If your guides are worried about the effect on the animals, tell them to get out of the water and take their divers with them! As for those polluting (diesel, sewage, noise) boats of your fleet....

Regards
John Bantin

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#53 tdpriest

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 11:52 PM

... what appears to disturb the animal more than anything is the looming shape of the photographer...


Now I know the cause of my trouble, since I loom more than most...


Tim

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#54 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 12:15 AM

Well said, John. Good to give these things a little perspective.

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#55 Drew

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 02:44 AM

Animals ignore the emission of light from the flash.

I'm not certain I'd put all my marbles for that statement. The frogfish/scorpionfish yawn, many fish disappearing after the 1st flash, pygmy seahorses falling off perches etc, all indicate anecdotal evidence to the contrary. Many species rely on not moving to escape predators, so until someone puts an ECG/EEG/Stress meter on those things, I wouldn't assume too much either way.
I fully respect your experience but I'll put my experience against yours and say it's not conclusive at all. That is not to say what some ops are doing by banning strobes is correct but I also don't think flashing ANY subject that has eyes 1200 times is a good idea.

What appears to disturb the animal more than anything is the looming shape of the photographer especially if it obscures the light source (sunlight) and the actual noise (or the vibration) of the camera operating. Quite frankly, two Inon strobes discharged from a distance of a few inches seems to get no reaction whatsoever.

Sure, a big unfamiliar shape that looms around intimidates small fish. But you've been to Bali recently and dived the wreck. Like most sites where there is regular diving traffic, the fish don't react like the more remote reef denizens. Any creature with eyes will see the light emitted by the strobes, how it affects them is not certain just because they don't take off as if a predator is stalking them. I can say from my experience that when I edge up to some fish without lights, they are fine and then once I turn on the lights... gone! Maybe the lights illuminated my ugly mug and that scared them, but either way, it affected them.

If your guides are worried about the effect on the animals, tell them to get out of the water and take their divers with them! As for those polluting (diesel, sewage, noise) boats of your fleet....

That argument is the reason why the world is in such a mess. Either die and not pollute or do whatever you want? We know humans pollute. However, the dive ops are trying to preserve their ricebowl, which happens to be the undersea environment. Nothing wrong with protecting the reefs from errant divers or overzealous photographers who have crappy buoyancy etc. We do what we can.
We've all been to dive sites that have been ravaged by photographers and their guides who flip everything to find subjects (eg. the flying octopuses and boxer crabs on soft coral etc). I appreciate that you are trying to be the voice of reason to Emperor but a little overzealousness in protection is much better than lax enforcement and the resultant damage.
If they ban use of strobes on Emperor Dive boats, then they should tell you up front. Their choice and it's their customers to lose. Many liveaboards don't live off the photographer market anyhow so it's not that big a hit on revenues. I always ask if cameras/strobes are "encouraged" or not. If they say it is discouraged, then I can choose another ops. Otherwise, if they pull stuff like that once you are there, you just don't pay and/or tip and come to WP to tell others. :B):

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#56 John Bantin

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 04:57 AM

Forcing an animal to do something it doesn't normally do is a very different matter. The relative size of your mirror (front glass of your macro port) with its reflection of a similar competing creature up close surrounded by a huge (in relation to a pygmy seahorse for example) threatening shape is enough to make anyone fall off his perch.
Bright lights are scary.
The flashes from a strobe? I doubt it. That's why we always used strobe for animal pictures and not 80k of HMI.

Here's a picture of two 24000j fried cats. At least 240 exposures. Do they look uncomfortable?

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Edited by John Bantin, 17 July 2009 - 05:08 AM.

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#57 Drew

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 05:37 AM

Well John, cats have eyelids, are topside where there's a big ball of light that outputs 1 kilojoule per second. Plus shooting 24kJ at a cat may not cause it to run away but it's trained to do model, much like your human models. Plus both their eyes were closed. Most fish species don't have that luxury :B):
Fish, especially night species, do get affected by strobe lights. I think a qualified marine biologist would be in a better position to jump in but what I remember was that strobe lights were used to keep fish from certain areas and similar experiments were done on several species of fish which reacted by swimming away from the strobe lights.
Fish eyes adjust more slowly to rapid changes of light, sometimes up to 20 minutes to adjust to a new light level. Short bursts of intense light would theoretically give them the same blurry vision humans suffer as the photocells are overloaded. I'm not going to anthropomorphise.
What I'm saying is not to ban flash photography but limiting your payload and not emptying your batteries on one subject isn't exactly unreasonable. 10 pics from each photographer in a group of 12-16 can result in pretty intense strobing. Staying on topic, banning strobes may be a bit much but limiting shots is definitely a good idea.
I realize most people (myself included) don't like to be told what to do, especially on an expensive trip with expectations of capturing images. Still I think it is wiser to clear things with the ops BEFORE you even book. Like the OP, I made that mistake of not checking at a few resorts and was burned.

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#58 Scubysnaps

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 06:58 AM

Still I think it is wiser to clear things with the ops BEFORE you even book. Like the OP, I made that mistake of not checking at a few resorts and was burned.

and I wont make that "mistake" again!
This limiting your shots thing, when he told me to stop using my flash of the turtles I couldnt believe he was asking me to do that and was a very "uncomfotable" situation underwater. You can see from my photos of them I never got a chance to adjust my position to get them in full shot. (and as for the long awaited shark dive, being told last minute before I go in so I have to then try and adjust my camera for no flash which I hadnt really done before was well off!) Most of their divers on the boat were the average touristy type photgrapher and were taking shots from any distance and any angle, it was only me getting real close, so I stood out, I think that would be the norm on these type of boats, I'd definately check every time now. Scenarios change tho, usually one would go in with just their buddy and go their own way.
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#59 John Bantin

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 07:57 AM

[quote name='Drew' date='Jul 17 2009, 05:37 AM' post='218841']
Well John, cats have eyelids, are topside where there's a big ball of light that outputs 1 kilojoule per second. Plus shooting 24kJ at a cat may not cause it to run away but it's trained to do model, much like your human models. Plus both their eyes were closed. Most fish species don't have that luxury :B):

Drew,
I won't bore you with endless pictures of cats but one thing any cat handler will tell you is that a cat cannot be trained, you just have to select one that is inclined to do what you want. I chose that one picture because they certainly looked relaxed. If you really want to help the planet, stop wearing non-biodegradable clothes, dig a big hole, climb in and contribute to the biomass. :D Going diving including getting there is not helping...

Edited by John Bantin, 17 July 2009 - 07:58 AM.

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#60 secretsea18

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 10:07 AM

We were out there last year and Thresher Shark Divers had that rule. Same with Exotic when I used then 1 or 2 years earlier. Of course it didn't stop those with PnS' who forgot to turn off their internal strobes... but a big no no for Mr. DSLR with two strobes... :B):

Threshers are supposedly quite timid and you would think they are light sensitive with those big eyes. But if I recall that Monty Hall episode, I don't recall the thresher that Gutsy was shooting with strobes getting spooked...


How interesting, as I only have dived with Exotic. No regulation regarding strobes... I guess they changed their rules to no strobes