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Galapagos Photos


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#1 MikeO

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Posted 21 May 2002 - 03:41 PM

OK Allen, you asked for it -- a few shots from my recent Galapagos trip. On the whole, visibility was pretty awful. Also, had trouble getting reliable exposures from my DS-125's -- they're off tomorrow to get the latest update. Still, I still managed to get a few decent shots. All have been Photoshopped to remove backscatter (though there are still a bunch of floaties in the shark picture) and adjust the levels except the longnose hawkfish shot -- didn't do nothin' to that one.

Blenny:

CFWA Grouper (w/INON UWL-100):

Longnose Hawkfish in Algae:

Hawkfish posing: http://members.cox.n...awkfish_640.jpg

Shark (w/INON UWL-100): http://members.cox.n...s_Shark_640.jpg

Mike

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#2 Tio Loco

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Posted 21 May 2002 - 09:47 PM

The shark is outstanding... did you see hammerheads at all?

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#3 Arnon_Ayal

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Posted 21 May 2002 - 10:38 PM

the shark picture is great.
I thinking to there in September, any advices? is it a good time?
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#4 MikeO

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Posted 22 May 2002 - 03:12 AM

Thanks,

Did see quite a few hammerheads, but they only got close enough for much of a photo a couple times (again, the vis was pretty bad). Once, one of our intrepid team of divers decided to swim right at them to get a photo and scared them off; the other time a dolphin swam through them and scared them away (see crappy picture of dolphin (the middle 640x480 cropped out of a 4MP image): http://members.cox.n...olphin_Crop.jpg )! Also saw lots of sea lions, but they were just too fast for much of a still picture (shutter lag does actually kinda suck sometimes). Here's one of a sea lion about to surprise one of our divers:

Did get a few quicktime movies of sea lions, but I don't have enough server space at the moment to post a 10MB file.

According to our guide, September is usualy a good month -- toward the tail end of whale shark season. Keep an eye on El Nino reports, though. The water at Wolf and Darwin was in the high 70's when I was there, though the southern islands were cold (e.g., in the 60's at Bartholome).

Mike

[Edited on 5-22-2002 by MikeO]

Mike Oelrich
Canon EOS 40D in Seatool housing, 100mm macro, Tokina 10-17, INON Z-240s.


#5 underwaterdigital

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Posted 22 May 2002 - 03:31 AM

Mike,

Those are nice shots. I especially like the shark pixs. Did you use the INON UWL-100 WAL for the shark shot? If yes, what do you think about the INON lens and what do you like most about the lens? Just an inquiring mind.


Allan
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#6 bobjarman

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Posted 22 May 2002 - 12:45 PM

Great Shark Image Mike!

Too bad about the hammerheads. I know you must have been dissapointed with that.

I just bought the Inon W/A for my G2-Ike set up and after seeing you results I am even more pumped for the 48 days to pass til my Coco's expedition.

:P

Oops meant to ask, can you tell me more about your setup? Were you using 2 DS125? What camera and settings were you using with the Inon?

Thanks


[Edited on 5-22-2002 by bobjarman]

#7 MikeO

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Posted 22 May 2002 - 03:12 PM

Yes, used the INON lens for the shark. I find it to be a sharp lens and didn't experience the dreaded lens flare, except in some of the videos I did of the sea lions. Not sure if the WA lens was the cause of the flare or if it was the movie mode when I panned by the sun. Only other strange thing I noticed was that if I had the camera at maximum zoom with the wide angle lens on (not recommended in any case (always shoot it as a fixed focus lens with the digicam at maximum WA for best results) but I mention it because I goofed up a couple times and found this out) I would always get overexposure from the DS-125. The UWL-100 also is good for shots of the divers on the panga on the way back to the "mother ship" as it will give you a nice fisheye shot when above water ( ). I tried to get some over-unders of sea lions with it but found it nearly impossible to synchronize the proper water level with the shutter lag while bobbing around in the water. One last thing. You must make sure the space between the lens and the housing fills completely with water. There are two ways to do this, neither of which is fun in strong currents, especially while wearing gloves. The first way is to carry the lens down separately, then attach it after submerging (being careful to "whoosh" away the little bubbles, which always stick to the port). the second is to attach the lens while topside, then take it off, "whoosh", and reattach after submerging. If you don't remove and reattach it, there *will* be air bubbles in there. I went with the second method because we were doing back roll entries off of RIBs with no air in our BCs; basically, we dropped in like rocks in order to get down to the rocks quickly. This meant unscrewing the lens, holding it while "whooshing", then reattaching it, all while descending or once "safely" wedged in between barnacles. I dropped the lens once while next to a wall and about lost my mind in the split second it took me to catch it.

I have two DS-125s but only used one at a time. Exposure from them was a bit erratic, partly from their known (but fixable) deficiencies and partly because I'm still learning how to use them. For the wide angle shots, I used Program mode (but with ASA forced to 100), for the most part, though I wish I'd gone to manual for the CFWA ones. I pared down my setup and shooting style due to the combination of strong currents and my still weak right knee, which is recovering slowly from reconstructive surgery. One strobe was plenty to worry about while hanging on to the barnacles in strong surge and current, and if I had used both hands to mess around with camera exposure settings I would have been pushed around by the surge or blown off the wall. Next time I go to the Caribbean, I'll be able to go whole hog again.

A final recommendation: Wear Kevlar gloves to the Galapagos. I found it impossible to avoid the barnacles while holding onto a camera. Check out this comparison between my Kevlar SeaSoft gloves and someone else's leather reef gloves ( ). The owner of the reef gloves was shooting video for several days with his gloves and it didn't take long for them to look like this (ouch!). The gloves I used are made by Watermark and are made especially for divers who want some dexterity but need to wear gloves. They are mostly 3mm, but the thumb and forefinger are 1.5mm. I found them very comfortable and I was, indeed, able to operate all the camera buttons with them, though I found it nearly impossible to grip and remove push-on lens covers with them once in the water. They also make a 5mm/3mm version for even colder water. The bad news: price. I paid $69 for them (plus $8 shipping and handling) and had to special order them from the manufacturer because they wouldn't let my local dealer (who is an authorized dealer but doesn't normally stock their gloves) order less than 6 pairs at a time -- they instructed the dealer to have me call them directly to order . . . http://www.watermark1.com if you're interested.

Mike Oelrich
Canon EOS 40D in Seatool housing, 100mm macro, Tokina 10-17, INON Z-240s.


#8 underwaterdigital

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Posted 23 May 2002 - 05:04 AM

Mike,


Thank you for your input. You know, the same thing happened to me on my first dive. I totally forgot to unscrew the lens underwater thus resulting to poor quality image. As Mike mentioned, a quick fix is to unscrew the lens underwater and screw it back on making sure that there are no bubbles on the glass. By the second dive everything was OKAY. This applies to both lenses INON UWL-100 and Sea and Sea WAL L.


Best regards,
Allan
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#9 kdietz

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Posted 23 May 2002 - 05:45 AM

Mike, thanks for the tip about the air bubbles. I'll be using my INON WA next month in Cozumel for the first time.

Two questions: what did you do with the lens when you weren't using it? and, did you try zooming out 1 notch to try to eliminate the soft corners? I've heard that helps, but haven't tried yet.

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#10 MikeO

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Posted 23 May 2002 - 05:56 AM

To be honest, I didn't notice any soft corners. Usually any "softness" could just as easily be attributed to depth of field. Zooming out one notch sure couldn't hurt, though. Because the lens is pretty bulky, I usually just made the decision to go the whole dive with or without it. I did buy a neoprene pouch for it but the pouch is a bit too snug for one to be taking the lens in and out a lot. Also, with gloves on, I had trouble putting the lens caps on and off. I did, occasionally take the lens off and stuff it in the pocket of my BC. However, I was concerned about the lens covers not being on it while it was in there . . .

Mike

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#11 Andi Voeltz

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Posted 29 May 2002 - 07:00 PM

kudos mike... the hiding hawfish and the
galapagos shark are my favorite ones!!!
with the hawkfish I think you might have
a good chance in winning this weeks contest at:
http://www.digideep....php?week=200223

:P .oOO. Andi
find a housing for your digicam! oOo. http://www.digideep.com .oOo.
market overview of the essential equipment for digital uw photography