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Cenotes and Whale Sharks 2010, Mexico, trip thread


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#41 shawnh

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 07:45 PM

I know. Since you are there still and I am not, I think the cards are stacked against me...selective reading is all I have left!
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#42 sterlingz

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 08:25 PM

Eric:
I am heading that way with Elmer Yu week after next - what kind of rubber are you wearing for the cenotes and what is the water temperature? I assume you are not using flash with the whale sharks.
Great photos.
Thanks.
Andy


I think most of us were wearing 3mm suits, which was adequate. After the second dive, it gets pretty cold. Some sort of hood is definitely advisable. I feel like the water temperature was around 75 F, didn't check exactly. A 5mm might be good, but I feel like the buoyancy hassles could offset the benefit. Super important to be neutral, and a lot of the areas are shallow.

No strobes allowed with the whale sharks, only ambient. You don't really need them, though fill would be nice- the one place they would be especially useful is trying to light down the mouth. But if you can get the light in the right position, you can make it work. Personally, I'm glad not to have to swim with strobes attached to my rig for hours at a time. Much more streamlined.

Good luck!

#43 sterlingz

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 08:31 PM

It seems as if there was another spawning event, as the water was thick with eggs. Alex and Natalie brought back a sample of the bonito eggs which are the entire reason for this wildlife aggregation. Visibility was down, but lots of sharks so no-one is complaining!

Zumbrunn_20100803_00033_2.jpg
Whale shark food. Each one is the size of a small bead. How many of these do they have to eat? Millions? Billions?

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Of course, Eric just had to sample the whale sharks' favorite delicacy.

#44 adamhanlon

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 10:54 PM

And let me guess they tasted......fishy!

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#45 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 07:25 AM

To photograph the shark, you have to understand the shark. To understand the shark, you have to live like the shark...

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#46 sterlingz

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 07:20 AM

Well, our time with the whale sharks is over, and the next group's has begun. Looks like the Wetpixel luck continues so that Eli and company have stunning conditions to kick off their trip today. I'm looking forward to seeing the fabulous images that everyone will come back with in the next group.

Since we had so much time in the water with the whale sharks, we decided to take to the air for another perspective. Unfortunately for us, due to a communication breakdown, it actually took two attempts as we ended up going to the Holbox aggregation site on the first flight. Looks interesting over there, but water definitely seems green. I'm sure the vis would not be too hot. Here are a couple of photos from our flights:

Zumbrunn_20100803_00316.jpg
Islas Mujeres from the air.

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Manta feeding at the surface.

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A pod of dolphins.

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The whale shark aggregation that we've been swimming with this week.

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Whale sharks feeding at the surface.

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Eric in front of our "mosquito" as the airport staff liked to call it due to its diminutive size relative to other helicopters in the area.

#47 Alexis

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 07:23 AM

20100803_132642_TAB7749.jpg
Backstage

Edited by Alexis, 05 August 2010 - 07:24 AM.

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#48 TheRealDrew

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 08:35 AM

Since we had so much time in the water with the whale sharks, we decided to take to the air for another perspective. Unfortunately for us, due to a communication breakdown, it actually took two attempts as we ended up going to the Holbox aggregation site on the first flight. Looks interesting over there, but water definitely seems green. I'm sure the vis would not be too hot. Here are a couple of photos from our flights:



Great shots, love the Manta and the aerial of of the Island. I first learned to dive in Isla back in the early 90s and went back often until the late 90s, it has changed a bit :unsure:

#49 MikeVeitch

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 08:51 AM

Eric needs a haircut..

That shot of the 3 whalesharks together... :unsure:

Had no idea Isla was such a built up place, figured you guys were staying in little huts on the beach!
Would love to join some day...

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#50 shawnh

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 03:13 PM

Here's a shot at 3D whale sharks in blue water. Tried some settings to make it pop a bit more. Interested to know if it worked:

[vimeohd]13948878[/vimeohd]

(looked decent on my MacBook Pro monitor but not as good on my 24in Dell)
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#51 echeng

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 03:46 PM

Shawn - the 3D is not working for me at all. There is no 3D information in the blue!
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#52 shawnh

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 06:17 AM

Darn it! Back to the drawing board!
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#53 shawnh

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 04:20 PM

Ok. Trying to preserve some blue. Dropped blacks, pushed whites and dropped saturation further. Are we getting there?

[vimeohd]13987909[/vimeohd]
(Decent on 17in, not good on 24in)
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#54 onderwaterfoto

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 12:43 AM

Wow! Incredible images and footage!!!

I was on Holbox in 2007 and saw a lot of Whale Sharks too. But you guys had much more visibility. One more question: I don't see a lot of Manta's. We had a lot of them near Holbox, even more than whale sharks I think...

#55 KimInNB

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 10:32 AM

I am hating everyone on this trip LOL!!

I did the "tourist" thing with a day boat to the same area on July 20th - seas were too rough to enjoy the trip, thrown from bench to floor more than once so I just stayed on the floor.

Whale Sharks were just as amazing as you experienced, but my day was cut short since everyone on the boat (except me) was seasick :unsure: - I think I got 5 times with the whale sharks, which was amazing, but annoying since I wanted the entire day.

Too many whale sharks to count, too many boats to count and not one manta in sight.

Maybe next time.....

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#56 JACohen

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 06:59 PM

I've just got back from a fantastic week as part of the second group. The shark numbers thinned out towards the last couple of days but we still had some truly excellent conditions and whale sharks in abundance. No complaints from anyone in Eli's group!!

Here's a few photos...

2010_8_Mexico___Isla_Mujeres___Whale_sharks_2803_2.jpg

2010_8_Mexico___Isla_Mujeres___Whale_sharks_2427.jpg

2010_8_Mexico___Isla_Mujeres___Whale_sharks_2417.jpg

2010_8_Mexico___Isla_Mujeres___Whale_sharks_2406.jpg
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#57 JACohen

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 07:04 PM

And a couple more...The rest are available at my Flickr site



2010_8_Mexico___Isla_Mujeres___Whale_sharks_1901.jpg

2010_8_Mexico___Isla_Mujeres___Whale_sharks_1387.jpg

2010_8_Mexico___Isla_Mujeres___Whale_sharks_267.jpg

2010_8_Mexico___Isla_Mujeres___Whale_sharks_484_22_11_49.jpg

Attached Images

  • 2010_8_Mexico___Isla_Mujeres___Whale_sharks_195.jpg

Edited by JACohen, 11 August 2010 - 03:35 AM.

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#58 Stephen H.

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 07:55 AM

That black and white is outstanding.

I assume it was taken in color, what program did you use to convert it!?

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#59 JACohen

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 05:31 PM

Silver Efex Pro plugin for Lightroom. I really like it.
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#60 ewoolery

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 02:36 PM

(Great pics Julian, thanks for posting!)

Eli here, just back from a fantastic week in Isla Mujeres with the whale sharks, following right on the tail of Eric's trip. Our group included Lachlan (Lachy) Bursle, Evelyn Conley and Marty Silveira, and Julian Cohen and his wife Ildi.

After meeting up on Wednesday with Eric's group for dinner and hearing about all of their great encounters, we headed out Thursday morning full of anticipation. We were not disappointed! Upon reaching the site, we found ourselves surrounded by 100+ sharks, and us more or less the only boat in the area. This was my first time in the water with whale sharks, so needless to say I was enormously stoked! Those who know me are accustomed to the fact that I am inordinately fond of black & white images (which was perfect in this situation!) so please excuse the fact that most of the following images are B&W.

Posted Image
Close brush with a big tiburon ballena

On the second day, there were noticeably fewer sharks in the water (around 50), but we still had a lot of fantastic encounters, especially in the morning before the other boats started showing up.

Posted Image

Posted Image
Two big sharks pass each other on a quest for more fish-egg deliciousness.

A bit of wind and whitecaps on the water on the third day made us worry that the sharks might be hard to locate, but our fears were unfounded as captain Rogelio located them with just a bit of extra search effort. This day also held a special surprise: a friendly shark who circled just below the surface for over 20 minutes, allowing all of us plenty of encounter time.

Posted Image
Evelyn and Marty with the friendly shark.

(report continues...)

Edited by ewoolery, 12 August 2010 - 03:24 PM.