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Member Since 02 Feb 2004
Offline Last Active Oct 08 2014 09:19 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Canon 5d MKII or Canon 6D for best low light performance

08 October 2014 - 02:40 AM

The 6D easily outperforms the 5D2 in most everything you need as a camera.  The difference in noise is more pronounced in the higher ISO from 3200 onwards.  We are talking about a stop difference from 3200-25600.

In Topic: Bali Trip Recommendations

29 September 2014 - 06:47 AM

Ah the recurring Bali chat! :)

As Tim warns, there are life cycles in every site and the creatures aren't static, they are subject to storms and currents which can change things quickly.  I remember Tim and Alex had a roving rhino issue a few years back! :D  So what was reportedly there one week may not be there the next.

Dustin, specifically for your group, with the varied mix of people, I suggest you stay on the main island of Bali and boat to the various island. I'll copy/paste my recommendations for a friend who had a similar group to yours. Bold is additions made for you:


Lembongan/Penida resorts are great escapes and certainly cut short the boat rides to the best sites, but for non-divers who want that tour/special spa/shopping etc, it's pretty much a drag. Additionally, you can enjoy the wonderful restaurants like Three Monkeys, Sarong etc every night.  I usually recommend doing a 3 dive Mola/Manta day trip while staying in Sanur for diving the Penida/Lembongan islands.  There are some sites that AREN'T for noobs, with fierce current and difficult conditions. Remember, a few divers are lost annually because of the through flow. Respect the currents and limitations. 

As for not to miss sites, I think everyone has covered them.  
My personal trinity of Bali noob dive introduction, with your preferences of macro and night dives in mind, are Tulamben, Gilimanuk(Secret Bay) and Seririt(Puri Jati).  Tulamben is a no-brainer, with some of the best muck diving in the Seraya and of course the Liberty wreck area.  Secret Bay has the special mix of fresh (cold) water with natural and artificial reef areas that can be very special (my favorite dive there was 7 species of frogfish in one dusk to night dive!).  Puri Jati is most famous for T. Mimicus, but it actually has quite a few other things like frogfish and pipefish.  My favorite squid dives and shots came from there.  However, the bottom trawling fishermen are still a problem.  

The most important thing to consider is HOW to do a trip like yours.  I personally only dive with BIDP around Bali.  They have great experience with cameras and are shooters themselves.   We even go on site hunts all around Bali to find that next hot site!  I've used them for 13 years and heartily recommend them.  I suggest 5 days in Tulamben, 3 days in northern coast based in Seririt and 3 days in Sanur/Penida.
Normally once you choose an ops, they will assign a van and DM/guide to you for the duration.  For the north portion:  
I personally don't like Pemuteran as a base for the northern coast, especially with non-divers.  Staying in Seririt, the non-divers can do excursions to Lovina (20 mins from Seririt by car) for the dolphin viewing trip, up the mountains for the waterfalls and also the many scenic padi fields. At Seririt itself, there is always the spectacle of the  duck farmer walking his ducks on the beach!  It's easy to dive 6 dives a day at Puri Jati when you stay so close, including a dusk to night and then a night.
You can then take the 1+ hour drive to Secret Bay and spend the day there.  Don't forget to try the ayam betutu at the bus station... just be aware if you're not into spicy food!  Secret Bay has a nice variety of artificial and natural formations.  I suggest you bring along a WA/fisheye if the tides are right and hit that little wreck with a late afternoon sun and the schools of fish.  Stop in Pemuteran for late dinner either at Matahari or Amertha (call ahead to make sure the kitchen is open).

With new resorts popping up, the choices around Tulamben do fit most budgets.  I personally consider Scuba Seraya my home for Tulamben.  Markisa is also quite nice and if you are so inclined, on the same property as Markisa is a private bungalow with 4 bedrooms for rent, while sharing the facilities like the pool and restaurant (there is a kitchen there).  Seraya Secrets is easily done from the shore and worth multiple dives day and night.   I personally will only do with a big rig is dive any site on the main Tulamben beach (where the Liberty Wreck is) on a boat.  The Tulamben beach shoreline is lined with smooth rocks, some pretty large, which makes it difficult for ingress and egress for shore diving with a big rig and gear, especially when the waves get a little choppy.   Moreover, with a boat diving the wreck etc, you can finish where you want and just surface, instead of having to swim back to a particular point on the beach.
Doing a night dive on the wreck is great fun, especially when there is a current. I've caught pelagic octopus and leptocephalus doing my safety stop drifting in the current after the night Liberty dives.  Having the boat is invaluable asset for that.  It is of course, less environmentally friendly and slight more expensive.  Definitely worth it though.  Talk to the dive masters at Seraya as they are the ones with the most frequent dives in the area and have hosted many top photogs so they are knowledgeable. Tulamben food isn't the greatest but the local eateries like Wayan and Lesehan Segara are nice breaks from the resort food monotony. 
For the non-divers from Tulamben, they can do the Agung climb (several hours from the Besakih temple) which can be taxing for the unfit/well.  There is a waterfall and a few temples are within 60 minutes by car.  Just hire a daily driver for them.

Hope this helps. Have a great trip!



In Topic: Looking for recommendations for video tuition

22 September 2014 - 11:49 PM

I think at least 60% of the newer generation (below 45) of professional camera peeps have gone through some sort of resort work  Working a resort gives you time to hone your shooting skills and maybe even people skills. The top shooters camera peeps like Didier Noirot found work with Cousteau while working for Club Med.  Even the Dougs (Allan, Anderson)  all had some resort/dive center work on their resumés.   The aforementioned Zoo boys all came up from working around Malaysian resorts, in fact that's part of their business.
That said, video courses are mainly basic curriculum and hardly do they include animal behavior (especially big ones), which is essential for a top u/w shooter.  That also comes with experience.
So learn to use a camera, understand cinematography (especially underwater physics) and develop a showreel and work hard at getting a job in the hotspots (where you can get great and rare animal behavior and where film crews pop by a lot).  I don't know any of the new programs at Koh Tao since I don't like the place for diving.

In Topic: Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve Lite updated with unlimited nodes

15 September 2014 - 02:29 AM

Omah, hit software upgrade from the Apple menu and it should get you updated to the latest version of FCPX.  

In Topic: Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve Lite updated with unlimited nodes

01 September 2014 - 01:24 PM

Jonny, unfortunately, updating is the way forward as "standards" evolve.  There's now XML1.4  which Resolve 10 doesn't read.