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Member Since 19 Dec 2008
Offline Last Active Mar 24 2014 08:06 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Underwater Photography Challenge

24 March 2014 - 01:35 AM

Hi Decosnapper or should I say Hi Simon, I haven't heard from you for a few months, well not since you last asked to come diving with us at Studland to take pictures of seahorses to sell (I seem to remember you wanted to help promote the work of the trust), even though you knew we do not allow flash or light under licensing conditions. Funny how you were happy to accept my 'opinion' when you wanted to come and get a dive, interesting that.



Are you sure you have the right 'Simon'? Apart from helping me ID some Hippocampus I photographed in Bulgaria's Black Sea last year, I can't recall being in touch with yourself for a very, very long time indeed?


As already stated, I have precisely no interest in photographing seahorses in the UK and have have nothing to lose or gain by a lifting or imposition of a ban on the use of flash. Equally, I cannot see there is nothing wrong with questioning the opinion of others who hold a particular view. Reason and debate is just part of a functioning democracy. 

In Topic: Underwater Photography Challenge

22 March 2014 - 05:04 AM


Can you tell me why the option has to be to take top quality pictures if it harms the animal?? (in my opinion), if the aim is to take a memento of seeing the seahorse then why not a lower grade one that can be tweaked in photoshop?


Therein lies the crux of the issue I think.


I would suspect that divers, and in particular those carrying a camera, are unlikely to accept an opinion alone. By their nature/nurture underwater photographers tend to be a questioning, curios and inquisitive bunch who may not subscribe to mainstream accepted ideas readily or willingly. Certainly not just because someone says it must be so.


What everyone seeks is firm evidence, based on sound and open research. Until then, either case simply remains unproven and no amount of asserting who is right just won't cut it.


And ethically, there are limits of what level of post-shoot manipulation is permitted.


Anyway, why am I bothering? I need to save a bumble bee that has hatched in our loft...no its not flippant nor am I kidding...it is the 5th one today...

In Topic: Underwater Photography Challenge

21 March 2014 - 11:27 PM

Before I add anything, I would just like to say that I have no vested interest - either way - over this issue. Last time I used a macro lens underwater around the UK was in 2011. I have not bothered to get a macro port for the new camera housing, so that situation is very unlikely to change. 


To flash, or not, would appear to be a very emotive subject and I dearly wish someone would conduct research and give some sensible guidance.


I do suspect that more damage is done by loss of habitat thanks to boat mooring than underwater photographers could manage in any given season. Perhaps the real focus for change of attitudes might just be better spent educating those who drop anchor?  The effort expended in reducing the risk of damage by flash guns would appear on the face of it to be disproportionate when there are far bigger issues at hand. So whilst flash may be harmful, the biggest risk is receiving less attention as a result. I should add that perhaps the mooring issue in Studland Bay is solved and all is good...and on that basis it may be prudent to look for the next issue.


As an outsider with no vested interest, even I would dearly love to know if flash is detrimental. My naturally curios and questioning nature means accepting opinion is going to be challenging for me and I am sure I am not alone. Clearly the MMO would be an ideal candiate to fund research? But only after they have solved the matter of habitat loss first perhaps?

In Topic: Underwater Photography Challenge

19 March 2014 - 11:02 PM

MMO 2014 is online and indeed does not contain any data. No graphs, no tables. Just conjecture and moaning about the one scientific study that has been done. 


Also the report states that it does not necessarily reflect the views of the MMO. No author names. No data. Pseudoscience.





The MMO report is not peer reviewed and, while I have not seen it, probably does not contain any data, merely opinion. That an organisation like the MMO is making decisions not based on proper science is alarming and embarrassing for us Brits...

My horoscope did say that it was a bad month for photographing seahorses (not that I had plans to). I hope the MMO don't read that or it will be in their next report.




Like the Dr says...based on their acceptance of junk data I thought I might offer the MMO some magic beans in exchange for the family cow, whilst promising access to the golden goose.


But I am not sure the horoscope approach is correct...I consult a personal soothsayer...


Good luck with the survey. If you can shoot acceptable images with no flash and have concerns with flash then it sounds like you are doing the right thing.

In Topic: Underwater Photography Challenge

19 March 2014 - 09:09 AM


 There is some evidence to suggest that seahorses can be stressed by flash photography.  



I have been waiting for some substantive research into this for a long time. Can you share the source of the evidence?