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Member Since 04 Jan 2009
Offline Last Active Jun 23 2017 06:19 AM

#332139 Wobbegongs

Posted by Aussiebyron on 31 May 2013 - 01:51 AM



We get 3 species of Wobbegongs here at Byron (Ornate, spotted and Hale's Wobbegongs) and respect must be given to them.  I think Jim is correct regarding the comment that Wobbegongs bite more people than any other Shark species in Australia.  Several of my friends and myself included have been bitten over the years and my case was with a 3m Hale's Wobby.  The Wobbegong are famous for biting and locking their Jaws onto their victim, even to the point where I have seen spearfishermen walk up the beach with a Wobbegong still attached to some part of their body.  Its been suggested that fresh water flushed down a Wobby's throat soon gets the animal to release.  I also beleive that most attacks are from people not seeing the Wobby and putting their hands/feet/bum on the animal with it biting as a defence. Yes you heard right, a couple fo my mates have been bitten on the bum. Also the size of a Wobby doesnt put them off as I have seen foot long Wobby's come up and bite full grown man.


Having said that I still dive with these sharks on a very regular basis and you soon get to know when a Wobby isnt in the mood for its photo to be taken.  I take it for granted that Julian Rocks Byron Bay is cover with Wobbegongs and not as much attention is placed on this interesting and unique shark.


Here is a shot on the fly at small area which I counted 20 Wobbegongs of different Species.  You can see the bigger Hale's Wobbegong in the middle top of the shot.




Regards Mark

#331944 Byron Bay Macro

Posted by Aussiebyron on 27 May 2013 - 04:21 AM

Alastair when all the wide angle action slows down I will take you on a Macro dive and show you all the cool stuff.  Hugo's trench is the best place for Nudi's at Julian Rocks. Its common to find 15-20 different species on a single dive.


Regards Mark

#331943 Housing Sentry Vacuum Seal

Posted by Aussiebyron on 27 May 2013 - 04:05 AM

Did you press every control button on your vacuum housing on the surface before the dive?


If I leave my manual pump connected to my vacuum housing on dry land and test every control button wouldn't this also find out potential control button o-ring failures.  One could also find it easy to located which control button o-ring is failing and doing so in a much safer environment (outside of water).


Regards Mark

#331927 Housing Sentry Vacuum Seal

Posted by Aussiebyron on 26 May 2013 - 10:10 PM

One feedback on the Housing Sentry is that many people prefer to remove the hydrophone since they don't use it anyway (and complain that the cord gets in the way).  The Housing Sentry uses a differenct port.  I personally like the option of having a mic available but honestly have not used it yet.  I will when I get into experimenting with video this year. 
I use my housing sentry on my Hydrophone port of my Aquatica AD7000 as you can see by the pics on the first post.  Honestly with Video there isnt much difference between using the Hydrophone and not using it.
Here is a video without using the Hydrophone.


Honestly I would much prefer a vacuum seal as standard housing part than a Hydrophone....


Regards Mark



#331887 Byron Bay Macro

Posted by Aussiebyron on 26 May 2013 - 03:58 AM

haven't tried macro in Byrons bay yet but i will do... didn't see as many Nudibranchs as i was hoping for.....


Just need to know where to look Alastair ;-)

#331753 Old wives of Sydney

Posted by Aussiebyron on 22 May 2013 - 07:35 PM

Just use your Iphone panorama Matt ;-)

#331583 Housing Sentry Vacuum Seal

Posted by Aussiebyron on 19 May 2013 - 06:10 AM

I actually put my housing together and vacuum seal it the night before or hours before I am diving. Then I test to see if there is a vacuum just before I go out on the boat.  If the seal is going to fail it will most likely be during this time. I dont see the point in an electronic part to keep monitoring the vacuum during the dive especially if it cost an extra $200. 


Regards Mark

#330546 Critique appreciated

Posted by Aussiebyron on 29 April 2013 - 04:56 PM

I personally would be trying to darken the back ground more especially if your at 30m and you have a sunburst or at that depth a sun blob coming through.  I feel that the Lionfish fills up too much of the frame and a bit of the low fins are right on the boarder of the frame.


As other have said a wider aperture like f8-f10 for better depth of field.  I would be shooting at your lowest ISO and shooting a higer shutter speed or the highest you have which syncs with your strobes.  Higher shutter speed darkens the background and I feel gives a better colour graduation when you have the Sun in the back ground.  Regarding strobes try the same shot in TTL and then try manual strobes with 3/4 power and then full power.  I prefer to shoot manual for wide as you know what they are going to do everytime you shoot. 


Have you tried just shooting the 8mm Fisheye without the TC? Just have to get use to getting really close and having good strobe placement.


Write down some different setting on a slate and when your in a position to do so and take a few shots with those different settings and when your back infront of a computer decide what setting you like best and go from there. 


Regards Mark

#330484 Leopard Sharks

Posted by Aussiebyron on 28 April 2013 - 08:00 PM

Here is a collection of Leopard Sharks (aka Zebra Sharks to those in the USA) taken at Julian Rocks, Byron Bay, Australia. These graceful and often friendly Sharks visit every summer and often in large numbers.


Unedited shots taken with the Nikon D7000 and Tokina 10-17mm or Samyang 8mm.













And my current favourite:





Cheers Mark

#330483 Wobbegongs

Posted by Aussiebyron on 28 April 2013 - 07:49 PM

Here is a collection of Wobbegong images taken recently at Julian Rocks, Byron Bay, Australia.  The site in famous for Wobbegongs and the locals dont bother to point them out to people as they are huge numbers of them everywhere all year round.


Here are some unedited shots taken with a Nikon D7000 and either the Tokina 10-17mm or the Samyang 8mm:







Cheers Mark

#329961 I hate the dead blue faced zombie diver photos

Posted by Aussiebyron on 18 April 2013 - 10:50 PM

Don are you after something along the lines of these shots?


Unedited uncropped






Regards Mark


Don the whole idea of using filters on strobes is due to the higher colour temp of Inon strobes (5500K) when compared with the lower temp and warmer looking Ikelites (4900k).  This is the major reason why people who shoot alot of wideangle prefer to use the bigger and heavier Ikelites in blue water diving. 


I agree with Giles if your not getting close enough to the Subject your not getting enough light onto the subject and a colour filter will not do much to bring out natural skin colour. As you know the distance a strobe can light up a subject is greatly reduced when shooting through water and its a bit like trying to lighten up someones face when they are standing in a shadow. You need direct light on the face not a colour correction filter.


This is why alot of people use a Fisheye lens. Not because of the distortion it gives but the ability to get very close to the subject while not filling the whole frame with the subject. This allows then enough strobe light to light the whole subject.


My examples above are shot with the Tokina 10-17mm @ 10mm.  I am close to the subject, the subject is getting lite up by the strobes and also there is little distortion as the isnt too close to the lens. 


I agree with Giles again if your after shots of people in the water ask people before hand if they wouldnt mind. I dont think I have had someone yet to refuse me taking their photo underwater.


So borrow a fisheye like the Tokina 10-17mm, ask your potential models if they are willing, and get close as you can while still fitting them whole in the frame and I bet you wont be having the blue faced zombie faces again.


Regards Mark

#328548 Tokina 10-17 for sharks. mini dome or 8"?

Posted by Aussiebyron on 25 March 2013 - 05:34 AM

Another thing to consider that if you went with a Zeni min dome it is only designed for the Tokina 10-17mm with the Ikelite setups.  If you go with the Ikelite 8 inch dome you can use a huge range of lenses with the addition of suitable extension rings.  By looking at that I believe the most versatile dome for your Ikelite would be the 8inch dome and then choose which lens you want to house it. 


Honestly if you cant shoot a shark with a 10-17mm as its too far away when its going to be too far away to get any light from your strobes on it.  So you might as well shoot strobeless with the Tokina 10-17mm and crop to get the same ordinary dull  image ( unless your trying to get a silhouette image).  


If your after some sort of general purpose lens which has a large zoom there is the Sigma 17-70mm Macro.  It might be suited if you needed that extra reach for far away subjects.  I personally found the Sigma 17-70 a pain as it wasnt wide enough when shooting wide angle and macro was useless as you have to shoot the lens behind a larger dome.  Every time I used the Sigma for wide angle I wished I had just taken the Tokina 10-17mm out instead. Now the Sigme sits on my desk and never gets used (its for sale if anyone is interested in a Nikon mount).


Why I love the Tokina 10-17mm. It fast to focus. Focuses right up to the dome. and is wide enough to fit most large subjects in so you can get close fill the frame and light the whole subject up.


Here are some shots to show you what the Tokina 10-17mm can do:








Regards Mark


#328340 Tokina 10-17 for sharks. mini dome or 8"?

Posted by Aussiebyron on 22 March 2013 - 04:14 AM

I dont think the Tokina is too wide for Sharks. But it mainly comes down to where and what kind of sharks your shooting.  I find that any shark that is outside of the range of the 10-17mm is too far away for strobes to light up anyway. The whole idea of shooting wide is to reduce the distance between the subject and the lens for strobe coverage and fitting that subject and in the case of sharks often a large subject into the frame. Having a narrower wide zoom is more suited for strobeless shots in clear water near the surface.


I personally prefer the 8inch dome over a mini dome as it feels more balanced in the water and strobe placement is a little easier with the larger domes.


Here are some unedited, non cropped Shark shots taken with the Tokina 10-17mm on my Nikon D7000 with the Tokina mainly at 10mm





Regards Mark

#327819 Diving with two full-gear

Posted by Aussiebyron on 13 March 2013 - 04:24 PM

Autopsea where are you planning to doing this solo diving with two camera rigs from your own boat? Will there be someone else in a tender following you on your dive or on your boat that knows how to navigate it? Starting to sound really dodgey. 


Regards Mark

#327699 Which fisheye zoom / rectilinear / port combo?

Posted by Aussiebyron on 12 March 2013 - 04:35 AM

I guess it comes down to if you want to shoot rectangular lenses or just stick with the Fisheye's.  Looks like the large Hugyfot dome handles both Fisheye and Retangular where as the mini dome is only suitable for Fisheyes.  Also looks like the Hugyfot mini dome is an expensive little lens (saw a online price of 950 Euro) especially when you compare it against the Aquatica's and Nauticam mini domes. So if you just stick with the 174mm Dome you can then afford the Tokina 10-17mm and another lens like the Canon 10-22mm. Another lens to look at if you want a ultra wide (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel) rectangular lens is also the Tokina 11-16mm which is a solid performer at lesser price than the Canon's.


I am not a Hugyfot or Canon user but I hope this helps in some way


Regards Mark