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Member Since 14 Sep 2009
Offline Last Active Apr 12 2014 04:40 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Where/how do you stow the neoprene dome cover?

28 February 2014 - 10:28 PM

Clip it to yourself, not your camera. Mine lives on my right hip D-ring. If the cave is small and it's dragging against the roof I put it in the drysuit pocket instead. Alternatively clip to a hip D-ring and then tuck under your waist band - works well for me in the tropics with no pockets.

In Topic: Cave Photography, multiple strobes

28 February 2014 - 10:26 PM

Sounds fun! I recommend shooting everything manually, and (if the water is clear and the cave a reasonable size) putting all your strobes on full power. Use directional aiming of your on-camera strobes to reduce over-exposure if you are close to a wall/floor/ceiling.


Do a dry run with your buddies first - it's hard to believe how many first time cave modellers will point the off camera strobe at you. You may like to do the dry run at night with the strobes working so you can practise model hand positions that will trigger the sensor, especially if you're using the strobe sensors on the Niks rather than something like a triggerfish.


Other cave photography advice:

- use your widest lens

- set your focus manually once underwater (i.e. use your dive light, focus on the model at middle distance, lock focus) otherwise you will need a large focus light for each picture which rapidly annoys your model

- Your shutter speed is irrelevant, so set and forget at a speed that works for the dive lights others are using. Adjust your ISO pre-dive to the highest you are comfortable with. Then on the dive use your f-stop to control your exposure, and worry about the lighting arrangement rather than the camera settings.


Stay safe. The cave is not going anywhere. Access may be tricky, but try to avoid the "this is the only chance I will ever get" mindset. That way lies danger.


I'd love to see the shots once you have them.

In Topic: Darwin's Dream - Galapagos

28 February 2014 - 10:06 PM

The iguanas are awesome, and the orcas are incredible. Are they normal for a Galapagos trip? Also not a single bubble trail or flappy diver through your shots, very nice.

In Topic: UW photo gear in carry on - any no-no?

18 January 2014 - 04:55 AM

The inconsistency is so frustrating. I always print the dangerous goods regulations for the airline and take them with me, as the various staff through the airport can have very different ideas. Some airlines say one lithium battery in the device and one spare in carry-on. Others give specific sizes above which you have to declare them, but smaller ones are fine and you can do whatever. Others say some batteries must be checked and others must be carry-on. It's always good to be able to demonstrate usage to security on the way to the gate, so I try to keep enough bits with me to make the strobes work, for example.


For batteries I tape the terminals, and before putting a housing or strobes through X-ray I tell the security people what's in there. Easier than putting them on high alert then trying to calm everyone down while you fish a giant piece of metal out of the bag for closer inspection. Especially when you're travelling through airports that don't see too many scuba divers.


Beyond that...cross your fingers they don't try and weigh the bag, and look non-threatening. Good luck!

In Topic: Your Favourite/Best Image of 2013

14 December 2013 - 09:58 PM

Great shots, one and all.


We have done 10 trips into this mostly "dry" passage cave this year, and I discovered the way out of a sump and 130m of passage in the sump beyond. I also dragged my Aquatica housed 5DII 2kms to the end and 2kms back back again on 7 of the 10 trips. This shot is my favourite - these early sumps are just 15m long and you only get one chance before it all silts out!


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And this shot is from caves in Indonesia, one of the best dives I've done. Nearly 1km in I certainly wasn't expected stalactites. These decorations were awesome and topped off a brilliant dive. 2013 has been a great year of cave diving...here's to 2014!


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