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Member Since 14 Sep 2009
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#373444 Why I don't cave dive (+link to BBC article)

Posted by errbrr on 09 May 2016 - 06:15 PM

Most cave diving is NOTHING like that. You are reading about a trip to Everest  and saying you could never take a walk in the park.

That's a good comparison, I like it.


130m deep and water temperatures close to freezing put this dive at the extreme end. I would much rather dive those conditions in a cave (predictable, no wildlife, no winds, waves or tides) than in the ocean. Cave diving allows for deco habitats, staging of spare gear and (in my experience) usually less pressure to get in the water at an exact time.


It's an interesting case because not getting the bodies out would have delayed large payments from a national insurance scheme to one of the widows for many years. It's hard to argue that they should have been left there. It also highlights that when expedition-level cave divers get themselves killed, the best placed people to do the recovery are often their friends. The authorities don't have the skill level to do it, and often don't have enough knowledge to determine how skilled the divers volunteering actually are.


Try to stay alive, everyone. Underwater body recoveries are no fun at all.

#373408 Remote Strobe Trigger

Posted by errbrr on 08 May 2016 - 06:32 PM

Triggerfish are very available - I just had some turn up today. Try emailing Hedwig at triggerfish@telenet.be to order. There is also a Facebook page.


I use mine on the end of sync cords on my inon Z240s. I have seen them work well with a variety of strobes and Hedwig will be able to tell you if yours are on the list.


The Heinrich-Weikamp RSUs will also work but they are better in dark places and usually fail completely with too much sunlight.

#372747 Reply for image/footage request for free

Posted by errbrr on 18 April 2016 - 07:54 PM

If they lead with "there's no budget but..." I go polite reply. They might come back one day for another request with budget.


The ones who dance around and don't mention payment get a very short "happy to discuss pricing for your request, let me know exactly which pictures you are interested in". 


If they come back after that with a rate card or similar then all good. If I get a sob story from a commercial provider or comments that imply they are getting paid for their bit but I shouldn't want money for mine (hobby journalists)...at that point I tend to send one blunt email and then ignore. Journo's working freelance normally have a fair bit of sympathy for the no pay no photo position, although they can be pushy when desperate.


What I have learned is that there's no point pricing stuff until I've worked out if there is a budget. I wasted a lot of time searching for the appropriate image and working out how much to charge. No more! Acceptance of usage fees (that they exist, not exactly how much) first, spending a lot of time on their request second.

#372254 A question about footage requirement

Posted by errbrr on 05 April 2016 - 04:27 PM

Interviews may be free (depends if you want to be on TV!) but existing footage for broadcast could reasonably go for $100 per second and up.

#372210 FS: Inon Z240 Type4 Strobes

Posted by errbrr on 04 April 2016 - 06:42 PM

You might be a bit overpriced. Z240s are available for $589 USD new if you look in the right place.

#368093 Weaker+stronger strobe in pair?

Posted by errbrr on 08 December 2015 - 07:37 PM

I often use one Z240 on full power and the second on 3/4 power. I like the 3D effect of slightly more shadows from one direction while shooting wide angle. I use the stronger one as main light and the weaker one as side fill, or aim the stronger at the background and the weaker at a close-up subject.

#367883 Strobes versus Video Lights

Posted by errbrr on 03 December 2015 - 08:47 PM

I recall a story from Alberto Nava's talk about shooting in Hoyo Negro with Nat Geo. They were keen on lighting things with constant light instead of strobes, so the team ran a large amount of cabling through the cave to hook up a 3 phase generator to run topside in the jungle. The photos are nice, so I guess it worked. 

#366390 Sony A7 Nikonos 15mm Test Image

Posted by errbrr on 22 October 2015 - 06:10 PM

While I think I could justify to my Dad that I have borrowed it (given he hasn't used his Nik Vs in a few years), justifying sending it to the States might be a little harder. Your offer is otherwise excellent :-)

#364636 Using nalgene or latched acrylic jar to put your non-waterproof torch?

Posted by errbrr on 25 August 2015 - 02:54 PM

Without the camera, how would you capture scenes of enthusiasm like this? On mobile otherwise I'd post the photo itself, sorry.


#361966 another strobe or 105mm

Posted by errbrr on 08 June 2015 - 07:47 PM

If you prefer wide angle shooting, go the second strobe. If you prefer macro, go the lens. 


Wide angle can be challenging around here but when the visibility delivers (or if you like the wrecks or the caves) it's the only way to go.

#361492 Why do you shoot underwater?

Posted by errbrr on 25 May 2015 - 07:11 PM

Awesome photos Tim.


Perhaps it reflects the diving I'm doing at the moment, but I find that I'm shooting to tell the story of the dive trip. Which means not just the underwater pretty shots, but also the getting in/getting out images, and getting prepared images, and all the bits that go with it. The shots of sea lions playing underwater that I took on the weekend are nice, but having the shot of the boat we got there on, and going snorkelling to get the shot of the sea lions hauling out when they got bored, and the shot of them harassing divers underwater for fun - all those images are part of communicating the experience of diving with sea lions.


I'm definitely driven by sharing what I'm taken. As well as showing what we saw when we got there, I want to show how we did the dives, the effort that went in, and the fun that was had between times. To tell the story to those who may not have the chance to experience the same.

#357294 Full Frame SLR wide angle corrector port tests

Posted by errbrr on 31 January 2015 - 06:23 PM

Thanks for the explanation of the components Alex - I studied the housing photos you posted earlier but wasn't able to spot the difference. I am very interested in something similar with my rig based on those results you are posting. I currently shoot the Canon 14mm full frame in the caves behind an 8" dome and rarely dip below f8 because the rocks go all fuzzy around the edges. Even at f8 or f9, close up rocks give an irritatingly fuzzy foreground. A bigger dome is not feasible as it may not fit through the restrictions. Your setup would solve that problem very nicely.


The 14mm lens doesn't however take a filter as the front element is not flat - would it still work? Maybe with a little duct tape on top of the blu-tac...

#348726 Best system setup for cave and wide angle photography

Posted by errbrr on 05 June 2014 - 04:05 PM

I agree with the lighting comments - spend your cash on the strobes (I use inon Z240s because they are small) and the triggers for them (Hedwig can help you out with triggerfish). One on camera and one off camera is a good start, two on and two off is even better. More than that takes a bit of practice to co-ordinate.


For the camera, go as wide angle as you can for caves. I use a dSLR and know nothing about m4/3 so can't help you out there. Good luck with your shopping!

#347220 Cave diving, rebreathers & restrictions

Posted by errbrr on 03 May 2014 - 05:02 PM

I was out in the Nullarbor caves over Easter, shooting for a client. Once we were done with work my buddy and I headed off to a different cave to get a few dives in. The video from one dive is below. It was half shot with my Canon 5DII, half with my buddy's GoPro. He's the diver in black, I'm the diver in yellow. If I'm in the shot without the camera, my buddy is getting to grips with his first go at a dSLR. He had a good crack at keeping it steady!


Olwolgin Cave is characterised by stunning rock formations and haloclines in the water, so I needed to shoot through water that hadn't been swum through yet. Most of the shots are pushing the camera forward slightly to prevent the fuzzy water from enveloping the dome port. 



Here are a couple of shots taken of the same cave system, both on the breathers and on the subsequent dive in sidemounts. You can see the stirred-up halocline water under my knees in the first shot.





#343953 Where/how do you stow the neoprene dome cover?

Posted by errbrr on 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.