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Member Since 23 Jul 2010
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 07:53 PM

#373317 The Humpback Whales of Tonga

Posted by troporobo on Yesterday, 04:45 AM

Wow, what an amazing resource you have put together on your site.  The images are fantastic.  I really like the way you captured specific behaviour. But it's not just images but explanation and education.  This should be the go-to starting point for anyone thinking of going to Tonga.  Very well done sir!


By the way, although I have been to Tonga many times for work, including Vava'u, I was never able to time a trip to go diving.  But I was extremely fortunate to swim with humpbacks in Niue which is not so far away.  So I second your endorsement of such encounters being a seminal experience. Thanks for bringing back those memories. 

#373273 Trip Report: Kasai Village Resort-Philippines

Posted by troporobo on 03 May 2016 - 06:35 PM

Sounds like you had a typical Philippines resort experience - great diving, great service above and below the water, average food, and horrible traffic!  When we went to Malapascua last year it was much the same, though "only" a 3 hour drive from the Cebu airport (and a 90 minute wait for the boat which didn't turn up).  You don't mention any pelagic encounters - no sharks?  Anyway, good to know about this place, thanks for the report.  

#373231 Options to replace Oly 14-42 1st version - or do I keep?

Posted by troporobo on 02 May 2016 - 11:22 PM

The Olympus 12-50 is definitely a better lens all round (I've had both).  It's not perfect but if you want a single lens setup it is the best there is at being a jack of all trades.  At 12mm behind a flat port it is not really a true wide angle, though does capture decent scenic shots and the corners are acceptable.  You can get true macro with the the Nauticam port and gear (it is admittedly pretty expensive) or you can use a diopter at 50mm.  It is possible to switch between 12/50 using housing buttons, but you cannot access macro at 43mm without the right port and gear. 

#372439 Two firsts this weekend - images from Anilao

Posted by troporobo on 10 April 2016 - 04:16 AM

This was the first time I have come across each of these scenes. The moray was one of a group of four eels at a cleaning station populated by three different species of shrimp.  They were competing for attention in a crowded little hole.  It was a bustling scene!   The mantis is the first one I've found bearing eggs.  


Neither shot is brilliant and I would welcome suggestions. For now I am just really pleased to have found them:







#372430 Problem using Nauticam CMC-1

Posted by troporobo on 10 April 2016 - 01:31 AM

Also keep in mind that you don't want to use the CMC for every subject.  For example, that last shot of the nudi, you probably didn't need the CMC and could have shot it with the lens zoomed in, whereas using the CMC caused you to have to zoom out but then you get the vignette.  With your camera, you probably only need the CMC for really small critters or really tight details on larger critters.


When I shoot super macro, I almost always have the strobes pulled in very close to the port, a little (like 10 cm) behind the glass, and aimed straight ahead, or even a little outward from straight. If you were looking straight down on my rig from above, the strobes would be pointing like the outer legs of the letter "W".

#372354 Nauticam port with 60mm macro, focus gear?

Posted by troporobo on 07 April 2016 - 02:08 PM

i use this lens without manual focus and am quite happy doing so. I usually lock focus using AF and then move the camera to recompose anyway.  Though I have definitely come across situations in which MF would have been useful, especially in very tight quarters, but those have been rare for me. 

#372282 Super macro guidelines

Posted by troporobo on 06 April 2016 - 06:17 AM

Dive Photo Guide has some useful articles:




See also the Optical Ocean Sales handbooks here:



#371968 The World Shootout Competition

Posted by troporobo on 28 March 2016 - 03:50 PM

I signed the petition, because I agree with the importance of the topic, and wish you luck.


I note that the competition page has removed your 2nd place shot, though not your name.  Seems petty


By the way, it also seems unlikely to be coincidence that the winning macro shot and one of the runners up in the amateur category were both taken by people from the same country of what seems to be the same subjects with the same technique. I don't wish to take anything away from the many good photos that were posted there (and there are some very good ones) but the competition doesn't look like one I'd engage with or pay attention to in the future.  

#371388 Macro Film from Bali, Lembeh, and PNG

Posted by troporobo on 10 March 2016 - 01:42 PM

Superb macro videography, as always.  My partner and I often talk about how some creatures seem more alien than earthly, especially mantis shrimps. You have lots of great shots in this one but the two octopus sequences might be the killer footage for this theme.  How the heck do you get them to stay still when you are that close, with lights?!

#370539 Philippines Fish

Posted by troporobo on 16 February 2016 - 12:48 PM

Great work capturing and cataloguing all those species!  Lots of beautiful shots in both the fish and nudibranch albums.  Thanks a lot for posting these.

#370248 "Exchange" - Nembrotha chamberlaini nudibranchs mating

Posted by troporobo on 08 February 2016 - 04:00 AM

Nick, that is fantastic footage!  Thanks a lot for posting it.


Coincidentally, I shot this pair two weeks ago, also at Twin Rocks in Anilao.  I have yet to observe mating, but like to think that these two were engaging in a little courtship prior to the deed:



#370076 Perfect destination with good underwater conditions

Posted by troporobo on 04 February 2016 - 04:08 AM

Dude, seriously, its time for a reality check.  You identify as someone afraid of the sea and life within it, you don't know how to get your head below the surface, you don't know what equipment is required to take the kind of images you like, you haven't even tried in a pool, and you're shopping for exotic destinations?


Start with some basics in your local pool and see if this is for you. People here are a wealth of info but you really need a starting point, which is not yet evident. 


EDIT: Re-reading this, it sounds harsher than I intended. What I should have said is that you can easily try out what you want to accomplish in your local pool, determine if you want to develop the skills to get better and if your equipment will do what you want.  After you get some practice, your chances of a rewarding time when you finally get to that perfect destination will be a lot higher and you won't be as likely to be frustrated or burn up your vacation time learning what you can do at home first. 

#369928 Critique

Posted by troporobo on 01 February 2016 - 05:46 AM

Click on an image in your Flickr album.  Somewhere in the procedure will be an option to choose a size, something like 800x600 is good for web sharing. Then at the bottom right will be the "share" button (looks like an arrow). It will pop up a dialog box. Copy the code.  Come back here, click the photo button in the tool bar. Paste the code. Save.  If you've done it right, the image is now linked and will show up in your post. 


I think I've outlined that correctly, but I can't check as I'm in China this week and Flickr is blocked, so I can't look at your album directly. 

#369767 Decided on a new micro 4/3 setup now need help deciding on which camera?

Posted by troporobo on 27 January 2016 - 04:53 PM

I agree, the 12-50 lens in 43mm macro mode is pretty good.  I eventually switched to the 60 lens because I regularly have great opportunities to shoot really small stuff (pygmies, xenias, anemone shrimp, etc).


I assume you are interested in minimum working distance, as the maximum is of course infinity. The table in my comparison shows the minimum distance from the front of the port. 


I found when testing other wet diopters that the results varied widely even for those with the same nominal power. so you really need to test the combination. 

#369510 A different look at Octopuses

Posted by troporobo on 21 January 2016 - 01:48 AM

Wow.  Just wow.  You both deserve awards for this!


BTW since you asked for opinions, I will share one.  The time shifting feels a little too artificial to me.  I think I understand why you played with the speed, to match the soundtrack (which you did very well) but I would have preferred real time.  That said, it works great as is!