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Member Since 23 Jul 2010
Offline Last Active Today, 12:37 PM

Topics I've Started

anyone know Mike Bartick / saltwaterphoto.com?

25 January 2017 - 08:36 PM

I'm trying to contact him.  He used to have a relationship with Crystal Blue resort in Anilao, but neither address is working anymore.  Help with a contact appreciated.

Learned (inadvertently) a lesson . . .

07 December 2016 - 04:17 AM

On my last dive weekend, I somehow managed to forget to pack the tray and handles for my housing.  I had the strobes, and arms, but no way to attach them.  (In flaccid defence, I had arrived back in country after midnight and had to be in the car at zero dark thirty the same morning).  Of course I discovered this while setting up on site.  So there was nothing to do other than improvise.


I was able to jury-rig one strobe to the cold shoe in place of my normal focus light, right above the port with no possibility of adjustment. I am used to the flexibility of shooting with two strobes on multiple arms so was really not sure how to make this work, and sure the backscatter would be terminal.  


Here are the best examples from those dives.  I was stunned to get clean black backgrounds (except the fire goby which took a fair bit of spot removal) and much more 3D light than I am used to getting.  I think when I rigged the strobe to the housing I must have pointed it in just the right way to barely edge-light macro subjects.  Conclusion: I normally use too much light and don't think carefully enough about controlling it.  


Anyway I'm happy with these shots and will work more at incorporating this lesson even when I remember all the bits and pieces!













Anemonefish eggs - help me do this better

21 October 2016 - 03:38 PM

How does one take a photo of these amazing little eggs that is anything other than an ID shot?  They look fantastic in my opinion, but I just can't seem to find a composition that makes for an interesting photo.  Here are three examples from last weekend.  


In the first shot, I like the out of focus eggs in the background which give some depth and a sense of their multitude, whereas in the second shot I tried to isolate the eggs against darker negative space.  Both are nice, and very interesting to me, but for anyone who doesn't know what they are looking at they don't seem to be strong images.  In the third shot I tried to establish the context by showing the anemonefish as she was fanning the eggs, but the scale is so different and depth of field inadequate to capture both that I don't think it makes a good photo at all


So how do other people go about this subject?








What did I find - conch / cowrie eggs?

02 October 2016 - 09:17 PM

Diving this past weekend at Anilao, it must have been the right moon phase, as we came across three interesting examples of of reproduction (I think).


The first was on a vertical section of reef at about 12 m.  There was a group of six conch shells (I've only ever seen one at a time) that I think were trapezius or horse conch. It was hard to be sure as they were so encrusted and since I had a macro lens mounted and the vis was not great I could not take a usable shot of one of them or of the group. Under a small overhang was a cluster of what might be egg cases.  Can anyone confirm?








Continuing the theme, shortly thereafter we came upon a pair of egg cowries, this time a bit shallower at about 6 m.  I think they were also depositing eggs:




Then finally, I came across this transparent shrimp obviously bearing eggs, which I post just to round out the theme:




Expert opinions on the two shells and links to learn more would be much appreciated.



two porcelain crabs - great color but something lacking?

17 August 2016 - 06:25 PM

I found these two porcelain crabs on a night dive a couple of weeks ago.  I love the colors, but the flat lighting leaves me feeling a little blah. They were tucked well into their soft coral hosts so the strobe light is very diffuse.  I have done very little editing of either shot, just tweaked the contrast a bit.  Any suggestions to bring a little more punch into these?


I shot these at a site that is normally still as a pond, but 10 minutes into the dive a stiff current started making macro photography impossible, so I should be happy with any result at all.  I failed to nail the focus on the eye of the first crab (blame the current, yeah, that must have been it!) but am happy with the second. Shot with the Olympus 60mm lens.