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Member Since 25 Jun 2011
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#344825 Underwater Photography Challenge

Posted by Interceptor121 on 22 March 2014 - 06:27 AM

How do you take pictures of a pygmy seahorse without a focus light and a strobe?

You don't  the subject is too small to be able to focus at wide aperture that ambient light requires and you can't use slow shutter speed either because of motion blur


You can take ambient light pictures of a common seahorse with a size of 4"+ generally for those guys hanging on grass or similar there is plenty of ambient light and the strobe itself is only a way to put more color in it (fill not main light)

#344786 Underwater Photography Challenge

Posted by Interceptor121 on 21 March 2014 - 06:50 AM


I think if you were trying directly or indirectly to make a point here to stop people taking strobe pictures of seahorses it is not working

First I do not have 33 years experience of working with sea horses but I know by having done a few dives that any fish gets under stress when approached by a diver or anything that does not get fooled by the camouflage and is 1000 times bigger. I would


Now you could cause the same amount of distress to that fish without taking a flash photo, in fact just by being negligent of the territory of the animal.


If those seahorses were in distress was not because of the light but because of the presence of humans as described above and I don't get the point of starting with the story of blinding the seahorse that looks rather untrue as the animals don't seem to go blind at all when they move around?


So maybe we should look more in details to some diving practices or maybe ban diving all together this of course together with banning any type of fishing or exploitation of the sea


I am quite sure that the seahorses that disappeared in the Mediterranean didn't die of some virus cause by flash photos but were rather taken away to be sold. 


I find it sad that efforts are made against people that actually love the oceans whilst other just predate the environment and get away with it

#344707 Underwater Photography Challenge

Posted by Interceptor121 on 19 March 2014 - 01:10 PM

Thanks for the comments and the link, Alex, and for the practical advice, Manta Ray.


Using flash is a contentious issue. Our European seahorses are thought to be diurnal and like plenty of ambient light. Because their eyesight is so important, as described above, I wouldn't want to risk blinding one, even temporarily, or cause it stress. I would rather err on the side of caution rather than risk causing harm to creatures that I am trying to protect, but I do want to get a decent record of the ones that we find. 


During my last encounter I got some semi decent shots, without flash, with my old Canon digi.

Almost all seahorses are diurnal. And most of them don't have eyelids like many fish in the sea. You can take a decent picture of a quite large seahorse but definitely you can't take a picture of a pygmy seahorse without a strobe as the subject is so small you need fast shutter speeds so that you don't have blur, and you need small apertures as they are tiny and you lack depth of field in summary you need a strobe and as discussed here there is no demonstration or data to proof that they mind a strobe, from what I have seen they are not bothered at all by the flash (as it goes really fast) but they seem not to like video lights too much, still I can guarantee you that they were not blinded by the lights

If you look at this video (it is a bit shaky the fans were on walls and I had nothing to hang on to) you can see that the pontohi and the severn (not satomi I was misinformed by the dive guide and had not idea at the time) sea horse are happily swimming from one part or the other of the fan and they are definitely not going blind



So I would say you are worrying without much foundation at this stage. I would be more concerned of people handing the seahorses that in the Mediterranean is unfortunately a widespread practice and surely that does not do any good to the fish and induces a superior level of stress than a few strobe shots the fish can't even see

#344701 Underwater Photography Challenge

Posted by Interceptor121 on 19 March 2014 - 11:28 AM

I have been fortunate to meet a number of seahorse of all variety during my trips to Raja Ambat, Bunaken and Lembeh to the point I was able to spot myself even tiny pontoh and denise or severn and I spent quite some time looking at those guys hanging out

I sometimes take pictures but most times video and I can tell you that from what I have expeienced seahorse are not bothered at all by strobes, as you shoot at close distance the strobe duration is really really short they don't even seem to see it

They seem to be bothered much more about constant video light, in fact I dim my lights to the minimum and try to spend as little time as possible and get just a few second of footage, even with 300 lumens and a red filter they do eventually start going off or at least turning their face

So if there is a worry I would say is actually the focus light of a photographer waiting for the right shot that is an annoyance and not the strobe

at one foot distance a 300 lumens focus light produces nearly 4000 lux which is an intensity that is used in micro mechanics for prolonged period of time

I would recommend to anyone taking picture of seahorses waiting for the right shot to ensure their focus light is set at the minimum power required this is also useful so that they look at your as opposed to turn their back...

#344256 Leak Sentinel v3 and Sony RX100 Mark II Nauticam Housing

Posted by Interceptor121 on 09 March 2014 - 02:51 AM

I did some tests here


#344111 Preparing for Truk

Posted by Interceptor121 on 04 March 2014 - 11:04 AM

Hi Dustin


Check out the BSAC trip reports here http://www.bsac.com/...lasia / Pacific


Twin set are a good idea if you want to dive some sites and end up in deco. Not sure about trimix options

#343871 Fisheye lenses for sony rx100 a comparison

Posted by Interceptor121 on 27 February 2014 - 01:16 PM

Which Fisheye Lens for the RX100? | Interceptor121 Underwater Video

#343620 My Sony RX100II Still rig

Posted by Interceptor121 on 20 February 2014 - 04:06 PM



Proper gear lust!!


#343452 Galapagos 2013 Pictures

Posted by Interceptor121 on 17 February 2014 - 12:34 AM

Thanks for the amazing pictures am looking forward to my May trip on the Sky!

#342404 Focus light - when are they needed?

Posted by Interceptor121 on 26 January 2014 - 11:21 AM

If you buy a close up lens buy a focus light as well as otherwise there are chances you will be in trouble


Generally cameras do not have problem of focus when there is plenty of depth of field but once this gets limited due to high magnification extra light is essential


If you use manual focus and there is enough light to see what you are focussing on a focus light may not be needed


For what concerns pygmy seahorses I have taken stills with a focus light at 10% of 1000 lumens and shot video with two lights dimmed down


They were not particularly happy but it was fine


I have done the red light trick for mandarin fish, you can buy red filters to push on sola lights or get a light that has a red beam but be aware that even red is not invisible fish still sees it and turns away if they feel threatened regardless of light colour

#342332 Fisheye lens options for RX100/Nauticam?

Posted by Interceptor121 on 24 January 2014 - 12:56 AM

You need the fix adapter for AD mount. That lens won't vignette in the basic version but I believe it will have a tiny bit with the optional dome on as the lens is wider than the UWL-H100

However once you commit to the AD lens route you need to take into account that the close up lenses vignette from wide to medium and with two stacked you can only work at tele end
Not a big issue but thought of letting you know

#341980 UW photo gear in carry on - any no-no?

Posted by Interceptor121 on 16 January 2014 - 01:25 PM

I have a small SLR lowerpro (not that small but small for SLR)

Inside housing, wet lenses, video lights and strobe and laptop, the hardware and batteries I check-in as it is heavy and not fragile


The only issue I have experienced is when my wrench was confiscated in Manado not to be seen again despite being labelled, even at heatrow they let me go with it

#341819 Sony Rx100 Housing Choice

Posted by Interceptor121 on 13 January 2014 - 09:03 AM

A wide angle lens with M67 thread for the Sony weights around 330 grams or 21 Ounces in water


I would not trust a magnet for something that is expensive

#340458 First Proper Clip with the Sony RX100 Mark II

Posted by Interceptor121 on 09 December 2013 - 01:19 PM

I put together some thoughts about the experience and comparison with the original RX100 and the Panasonic LX7 here



#335311 Lembeh Weird and Wonderful Short Compilation

Posted by Interceptor121 on 04 August 2013 - 12:41 PM


Shot with a compact camera (Panasonic LX7) as per rig http://interceptor12...-lx7-video-rig/