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Member Since 03 Apr 2007
Offline Last Active Nov 20 2016 11:41 PM

#376944 Setup for ambient light shooting of deep wrecks

Posted by Stoo on 11 September 2016 - 09:32 PM

I shoot wrecks in the Great Lakes primarily, and the type of photo you are describing probably has more to do with the conditions on any given day, rather than the type of camera. Truk is more likely to have great visibility than the Great Lakes, but even at that, how bright the day is will have a bearing. These "panoramic" shots are not easy to take with successful results.


As for any particular camera, as you noted, a very wide angle is necessary. I find I like the results better when I shoot with a slower shutter speed (and a steady hand) in darker conditions, that I do with cranking up the ISO. Some of my personal favorites (and that were good enough to run in a dive magazine) were shot at 1/40th of a second. 


I don't much worry about white balance... I set it at auto and if necessary, I tweak it a little in post...


There's some examples of this type of shot here:  https://wetspot.smug...com/Shipwrecks/

#376501 Strobe positioning with fisheye lens

Posted by Stoo on 28 August 2016 - 02:25 PM

As BC83 pointed out, apart from positioning, consider dialing back the power in your strobes to the bare minimum to do the job. If you can still expose properly, then the amount of backscatter and visible ligt reflecting off of stuff in the water can be minimized...


If you are essentially shooting CFWA, then you can angle the stobes inward, more like you would shooting macro, then the backscatter is minimized die to the short strobe/subject/lens distance...

#374924 8 in Nauticam arms + jumbo stix floats

Posted by Stoo on 28 June 2016 - 05:22 PM

Then I decided to add 2 more sets of jumbo stix floats. The rig looks like this:


Nice rig! I think if you remove a few of those #hashtags, it might be less sinky! ;-)

#370590 Jardines de la Reina... WHAT ELSE ??

Posted by Stoo on 18 February 2016 - 04:48 AM

Nice... Thanks for sharing!

#370461 Nudibranchs! New video

Posted by Stoo on 14 February 2016 - 07:55 PM

That was really nice... Especially up on my big tv!


Thanks pr posting! :-)

#369963 Best housing and setup for Nikon d810

Posted by Stoo on 02 February 2016 - 05:22 AM

I'm not familiar with Sea & Sea line, but I think there's a significant difference between Ikelite and Aquatica. These differences are reflected in the price of course... Ikelite controls seem somewhat "floppy" and less ergonomic to me. Aquatica (which I own) is precisely the opposite. It's also relatively compact comparitively.


As Tim pointed out, have a look at Nauticam and Subal as well. These would be similar to Aquatica in terms of build quality and all very good housings.


In my case, my final choice was simple... my first DSLR was used and purchased here. It was an Aquatica system. My second housing was also Aquatica. SInce I bought it new, I decided to support the local guys, here in Canada. I have been to the Aquatica plant several times and continue to be impressed with their products.


At the end of the day, you can't really go wrong with any of the brands mentioned, although if budget isn't a huge issue, I would be inclined to pass on the Ikelite housing, and buy a couple of their strobes instead. You might look into ease of access to service etc as the housing will need to be rebuilt from time to time.


Regarding lenses, I get the sense that you are thinking the 16-35 might work for "everything" but you might find that it isn't the best for anything, and you should perhaps consider both something wider and something longer and macro-ier (???). This is a separate decision from the housing however.

#369648 first day of diving with my new setup , mostly underexposed

Posted by Stoo on 24 January 2016 - 07:21 PM

Going by your settings alone, I'd say that your shutter speed is far too fast... My "go-to" settings at ISO 200 in that sort of shooting would likely be more like f8, 1/100 or 1/125. If I was shooting close up macro and needed to increase DoF, then I'd shoot maybe f11 to f16 and decrease the shutter speed accordingly...


I use the same strobes, and they have tons of power. I rarely have mine set more than 1/2 or 2/3 power. I would suggest you try that and leave the diffusers in place...

#369228 Great Lakes, not so exotic but worth it just the same!

Posted by Stoo on 12 January 2016 - 10:57 AM

Steve/Pete, you have some great shots there! Friends of mine travel to PI annually, but I have yet to make the trip from Tobermory! It looks spectacular.


So many people seem to thing that great diving has to be in warm water. Last year, I travelled to both the east and west coasts of Canada as well as a few spots in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence. Personally, I love cold water diving, plus you can hang your beer in a bag off of the boat and it comes up "just right"! :-)

#358621 Is underwater photography actually possible without a strobe? using the right...

Posted by Stoo on 07 March 2015 - 11:14 AM

You can certainly shoot photos or video... they're just going to be really blue unless you stay really shallow.


You might consider black and white... It's a great look and forces you to really work on composition.

#356794 Your Favourite/Best Image of 2014

Posted by Stoo on 20 January 2015 - 06:19 AM

(Just re-read my post.. water was 38* F, not 28*!)  28*F fresh water is tough to swim in!)

#356731 The Ethic of Ikelite and their dealer

Posted by Stoo on 18 January 2015 - 03:14 PM

The reality is the dealer and Ikelite are two entirely different legal entities... and there may well be another layer in there as well... a distributor. Regardless of whose "fault" this was (and it sounds like the error occurred somehow between you and the dealer...) one thing that is clear is that it was NOT Ikelite's fault. (Or I assume this as you have not indicated that you ordered Part X and got Part Y from them... It was a case where you ordered Part X, but Part X wasn't what you needed... right?)


If I understand you correctly, ultimately Ikelite (who was not in anyway at fault) has agreed to exchange the part with you only paying shipping? If so, that seems like outstanding customer service to me... Or perhaps I misunderstood?

#356704 Your Favourite/Best Image of 2014

Posted by Stoo on 17 January 2015 - 04:53 PM

This is a shot of the Arabia in Tobermory, Ontario. I've been trying to get this shot for many years, but poor visibility, currents, uncooperative buddies and general lack of skill on my part prevented it.  Taken last spring, in 110', 28°F water...
This image was featured in DIVER magazine in the November/DEMA issue. :-)
Arabia Bow Shirky SMALL  DSC_2440.jpg

#354813 My first magazine... and a brochure!

Posted by Stoo on 30 November 2014 - 06:33 PM

November was a good month for me... A feature in DIVER magazine just in time for DEMA, as well as scoring the cover image for the British Columbia Dive Industry Association's new promo brochure...


It ain't National Geographic but it's nice to be special for a month! ;-)







Attached Images

  • Diver Mag and Brochure small.jpg

#352522 thoughts on mini domes

Posted by Stoo on 11 September 2014 - 08:02 AM

This is the real question of U/W photography when it comes down to brass tacks.


And don't forget that the larger dome covers can be used as foul weather gear in a pinch. :)

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  • Aquatica Rain Hat DSC_8448.jpg

#352472 Restaurant drops shark from the menu

Posted by Stoo on 09 September 2014 - 08:28 PM

I had the pleasure of giving a slide presentation (What are "slide" presentations called nowadays anyway???) to a group of business leaders 10 days ago. My intention was to run a canned show with music, but they asked so many questions, that I shut the thing off, and went though the pics one at a time, and we talked about most of them. It became very apparent, very quickly, that these otherwise intelligent and successful people knew very little when it came to things "oceanic".


They knew virtually nothing of shark-finning, or that commercial fishing is utterly devastating for the most part, or that farmed fish create a whole new set of problems and on and on. They didn't understand how changing climate can have a major impact on our oceans.


I don't know about you folks, but about 99% of my good friends are active divers, so I had forgotten that my circle of friends doesn't represent the "Average Joe" when it comes to this sort of thing.


As photographers, we have a unique ability to show the public a side of our planet that most people will never see. As a direct result of that talk, 82 people know a bunch of stuff that they didn't before. That talk also led to two more talks on the calendar. I have decided to dramatically shorten my "pretty picture" component, and provide a little more emphasis on the talk/education part in the hopes of expanding a few more minds.


Having said all that, one guy, who runs a successful business came up to me after my presentation and challenged me on my comments about climate change. He had seen "a scientist" on TV and "the scientist" said that it was all BS. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that he probably say the guy on "Faux News"!


Ok, so I guess maybe a educated only 81 out of 82, but that's ok I guess.