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Tony Wu writes about the Tonga ferry sinking Photo

Tony Wu writes about the Tonga ferry sinking

Photographer Tony Wu was in Vava’u, Tonga when the ferry sank two nights ago. Tony has just posted a short article about how it has affected the small island of Vava’u.

A ferry sank in Tonga a couple of nights ago…the night I arrived in Vava’u…claiming around 26 lives, mostly women and children… Tonga is a small nation, with a population of 110,000 people or so. Everyone seems to know one another, or at least know someone else who knows someone you’re talking about. There are perhaps only three or four degrees of separation among people here, rather than the more standard six.

As such, just about everyone here, me included, knows someone who’s been affected by this misfortune.

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How to stop your housing from fogging Photo

How to stop your housing from fogging

Everyone who has taken a camera under (especially in the tropics) has at some point or another run into the problem of the lens port fogging up. One of my favourite discussions brings up a lot of the reasons why your housing would fog up. Unsurprisingly it is all to do with humidity and temperatures. If you open your housing in a warm humid environment and take it in to relatively cooler temperature water you are likely to get condensation on in your housing. We tend to only notice this when it is on the port blocking our cameras view to the underwater world.

There are things we can do to counteract this…

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1 spot open on Papua New Guinea Eastern Fields expedition Photo

1 spot open on Papua New Guinea Eastern Fields expedition

A spot for a single male is now available on our Papua New Guinea Eastern Fields expediton this coming November 26 - December 6, 2009. Photographer Tony Wu and Wetpixel editor Eric Cheng will be leading 9 guests aboard the M/V Golden Dawn to the remote Eastern Fields of Papua New Guinea, a very special and rarely-visited location. There are some fantastic shooters in the current group who have already booked—come join us for an exciting, educational, productive photography and diving expedition! Full information can be found on our expeditions page.

To book, contact Dan Baldocchi at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) / +1-773-564-9579.

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Nikon announces D300s and D3000 digital SLRs Photo

Nikon announces D300s and D3000 digital SLRs

Nikon has updated the D300 with the D300s. Adding 720/24p video and dual card slots (1 CF, 1 SD), a quiet shutter release and an updated processor and AF, the D300s retains the 12.3mp sensor and 3” LCD monitor. The most important factor for underwater shooters and manufacturers is that the back layout has changed. It will not fit in a D300 seamlessly. There will surely be ways to modify the housing so join the discussion in our forums as our resourceful members figure out a way with the manufacturer’s help.

On the low end, Nikon also announced the D3000, a 10.2mp $599 basic DSLR with a 18-55mmVR lens.

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Howard Hall reviews the Gates DEEP RED underwater housing Photo

Howard Hall reviews the Gates DEEP RED underwater housing

On July 19, 2009 I disembarked the Nautilus Explorer after spending two weeks diving in Southeast Alaska. This was my first experience using my RED ONE camera in the new DEEP RED underwater housing. A couple years ago, John Ellerbrock (owner of Gates Underwater) approached me with the idea of collaborating on the design for DEEP RED.  He asked what specifications I thought would make the best possible professional system.

My coming up with these specifications, although derived from a lengthy career of designing and using professional underwater motion picture housings, was the easy part.  Implementing the design would require a bit of genius.  John and the Gates Engineering Team were more than up to the task…

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Oceans, a new Disney movie for Earth Day 2010 Photo

Oceans, a new Disney movie for Earth Day 2010

There’s a new trailer out. Disney’s new movie by Messieurs Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud, Oceans, features spectacular flashes of imagery of whales breaching, sharks and dolphins feeding on a bait ball in South Africa, aerial shots of superpods of dolphins, and more. The trailer itself is really short and seems to be about Disney’s wildlife film legacy, but it’s worth streaming / downloading in full 1080p. Stunning!

See the trailer on YouTube or at full resolution on Apple’s trailer site (highly recommended). There’s also an interesting discussion going on in our forums about the movie and its production.

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Eric Cheng visits the NASA Neutral Buoyancy Lab Photo

Eric Cheng visits the NASA Neutral Buoyancy Lab

I went to visit the NASA NBL (Neutral Buoyancy Lab) today for an unscheduled, last-minute, behind-the-scenes tour, thanks to Joe Holley of Marine Visions, who worked there for nearly ten years. It was funny because everywhere we went, his old work buddies made “HEY, get that guy out of here!” gestures before then inviting us over for a closer look.

The NASA NBL has full-size mockups of the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle in its enormous pool. Wiki says that the pool “is 202 ft. (61 m) in length, 102 ft. (31 m) wide, and 40 ft. 6 in. (12 m) deep, and contains 6.2 million gallons (23.5 million litres) of water”—enormous!  Continue reading for photos…

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Apple announces Final Cut Studio 7 Photo

Apple announces Final Cut Studio 7

Apple has just announced the new Final Cut Studio 7, which includes too many new features to list here. New codecs and Improved / optimized support for old codecs means faster processing, and global transition settings save time while editing. In particular, Panasonic HVX-200 users will be happy with FCS 7’s native AVC-Intra support. FCS 7 also includes multi-touch support across the board, direct DVD and Blu-ray disc burning from Compressor, and much more.

Final Cut Studio 7 retails at $999. Upgrade price is $299.

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