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Everything posted by pats0n

  1. Hi all, I'm selling my Nikon D300 based system - old but in great condition. Package includes: - Sea&Sea MDX D300 housing; - Pro One optical dome port (with one small scratch which does not affect image quality); - 2 x Nikon D300 bodies; - 2 x YS-250 strobes with relatively new batteries; - Nikkor 12-24mm, Nikkor 10.5mm, Sigma 70mm lenses; - strobes arms and cables set. The system is in Singapore - hit me with the offer and I will see what I can do. I accept Paypal as well as Bitcoin payments. Cheers, Alex
  2. Geo Kearley released one more GoPro video which he took during our trip - showing this time typical bait ball action for the season of 2012 - short lasting and staying on the surface. Netherless this video communicates well excitement of being so close to hunting dolphins, birds and sharks - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvyYSeeAtxU
  3. Incredible stuff, Shawn ! It's interesting observation about whitetips following pods like you encountered. It makes a lot of sense with pelagic long-range sharks though.
  4. Here is the GoPro video taken by Geo Kearley during our 50 minutes long humpback whale encounter on the last day in Port St. Johns - it was amazing experience, bit challenging for photography and video due to overcast skies and limited viz - but still one of the very memorable experiences during season of 2012 !
  5. absolutely mind-blowing video and photo - looking forward to see more from this amazing trip ! Cheers.
  6. I absolutely love pictures with mobula rays. Well done !
  7. hey Drew, maybe you can submit some of your stunning topside shots from this season ? I'm chasing couple of GoPro videos now from Scuba Addicts trip members !
  8. \ I think mine are with redeye actually. But maybe I miss something, LOL
  9. Drew, you right - sharks were totally nuts. I was bumped by them while swimming to whales several times - did not happen before !
  10. image of mola mola from my friend Vlad Levantovsky - on that day I jumped on different boat, and missed opportunity. However sightings of mola mola on the Wild Coast were relatively frequent this season. Please visit Vlad's stream to see more of his images - http://www.flickr.com/photos/seewhatvladsee/
  11. Alex Mustard - on post #23 - is it proper circular fisheye ? Looks cool !
  12. Thank you for your comment, errbrr - every year is different, next one can be good one - sardines failed to show up several times in last decade. This year reason for low numbers of bait fish was water temperature which stayed above 20 degrees - normally it should be below, some people say that ideal is below 18 even. Still as you can see from images - it was interesting trip, since behavior patterns of predators are very different. For example, during good year it's not easy to observe many sharks on bait ball when many people in the water are simultaneously - this year was quite opposite, every small ball had dozens of them, often ignoring presence of people at all - they were very, very hungry and desperate. I actually was bumped by sharks few times while trying to get closer to whales - they were checking every source of noise on surface this year. Shot with dusky grabbing sardines is 10.5mm - I stuck my camera into it's face basically - distance was about 20cm and it bumped me moment later Here is one more shot from Sardine Run 2012 - showing typical size of bait ball and also fact that most action was right on the surface. I will publish more images as I go through them in coming days. Meanwhile if you like adventure diving at it's best and can deal with frustration on many days which is integral part of experience - I strongly recommend you to try next year or later !
  13. This year's Sardine Run was incredibly slow - sardines failed to show up, and not many bait ball opportunities were available. Action was limited to small pockets of red eye and anchovies on the surface being torn apart in matter of minutes by big packs of hungry sharks. This presented some interesting photo opportunities, though. In addition to that we had some incredible time with humpback whales and several mola mola encounters were reported by different groups. This year required a lot of swimming around in attempt to locate fast moving balls, and I did almost all photos without strobes attached - I used no strobes setup first time in 4 seasons ! Below are some of the fresh images from Wild Coast taken in first half of July. All taken with Nikon D300 + Nikon 10.5mm lens. All images are not cropped and editing is limited to slight contrast/tone enhancements. I will post more as I process them, meanwhile I hope more people will post their accounts and pictures from this incredible annual event !
  14. here are some shots I made in May 2009 and May 2010 - will be going where again in January ! Awesome diving ! http://www.flickr.com/photos/pats0n/sets/72157618130929601/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/pats0n/sets/72157624045309951/
  15. I was humbled to find myself on the winners list of of the Veolia Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2009 competition - with image of diving gannet I took during Wetpixel Ocean Safari in 2008 - http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/tem...y=6&group=1 ! I want to thank you Wetpixel, our team and in particular Drew Wong for organizing this fantastic trip - without you guys it would be impossible ! I'm looking forward to join more adventures organized by our favorite photography portal !
  16. Mind blowing ! Congratulations guys on your successful trip !
  17. I'm going on business trip to Australia for two weeks from OCt 18 to Oct 31st. I want to spend weekend + one/two days diving near Sydney. What are the good options there ? Also does anyone know if it is possible to make it to Great White Shark diving in Adelaide area within this timeframe ? I will appreciate advice of mighty community of Wetpixelians ! Cheers, Alex
  18. There is petition now to stop harmful shark portrayal by Discovery's Shark Week production - http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Boycott-Shark-Week - number of signatures is still far from the target - I hope that Wetpixel members reading this thread can help !
  19. Thanks, Steve ! After DPG published small article on Sardine Run I was approached by Barcroft with proposal to run story for newspapers - we wrote article together with reporter, and I was hoping that it is not going to be modified too much, but unfortunately many publications took liberty with Daily Telegraph for instance claiming that this pictures are few days old ! Well, probably I suspected that it is going to be not smooth - but at the end of day I'm ok with result - tabloids are tabloids, and their function is to spark initial interest. Any reader who will be interested will look beyong newspaper story. Cheers, Alex
  20. Drew, It is very fair to hear versions of this story from both operators. Looking forward for you to post that you will find out ! Cheers, Alex
  21. Shark Reef Marine Reserve in Fiji's Beqa Lagoon is one of the most exiting shark dives in the world. Most famous for big number of bull sharks it also provides good chances to see enormous resident tigers, grey reef, whitetip, lemon, nurse, blacktip reef and potentially other species of sharks. I decided to publish this collection of images I shot during last couple of trips here today for the reason. I don't watch TV at all these days, and most of natural history shows I see are on DVDs I receive as presents or buy by recommendation from my friends. As result I usually end up with good stuff, comparable in quality and educational value to marvels like Blue Planet or NGE. Obviously I was very confident that everything that carries logo of any significant natural history brand is preaching only good and produced with great care. So it was really big surprise for me to read shocking post from my friends in Fiji about production called "Shark Week" run by Discovery Channel - http://fijisharkdiving.blogspot.com/2009/0...or-does-it.html. For the sake of cheap popularity and ratings they don't mind to trash hard work done by many people in Fiji to create and support Shark Reef Marine Reserve over course of many years. This done by running all kind of stupid experiments during which sharks aggression is artificially provoked for the sake of "research" footage destined to be shown on the channel which is supposed to educate people about nature and promote good practices for interaction with animals. Let me remind you that bull sharks are most dangerous sharks of them all - probably more aggressive and dangerous for people then great whites. But by the virtue of using our human brain and setting up protocol and practices it is possible to dive with them safely - and this obviously includes a lot of know hows but most certainly excludes stupidities like teasing and provoking animals. Any dog of reasonable size can instantly turn into killing machine if provoked or trained specifically, and here we are talking about wild animals. And most beautiful thing about whole production - is the sub-title "Deadly beaches", which obviously helps a lot initiatives to improve public shark image and stop mass slaughtering of them, which if not ceased will most likely result in global ecological disaster just in 20-30 years to come. I thought that would be main reason for making any shark show these days on popular TV channel. But ALAS, I was wrong. It will be very sad if due to all this "experiments" something bad will happen and we won't be able to enjoy this fantastic place same way we can do it today.
  22. Fernando, First of all - thank you for your help and professionalism - we were really lucky to have you on board, anyone of us could have needed your help. I'm sure that then it comes to evacuation details you have better knowledge then myself since you've been very close to your patient. Cheers, Alex
  23. I was on the Ondina trip then this happened, moreover I was on one of two dinghies that picked up injured diver and his buddies. Here is my account of situation - on Apr 13 myself and my buddy finished long relaxed afternoon dive in mangrove shallows and were picked up by dinghy. Just few seconds later our driver received call from boat asking to check urgently other group of divers - we noticed splashes few hundred meters away. Quickly arriving at the scene we found two divers on the surface in the state of serious panic, but we managed to understand that accident involving croc and third diver in the group just happened. In next few seconds we were thinking frantically that to do and my buddy even entered water (he was still with tank) for help - but looking at the faces and panic I really thought that something irreparable happened, it was scary. In few seconds another dinghy arrived, and then something miraculous happened - missing diver surfaced by himself, without mask and with bleeding neck. He was quickly taken on second dinghy and dinghy left to the boat. It was time then I noticed croc on the surface few meters away - he was frantically swimming into distance keeping his mouth open, I could not see much detail well due to contrast sunlight, but animal was huge - at least 3.5-4 meters long. Noticing this we quickly pulled people to the dinghy and collected two other divers groups in the mangroves. It all happened very quickly - between initial call and the moment we arrived to the boat just five minutes or less passed. Injured diver was attended by one of the Ondina passengers who was doctor, he gave him oxygen, some strong painkiller drugs (valium I think) and started to put stiches on his hand and neck. Ondina crew reaction was very prompt and professional, about after 10-15 minutes after we arrived to the boat we were already sailing to the rendezvous point with speedboat called from one of the nearby villages - it took us about two hours to get there, injured diver and his friend were transferred to Sorong then - that took about 4-5 hours. Ondina crew used all means to make sure that evacuation happens as fast as possible, working frantically on satellite phone communication and boat departure. Diver injured by croc and his buddy are very experienced divers whom dove many places and even have some technical diving background. They had no cameras with them on this trip. Later we found out that croc came out of nowhere, and grabbed diver from side, damaging his hand and neck and trying to pull victim to the deep place - typical behaviour. Buddy tried to fight croc with his hands (he had no knife in his disposal) and said that he poked an eye of croc with finger, but did not succeed and surfaced to call for help. Apparently croc finally released his hold then victim was able to reach his knife and stab eye with it. Another key factor to survival was that octopus of victim was fastened on his neck - he managed to grab even in this difficult situation and keep breathing. In my opinion it is miracle that diver survived and I attribute it to his bravery and ability to keep calm and disciplined in this extreme situation - perhaps most of us would not be able to deal with this situation in such cold-minded manner. I'm very glad and happy that he is ok and only serious injury is some muscle damage in hand that can be operated and fixed with no lasting effects. I want to stress what only things I saw by myself from dinghy are to be treated as precise first-hand information - everything else is information I got from divers and crew in pretty hectic circumstances. I did not speak to victim of the attack by myself after accident, but had chance to talk to his buddy before he departed to Sorong. I'm very confident that there was no any kind of provocative behaviour against animal, since as I said above those divers are very experienced, mature and big nature lovers as well, I observed them underwater on other dives and their behaviour is impeccable. In my opinion it is unfortunate but very rare accident - and I think if croc like this is in mangroves it is best to catch and relocate it, since it already displayed offensive behaviour against people - or to close Misool mangroves for diving...
  24. Sorry, my English skills seem to deteriorate at night ! Thanks !
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