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Everything posted by tie

  1. Hi Garrethe, I don't have time right now, but try googling it: http://www.google.com/search?q=why+is+raw+...mera+underwater It is also useful above water, but much more important below water because it lets you fix white balance after the fact (so the colors look good!).
  2. 1 and 6. They could use a bit more editing before printing, e.g., 1 has chromatic aberration still.
  3. SD cards are nicer, since they are smaller and most laptops have built-in SD card readers these days, but it hardly matters very much.
  4. Your expectations may have betrayed you. If you want to find turtles out of Honokohau, you really have to ask the captain to go to one particular cleaning station, as you usually won't see them elsewhere. You'll find many more turtles snorkeling almost anywhere, e.g., at Kahalu'u or Two-step or... Mantas during the day are not very common; with a week of diving you might see one but just as a fly-by, not great for photography. You can dive with dolphins, but you need to go to the right spot and they need to be there---snorkeling with them is more fun, anyway. If, as you say, you weren't willing to look into holes, then yes you aren't going to see too much on a typical day dive. There is a lot of cool stuff there if you look for it. As to schools of fish in the open, I also think that the aquarium trade has been hitting some areas hard, sadly. I've only dived with Jack's on the black-water dive (well worth it) and once on a day dive, so can't say much about their typical service. I don't think their snacks are supposed to be lunch, though maybe with the crowd your boat went out much later.
  5. The hotel is a more reliable location for mantas, but a worse night dive site. The operators who sail from the harbor (Jack's, Kona Honu, ...) don't like to go there because it uses more fuel. Still, often if they book a repeat customer who sees nothing at the airport for multiple days, they will go the hotel to keep him happy. It sounds like this didn't happen for you since you switched operators in the middle. The Sea Paradise sails from right next to the hotel, though, for one-tank trips. Kona Honu is my favorite operator, but for mantas the Sea Paradise is a lot safer. And if you see nothing your next dive is free. If my memory is right I was told this only happens a couple times a year. (Personally, I have a 100% sighting rate at the hotel and maybe 30% at the airport.) If you want to be totally safe, then time your trip when the moon isn't full (so the lights they use are worth more) and go to the hotel deck the night before to check the surf and count the mantas. I would recommend trying one of each. While it is amazing to see the mantas at the hotel, it is also more crowded and feels like a zoo or an amusement park, not at all like a natural experience. This bothers me a bit. It tends to have much more surge and there are many spiny sea urchins there, also. (Use their wetsuit, not yours. ) In contrast, the airport site is good for two dives even without mantas.
  6. Sorry, it doesn't work for me either. Really, a photo gallery should not be difficult.
  7. Hoover's fish book is good, but the "Ultimate Guide" is slightly better, with more coverage and a few more stories, if you like that stuff. http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Guide-Hawai...ntt_at_ep_dpt_3 Hoover's invertebrates guide is also excellent. "Hawaii's Sea Creatures: A Guide to Hawaii's Marine Invertebrates" http://www.amazon.com/Hawaiis-Sea-Creature...ntt_at_ep_dpt_4 I have tried all the guides, although not the $125 book yet. Randall's other guide, the cheaper "Shore Fishes of Hawaii," is fine, but Hoover is much, much better, in photographs and descriptions.
  8. This sounds interesting, but honestly it is extremely hard to read blue-gray text on a blue blackground.
  9. This looks promising: http://scientistatwork.blogs.nytimes.com/2...-and-sea-slugs/ Field notes of a nudibranch scientist, started just two weeks ago.
  10. I have only tried one Tamron 90 for Nikon and the autofocus worked as it should. This was before the new versions that I think have a built-in motor, but it still sounds like a bad batch.
  11. I'm white and certainly have been asked that returning back to SFO. I have had bad experiences with customs agents in the US and other countries, too, and also nice experiences around the world. I feel like the US agents are a little more likely to be jerks, but usually they are very friendly.
  12. You are thinking of Matrix-style effects underwater? Sounds really cool, but I imagine 50 or 60 housed DSLRs would cost a fortune!
  13. Thicker filters might make it harder to get good optical quality (?), but I like the idea.
  14. These are really nice shots. I liked the first series, too. (I think a few of the shots have correctable chromatic aberrations that you might want to fix.)
  15. Hmm, I can't see wanting much more power than the internal flash. Shooting macro at f8, the internal flash often is too strong. Shooting closeup shots, I'll open the aperture up to 5.6, but I don't go much beyond that.
  16. What if you only shoot closeup and macro photos (no wide-angle adapter)? Then coverage angle doesn't matter. Compact cameras only close to f8 anyway, so more power also doesn't help at close ranges. What else do the more expensive strobes add?
  17. How can titanium lining keep you warm?
  18. tie

    DSLR questions

    I don't entirely agree. Most decent compact cameras nowadays don't have shutter lag. Autofocus on a DSLR may still be faster, or not. In terms of control, many compact cameras have full control, so I don't see how this is an issue between compacts and DSLRs. In fact, my Fuji F810 has a better interface in some ways than my Nikon D80 -- for example, it shows the ISO at all times (and even highlights it at ISO800); the D80's ISO display/change method is slightly inane. The D80 on the other hand has two control wheels versus only one on the F810 -- very nice for full manual control. The lens is a huge difference. Another advantage of DSLRs, though, is control of DOF. This allows blurring of backgrounds, so the subjects stand out much better. There are a lot of shots which are completely impossible to take with a compact camera for this reason. The low DOF also probably helps a bit with particles in the water and perhaps backscatter.
  19. Thanks for the info, Scott. BTW, you might want to fix your signature link (my photos/videos).
  20. For snorkeling, if you don't dive down, then you won't need a filter. If you do dive down, then it depends... If you only want closeup/macro shots, then a filter won't be useful, and you should use your internal flash with a diffuser. If you want wide-angle shots (which in particular requires that your camera have a wide-angle lens), then a filter might be useful. For these shots, the internal flash will be much less useful. I'd recommend the Ikelite housing if the Fantasea doesn't let you turn the camera off. What if you run out of batteries? But perhaps your camera has good battery life. An alternative which might be comparable in cost is to buy a newer camera with a cheaper housing. For example, buy one of the new Canon A series cameras with a Canon housing. This would give you full controls on a modern camera, and might be comparable to an Ikelite housing.
  21. Of course a housing is worth it! (What did you think we would say?) I haven't used that camera so don't know its particular strengths and weaknesses. I've found that one can take some pretty good shots without a strobe when you use a diffuser carefully; here are some examples. Closeups are easier than wide-angles or true macros. With a diffuser you can get good results. I've been meaning to try out some of the cheaper strobe systems, like the one offered by Fantasea, Watershot and Pixtreme (see, e.g, this thread). I think these would work well for true macro (since your lens only closes to f8 anyway, you don't need much light).
  22. Love the nudi, I never see those. Nice angle on the Harlequin. I love Hawaii diving.
  23. Beautiful shots. Edit: Is your webpage supposed to be empty? I clicked Skip Intro and then nothing happens.
  24. "The Secret Life of Sharks" by Peter Klimley Amazon This fantastic book describes some highlights of a marine biologist's career studying sharks over thirty years. Well-written, the book focuses on the process of science, as fascinating results are slowly teased out. You feel like you are there: diving, looking for sharks, tagging them, tracking them, and trying to interpret the data. (On the flip side, though: despite the book's title, if you want a shark encyclopedia, look elsewhere.) The two major studies detailed are of hammerhead sharks -- trying to understand why they school in great numbers in certain locations, and how they navigate -- and great white sharks -- trying to understand how they hunt, and how they interact with each other. In each case, the results are nontrivial -- but I won't give any spoilers here! (Were I a scientific reviewer, I might argue that the author is too eager to ascribe intelligence and social characteristics to sharks, before collecting bulletproof data. Also, some of his math -- for example, the "fuzzy logic" used for measuring great white shark tail slapping social displays -- is a bit immature.) The book concludes with a sobering chapter on the disappearance of the hammerhead schools the author had studied.
  25. Obviously, a Mac. About Photoshop, you should maybe add Lightroom to your list of Adobe RAW software. All these programs have free trial versions available (Photoshop is 30 day, I believe, Lightroom is through February), so you should be able to decide for yourself.
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