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About divrndeep

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  • Birthday 04/15/1959

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  • Location
    Monterey, CA
  • Interests
    Scuba travel, UW photography, wildlife photography.

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    United States
  • Camera Model & Brand
    Nikon Z7

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  1. Tim G, I only know that both La Paz & Cabo San Lucas airports are stopping divers and checking their camera gear. Many European divers I met in La Paz last week were also made to pay for their housings. Your Subal housing has a big price tag, so unless you can show documentation of it's current depreciated worth, you will pay $632 US dollars or 12,264 Mexican Pesos, or 574 Euros to be permitted to enter the country with your Subal housing. It's something I hope that the large diving and UW photographer industries can influence in reversing. Before my trip I was ready to purchase a new UW housing for my new Nikon Z7, but I held off since I did not want to be extorted for an astronomical fee. My UW set up that I brought along instead was a 7 year old Olympus EM-5 with plastic PT-EP08 housing which I felt would not raise an eyebrow. It's plastic for Christ's sake. I had to pay almost $50 to enter Baja Mexico with it. A Nikon Z7 housing runs between $1,700-$3,600 which translates to $272- $576 dollars in fees just to use my own camera equipment for a week. This nonsense needs to stop I think. The UW camera shop in town just lost out on what would have been a good $5,000 sale with the Z7 housing, ports, etc. I'm not about to buy a new UW system if I have to keep paying for it when I travel!! Again, I hope the dive/photo industries get onboard & raise hell about this extortion.
  2. TravelDave, 2 camera bodies and one Go pro might be interpreted by customs as 3 cameras. If you can, dig up the old receipts, bring them and also show the depreciation over the years for the items. That is what I would do next time if I REALLY needed to go to Baja again. I think I will wait to return until Baja realizes that no vacationing diver/photographer will want to visit as long as those kinds of extortion fees are in place for vacationers.
  3. Pro photographer Franco Banfi and his group of amateur UW photographers from Switzerland flew into La Paz from Mexico City last week the same time I was there, and they were nailed for hundreds of dollars. They check your passport at every stop. Unless you have a Mexican passport, they KNOW where you originated from.
  4. I would like to see how the dive community responds to this high tariff before I ever go back. I paid close to $50 in fees for a 7 year old Olympus plastic housing for my little mirrorless Olympus EM-5. I'm shooting with a Z7 now and this Mexican Photographer's tax stopped me from purchasing a housing for it for this trip. I used my old Olympus set up instead which was not ideal, but I'm not about to pay out money on high extortion fees, so the UW camera housing industry just lost a big sale. If you can cancel your Baja destination to go somewhere else, that would be one way to avoid the UW housing fees. If enough divers divert from Baja, it will inevitably affect the money stream. The dive industry there may take notice and plead their case to the government to cease the extortion.. Otherwise, spend $$ on an international carry-on ThinkTank suitcase which is soft sided, and put your housing & cameras in that. As long as they do not inspect your bag at customs, you may be able to fly under the radar, but be prepared with your credit card in Cabo san Lucas or La Paz if they look in your bag.
  5. ATTENTION AMATEUR & PRO UW PHOTOGRAPHERS planning a trip to Baja Mexico: Now that I have returned from Baja California, Mexico, here is what I know 1st hand. If you fly into Cabo San Lucas or into La Paz, Mexico, expect to pay a fee if the Customs agents stop you and notice that you have an underwater housing. The agent will Google the housing to see it’s worth, then demand that you pay 16% of that price. Many new DSLR UW housings are $4,000 or more. You will pay $640 US dollars to use that fancy new housing in Baja Mexico. The customs agent will also show you an official document in English that states you may bring in 2 cameras and the accoutrements involved, but the underwater housing is a fee by Mexican law. I ran into a pro photographer I know who happened to be staying in the same hotel. He was leading a small underwater photo tour in La Paz. The vacationers were all from Switzerland and they all told me that they had to pay exorbitant fees for their camera housings and their video housings at La Paz airport even though they were all amateurs themselves. Customs officials are targeting underwater photographers at the airport in Cabo San Lucas and in La Paz. If you have a hard-sided protective travel case for your gear they will stop you. The customs agent said I was allowed 2 cameras and the things that go along with that, BUT an underwater housing must be taxed by Mexican customs laws even if you are not a professional. He showed me the document in writing about this customs law. I told the officer that I was NOT a pro photographer, but the document he showed me specifies underwater housings as a taxable item. I told the officer that my housing was old and maybe worth $200 which is true since it is about 7 years old. He got out his cell phone and looked up the model name and number (Olympus PT-EP08 UW case for E-M5) and said it was worth at least $300. In order for me to enter the country and use MY OWN underwater camera case for personal use (I do not earn a living by photography nor do I sell my photos online or in another way) I had to pay $50 US dollars to keep my housing with me. FYI: Customs officers in Cabo San Lucas airport take credit cards for this "Photographer's Fee". Even though Cabo/La Paz is the nearest warm water diving destination to my home, this will be my last vacation here for underwater photography. If you have a nondescript, soft-sided carry-on suitcase that you can carry all of you underwater housings in, then do it. If you have to check your underwater housings through with a hard case and your dive gear is packed in a bag with a diving insignia on it, they will stop you. If they find an underwater camera housing in you luggage, the Mexican authorities will nail you for 16% of the value of that housing at the price that they find online.
  6. Looking to upgrade from your current UW camera system? I have a sweet Nikon D200 DSLR pro system for sale. If you would like to buy a complete, gently used & well maintained underwater camera set up, but can’t afford retail prices, then this is the way to get into Pro DSLR underwater photography. I bought everything brand new from Backscatter. Package price was over $12,000 new. Nikon D200 DX camera with the Sea & Sea UW housing has all the components needed for Macro & WA shooting. All equipment has been handled with extreme care, regularly maintained, in excellent working order, and has never flooded. Housing was fully serviced/pressure checked by Backscatter photo, and all o-rings and seals were replaced. Package includes all necessary ports, extenders, and gears to support wide angle & macro photography. This package INCLUDES the Tokina 10-17mm fisheye zoom lens. DSLR UW Photography Package: Nikon D200 camera, compact flashcard & battery + charger. $1,400 Sea & Sea 200DX housing $4,000 Sea & Sea Dome port $700 Sea & Sea Macro port $320 Sea & Sea base rings $400 Macromate Flip Lens for super-macro shots $600 Tokina 10-17 WA lens $700 Zoom gear for 10-17mm lens $220 Focus gear for 105mm lens $265 Ultralight T Groove Base Adapters (2) $50 Hartenberger focus lamp & universal charger kit $1,000 2 Hartenberger batteries & 2 bulbs $200 Sea & Sea 45 degree Viewfinder $1,000 Inon D2000 S-TTL strobes (2) $1,380 Sea & Sea 5 pin synch cords (2) $250 Macro & Dome port covers $98 **Includes original manuals. All that is needed to complete this set up is Ultralight extension arms, and a pelican case! Of course you’ll need the105 macro lens, but most of us have that already. I will sell this entire package for only $6,200. Then you can start shooting like a pro now. Karen Schofield Diverindeep@me.com
  7. Come by & view my photography on display this month! It would be great to see some of you there! “OCEANA” Davenport Gallery April 5th-28th, 2012 (Open Thurs-Sun 11-5) 450 HWY 1 Davenport, Ca (located next to Roadhouse) Gallery: 831-421-0505 Artists Reception on April 14th From 4-7 pm. Hors d’oeuvres & wine to be served Underwater Photography by: Karen Schofield
  8. My underwater photography will be on display this month at Davenport Gallery: http://davenportgallery.org/
  9. Criminey !! I was under the impression that reducing the image in RAW or PSD (under Image tab), saving the reduced photo, then opening the newly reduced JPG file would show me the reduced size I had just created. It is not doing what I had expected it to do. I was opening the reduced file in CS3, & viewing Image size tab rather than looking at image info with double-click or apple + I. I would not have intuitively gone that route since changing the image size seems like it should show up in the "Image Size" tab. Ya know? Thanks for that tiny but hugely important piece of the puzzle. Karen
  10. I cropped, changed to PSD, JPG, tried Bicubics/ Bilinears, changed dpi, pixels, cut it to 8 x 10, YOU NAME IT. You cannot have the longest length of the photo between 2000 and 6000 pixels AND have a 5 MB file or less to submit. I have tried every combination for over 4 hours.............no luck yet. Here are the rules that I must follow: 8/6/2008 © NCUPS - 2 - Digital Entries: 1 Images may be burned onto a writable CD or DVD and mailed along with the signed entry form and correct payment. We will not accept email entries. Alternatively, entrants may upload still images using the UPLOAD link on the NCUPS SEA web page. 2 Write your name and e-mail address on the CD or DVD. 3 All digital entries need to be in JPEG format. 4 Scanned images are accepted. 5 All images will be judged on a large monitor and should be sized to be between 2000 and 6000 pixels in the longest dimension. Please limit your images to a maximum file size of 5,000KB (5MB). 6 It is recommended that images be saved in the highest JPEG quality for optimum viewing. 7 Images should be saved in AdobeRGB 1998 or sRGB color space. 8 File name format: Skill level: nov or adv (nov = novice, adv = advanced) Category: macro, wa, ca, mc, cre (wa = wide-angle, ca = California, mc = marine conservation, cre = creative) Entrant name: first name last name (ex. janesmith) Number 1-5 if entering more than one entry per category. File name example: adv_macro_janesmith1.jpeg (Underscore between file name components and use lower case.) 9 Images without an entry form will not be judged. 10 There will be novice and advanced skill levels in the digital categories and one skill level in the creative digital category. SKILL LEVELS: Novice: Any amateur photographer who has been taking underwater photographs for two years or less, and has not won ANY best of, or first places in a major photography competition. A novice may enter the advanced skill level if they so desire. Advanced: Any other amateur photographer.
  11. When trying to reduce Raw image files into a specific dimension for a photo contest online, I find it impossible to have the longest length at the required 2000-6000 pixels and simultaneously have the entire file at 5 MB or less. How is this done?
  12. Good pics of the luggage set up. What size are your/type packs are those?
  13. > Both Pelican cases made it home, but the Aquatica rig was no longer in the case nor were the ports, gears, or strobes. Be warned if you are traveling with your rigs in one of these cases. They must scream "TAKE ME, I can be sold on eBay".< I am paranoid after reading this post. I am going to PNG in 18 days. How can I pack a Nikon D-200, lenses, strobes, L & M Titan housing and all that junk as a carry on? I have the Pelican 1610 case chock full. Karen
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