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Everything posted by acco205

  1. I've recently been working a lot in the studio doing portraits and it go me thinking: could this setup be used underwater? ok so its applications would be limited to still things, like nudies and coral, but has anyone ever tried playing with reflected light under water? The setup im thinking of is similar to a studio shot using a single strobe (any others only for back lighting) and a reflector placed opposite to fill in the dark areas. I'm just curious to see what kinds of results this could yield. Mike
  2. you can download gimp. its a linux (i think?) based program and will open inside X11 on the mac. it makes the interface a little odd to get used to but its about 85% of the functions of photoshop for free. Mike
  3. whats that acrylic guy you have on the bottom? is that just to make it sit level with an 8" dome or does it have some other fancy purpose? Mike
  4. id wonder if they may have screwed up rebuilding it since those controls didnt seem to be leaking when you tested it out the first time. something doesnt sound right, those rings shouldnt be that bad that fast, even if you do muck dive a lot. id agree with the bad batch of rings theory, perhaps do a search and see if you can find reports of any other housing from that time frame with similar problems. Mike
  5. you you can change cards without completely removing the camera. its actually a rather handy feature.
  6. man, youre making me nervous about my shiny new ike housing! I honestly cant believe you've had so much trouble with them, the only reason I went with them (other than price) was their alleged good customer service. I feel like i've been lied to now. I do hope you can get things sorted out, not having a camera is a bit like leaving home without your pants... Mike
  7. ah i get it...very cool technique. i wish the waters around me were clear enough to try that sort of thing. a word of caution on the burn tool- since there will be little of no data in that area (the camera sees this as being solid white) the burn tool with just make that spot grey. you could try adding an exposure adjustment layer and masking out all but that area and see what you get but you'll be hard pressed to make it look natural. Mike edit: i also really like the comp of the second one. really nice work.
  8. I love the results. the way the water bleeds into the air looks amazing. the way the shark is a perfect reflection of the distorted horizon really holds this image together composition wise. i think a half second later and this shot would fall apart (think of the sharks body curved the other way, pushing your eye off the bottom of the page). my only complaint is the overexposure of the cloud at the top right that detracts a little. a little retouching might help but honestly since there is no colour or texture data there to begin with i'd just leave it. very nice work. might i ask what settings you used to shoot this? Mike
  9. my vote is for the first one. the whole body gives it a better feeling of unity, the second one gives me an incomplete feeling. plus there is an area of foreground/background in focus on the bottom left that catches my eye and pulls it away from the focal point. I think a slight pan to the right on the bottom would have made it for me.
  10. if you are looking for something that isnt intended to work as a final display you can just use 15 x 20 cardboard and plastic shrink wrap type material (or poly bags) OR if you wanted something that can be presented and later framed you can always use black presentation boards. they are about $2 each at most art stores and come in 15 x 20 and occasionally some larger sizes. Easier to work with than foam core (they look like matte board but black on both sides and a bit heavier) that what we use when presenting in classes, its cheap and it works, plus it can be cut down to frame easily or depending on how you mount it pulled off without making a mess of things (like foam core will). just remember that if you are mounting on anything black you should mount it to a solid white bristol board first to prevent the colour from showing through your prints, then black out the edges with a pigment liner so you dont have white lines. Mike
  11. i stopped diving wet about a year ago (and dont regret it). personally i find it easier to take picture in the dry suit since you can make yourself negative (or stop an unwanted accent) without taking your hands off the camera or your eye off the viewfinder. I went with a DUI and its worth every penny. would I buy it again? ABSOLUTELY! but I would make some different choices... 1. NO shoulder entry. cheaper, yes. but tends to be a big pain in the butt, particularly on hot days. I also use a ballistic nylon harness and backplate which tends to wear on the zipper a little bit. no leaking yet and after 2 years (i've had it a while, but only started using it exclusively a year ago) its still in good shape, though it will need to be replaced eventually im sure. 2. if you dont fit a stock suit, get a custom one! Seriously, its not that much more. I've got about 5" of extra material in the legs and not enough in the torso (im a short, stocky velodrome sprinter) and i really wish I'd have spent the money early on to have that changed. I can still get it cut down (but not let out) but i hate being away from my suit since it means i hae to dive wet. 3. get zip seals or SI-5's this is just another "dont want to be away from your suit" thing. plus its nice to have spares, no worries about breaking seals on a dive, ability to put on dry gloves for cold water diving and you'll save a ton by not having to pay someone to replace your seals. my biggest suggestion with ANY gear you buy. dont skimp. why buy it twice? Or why pay more to have your stuff sent out for labor later on when you want to use it? Mike
  12. should only be a trigger. however im curious if you were to set them to ttl if you could use the dial on the back of ike housings to control the exposure manually. has anyone tried that? Or are you restricted to fiddling with the strobes themselves?
  13. thanks for the replies. hanachan, im shooting a D200 and the internal flash not accessible underwater. (i see the mirror for triggering now) My reasoning for wanting sb8-900's is partly because i dont have to go buy anymore, and partly because having perfect ttl for macro is a nice thing when you shoot in mud half the year. my reasoning for not wanting to buy dedicated strobes is cost. $2500 in lighting that I can only use underwater is a little much, particularly in times like theses...(inon d2000 is a little on the small side)
  14. the atomic ultraclear mask line is great for photography (since it uses optic quality tempered glass). no mirror, not light reduction (havnt tried the ARC glass but i here it performs well also) I'm 100% with the "your buddy needs to see your eyes" thing. Yesterday i did a dive in some annoyingly high current and my buddy was having some major problems (both with the current/camera thing and with some equalization problems) eyes are the first place i look for panic. Also, keep in mind your eyes are usually hidden behind your camera, so i dont think mirroring anything will have much of an effect. After all, a giant lens is just as frightening. my .02 Mike
  15. hey thanks for the response. I dont see anywhere in there where you did the wiring though. how do you have it synced to your camera? Do you think a hot shoe connector (like the ones you can buy for wired remote flash operation) wired to a nikanos or ikelite 5 pin plug would work? or am i missing a serious step in wiring here? I was thinking of something similar but using acrylic tubing, only I'm lost trying to think of a good way to close the housing in a method that doesn't require major surgery to pull the flash out. What did you use to seal it off (that grey putty)? I'm sure its listed there but...you know...Japanese... thanks again Mike
  16. Hey everyone. has anyone ever made a diy strobe housing for an sb800 or 900? I've seen a few plans for some pvc underwater flash guns rigged with wireless connections but nothing that would be easy to modify for diving (im afraid pvc threads will leak under that much pressure) thanks
  17. im thinking two ys 110's might do, but im having a hard time determining compatibility. The instructions that came with my housing say use only ike strobes (there is also a switch inside that says "ds50/51 - ds125/160/200" what would i use for SS strobes??) I dont mind losing the ttl im just concerned it wont work. does anyone have any info on this set up? would it even be powerful enough for WA? or would i have to drop money for the ys250's? thanks
  18. So I FINALLY decided i should be dragging an slr with me underwater (ive shot slr on the surface for some time but never wanted to invest the money in a new housing for UW) anyhow, im moving from a Nikon p5000 ps (because it had full manual) with a single ds51 strobe to my d200. Since budget is an issue I went with an Ike housing (i found a light and motion titan, new for $999 on clearance but it was gone within hours). at the moment I only have a 60mm macro setup since I dont have strobes for WA and can get away with the ds51 for macro. What would be a good budget strobe set up powerful enough for WA? I like having the option of using the iTTL built into the housing but I'm not big on the idea of paying $2000 to use ike strobes. any suggestions? thanks Mike
  19. deco obligations only further complicate things. Now you still have bottom time obligations or else you blow your deco schedule, but a MUCH more complicated accent where you can easily run into more problems simply by having a camera in your hand (if nothing else, its one less hand or something else cluttering your already minimal free space what with stages, bailout, shot lines/reels, and lift bags. plus you still have OOA emergencies but now if you somehow blow your bottom time, and deplete your air source, you'll tox on your deco gas and its a deadly trip to the surface. Bottom line, pictures are great, but what good are they if you die taking them? are they worth the price? no. Dive first, take pictures second.
  20. my computer is on my right arm on the inside on my wrist so that whilst holding something vertical (say a camera tray) the display is facing me. When I'm in shooting mode my right hand is always on the camera while the left focuses strobes. This means that at most points during the dive the distance between my computer and my view finder is no more than a few inches. The only time its not is if I'm swimming over say nothing but sand and hold my camera in a more streamlined position (non-shooting position). Anything that risks exposure limits be NDL's partial pressures, deco ceilings, etc its usually a good idea to have a non-photographer with you to keep track of you, though in those instances I'm a firm believer that photography should ALWAYS be second to your ability to maintain yourself underwater. Your buddy should only be there just in case you get sidetracked, not so that you can without worry. my $0.02 -Mike
  21. Inon makes two. a 330mm and a 160mm I believe (or 167 or something like that). The 330 being the weaker of the two diopters but the most forgiving if your doing macro in surge amongst the rocks and need to be a little farther away. I use the 330 with my P5000 every now and then with enjoyable results. Mostly it will only bring out finer detail though, so be warned, with the slow focus speed of that camera you'll need to hold still for a good few seconds or use a shutter speed over 1/125 of it'll do more harm than good. -Mike
  22. any boating store should have a good selection. We have West Marine here in SD and they have an entire section devoted to marine grade hardware. If you can't find it in town theres always the interweb option. anxious to here how that works out for you. I've just become accustom to the "brace it on your wrist and make the long reach around the outside of the handle with your hand" approach...which is challenging but effective to say the least...
  23. hows your vision? the double dome works exactly the way a dome works on your camera lens. So that pretty much means if you have good vision, you wont be able to use it and see a damn thing. If you need +4.5 correction, then it will work fine for you. The problem that you'll then find is in aiming strobes as your field of vision will show everything at the correct distance while your camera thinks its focusing on something much closer. Though to be fair, Ive never played with my camera and the mask at the same time so I don't know how big or small of a hindrance this is. There was a guy on a charter a few months back who let me check his out underwater...didn't take any pictures cause if your vision isnt JUST RIGHT for the mask its like instant vertigo. -M
  24. I use 3mm in june. no problems here, thats around the time the water starts warming up. I only burden myself with the 5mm during the colder months where surface temps are in the 50's and my hand would otherwise get cold before the dive begins.
  25. I use the atomic framless with ultra clear glass. Definatly try it on more than once cause I seems to fit very few people correctly. They have a simular version, non framless though, but just as low volume without pressing into the bridge of your nose that seems to fit a wider variety of people. both are fantastic. and yes, toothpaste and black skirts!
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