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Everything posted by Marjo

  1. I built these fibersnoots a while ago and they worked absolutely wonderfully - at the kitchen table. Yesterday I took them out to my favorite macro critter spot to finally give them a whirl. I was all pumped up, fueled by inspiration from watching Keri Wilk's and other beautiful snooted macro images. My setup was a 100mm macro withh a Canon 500D diopter on a Canon 7D. I had set it to manually focus. The stobes were two Ikelite Ds-125 with the fibersnoots. Well, once I hit the water I was also hit with reality that I had no fruitloopin clue how to aim those snoots! I probably poked more blennies than I saw through the viewfinder. Pretty much at no point did I manage to aim the snoots in the right place. Normally cooperative critters fled at the mere sight of me before I even got to settle down to start aiming at them. The only fish that seemed to enjoy the orderal was a 10ft green moray that kept shadowing me, totally using the mayhem to his hunting advantage. I feel discouraged. Can someone who actually has some success with fibersnoots help me with some pointers or point me to some great resources to help me out?
  2. Wetpixel is indeed special, a gem of the internet. I do think the exceptionall good atmosphere can largely be attributed to the site being well run, well moderated, and especially to the fact that the best of the best in the world of underwater photography have been involved since the early days of this this forum. These experts have been, and continue to be, exceptionally sharing and generous with their time and knowledge. The collected wealth of knowledge in this forum is incredible, and I consider wetpixel the most comprehensive source of information on underwater photography in the world. I joined wetpixel in 2004 and pretty much everything inknow about uw photography I either learned he or from someone very active on wetpixel.
  3. The movie Blackfish played on CNN at 9PM EST and on again at midnight/EST. This is an event that is sure tobring topic of keeping marine mammals in captivity into the minds of the mainstream that might not have ever even thought about it. Who is watching? What are your thoughts? Live stream here http://weplaylive.tv/live-news-stream/
  4. Dear "dreading", If you had followed the IPG saga, you' see that people not reading the fine print was never the issue. The fault was entirely with the company and as it now abundantly clear to everyone. Feeling very sorry for everyone who lost out on both money and time with dealing with these people as well as everyone who tried to stand up to them but got dragged through the mud by them and also the one dive industry publication that was all too happy to defend them to the point that they implied that every person who had a "policy" with IPG and had a compliant was either stupid, lazy or dishonest. I have been and am biting my tongue here, but I hope this entire serves as a warning to everyone in case these jokers ever show up on the insurance arena again.
  5. If you look up IPG and AWRY with the Kentucky Secretary of State, you will see that both companies lists the same address, and both companies lists Dixie Lehrmitt as the Director and Incorporator and Registered Agent. As for AWRY, Dixie is listed as the Sole Officer and Director. As for IPG, Deane Lehrmitt (Dixie's husband) is listed as President and Dixie as Chairman. So to answer you question : not much.
  6. Timmoranuk, you are asking a very valid question. However, one of the things that really helps confuse things up is when people refer to the company as DEPP. We need to start calling them by their right name, that way when people are looking for information, they will have a shot at finding something. For example, if you were searching for information on a company online (for example the Better Business Bureau site, Secretary of State Fast track site or on the pacer.gov site (public access to court electronic records), you wouldn't get very far if you didn't use the right name. The company is named Innovative Programs Group, Inc. They are a broker for an insurance policy that is underwritten by unknown insurance company. I have asked them via emailand they replied they don't need to tell me who it is. The DEPP is the "product package" they sell.
  7. I love the original post, how refreshing! My mind might be a little too narrow to believe in those other worlds, but the images created in my mind while reading the post are beautiful and inspirational. Thanks SoulDiver!
  8. Hi Erin, If you lost your Nauticam handle, its super easy to make one just like it. I actually made a bunch of them, because I wanted some in different lengths, I wanted them to be a little wider than the one that came with the housing and also, I wanted the handles to be in a different color to help my housing look a little different to avoid confusion, in case there is a few on them sitting on the dive deck. Basically, I got some multicolored line and a few stainless steel rings and braided myself a few handles. What I did differently from the supplied handle was that instead of using one thick line, I used line that was a bit thinner but quadrupled the line so that each "run" of the braid consisted of 4 lined. This helped form a "flatter" handle that is a a lot more comfortable to carry. The only problem I had that was that since I live on a small island, my choice of line-colors is limited, and the best line I could find was... pink. So I as soon as my local hardware store gets another color line in, I will have to make remedy this by making new handles.
  9. I'm with Mike Weitch, when I saw this I also thought "what's Canon got to do with this?" If the dude has an insurance policy, then the insurance company should pay. Like previously posted, this forum is full of people who have had that awful experience at some point, but I can't recall anyone who would have asked the camera equipment manufacturer to replace gear. If anything, if the case manufacturer (Pelican?) made some claim that the case will never flood, then perhaps one could understand him going to them, but even that is far sought.
  10. I think Cor said it very well: I thnk sometimes, if you are an enthusiastic hobbyist, people will think a "pro" while you really aren't doing whatever it is that you are enthusiastic about "for living". I had an instance where I was denied participating in a ocal photography competition because the organizer decided that I was a "pro". Somewhat floored I pointed out that they very well know what I do for living all day (not photography), but no - no way no how - their mind was set, no entry for me.
  11. For those who can get DAN, it seems to be a great option. I called them and talked to them. They answered on the first ring, they had no problems me who their underwriter (whom they have the policy with) is. However, they told me that they can't sell me a policy since they are not licensed to do that in the Virgin Islands. I called our department of insurance and banking to find out what companies/brokers are licensed to sell insurance plans here. That call also yielded some other interesting results.
  12. I am no longer a customer of Innovative Programs Group, but if I still was the question I would ask would be "who underwrites the policy?" and "can you show me the policy"?
  13. You're right. It is difficult to make a living off underwater (or any kind of) photography these days. But some on this forum do it. If you look at those who do, you'll notice that not only are they the very best in the world at their craft, but they also usually have something very unique to offer and combine it with other services and products. For the big majority, underwater photography is just a very expensive hobby. There are quite a few people on this forum that are independent wealthy and a few, like me, that are what my accountant would call "stupid".
  14. Yes, its a very tender and "sweet" fish and for taste actually beats at least most the fish we consume in the Caribbean. The problem is that it needs to be tested for Ciguteira if it is to be served in restaurants, and it needs to become "known" with both the fishermen and the "market", i.e. become "popular". Better catching methods need to be figured out too - now they are being speared here which might have been a great idea when the invasion happened, and a lot of divers just love it because they enjoy spearfishing. But we are starting to see some of the less desirable effects of this method now (subject to another discussion) and it is doubtful that spearfishing would produce quantities large enough.
  15. Here’s a deal for someone who might want to get into Underwater DSLR photography without spending a heapload of $ on new gear. I am selling my used housing, ports, arms and clamps and sync cords as one package, as per below. Everything is used, except for the housing which has not been in the water since returned from Ikelite rebuilt “mostly as new” (see details below). ITEMS IN PACKAGE 1Housing Ikelite #6870.40 TTL Underwater Housing for Canon 40D Digital SLR - Rated up to 200' RECENTLY UPGRADED with NEW front, NEW controls, 4 port lock system and top mount! (1x$790) 1 Ikelite Flat Port 5505.45 for SLR Housing for 4.1 to 5.125" (10.4 to 13cm) Lens (1x$100) 1 Ikelite Flat port #5505 for SLR Housing for 3.5 to 4.5" (8.9 to 11.4cm) Lens (1x$100) 1 Ikelite Dome Port for SLR Housing for 3 to 4" (7.6 to 10.1cm) Lens (1x$140) 1 Ikelite Flat Port 5506 with Focus for SLR Housing for 3.5 to 4.5" (8.9 to 11.4cm) Lens (1x$140) 2 Ikelite Flex Mount Ball Extended Stem (for connecting arms to handles) (2x$20) 2 Ikelite 6" Arm Extension with 1" Ball Connections (2x$20) 2 Ikelite 4" Arm Extension with 1" Ball Connections (2x$20) 4 Ikelite Clamp Assembly for 1" Diameter Ball Arm Systems (4x$25) 2 Ikelite Dual TTL Sync Cord for Two (2) Ikelite DS Series Strobes (2x$90) 2 Ikelite Single TTL Sync Cord for Ikelite DS Series Strobes (2x$65) PACKAGE TOTAL $1800.00 (prices for individual items in parentheses only listed to show how I put together the pricing) The housing just came back from Ikelite and it is in fantastic shape. I had sent it for maintenance and to upgrade it to the 4 port lock system + add the top accessory mount to it. Ikelite ended up giving me a brand new housing front part (i.e. most of the housing). They also changed out all the controls (push pins, dials etc) on both the front and back parts housing. The only thing that looks like it remains from my original housing is the TTL-board and its bulkhead (which works perfectly) and the housing tray. The housing tray has some bits where the paint is peeling (this has happened to every Ikelite handle tray I ever owned), but this of course does in no way affect the functionality of the housing, it’s just cosmetic. I have not dove with this housing since it came back from upgrade at Ikelite, in order to keep the new housing body and controls and parts in this “pristine” condition. Tested all sync cords today just in case before posting this and they are working fine. The flat ports do show some use, but nothing that will show up in the pictures. The dome port has a small scuff which has not bothered me, but if you wish to micromesh it out, it should be easy. I paid over $3000 for the parts above as new. I will now sell for $1800 – less than 60% of purchase price. You’ll pay shipping to your location. Feel free to ask me here or PM me for more details.
  16. I vote for the Ikelite. I shoot Nauticam now, but have been a happy owner of several Ikelite housings. They are fantastic value for the money. Their products are well built and durable. You have the benefit of actually seeing what is going on inside of the housing. You see all of the controls and the camera and your settings (I really miss this with my aluminum housing). You see your orings and you see that there is no flooding or anything else funky going on, which translates to peace of mind. ikelite is as far as I know also the only (correct me if I am wrong) housing that has built in true TTL. I don't miss the auto TTL so much, but I really do miss the controller board because it offered a super easy way of dialing strobes up and down in manual mode quickly right from the housing. Now I have to fiddle with the actual strobes, which means a lot more reaching and twisting. The Ikelite housings are also near neutrally buoyant ( depending on your lens/port combo.) I never needed to add floatation to the Ikelite housings, which I have found I now have to do with my aluminum housing. Also, you'd be hard pressed to find another company that has customer service of the caliber of Ikelite's. They go above and beyond to take care of you. As an example, I sent my last housing in for maintenance earlier this year. What I got back was basically a new housing, they had changed out the entire front and all the controls on the entire housing. The handles/tray was the only part I could identify as "old". They also made a point of finding out when I would need to have the housing back and worked around that. This is just one example of the many good experiences I have had with them over the years.
  17. I just got the Inon 45 degree viewfinder. I had read that I should expext it to be a frustrating experience for the first few dives, but I really didn't believe it. Well, my first dive with it, which was a macro dive (Canon 7d, with canon 500d internal diopter) WAS frustrating. Even when concioisly keeping in mind that I was probably tilting the housing 45 degrees upward, I had trouble finding my subjects. Adding to the frustrtration, the very first thing I saw when hitting the water was an elusive nudi that I have actually never seen before and I would have absolutely loved to get a great image of. I did get images of it, they were not great. I did however figure out that in the beginning the trick is to look around the subject, memorize some "landmarks" and your subjects position in relationship to them, so you can "navigate" to your subject from what you see in the viewfinder. Also, first "backing up" to see a bigger view, and moving closer once you see your subject, helped. My second dive was considerably easier, and about 10 dives later, the viewfinder feels "natural" and a clear improvement over a regular viewfinder. So I would say, the learning curve is fortunately short. As for wideangle, it posed no problem, not even on my first wa dive. Getting low and shooting up was immidiately incredibly easy.
  18. Interested in housing separately. If still available, pm me price and details.
  19. Thanks for clarifying Dave. it seemed like such an odd comment, so I am glad this was a misunderstanding. However, the positive thing that came out of this was that me and my hubby have been discussing further ways today to live closer to our ideals.
  20. Also, I take offence at the fact that you are in effect calling me a hypocrite. I really do try my best in every aspect of my life to ensure having a minimal negative effect on the oceans.
  21. Diver Dave, Cows are by no means threathered or endangered. You can eat beef until the cows come home, and you will still be assured that the cow-populations of this planet are plenty robust. The same can not be said of any fish populations. What has happened to fish stock in only the past decade is a decline unprecedented in history. Many believe that we are at a point in 2012 where collapse is so imminent that we cant even turn this around and that the chain reaction that has started will lead to a total collapse of fisheries. This should be front page news every day, but since few people see what is under the surface, this isn't even on the radar of most people. I guess living on an island and seeing first hand what has happened to fish populations in the past decade helps drive the point home for me. And for the record, I am not a vegan, I come from farm country, grew up around both slaughter and hunting. I can tell a responsible population cull from the robbery and destuction of natural resources. What we are doing to the oceans right now is heinous and irreversible.
  22. Choose wisely: Choose not only lightweight gear but also a non-photographer life partner. This way whenever you travel you can pack half of you gear in their carryon and luggage. Also, I leave extra zipties in my bags so that after TSA check I can zip them up / and or TSA can zip then up. I put "suspicious looking bits" in ziplock bags or other plastic bags and clearly mark the bags with what they contain. This way I can save the TSA dudes from gearing up their imagination. For example I help them think "underwater camera housing o-ring grease" or "camera lens zoom gear" instead of "uranium enrichment plant parts". I separate parts into different bags. For example, I take handles off housing. For the clemptomanics that open the bags an "entire" housing looks much more sellable than a bunch of parts that they would have to figure out how to put together.
  23. Or any seafood for that matter...there isn't much seafood that can be eaten in good concience these days. Wild Alaskan Salmon maybe, because of their extemely stricktly controlled take and daily counting of fish. Possibly also responsibly farmed (freshwater) tilapia. My mind gets blown when "conservationists" have shrimp, prawn and the like (which was trawled and led to the killing of massive amounts of by catch and total destruction of coral and habitats). I dont really eat seafood anymore, because it is too difficult to really know which fish is ok to eat. Those "safe to eat species cards" that have been distributed in the past few years don't necessarily help either, because there are such regional differences. For example, it might be OK to eat grouper in Florida, but down here in the VI there aren't many groupers left and taking even one off the reef would be bad. Not to mention that the are seasonal differences. So my opinion is that, these days if you really care about tge ocean, you won't eat seafood anymore.
  24. You can do LIAT (leaving island any time) which is cheaper, but they always seem to have some strike or the other going on and getting bumped or delayed is more of a rule than exception. There are also other small airlines that fly there from different islands, so for example if you can get a cheap ticket to St. Croix, then you could fly a local airline (like coastal air) directly to the little airport In Roseau.
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