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eric black

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Everything posted by eric black

  1. I dont believe that Nikon is making any of their two element diopters anymore- I have the 3T and 4T but really only use the 3T on my older 105mm lens due to liking the working distances a bit better. I only put on the 4T if I know an exact subject is down there and the extra magnification is needed.
  2. Jean Can you also comment on the weight difference between this port and the 8 inch acrylic dome port? I am interested in the upgrade but with recent luggage limitations and the fact that I carry my dive gear with me as well- Im not too sure I can get another couple of pounds overseas without sacrificing something from my already sacrificed to death gear selection. thanks eric
  3. I have never had the Hartenberger nano even come close to losing power on a night dive. the light at 1/4 power provides plenty of light for finding critters (and not immediately scaring them) and I typically never have it at full power. My night dives are typically 60 minutes long and I usually come up with at least 1/2 the power still remaining. Nice light- Im pleased with it so far.
  4. for your first images, you are off to a good start. The compositional aspects of these is above average for a starter in my opinion. The next steps for you IMHO are to start paying more attention to the aspects of you image that are not the subject- like the foreground and background. the Hawkfish gets a little lost in the background and the lion has a bit of a distracting background. Another area for improvement would be to start taking more control of you camera- all of these images would be improved if they were underexposed by a stop or so which I believe can be done with your current setup as well as by using an external flash to control the light on your subject. Nice work and keep shooting.
  5. Im curious if anybody out in this community has done the Medio Reef Trip that Nekton offers. I did a search here and didnt find anything. Ill be doing this trip in a week and am looking for insights as to how this locations rates as far as photography goes. Thanks in advance for any info
  6. I think mine is H2oinsurance through DAN. Covers floods with a $250 deductible and loss if the airlines lose the stuff. Doesnt cover loss while in my posession though- ie dropping to the bottom of an abyss while on a dive or having the camera swept overboard on a trip. Its about the best I was able to find- no claims filed to date though so I cant comment on that. Im paying about $400 annual for $15,000 worth of gear.
  7. Very strange indeed- I have a pair of Super Wings and Travel Wings that are each 14 years old and have never had a problem- some of the best gear on the market in my opinion.
  8. keep in mind that with a very wide lens, no set of strobes will cover the entire subject matter unless you are shooting a close up type of shot. The SB-105s with diffusers in place will do a good job of painting in a foreground subject. They arent the most powerful strobe out there, but you have the ability to compensate in digital with a faster ISO like 200 or 400 to compensate. Id save the money and see how they perform for you before thinking about a new strobe. Then if you are still not happy, you could replace one and use the remaining one as a secondary light source which doesnt need to be quite as strong as a primary.
  9. Chuuk is one of the places that I would recommend both wide angle and macro on the same dive. I had a non-photog friend help me out by carrying my macro rig (for a few beers pay) while I did the wide angle work deep and then used the macro rig on the masts near the end of the dives. I realize this may be beyond some budgets, but it worked great for me. An additional note- bring a cheap tripod along- there are several shots that can benefit from some additional stability and they (at the time of my visit) had no problems with setting a tripod down on ship decks or other un-silty locations. It really helped alot with longer exposures.
  10. My somewhat big schnoz seems to fit well in the Atomic frameless mask- its got a fairly good sized nose pocket. I also have an Oceanic mask as a backup, but it is a bit smaller in size there. Definately find a shop that deals the Atomic and give it a try for fit.
  11. No matter how or where the shot is taken I would hope that the photo is being judged on the same merits that any photo would- lighting, composition, and the ability to connect to the viewer on an emotional level. Keep in mind that your audience as an UW photog is a bit more limited than a landscape, or portrait or for that matter any above water photographer-this will always make the emotional connection component harder to accomplish in an open compitition. Take it for what it is worth- not every judge is going to relate to what you are doing and thus you will probably not win many open competitions. Hopefully, if your work is really good, the large number of UW competitions will recognise that and you will win a few. Its a great feeling when it happens and I imagine that if you win some open competitions it should be an even better high based on a higher degree of difficulty. As for the title, I wouldnt worry too much about it. If the competition has a photo description or includes equipment used, you can get your message that the photo was taken using UW equipment and techniques there.
  12. I can hardly wait to see the abuse of the overhead bins that will begin soon- Im also looking forward to the slower checkin lines while this is explained in detail to the 90% of the travellers that this will take by surprise.
  13. Got the $$'s, go for it! Personally, I like the price and advantages mentioned above for acrylic. I think you can buy 2-3 new acrylic domes for the price of a single glass one. The extra crispness you may be noting is likely due to a great job of working with sharpening and other editing in photoshop. I have compared lots of chromes on light tables and with high end drum scanning and can tell you that I dont notice much if any difference in equivalent shots made behind either port. If you really want to see a difference, check out a drum scanned wide angle shot with an old Nikonos 15mm lens on film compared to a housing/dome port shot- freakishly sharp corner to corner (the Nikonos that is).
  14. I did Cocos last year and had great success with a Nikon f5 film body in housing and a 24-50mm lens. The sharks get close but not 2-4 feet close for the most part. You will be spending your time hiding behind rocks and my guess at an average shooting distance would be about 4-6 feet so you will want a little reach. Any of the 3 lenses you have mentioned will allow you the iconic wide angle silhouette shot of hammerheads schooling overhead at Alcyone. You may also want to think about some macro at Cocos as well- frogfish opportunities and red-lipped batfish reside there as well.
  15. Look into Morehead City, North Carolina- pretty good wreck diving and warm clear waters more often than not in the summer. Ive been a time or two and although it isnt the Caribbean, its about as good as it gets within driving distance from Maryland.
  16. The lazy diver (me) puts it on and leaves it on- I never seem to need the extra stop and can get it by upping iso or a variety of other options- I like the warmer diffuse light and seem to get better results with the diffusers on at all times. By all means, make sure there is a string or secondary holding device on it though as they do come loose and fall off when you least expect it (typically at the beginning of a trip where a spare is out of the question- eg my last donation is at the bottom the the Yap trench and occurred at the start of a 2-week trip)
  17. not too sure that there is too much to improve on here-you could try a crop that eliminates the top 1/3 of the pic and see how that appeals to you. Also, try an enlargement and if the eyes, horns and mouth are as sharp as they look here you have a pretty nice pic to show off- congrats!
  18. I have also done the SDI course here in the US. Useful, yes.... but I have found that most of the dive operations that I go with could care less about the cert. Some dont mind if I dive by myself, some do. The ones that dont mind typically take note that I spend most of my time diving in 40-50 feet depths near the boat with a pony bottle as my buddy. When I go deeper, I tend to dive with a buddy no matter what the policy is as my pony wouldnt get me to the surface safely. The course does a great job teaching about redundancy and there are some good safety lessons to be learned as well in it. I thought it was well worth the money.
  19. Looks like something needs a room- on a more serious note, I think the pic is of the female of the species (correct me if I am wrong here) The male I believe has more of a smoke like look to its offerings. A year or so ago, we saw the same thing with barrel sponges in Belize with both sexes going at it. One which I believe was the female had egg like discharge (cottage cheese like) and the males were releasing smoky discharge. As stated above, the fish were happy with each and having themselves a feeding frenzy. I unfortunately had a macro lens on so pics of the discharge only. This wide angle shot is more what I would have liked- very cool and congrats on a very nice capture.
  20. They are charging for international extra bags now- I have first hand experience on United- maybe it isnt system wide yet, but Europe flights are included. Im fortunate to have a wife that has elite status on several airlines, I let her check the second bag (although I carry it up to the counter for her)
  21. any time that I have been in that situation, I have had to pay the exact fee. Overall, its not usually too bad, just keep it in mind when you are questioning yourself if you really need that extra piece of equipment. On Aggressor boats, you can sacrifice quite a bit of clothing as they are not that "black tie" outside of diving.
  22. alot of people use pelican cases. My personal opinion is to get a case with the padded dividers and store your gear inside large ziplocks to keep the fuzzies out of your rig. The pickand pluck foam is only useful if you plan on sticking with one rig for the rest of your life as it isnt easily reversed once its been picked at. My personal case is a 1650, but I also have a 1550 and a 1700 for smaller gear takealongs
  23. you are headed to macro-land- Belize is lots of smaller sized fish and critters- 90+ percent of all of my photos from there are macro shots- that is what I would go rigged for. Wide angle possibilities are sea fans and some very nice coral heads and baitfish on swim throughs but you will need ideal weather and mid-day dives in order to get the best quality shots in these situations with a nice sunburst. One lens selections are always a crap shoot though, if you go macro you will have mating whale sharks and if you go wide you will no doubt end up seeing 1000 nudibranchs.
  24. Whatever airline my wife and I took to Taveuni, Fiji from Nadi weighed us with and without our carryons- I found it a bit bizarre but was warned that they would do this in advance by my travel agent. The only thing I felt that it did was somewhat control carryon weight and let me know how much weight I gained during my stay there. fortunately it was in Kg so the 3 that I gained didnt seem like much. Lately I did a trip to Patagonia where carry on weight was also strictly monitored, but if you were over you were allowed to transfer stuff to checked luggage- I had an idea of how much everything weighed and had a strategy in place if a problem arose. I also had an extra lightweight backpack in my one pice of checked luggage to transfer stuff into quickly if needed- then I would just check two pieces. Go with a plan and get info from a reliable agent on how strict they are.
  25. Odds are that just like 4 years ago there will be some black camera bodies being used at the Beijing Olympics that are sans markings. Last time it was the D2 series which I believe was soon thereafter unveiled to the public. If I had to make a guess, it will be a full size sensor and somewhere between 16 and 24 megapixel. My plan will be to wait 4 years and then buy the newest creation for 1/5th what it will cost new. for now Im happy with my D2x which I just got for about 1/5th what it would have cost new a few years ago- My wish is that sooner or later Nikon and/or Canon come out with a body that can be upgraded vs having to get a completely new model (and new housing) every time you would like to upgrade.
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