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About wthurman

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    Branford, FL, USA

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  1. I've pre-ordered the E model. There's been a lot of discussion about it on Luminous Landscape and I believe the D800E will work best for what I have in mind, which will be above water landscapes and general nature photography in Florida. I'm sure that sooner or later I'll dive the camera but with the D3x and Aquatica housing I have, there's no rush to do so. I can't see moire being an issue if I do use the camera underwater as I am shooting the cave systems in Florida- no pattern problems there. I do think lenses will be critical with either model if one is to take full advantage of the resolution. The 14-24 should be fine and maybe the 24-70/2.8 will give acceptable images, but with this camera I am leaning more towards the primes I have: 50/1.4, 85/1.4, 105/2.8. I can see the 24/3.5 TS making an appearance in my bag.
  2. As a D3x owner, it's a blow. I knew it would happen sooner or later, but not this soon! I'm married to the big Nikon since I have an Aquatica housing for it but I'd entertain a future affair with the D800 or its successor...
  3. I'm going to go with HW's RSUs with the big YS-250's and use the Inons on the housing. Reef Photo has the remote triggers so no worries there. I'm also looking at a smaller strobe- YS-110 or similar- to mount on a model. I'll certainly let you know how it goes!
  4. Damien, Liz- Thanks for the tips. I'll be doing a bit of experimenting and Backscatter has gotten back to me with some trigger ideas as well. Enjoyed your site, Liz- nice work. I did a piece in UWS on the NSS-CDS workshop last year in Marianna, FL. Got to do a bit of diving with Ken from Oz last year as well. He and a couple of others were diving Ag's Peacock to Baptizing line.
  5. I use a Pinnacle- it's my first drysuit so I can't compare it to any others. It seems to be fine, other than the neoprene neck seal which got replaced with latex after the second time I used the suit; the seal is very fragile and tore easily. It was a custom fit and the cut is fine. When I get around to a new one, I'll look hard at DUI.
  6. My home is outside of Branford where the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers meet. In the immediate area are Peacock Springs, Ginnie Springs, Cow Springs, Little River Springs, and a lot of others. For cave & cavern instruction, I'd recommend Dayo Scuba out of Orlando- they do a lot of cave training. I trained with them and they're now good friends, highly regarded in the community. If scheduling is an issue, check with Jim Wyatt as well. For dive shops- Wayne Kinnard's Amigos Dive Center, Cathy Lesh's Dive Outpost, or Bill Rennaker's Cave Excursions. All offer training options but they're really equipment and gas shops. Jim Wyatt is now running a dive shop in High Springs but I forget the name of it. Further north, around Tallahassee Edd Sorenson's Cave Adventurers is a great place to train and dive with. Also check the NACD website http://www.safecavediving.com/instructors.asp or the National Speleological Society-Cave Diving Section at http://www.nsscds.org/ The YS-250's have slave sensors but I need to "strategically place" all this stuff, hence the need for off-strobe triggers. One cave alternative is to take a strobe and fire it with an open shutter but that's pretty hit or miss. This photo in France was made that way: http://tinyurl.com/8ablrw7 (it's not mine but it made the cover of the NACD journal a while back). I talked to Becky Kagan and her husband David Schott a few weeks ago at Amigos; they had just won an Emmy for some video they shot in Eagles Nest, a deep Florida cave. They do some stills and according to David, "it's all about the strobes." I'm just getting into the cave photography angle after a lot of open water photography but the diving alone is very gear intensive- two and three of everything- so adding a camera and a bunch of strobes complicates things enormously. I think to get good "cavescapes" may take a few dives- setup the lighting then return to shoot. Maybe I'm overthinking things, though- there are some very good images done without going to extremes. On the other hand, how Wes Skiles managed an IMAX camera in a cave is beyond me! Good luck with cavern and hope to see you in cave country! Wendy
  7. I sent off the below email to Backscatter sales a few days ago but didn't get a reply so thought I might post it here for some feedback: "A couple of years ago I bought an Aquatica D3x setup from you guys along with two S&S YS250's. I now live in North Florida and am starting to shoot in caves. I'm thinking I could get the big 250's off the housing and use them as slaves and go with two Inon Z-240's on the housing and get an additional small slave setup to use on a model (mounted on the diver). Caves are tough to light, as I am sure you can imagine. Those two big 250's on a housing are a lot to handle in a cave and I know the Inons are much smaller and I wouldn't give up much other than recycle time, which is not an issue in cave shots. "I'm not shooting TTL- I have Nikonos connections and sync cords, 3-pin. Cords and slave sensors for the off-camera strobes would probably be useful. What do you think about this idea?" Technically some recommendations on off-strobe slave triggers would be helpful. I know about the Ikelite ones but are there any others I'm missing? Thanks! Wendy
  8. I am currently using the Sandisk Extreme Firewire but it appears to be discontinued. Shooting with a D3x yields huge file sizes; USB readers are just too slow dealing with the D3x output. Lexar has a firewire reader that I may buy just to have a second. Wendy
  9. I've got a pair of the Dive-Rite EXP's that I like. They work well in caves and open water. I've recently purchased a drysuit and may go with a heavier fin like the rubber jetfin for diving dry. I've also got a pair of Cressi's full-foot Maxi-Rondine fins. Free diving things that are very long and not the thing for photography but nice to motor along with. Wendy
  10. Another vote on the YS-250's. I'm very happy with the two I have although I am in the market for a smaller single strobe for fill when shooting macro- maybe a YS-110. The recycle time on the 250's is extremely fast, as Steve mentioned. They are big, but they certainly get the job done. Wendy
  11. When I purchased my Nikkor 105VR macro lens from B&H, they were out of stock on the USA version so I went with the import. I'll almost always opt for the USA items- the price difference isn't usually all that great- but in this case didn't have a choice. Didn't really have any worries either; B&H is very good with regard to exchanges if damaged, etc. I guess it comes down to whether or not you want the warranty and USA products may be easier to re-sell on the used market- dunno for sure on that. Wendy
  12. Okenia pulchella, perhaps? Debelius' book used as a reference... Wendy
  13. Thanks! This is just the sort of information I was hoping for. I'll stay tuned for the results of your upcoming shoot. Wendy
  14. I'm interested in one of these. I like the idea of the faster lens as it will be used topside as well as underwater and don't think I need the VR. Lens will be used on a D3x or D700 so the older style of the 2.8 is fine. I realize the f4 lens is fairly new and I've seen some of the test shots done with it on a separate thread but would appreciate some feedback on the lenses- particularly the older one, which I am admittedly leaning towards- from users. It appears as if the 2.8 is being or has been discontinued but it's still available here and there. I haven't found much through the search option. Anyway, thanks in advance! Wendy
  15. I've dealt with Backscatter for some major purchases. Dave is great, handled everything quickly, and shipped the stuff right out to an APO address in Afghanistan. Excellent place to do business with. Wendy
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