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Everything posted by gravity

  1. Does anyone have any advice for getting a expedited visas to indonesia? Last minute trip planing has got me in a bind. I am currently in Ecuador and return to the USA on Saturday, Nov 7th. On Sunday, Nov 16th I fly to Bali. I have more than 30 days of reservations booked, so VOA probably won't work. I could leave the country after 33 days, but I would prefer to spend Christmas in Bali. I have checked with an expediter (travisa.com) and they say that currently it is running five days to get a visa and they don't have any way to expedite. Part of the way I got myself in this bind is that the expediters have info online suggesting that for a fee they can do it in one day. I stupidly relied on that information, but when I contacted them they said that is not the case. They say everything is five days right now. If I overnight paperwork to them Monday after I return, the 5th business day is the following Monday, the day after I leave. My wife searched online and found that fines for overstaying a visa are $20 per day, which we could manage if we left after 33 days, but the thought of that stresses me out a bit. Seems like something they could really hassle us on or change their mind about the amount of the fine. I know it is a long shot, and I am probably going to have to pay the airlines steep fee for changing tickets, but if anyone knows a way to get it in 3 days or less I would really appreciate it.
  2. The reason I asked about staying on Lembongan is that my experience (which currently doesn't include Bali) is that when you have a longer boat ride you have: 1) fewer dives per day, 2) more divers on the boat to help manage fuel costs, 3) more expensive because of fuel for the passage, 4) dive guides that dive there once or twice a week instead of every day because they limit trips to fill up the boats. So I was going to look in to staying on Lembongan thinking that i would get shorter boat rides, more dives per day, guides more experienced with the local sites, smaller groups or private guiding, and less money per dive. Are my assumptions wrong when it comes to Bali/Lembongan? Time may not be an issue for me. I have an open ended return ticket and am thinking about staying in SE Asia from mid-Nov to late-April. I realize probably no molas during that time, but my wife wants to see mantas.
  3. Are there accommodations and/or dive operators on Penida or Lembongan?
  4. The brightness of the strobe doesn't actually change when you dial it down. The amount of time it flashes shortens at less powerful settings. Trying to see the difference with the naked eye is probably impossible, but you will see the difference in your pics underwater.
  5. I don't have any web or design skills to speak of, and was able to build mine using the available directions from Smugmug.com. Many sites are better than mine, but I am happy with what I was able to do with mine considering my skill level.
  6. I have been meaning to post this for a long time. While in Lembeh this past February, I took these two photos. I have looked in several books and asked a few people, most (but not all) agree this is a nudibranch, but none seem to have a positive ID for it. To me, it seems that rhinophores are readily visible. In the photos above it is hard to tell, but if you click on them and pull up the original size at my SmugMug site, it looks to me like it also has gills, but admittedly it is not clear. The specimen in question is partially transparent.
  7. My wife and I did a trip to Komodo in April. I have a trip report of it here. We loved it, as we had the small boat to ourselves and the crew. I loved sleeping outside on deck every night, and the diving was very good.
  8. I love seal pics. thanks for sharing. i like the one on your website of the open mouth.
  9. My wife and I spent a few days at Port Hardy the last week of August. We stayed at the Hideaway where John DeBoek and his staff took good care of us. The accommodations are spartan, but they kept us well fed, with plenty of warm drinks. And we spent all our time diving anyways. John really knows the sites and kept us away from any strong currents, which can be a problem in the area. Here are a few pics. Visibility was not good during our trip. At the beginning it was less than 10 feet, by the end it had opened up during high tide to perhaps 25 feet. The rest of the gallery from the trip here. C&C Welcome. Hope you enjoy!
  10. Not from florida, but recently spent a few weeks there. I thought I read while there that baiting sharks for any other reason than killing them is illegal. Do I have that wrong? I personally wish it wasn't legal to kill them but fishing seems to be more powerful in politics than scuba.
  11. Got back from Port Hardy today. Hope you have better viz and luck than we did. It was still great with humpback and dall's porpoise sightings, but the viz wasn't great and not a lot of luck with some of the other animals we were looking for.
  12. Another option is to book a ticket to Kuala Lumpur then book Air Asia from KL to Manado. My experience is that it is often much cheaper to book the Singapore-Mandado or KL-Manado leg separately, rather than one booking for the whole thing.
  13. My wife and I had a great time at NAD Lembeh. The guides were fun and great spotters. Mike and Simon were great hosts and very knowledgeable if you have any photography related questions. The food was terrific. We also went to Pulisan. The diving up there is unique and worth seeing, but the resort is very sparse compared to Lembeh. The property is very beautiful but don't expect the same level of guides, service, and food you receive in Lembeh. The area is more remote and the things cell phone service requires a hike up a hill and electricity is only available certain hours. We ended up leaving with bad feelings about the way they handled the bill. They didn't give us the rate they quoted us by email and they added other fees at checkout. But I think it was driven by mis-communication, not ill intent. We didn't like our room there, but I think they do have some nicer rooms that were fully booked already.
  14. The photos are great, but I do have one suggestion for the gallery. I am viewing them on my laptop which has a resolution of 1280X800. I have to scroll down to view the entire photo of those that are in portrait orientation, then I have to scroll back up to hit 'next'. I would recommend resizing the photos so that they can be viewed in entirety without scrolling and be able to hit 'next' without moving the mouse. I think this would encourage people to spend more time and go deeper into your site.
  15. I agree, they are great. Numbers 6 and 4 are my favorites...but if you want me to look for something to complain about, then I would say backscatter could be cleaned up in number 6, and it would be nice if you can get the various seahorses to be facing more towards the camera--really up to them, not you. I guess i tend to prefer head on views to side views, which you can tell from my faves.
  16. Dave S, Yes I am using the Nikon 105 VR on my D300 (slr). I have the Athena 105 port for my sea&sea housing. The Athena port has a 67mm thread which fits the Inon UCL165 M67, and I am using it wet. I cannot fit anything on the lens itself inside that port, so I can only use wet lenses. If there is a wet lens that would give me better results, then I would probably buy it and give the Inon to my wife for her g10 (she has an adapter to put it on her canon housing and we share it ). I saw here that the subsee adapter has an "achromatic coating", I am not sure if that means I would get better results with it? Likewise I am not sure how my current results would compare to the Epoque equivalent. Anyone have suggestions?
  17. I'd like to add to the question. I have a Inon 165 UCL that i use with a Nikon 105 lens. When I use the 105 by itself I never have problems with purple fringing, with the 165UCL I have problem with fringing when shooting white objects on a dark background. Are there macro lenses where this would be less of an issue?
  18. Tokina 10-17 fisheye is what I use for wide angle and is usually the preferred lens for those of us with the Nikon DX sensor (including the d200). But I suppose it could depend on how big the creatures are that you have in mind.
  19. Well the way to shoot from 15 feet away is to get closer. It is very difficult to shoot from 15 feet away unless you are doing a silhouette shot, or another shot that doesn't require color. If you must shoot from that distance, hope for clear and shallow water, do not use your strobes, shoot in Raw, push the white balance to the extremes, then use photoshop/lightroom hue adjustment to restore blue to the water.
  20. great shots. I am very jealous, wish i was there.
  21. Hi Adam, what do you mean when you say "normal WA position is quarter to and quarter past"? thanks
  22. this question has come up before and you will find varying opinions if you search for it. I use APS-C, which I think in Canon terminology is called Servo because fish move and I want my focus to move with them. It also gives me Shutter Priority instead of Focus priority (this can be changed deep in the cameras settings). On focus priority you can't fire the shutter if the camera thinks you are not focused, but it may be looking at a different subject than you. Some say APS-S is better (maybe what you call one shot?) because they say the lens doesn't hunt as much. it finds its focus and stays in the same position, but won't let you fire the shutter until it finds its focus.
  23. what lens(es) will you be using? knowing that will help in providing more details, but here is the one minute primer: For macro, I always use strobes. I shoot manual, but TTL should work also. If you are getting blown out, switch to manual or adjust the exposure compensation. For wide angle, i have heard TTL doesn't work well. I have never used it, so i am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong. For wide angle, available light , I'd recommend looking into a red filter. Magic Filters were designed by Alex Mustard, a member of this board, specifically for available light underwater photography. Most underwater photography falls into the category of either macro or wide angle. Many mid-range topside lenses don't work particularly well underwater. Macro and Wide Angle both minimize the amount of water between you and the foreground subject, which is important for the best results.
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