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Everything posted by Bluewaterjon

  1. Thanks! I am looking into a new lens for my next trip. I would like a zoom and am thinking of the Nkon 16-34 ( or is it 35?) Time to get a new port made.
  2. When I was using a D300 I used the Tokina 11-16. It was fine in good light, but not as sharp as the lenses that I use with my full frame cameras nowadays. I like the lens but the cameras it went with in the Nikon lineup- at least at the time- had lots of noise past 320 ISO. Same thing above water. Great lens, but the cams it pairs with are noisy past 320. Cheers Jon Schwartz
  3. Thanks guys!! My friend who took me out kayaking told me that since then the water has turned green. Good thing I got out when I did! Here's a pic of a blue marlin I got last summer. One of these days I have to get SCUBA certified so I can spend some more time, farther down like you guys. Jon
  4. Thanks for the kind words guys! Steve, it was a blast to be in the middle of it. I was so thrilled that they hung around long enough so that I was able to get my gear ready and hop off my kayak. I was worried that they'd be gone by the time I got in the water. I had given the settings on my camera a lot of thought the night before, because I usually shoot in tropical water. Local water isn't my specialty- or rather, I have been spoiled by gin clear water like Hawaii. I use a surf housing and it doesn't have a lot of access to controls so it's all in the way I set it up hours before. I imagine you guys that have dive housings tweak your settings a bunch underwater to match the conditions. Am I correct? Luckily I set it up so that my shots had enough depth of field. In the past I have blown a lot of shots by opening the aperture up to 2.8, but when the fish is moving and is large, much of the fish is out of focus. This time it all worked out. If it didn't, I would have had a hard time forgiving myself! Thanks, Jon
  5. I recently got really lucky with some super neat images of squid in La Jolla. The shoot involved following paddling my camera gear around on a kayak, and following a kayak fishing angler around from 3am till 3pm. We knew there were squid there, but I can't pretend to be an expert on their behavior- all I knew was that it would be easy to jig them up and use for bait to catch big white seabass and yellowtail. The latter fish were the ones that I had hoped to get photos of; I would never have guessed the squid would be at the surface, and I was only snorkeling when I was in the water. Most of the time I see white seabass and yellowtail in La Jolla, they are in less than clear water so I wasn't expecting anything really spectacular. The angler landed a 45 pound seabass in the morning and then we decided to paddle around and see what else we might stumble across farther out in the clearer water. That day, the visibilty was great. The fellow I was with is able to stand up on his kayak, so he can see really far. At one point he noticed a red ball of bait on the surface- very unusual! We went over to investigate and indeed, it was a frothing mass of squid. I had my cam in the hatch of my kayak so I had to get that out, don my fins and mask, and hope that by the time I prepped myself and entered the water, the squid ball would still be there. They were and I had a really unbelievable experience! The squid were so thick that I was able to reach out, calmly reach out and hold one in my hand, and then cradle it in my lips to take a self portrait. I then let the squid go, although judging by the amount of predators in the water (mackerel, dive bombing birds, big seabass and yellowtail, and sea lions) I'm not sure I did it much of a favor. I was probably the only thing in the water that wasn't feeding on squid that day. Kind of a funny pic in that you can see me with my daughter's leaky 12 dollar mask that I found in the garage. The day before when I was prepping my own gear I noticed my mask had a problem with it so I had no choice. If you have any interest the full story and pics are here Thanks, Jon Schwartz
  6. Gotchya, I will check out that discussion. My guess is that I will end up going for a setup that enables me to go beyond the amateur range of video footage, just because once in awhile I get to see some really neat stuff and I'd hate to get the "Too bad you only got it on a so and so camera" from a potential client. By the way, do you ever see a magazine there in Australia called Bluewater Boats and Sportfishing? I contribute a lot of articles and photography to that mag, including underwater shots of marlin, sailfish, and tuna. Just last night the editor let me know that an underwater sailfish photo of mine, part of which is below, will be on their next cover.
  7. Well, suppose I was diving with some big marlin and tuna and the footage ended up being epic. If it was shot on a Go Pro, would the use be limited to internet, or could it be used on TV? And how would this footage compare to something that was taken on, say, an SLR that had video capability? Thanks for the tips!
  8. That's a great idea! How good is the quality of the Go Pro and how is it attached?
  9. Hi this is Jon. I am wondering who out there uses housings that hold a video and still unit at the same time. I shoot for mags and they will not use stills taken from video-at least that I am aware of, they are very picky and only want RAW at high res- but I also would love to have video of what I am doing. Once Nikon comes out with their new D700- and I assume it will have video- I will be in the market for such a dual-housing. Thanks Jon Schwartz http://www.bluewaterjon.com/
  10. Good points, decosnapper. The reality in the niche I work in is that if there were enough mags left that paid decently, I would be too busy doing mag work to even have a website, but many went kaput since 2007 as the fishing industry is one of those leisure things that was the first to go. What I am trying to do is establish a brand, show off some of my work- not the best- but enough to increase my name and have that morph into other business ops, rather than get a lot of money through paid mag work, because there simply isn't a lot left of it to do in the fishing world. The mags cut back drastically on the pages and the content they want is usually stuff that's very hard to get. So I might spend 4000 getting the content for an article and photo that doesn't pay more than half that. The stuff I put online is never my best work, I save that-especially my best images- for paid gigs. My very best images never end up on my site till they have been published at least once and earned money, and even then I mark them up with watermarks. For example, I have these super rare u/w spearfish shots. Spearfish are the world's rarest billfish. I put some of my lower qual ones on to talk about it so that I have some content that gets recognized in search engines so when people query spearfish, I might come up, but these cherry images have never been shown to anyone but editors, and I am saving them for covers only. The better images that I do put on my website are always branded thoroughly with urls, my name, watermarks- stuff that shows my work but allows me to keep the value of it. That way, if a publishing company wants to do a fishing calendar, or has an outdoors company they need images for, and they are googling potential shooters/images, they come to my site, which, due to my traffic gained through some cool content, has a higher PR rank, and they see a taste of what they can get. For example, I have some rare images that I took from a helicopter of a marlin jumping behind a boat. I can talk about it on my site but still protect the image, so that potential clients see it but no one really gets to use it. Editors have passed on the image so I decided to talk about it on my site, and I wouldn't be surprised if I get an email from a buyer or a publisher that might be interested in it, now that I have shown it off. If I didn't spread the word about it, then no one except the editors would know I have it, but posting it on my blog or site in this way might whet a potential customer's appetite. Like this: So I get clients by having a website that shows off my capabilities w/o giving away the whole store.
  11. Seacuke, Thanks for the input. That's the one that seems to be the most popular, and is my favorite. Tom, good question (who is my market, what are my goals with this site). At the risk of boring you (and also as a way of avoiding an assignment for a Master's in Education program that I am currently involved with), here is the long version. What I mainly am trying to do with my site is have it be an online magazine that gets traffic through my interesting ocean/fishing/travel/photography related content for anglers and laypeople. I don't really do much retail photography, although I may in the future. Then I would leverage traffic to ads, and I can increase the demand for my visits to locations that offer marine-related activities, from Panama to Hawaii, for example. I mostly sell images and articles to mags and the fishing ones all know who I am. I'd like to start writing/shooting for more mainstream travel mags and appeal to people who are not hardcore anglers, hence the desire for a less "fishy" homepage- although I still think I need to cover that with some solid fishing shots in the slideshow that I want. I would like to increase my rep as a photographer and writer that can go to a region, and have it be known that I can not only write about the location from a fisherman and layman's perspective, but also cover the above and below the water ( and off the water) action and scenery.That way I will have to less self promotion because when a regional tourism board or resort owner comes to my site, they will see I can do a lot of different stuff that would make it worth their while to get me out there. Currently I can get those gigs but I have to do a lot of detailed emails to the contact people showing them my diverse work and making the case for my value, when it would be much easier if I had a site that made the case in much fewer words- and the homepage would have to be the first key to delivering this message. At the same time I don't want my site to look like it is marketing to PR agents and resorts who might hire me. I want a magazine feel, and I want places I'd like to visit to contact me and invite me because they want to be included in the covereage. I can get these gigs now but it takes a lot of work and I'd rather build up a big enough rep that they'd come to me. I aim to have a lot of interesting fishing and adventure content for hardcore anglers and couch surfers, a gamefish database, a how-to photography section, fishing with kids section, and a travel section that tells people about the places I have been to, and what's exciting to do there. Technically I am not a superior writer or photographer, my talent is spinning an engaging yarn with quality prose and images and working my tail off to get the maximum exposure out of the articles and images I do get. So for example, the site would have here's who to fish with in ( insert fantastic tropical location), and if you won't be fishing, here's the restaurants I enjoy, here are the neat places to visit and experience, here are some detailed personal interest stories of the people and scenes there, here are some great u/w shots, scenic shots, and here are some entertaining stories about my own adventures I have had there- and then I'd repeat that with all my other places I have been to. Interestingly I know Steve Douglas. I met him by chance when I was looking for a videographer to document some kayakfishing for marlin that I was doing in Cabo about 4 years ago. We spent only about an hour together talking about the trip prior to leaving, then a couple of emails, and then took off to Cabo for a couple of days. The footage we got made the basis for an appearance on a segment of Nat Geo TV. Had I known the calibre of u/w shooter he was, I would have maybe asked him if he wanted to do some u/w work there as well, but the trip was so hastily arranged it was lucky we got what we did. Here is some of the video: Kayak Marlin Fishing Footage Below is a still from the vid Steve took. At the time i was just starting to write and I hadn't done much photography then. Since then I have put down the rods and pretty much only do photojournalism now, when I am not herding around my 4/5 grade class. In any case thanks for the question, hope I didn't carry on too long. Any input is appreciated. Jon Schwartz
  12. Hi this is Jon. I do a lot of underwater work with big gamefish like marlin and sailfish, but I also do a lot of non-fish related work. I am in the midst of rebranding myself so that I don't just get labeled as the "fishing" guy. I have gotten two custom website home page mockups done, and I am seeing any and all input on them.The trick will be to convey the notion that I have a diverse portfolio, and I am thinking that a slide show would do it. The question is, what other surrounding graphics and themes do I go with? When I go to a location, I want them to know just by quickly looking at my homepage that not only can I capture all of their water-sports images, but that I can also take care of their scenic work. Here are some examples, a fish, and then some travel images from Cabo. If you have any interest in helping me choose between two of the choices for new homepages I have, I would be really stoked on your input. It'll help me a lot because once I commit to it I won't be able to afford another site redesign for a long time. Here are the choices Thanks very much for reading this, and if you can gimme some advice, that'd be great! Jon Schwartz
  13. Hi, I am new here. Hopefully I won't get bumped off. I am new to underwater photography but I am having a lot of fun and luck commercially with it due to my niche- shooting fish for fishing mags. I am a writer, member of The Outdoor Writer's Association of America, contributor to a lot of fishing mags, and angler. Simon Spear knows me- he helped me witha DVD I produced awhile back by allowing me to use some of his amberjack footage. I recently decided to concentrate on shooting instead as it affords me the ability to travel a lot. Since I am not SCUBA certified and I am going mainly for fish that are already on the line, close to the surface, I am using surf housings. I thought about getting a dive housing but I also do a lot of shooting where I am looking up at the people in the boat from the water, and lugging around an 8+ pound housing for that isn't appealing just yet, though in the future I see myself moving in that direction- SCUBA that is. Anyway, I started out with a SPL housing for my D300. I like it a lot, and have gotten mag covers with it and a lot of great shots, but I want to go with the FX format and a D700. I want the ability to use higher ISO's , and I need to do this as I am not using a strong strobe, the action is quick, so I need shutter speeds over 1/250, and so on. If anyone is interested in the housing, it's only 4 months old and has probably less than 10 hours use. I can send you a link, I don't know if it's cool to post the ebay link here. Trust me, I will be back! Fishing Photography: Bluewaterjon Schwartz
  14. Simon, It's Bluewater Jon Schwartz- I made a fishing kayak video atwo years ago and you let me use your amberjack footage. Tx for that! I am actually doing well, and am constantly on the lookout for good footage. I appeared on Nat Geo TV last fall and now I do consulting work for TV shows being produced by third party companies for majot networks. If you have any wild footage, let me know! BTW- I am shooting u/w myself now for mags and writing alot! here's a pic:
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