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scorpio_fish

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Everything posted by scorpio_fish

  1. Yes. This is our most common route to Indonesia these days. We've done about 10 times. It is all about the airline you choose, not the airport. I have never had a problem yet. I've flown JAL, AA, Garuda, and Air New Guinea. Just remember. Things always change and never for the better. Transiting isn't an issue.
  2. I read the announcement, but never saw the finished product. Did a production run actually make it to the market? If so, how many are out there? Wouldn't mind having one if I can find one. Wondering what ports it uses. Thanks for any info.
  3. While out and about in Dallas, we stopped for lunch at The Porch. http://www.theporchrestaurant.com/ It's an excellent restaurant with tasty indulgent menu items. I happened to notice that the specials board had "Grilled Black Tip Shark". As one might expect, this bugged the heck out me. This morning I remembered this event and I went to their website and emailed the managing partner. I provided links to Shark Angels and to Shawn Heinrich's web page showing the devastation caused by shark finning. About an hour after I got to work, I received a call from Justin Beam, the general manager. He said he and the executive chef discussed the matter and had looked at the links. He said they would pull the menu item immediately and never offer shark again. I thanked him. I wanted to share the positive experience. Granted, this restaurant is part of the Consilient Restaurant group, which focuses on local farm to table type restaurants. Anyway, we now have two more people on our side. BTW, the restaurant group consists of some pretty good eateries: Hibiscus Fireside Pies Victor Tangos AF+B (Ft. Worth) If you are in the Dallas area, they are worthy of your business.
  4. I've got three. Too bad you didn't post earlier. Just returned from Coz on the 15th. Make me an offer.
  5. Just stick inside your neck seal. That way you never forget where you put it. Put a little hole in the cover and tie string through it and attach to something close by where it won't get in the way, e.g. strobe arm.
  6. It's looking like it will be backordered until February. My current Mac Pro has three 4TB internal drives plus the 1TB boot drive. What do I do with these other internal drives?
  7. I've been limping along for the last year waiting for new Mac Pro "coming soon". My Mac Pro at home is so long in the tooth and I've been uninterested in trying to improve its performance, since a new model has been iminent for so long. Anyone with some inside info on availability? December is almost half over.
  8. For still images, I liked Panorama Factory by Smoky City Design Can't answer video question.
  9. It helps that you don't have to open it up after 24 or 36 shots.
  10. I don't have a simple solution, action or pre-set. I divide and conquer in PS. Create a duplicate layer. Mask off the Manta. Copy that layer. Inverse the mask. Now you have two layers that can be adjusted, one for the manta and one for the blue water. A shorter method is to create a saturation adjustment layer and create a mask for the manta. Pick the best white balance for the blue water. Desaturate the manta only to some degree.
  11. I may have a pair. Will check size tomorrow.
  12. I am highly ambivalent about Wakatobi. First, you will love the rooms and food. It doesn't get much better. I've always considered it to be 4 star diving. I would place Komodo and Raja Ampat in the 5 star category. I don't know Sipadan, but all the other locations would be superior to Wakatobi for macro. So, yes, it is conducive to good photography, but they have rules (flashing cirtters and god forbid you pull out a tripod). But I'd rate other places higher. Wakatobi has a lot of wall dives, but these would be your wide angle dives, not your macor dives. The best macro sets at Wakatobi are for the most part not wall dives. Currents are quite varied. It is no bigger issue at Wakatobi than other locations and probably less. The marvelous house reef can be done as wide angle dive a long the wall or a macro dive on top. I'm not a fan of Lorenz. All of the staff are gone since our last visit with the departure of Iman Baldwin. I've heard they have gotten a little strict on their diving. Only rarely does someone say they had a bad trip to Wakatobi. They might have had a better one somewhere else, maybe for less money, too.
  13. I still have mine. It is one of two Nikon lenses I still own, even though I don't own a Nikon camera any more. I have used it alone back in the film days, with and without diopers and teleconverters. The big problem was that with two SS200 strobes pushed forward and a long lens and port extension, it could fatigue your wrists very quickly (no Stix or floaties). With TC and diopter it was also hard to even find your subject in the old non-magnifying viewfinder. I did use it with the D100 and it's sensor crop along with lighter strobes, no TC. Worked very well getting some jittery blennies. It is wonderful for giving you plenty of working distance and if you can balance your rig, it would indeed be a good tool for jittery critters. I don't think lighting will be a problem these days. I have no issue running at ISO320, which over 2 stops better than the days of Velvia 50. As I said, I still have the lens and the port. I'm going to hang on to them. You never know. The last time I used it on land was shooting butterflies in an inside aviary (aviary isn't the right name, but I don't know the name for a butterfly containment area). Oh, in today's world, it would be considered very slow to focus. But so am I.
  14. It is the least expensive route, but can cost you in the long run if you need it. If you make a couple of claims on your homeowners policy, they will cancel you. It's just the way they are. So, you make a claim for camera gear, a claim for some roof damage and the next thing you know they won't renew you. Then you go to another company and they jack your rates way up. Your ability to get homeowners' insurance is tainted for a long time, even if you no longer carry the camera gear on your policy. Claims are claims. Depending on where you live, YMMV.
  15. I've been on the Galapagos Aggressor II three times. We didn't have to paddle or do any fishing. Sounds like a good deal to me, 2 for 1. That's like, almost around 50% off.
  16. Those are some really nice shots. Please emphasize the negatives on the Arenui (like the lack of a camera room). It's getting way too difficult to book a spot on their boat.
  17. Yes, but the items you list are not separate. They are just part of the "tool kit" on the list. The kit has been around for a long time, so I don't need to list each item in the kit. I just have to remember to replenish and pack it. I have a spreadsheet that itemizes each packable unit of camera gear (one photo, one video). Each one has a weight. For each trip, I make a new sheet and copy the list to it. I then delete anything I decide not to take, e.g. strobes for whale snorkeling trip. I then assign it to a column representing the bag it will be packed in. When I get done, I have check list that I can use and know where every thing is when I unpack and the weight of each bag. I still forget stuff. My most recent trip had 42 items on the list for my carry-on luggage in total. I had 11 items totaling 19 lbs. packed in a shooter's vest, which went into the roller which had 17 more lbs. of gear. The remainder of the items went into a backpack, which weighed 16 lbs. if I took the camera bodies out and hung them around my neck. I have a separate list for all dive gear and another list for other items, e.g. clothing, first aid kit. I still forgot the insect repellent. I really do need sublists so I remember to replenish consumables, e.g. dive computer batteries. I print a hard copy of everything I packed. I forget to pack the lists. I also keep the file stored in the cloud because me forgetting to pack the printed lists would surprise no one.
  18. Nice work Mike. It's really nicely organized. It easy to spend a bunch of time exploring.
  19. They did not weigh my carry-on in LA, but it was Premium Economy. I doubt they weighed them for economy either. I had my packed vest in my carry-on and had put it on just in case. They do allow a thin lap top bag, so I had 15 lbs. in it, 15 lbs in the carry-on, plus 18 lbs in the vest, which fit in the carry-on. They didn't weigh the carry-on from Auckland to Tonga in Economy class. They did weigh the carry-on on the ANZ flight originating in Tonga.
  20. Cocos. Palau is good, but not extraordinary. Cocos are unique.
  21. It has been 6 years, but they did not weigh them, but they did eye-ball them. A guy came over and lifted one of the items and then let it go. Since then, I have flown many times on EVA via LAX and they weighed my carry-ons regardless of class of service. I pre-pack as much gear as I can in a shooter's jacket. Then I pack the rest of the camera gear in the carry-on, up to 17lbs (7kg limit plus a little overage). I then place the fully loaded 19lb. (8.7kg) jacket in the carry-on. After we stroll over to the International terminal and right before check-in time, I open the carry-on and put the jacket on. Then we check in. They weigh the carry-on, put a sticker on it, and we then walk around the corner. I then place the jacket back in the carry-on bag before going through security. I also carry a Lowepro laptop backpack. The first time I went through this, I took the two camera bodies with heaviest lenses and hung them around my neck so my backpack would also be close to the limit. But they never checked the backpack. They don't check backpacks that remain on your back. Other than back pain, neck pain, and losing 2 inches of height, this technique has worked flawlessly, except once leaving Tonga. China Air may not check, but it is always wise to be prepared. Edit: They don't seem to care when leaving Bali.
  22. Singapore and Tokyo Narita for us. It really depends on your scheduled boat dates. It got there one way and came back the other. I don't remember which. Surprisingly not a bad flight considering the length.
  23. no strobes, no filters 10-17 will be great The rest they will explain when you get there. It will be a great experience.
  24. The biggest freakout has been trying to figure out where I change the scratch disk It's a pain not to be able to separate the project from clips.
  25. My order: 1) Arenui 2) Damai 3) Seven Seas 4) Dewi Nusantara 5) Pindito Drew, I believe the Amira also has a rear dive deck. There are 30 other boats, but this is my short list, mostly on the higher end.
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