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Everything posted by errbrr

  1. Love the nurse sharks! I also had a great dive with them there. I found the Maldives extraordinarily frustrating while I was there - lots of blue water dives with not much going on. Certainly it was clear that the liveaboard staff were expecting many, many more sharks than we were seeing. But when I got home and reviewed the results I had a much great number of keepers than usual. So the encounters were fruitful even if they were short and spread out between a lot of hanging around and waiting for animals to show up!
  2. I send them an invoice with two lines on it. One for the photo charge, and the second for unauthorised use. Usually I get an angry reply and they remove it without paying. The ones who pay are the legit businesses who left an ignorant intern unsupervised. I think people who crop watermarks are guiltier than those who lift the whole photo. I watermark and also resize everything I post on facebook to 1200 pix across and 150kb. Fine for people to phone browse while on the train, less useful for would-be thieves.
  3. When I started with a DSLR in 2009, I used my Dad's ikelite strobes from the 1980s. They were great in terms of light output, less good in terms of size and weight, but very reliable. Strobes should outlast your camera and are very transferable to your next rig. Unlike almost everything else you buy! Better to invest in one good strobe than two cheap ones you will have to replace later. For secondhand, make sure you get a look at the tubes. Brown flecks or brown tubes indicate the strobes have been used dry or in warm water enough to overheat. As well as reducing the light output, the internals may be slightly cooked. You could also have a look at the battery contacts for any sign of previous water ingress. Getting hot or getting wet have been the main failure modes I've seen.
  4. Do they still work? No need to go crazy if so, though Deoxit is good stuff. More worrying is the threads which may glue themselves to the threads on your sync cable after a bit. I've found it beneficial to remove the build up of gunk and leave open to dry periodically.
  5. The acrylic on Nauticam domes is user replaceable, no special tool required. The Nauticam replacement acrylic comes with a new o-ring for sealing it in with and is substantially cheaper than a new complete dome. As for scratches on the insides - sorry, I don't have a magic bullet for you. Do they show up in photos?
  6. I travel on ATR72s a lot. An Osprey Porter 46 backpack with fully constructed housing with 8" dome and four Z240s will fit sideways in the overhead. This same bag slides in end-on on a 737 or similar overhead locker. This is with just the housing in flat - if you stuff clothing/other on top of it then the bag bulges too much to fit. Of course it weighs 12kg with 5D4, lens, housing and strobes, so depends if they are weighing backpacks or not. Like this but I upgraded the bag to the Osprey which has much better padding and construction.
  7. When I have had this problem before (Rex in regional Australia) they let me "gate check" the delicate bag. This meant they tagged it at check-in, I carried it through security myself and gave it to a guy standing next to the boarding stairs. I then watched him put it in the plane before I climbed on board. Reversed at the destination - waited at the bottom of the stairs for the housing. This way no baggage handlers chucking things or bouncing around between conveyor belts. I don't know what Air Tahiti offer but it might be worth asking at check in.
  8. I am very interested in the WACP2, partly because it does split shots. There are some nice images from Alex Tattersall on Facebook this week. As per the original WACP release it's hard to calculate what lens combinations are going to provide what equivalent to a dome setup. I don't think of my pictures in FOV and the lens distances all become irrelevant. I'm kind of glad I never got around to pulling the trigger on the WACP though as the WACP2 looks to be a better fit for what I want to shoot. Though if the WACP suddenly went to half price I would buy one in a heartbeat. As for the weight...I'm already travelling with a rebreather, camera and six strobes. What's another 7kg??
  9. IATA is the minimum standard. Airlines can impose additional baggage rules. Check out this summary from Virgin Australia: https://www.virginaustralia.com/eu/en/plan/baggage/batteries/ Note the last line of the table that says NiMH batteries as spares (not in equipment) may not be checked in. Also limited to 20. I usually travel with 48 spare AA eneloops (6 strobes x 4 batteries x 2 sets) and tbh usually check them in without issue. But according to the airline this is not allowed and they can choose to enforce whatever additional requirements they feel like. Or whatever interpretation the check in person has, which may be quite different from the security person's interpretation. In short, check and print the airline page! If asked, smile and produce said page while being non-confrontational about it.
  10. My understanding is that this is intended to produce consistent colour - useful for scientific comparisons where different shots may have different water distance between camera and subject. I haven't seen anything suggesting it be used "recreationally"? Personally I shoot underwater because I want the photos to look like they were taken underwater...
  11. Agree with Tim - best to carry a copy of the rules you think apply, if you need to negotiate at the airport. Remember that individual airlines can have stricter rules. I traveled on an airline that only allowed two batteries per device - one installed, one spare. But they only asked at check-in, didn't actually inspect anything. I once got pulled out by a terminal announcement and taken to the bowels of the airport to remove 4 x AA eneloops in one plastic case from my checked baggage. This was for a domestic flight out of Melbourne. It's a good thing they pointed out the AAs on the xray of the baggage, otherwise I would have dug out the small lithium battery I had also checked in that bag without really thinking about it. All the other times I've checked AAs in plastic cases with no problems. The rules are so inconsistently applied.
  12. Thanks Colin for the zoomed/not zoomed pictures. I like numbers but I'm struggling to picture FOV metrics because it's not how I've thought about photos before. But being able to photograph a reasonably sized reef fish in a nice portrait and then turn around and take a picture of a whale on a single (perfect, obviously ) dive would definitely be two handfuls of cake for me! Are those shots uncropped?
  13. It is a beautiful shot. I would strongly suggest entering some of these into "real" photo competitions with judges, instead of popularity contests won by those with the most facebook friends.
  14. I've heard great things, and seen some fantastically sharp video but ultimately decided to get a 5D4 when I updated rather than an A7. Main decider was the battery life as the overall cost of camera plus housing was similar (and I already have access to a 15mm!).
  15. Guided group dives are a PITA for wide angle photography. I've had better success getting a more detailed personal briefing from the guide in advance, so I know if there's a reason we have to swim around at 5 knots or if I can hang back without missing something important. It also helps to discuss with the guide what would help - a slower swimming pace, not stopping to point out shrimps when I'm toting a 14mm lens, distracting the rest of the group with shrimp so I can photograph the jacks... Unless the guide has dived with a similar-sized camera system themselves or regularly guides other photographers, they are unlikely to know how to assist you. Guides who carry a GoPro on a stick and prioritise footage for the shop Facebook page over my shots are to be avoided. Once in the water you need to be either at the front of the group or the back of the group to avoid flailing limbs in every shot.
  16. Regarding swimmer's ear vs sore from too much equalising, I have always used a gentle pull on the ear lobe as a test. If that causes pain, it's more likely to be a swimmer's ear infection on the outside. If no increased pain from pulling your ear, something is wrong inside. I'd also caution against "too regular" use of alcohol drops. I had one dive trip where they aggravated my ears when used multiple times a day. Maybe I needed to work up to it and toughen up my ear drums!
  17. So many amazing shots - well done! I love the flounder, and the second shot of the long arm octopus.
  18. Yes, weight belt for snorkelling in cold water if you want to get off the surface. I'm not sure you need a dive shop to help you though...just some water deep enough to swim in, close to an edge to put the extra weights on. Put the wetsuit on, get in, add weights until you can duck dive a little under the water. Remove weights if you can't stay floating on the surface without swimming.
  19. Without generalising skillsets, find yourself a little old lady in your local area who does seamstressing and adjustments. Go there with the undersuit and let her scold you for buying it in the wrong size, and pin it to exactly where you want it. Come back in a week, hand over a very nominal amount of cash, and try on your perfectly adjusted undersuit. You could consider buying some non-cotton thread...cotton stitching soaks up the water if you do get a leak, as a buddy of mine found out with a secondhand undersuit one time. The key with all this is to pick the right little old lady! Avoid the "jeans hemmed in 10 minutes for $10" places at the mall.
  20. I also believe in the buy it right, buy it once philosophy. In your position I'd go with the Z330 and keep an eye out for good deals in the future. Keep in mind you will need an electrical sync cord and a triggerfish or similar to go with it, so that's an extra $200 or so. You can operate without but it will rapidly become frustrating. Keep in mind that when you upgrade your camera in future you will likely get better low light performance on a new sensor, reducing your need for really bright lights. Regarding comms when everyone is flashing really bright video lights - I have no solution here. I find cave diving with video lights difficult. It's like being muzzled, and impossible to get anyone's attention. Last point - you don't need to light the edges of the frame. If the cave is working against you, pick something nice and light that. It might be the silhouette of a diver in nice trim. Trying to light the walls of a big space all the way round rarely looks great. Below are images taken with two strobes on camera and one off camera, or no strobes at all. Emphasise the dark.
  21. Not sure I'd be keen to use glue to fill in a scratch. I'd get the replacement acrylic and do the changeover yourself. If it all goes wrong then send it off for professional intervention. No idea on the changeover method for the glass domes, sorry. Does it look like it's glued together?
  22. There are now international flights from Brisbane to Munda...the travel options are expanding.
  23. You want lots of strobes, but you can start with one or two. I would recommend starting with one powerful one (like the Z330) and then buying more of the same as you can afford it. There are advantages to having a matched set...I have six Z240s that I use off camera in the caves. More than two strobes per diver/model plus two for the camera is usually overkill, depending on the cave you are in so that gives you an idea of how many you might end up with If your budget restraints are significant then perhaps a set of used Z240s might work for you? I would only recommend them if you are diving in water colder than 25 degrees, as they are more likely to be on repeated full power dumps (and thus overheat and burn out) for cave diving. The Z330 supposedly has an overheating cut out in it. You might find some interesting effects from combining constant and strobe lighting as well. One issue will be that the strobe is much brighter than your video lights, so if you put the strobe on the camera and the video lights on your models then you may wash out the video light. The light drop off in water is why it's better to put more light on your models (as in, light source attached to them, not you). Then a little bit of light on the camera for triggering and foreground fill, and big bright strobes on the divers to light up the tunnel. Lastly, embrace the darkness. Caves are dark. If you light the whole thing up like daylight then it just looks like a pile of rocks. Show off the mystery in your photos by working out what to light and what to leave.
  24. Just to chime in a bit late - get the vacuum! On jumping with cameras, I see more risk of knocked or dropped rigs in trying to get someone on the boat to pass it to you, particularly in tricky conditions. I tend to giant stride and use my fins to slow my entry. I'm holding the camera at chest or chin height, so by the time that bit of me gets wet I'm not descending particularly fast. The main thing to avoid is smacking the dome port into the surface of the ocean or your tanks on the way down.
  25. What brand is it? In some cases the acrylic is glued in place, whereas in others (Nauticam) it is held in by a snaplock o-ring system that is easily user changeable.
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