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Everything posted by troporobo

  1. Thanks for the kind words! Conditions are lovely, since resorts are still closed there are hardly any divers or boat traffic. But the dive masters (and everyone else) have been out of work for 6 months now so there are LOTS more people out fishing day and night. No foreign arrivals are allowed, probably for the rest of this year. Government is looking to open tourism by the holidays, I would say. But with the state of the pandemic here that could be quite risky. We are indeed lucky to be able to drive to a private place there.
  2. Having endured here in the Philippines the longest and strictest lockdown in the world, this has been my mood for longer than I thought I could endure: So when the restrictions on travel between provinces was lifted, my wife and I drove out of Manila to Anilao for a long weekend with a feeling of being able to breathe again, although we did feel sort of uncertain and tentative and cautious, a little like this porcelain crab: We only got in a couple of dives thanks to unfavorable weather, but just being back in the water at familiar sites felt like visiting some old friends. My technique was certainly rusty so none of the pictures I took over the weekend will make it into my top 100, but they will remain among my most favorite for what they represented for us, a lifting of a very long gloomy period. We're a long way from an exit, but are so grateful to be so fortunate to be able to drive to such a special place until the new normal becomes clear. Even the heavens seemed to agree with us on Saturday night. I hope things start to get better for all of us sooner rather than later!
  3. HEINZ is a free quarterly publication run by Heinz Richter who old-timers may recognize from UWF, one of the pioneer underwater photography publications. I have been reading this for a few years now, and believe that many WP'ers would enjoy it. You can grab all 21 issues at the link, in English, German, and Chines, and sign up for email notifications. The quality is top notch. HEINZ Press
  4. Look for posts by TimG, he did just what you’re contemplating and seems very happy about it
  5. BBF with my Nauticam housing is awesome. I have an E-M1 mk II so can’t tell you if the menus are the same, but it should be easy. You set autofocus to mode 1, 2, or 3, whichever de-links it from the shutter button, then go to button settings and map autofocus to your preferred button. As Bob says, there are many articles and videos to be found. This older thread for the E-M5 is very useful for Olympus settings in general: https://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?/topic/48625-underwater-settings-for-the-olympus-om-d-e-m5/&tab=comments#comment-321395
  6. Pardon the obvious question, but if you’re not using strobes or lights, why use a tray and handles? Ditching those would significantly reduce the negative buoyancy, with little effect on stability. Otherwise, spend $30 on some Stix jumbo floats and experiment with zip ties on the bottom of the tray.
  7. That is really cool - great shot! My first dives were at Edmonds, a very long time ago. But 30 years in the tropics have spoiled me. This might tempt me back.
  8. We went to Myanmar a couple of years ago (though to different destinations). Four factors were key. First, transit through BKK onto Bangkok Airways is always a pleasure, they are so much nicer than the big national carriers. Second, contact hotels for airport pickup, don’t use airport taxis if they can be avoided, although they are fine in town. Third arrange with your first hotel in Yangon or wherever to set up with a local tour operator for longer trips by domestic airlines and a private vehicle and driver at the other end, they are affordable and reliable. Fourth, bring lots of shiny new USD in small denominations to deal with currency mismatches, many places will only take dollars and paying for tickets etc in kip is a constant annoyance. It is a beautiful and fascinating country, highly recommended.
  9. All agreed, especially on the EM-1x. I really enjoy my EM-1 mk II on land and underwater so I’ll pick up a spare body as cheap insurance and to ensure I can keep using my current housing. By the time that’s all obsolete, who knows what new tech will arrive? I’m sure an upgrade will be irresistible in due course, it just won’t be from Olympus
  10. I agree about some peculiar choices, that is for sure. I believe the attempt to compete higher up the food chain is probably what killed them. I don’t agree that they stopped investing 3 years ago, as the EM-1x (and trickledown tech to the EM1 mk III) and the forthcoming 100-400 lens will show, but most m4/3 users were never going to go there with them. Regarding telephoto, I was referring to the combination of 7.5 stop in-body image stabilization, 2x crop factor, and relatively smaller lenses. I don’t know about others, but I cannot hand hold a DSLR at 1200mm equivalent but I can do it with the Oly 300mm lens and 2x teleconverter and get sharp images.
  11. I’m saddened as Olympus has long developed innovative tech, and I love its ecosystem specifically for macro and long telephoto. But my cameras and lenses didn’t stop working when they made the announcement, so I’ll keep using them until they do, hopefully a long time from now. I’ll also pick up a spare camera body and the remaining Pro lens that I don’t ready own when people start dumping them, maybe even at a discount!
  12. I follow this terrific group on YT, Mc2 Photography, they often cover wildlife photography, and offer courses in Skye and on expeditions, which might be interesting to you: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPGVcUjuoNmZopQcMsoo1Ww https://www.mc2photography.com
  13. After soaking and pushing all the buttons a few times, still under water, use a rocket blower on all the buttons and levers and hard-to-reach areas. It works a treat to get rid of water that would otherwise dry and leave spots.
  14. None required at Malapascua or anywhere else in the Philippines, just a daily dive pass which usually costs about USD 5.
  15. For me, air integration and wrist mount are the key parameters. That way all the info is right in my line of site at all times without needing to pick up a separate gauge. I have used a Mares Icon for about 5 years and like it. It’s bigger and heavier than some, but I like a big screen and all the info you could want is on screen or one button push away. The integrated compass is good and the color coding of various functions is more useful than you might think. You can even pre-load maps of dive sites, if you can find them. The dive log is comprehensive. There are similar style computers from Shearwater, Suunto, and Scubapro that I would consider next.
  16. At the risk of hijacking this excellent post: Oh hell yeah, I’d take a ride in a sub in a heartbeat! I am absolutely riveted by those videos that get posted every once in a while with the voice overs by scientists. If it was possible to buy a seat, I would.
  17. Agreed, I really enjoyed watching this. At first I was surprised at the choice not to correct white balance, but I think you decided not to correct it to show the real experience of deep descent and I believe that worked well. Thanks for sharing.
  18. Regarding strobes, the S2000 are great for macro but that is about it, they really don't cover much wide angle shooting. I'm guessing the same about the YYS-01 but haven't used those. I'd suggest buying one more capable strobe like a Z240 to start, then getting a second when you can. It's certainly possible to get great macro and even CFWA with one strobe.
  19. Hmmm. That is definitely not normal. I have the E-M1 mk II (and before that a E-M5) and that has not occurred with either of mine. I would try to have it serviced.
  20. Have a look over here: The impact of DSLR APSC Phase Out on Underwater Photography
  21. You got some great shots there! Nice critters, beautiful compositions, and very impressive lighting technique. I dive Anilao year round but haven't been able to go since January, so thanks for the virtual visit
  22. Very nice - thanks a lot for sharing this
  23. I use a retractor, like the ones used for gauge consoles. Once in the water, a system isn't (or shouldn't be) very much positive or negative, so a solution doesn't have to be very heavy duty.
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