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About les11222

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    Bondi Junction, Sydney

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  • Camera Model & Brand
    canon 1d mk4
  • Camera Housing
    Aquatech DV-4
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    10bar canon 580EX
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  1. Thought I would provide an answer to my initial question since I now have dived on the submersible DeepSee seven times in October. 1) In regard to the best time of year to go. Clearly, I only went for one week and not throughout the year, but I did put that question to the Deepsee operators. Generally the hammerhead schools are larger and more accessible during the wet season (May through October). However this depends on the position of the thermocline, a sharp boundary between the cold deep water and the warm upper layer, set by local tides and conditions. The position generally rises in the wet season to ~40m and descends in the dry to ~100m. As the hammerheads schools stay above and near the thermocline, its position is a critical factor for scuba diving limited to 43m, but not for the submersible. However the available light for photography rapidly falls with depth, making it difficult to get good exposure much below 50m as flash is not possible through the acrylic dome. In addition, water visibility is a factor being around 18m during the wet rising to 25m in the dry. (see webpage below for graph). So the answer is not that easy, but this October there were hundreds of hammerheads per school, whale and tiger sharks, manta rays ....... 2) Normally the submersible is hired by scuba divers wanting to experience a single descend to the deep at 300m, or a single shallow dive (~100m) at Everest, a rock pinnacle with a profusion of different fish, which provides fantastic panoramic photos of the passengers and a storm of small fish. But as I requested a wider experience with the sharks we followed the hammerhead schools being completely enveloped on a number of times by hundred of individuals. So the operators are thinking to expand the use of the submersible to more adventurous projects. Clearly it has the advantage of a wide range of depths, no air bubbles, extended dive times and walk on walk off and is accessible for non divers and novices, with the major downside of expense. But this is the beginning of a new era, opening a new branch of travel and exploration. As more operators come online, the expense may fall. I have noted there is another submersible (Stanleysubmarines) available to the public in Honduras, with dives to 1000ft, 1500ft and 2000ft, but I don't know more than that. I have requested details but have not yet had a reply. 3) Photographing from the submersible. It is not possible to get to the optical centre of the acrylic dome as it is blocked by the control panel. This problem can be ameliorated by using: a small camera, a right angle viewfinder, a remote video screen with live view. Still reasonably sharp images were obtained with a full frame zoom lens up to 70mm , although the images were not as sharp as from the normal underwater housings. A +1 dioptre correcting lens did not improve the image quality. I could not find a sweet spot photographing from an arbitrary location, due to local variations in the acrylic refractive index, probably caused by stress and age. The DeepSee has external arm, which can be used as a normal underwater housing with flash, but this is at the passenger's expense. At present only affordable by the likes of the BBC or National Geographic. But it will come. For those who want some additional information on what to expect, I have an illustrated article at http://www.artphototravel.net/sth-america/hammerheads-cocos-island-costa-rica/ including maps, images and short videos.
  2. Thanks for that detail. Would the canon liveview using an external video screen or laptop be useful in positioning the camera in the confined space? sorry for the slowness in reply. Have just flown from Sydney to Mont St Michel in France to catch the spring tides.
  3. Thanks Matt215 and Giant squid. What facilities are there for outside mounting and control. I am taking only still images. Have a 5D mkIII and 1DX with various lenses. Have a housing for the 5D, Can you get up close to the dome and what focal length would not be too compromised but still useful. Do you have any images taken inside or with camera mounted outside. Am I right in surmising early October may be quite good, with the neutral La Nina /El Nino predictions at present?
  4. I am a photographer but only a novice diver, so I want to photograph hammerhead shark schools and rays, and cleaning stations off the Cocos Islands on the Agro using the Deepsee submersible, for one dive a day. I would like to know what is the best time of year for such a venture. There is an opening this October 3-12. Is this a good time? Need some detailed advice, as this can end up being very expensive.
  5. I've used an Aquatech DV4 with a canon 1d, as a pole camera held outside the cage to photograph white pointers as they approach caged divers ( in False Bay Capetown). I want to do the same with a smaller underwater housing using a canon 5D. Can someone suggest a suitable housing, that can go to 25m and also be used as a pole camera. (Aquatech is certified to 10m). The housing has to have, or be capable of being modified to have, a remote release cable and a watertight HDMI cable that plugs into a video screen to view what is happening underwater. Thanks.
  6. Hi, Les Sharp from Bondi in Sydney, Australia. I am at the older end of the scale at 72, and a dedicated photographer out of the water. I have done some diving, got to blue corner in Palau with a minder, but did not take any photos there. I do have an aquatech housing for a canon 1D which I have used as a pole camera to photograph the great white shark inspecting divers inside the cage in False bay Capetown. Haven't quite got the composition right yet, but will try again. So I thought I'll join this forum and get some advice.
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