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Camera Model & Brand
Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
PatW replied to eg2011's topic in Beginner ForumI took a course on underwater photography. The experts said that one should carefully inspect the O rings each time you crack the camera open. But cleaning the O rings and regreasing is not always necessary. I generally clean and regrease on a daily basis.
New here, what gear will I need?
PatW replied to joeym's topic in Beginner ForumIf you only want to take photos that are about 3' deep, you probably do not need a strobe (unless you are planning on taking photos in low light). If you want to go down to about 40', you will find that the long wavelength colors dissappear. The red light is absorbed by the water at 15'. So if you want reds in your photos, you need to take your own light source down. That means a strobe. The Ikelite housing should work fine for your fairly minimal application. The D300 should be fine for stills. I don't take video but if you want that you might want to do the D7000. The thing is if you are OK with just stills, you can probably get a housing for the D300 used at a discount. If you go for a more up to date camera like the D7000, you will probably have to go new for the housing. Housings are kind of complex. Rushing things is a perfect prescription for a flood. I would think that in order to get you camera out of the housing, you would want to immerse the housing in fresh water before opening it. You then want to dry it off (with a towel). Then you can remove you camera. Also it is really nice to have something protective to put your housing in. I prefer putting my camera in a housing when I am not rushed. So taking shots then top side and then putting your camera into the housing is probably not the best idea. A mistake can cause a flood which can be fatal to your camera and lens. But if you take your underwater photos first, you can probably take your camera out and shoot afterwards with a high degree of safety assuming you don't get the camera doused in spray or something. Now, I have noticed that on boats where the divers were all photographers, most of the topside photos seem to have been taken with advanced point and shoots. They take their DSLRS in their housings and dive with them. The point and shoots are for photos of people on the boat. So you could think of that option also.
Just Starting Out
PatW replied to Kari Post's topic in Beginner ForumKari, I looked at some of your photos. The photos are very good. By the way, I have just moved from a point and shoot system (Canon G11 with an ike housing to a D7000 with an aluminum housing). I do not consider myself to be an expert. Now, what photo system you get depends, in part, on what you want to do with it. Also, it depends in part on your experience in diving. Taking photographs underwater is pretty challenging. I have heard it described as taking photos in a fog, in low light while it is raining and that does not even mention the complications of white balance. The thing is that if you are not pretty proficient at diving, taking photos might be task loading. So if you are a green diver, a good point and shoot might be the better starting point. I had two frustrations with the G11. To do macro, you need a wet lens (which was not a frustration). The problem is the focus is not horribly precise. You can either use the rather clunky manual focus (probably the best way to go). The autofocus tends to be slow and it tends to search. The other frustration was a limited wide angle. I found that to take photos of large subjects: coral heads, dive buddies, turtles, groupers, rays, sharks etc, I had shoot from too far away to allow really good photos. Some of the high end housings have supplementary ports that address that problem. I have done a few dives at the Blue Heron Bridge (a shallow muck dive with a strong tidal flow). The nutrients that roll past the place make for very high production so there is an astonishing variety of small creatures. I found that shooting with a 60 mm macro lens with the D7000 was far easier than shooting with the G11. The focus is far more precise with the D7000. Plus, I was focusing through a view finder with nearly zero lag as opposed to using live view to focus in the G11. Now, some underwater photographers get very good results with the G11. But it is far more challenging to do so then with a DSLR. I found shooting with an aluminum housing to be more precise and less bulky than the Ikelite housing. Please do not take this as a knock against Ikelite. They make a very functional housing that is relatively affordable. When equipment costs so much more, you would hope for improved functionality.
St Croix Bird Rescue
PatW replied to diver dave1's topic in Trip Reports and TravelI am glad you took the time to save the bird. You are right, treating an injured animal is usually a multiperson job. The animal is scared and needs to be held securely to keep it from hurting either itself or others.