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thatporchdawg

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Everything posted by thatporchdawg

  1. My lovely fiancee and I will be honeymooning in July 2006, and we're looking to finally get our feet wet in some warm Pacific water. We're looking at taking two weeks for a honeymoon. I have been given some basic requirements by my better half: 1) Easy diving - no ripping currents, bad visibility, or otherwise challenging diving. Drift diving is probably a bit much right now. She's only got about 40 dives under her weight belt. 2) Topside activities - there has to be something to do at the destination other than diving and other typical honeymoon activities. This can be accomplished at the destination, in the immediate vicinity, or as an add on to the trip. Things like local culture, hiking, kayaking, tours, and such. 3) A locale/resort that would offer massages/spa services of the legal variety. She wants to be pampered. My only requirement is that I get to dive my brains out and take lots of photos. The current short list of places (but open to suggestion): Sipadan (diving) & Borneo (topsides) Wakatobi (diving) & Bali (topsides) Coral Sea (diving) & Cairns, Aus (topsides) Fiji (diving & topsides) Any thoughts, ya'll?
  2. I want one, too. Start saving your pennies, ya'll! Though the dimensions might not be the same between the 5D and the 20D, it looks like the number of buttons and their placement is fairly similar between the two. It'd be interesting to see if you could modify an existing 20D housing to fit the 5D.
  3. Oh, gawd, my fiancee will kill me when she finds out that there really is a "better" camera than the 20D I just purchased in March! I guess I should keep my hands out of the honeymoon fund! On a different note, this (if true) is a little disconcerting to me. Canon seems to be going in the direction of full frame cameras even though they are developing the EF-S lenses to complement the crop sensor cameras!?! I find it hard to believe that they are going to continue developing "pro-sumer" crop sensor cameras and complimentary lenses along with a line of professional full frame cameras. That would leave a lot of people that have committed themselves to using EF-S lenses with no clear upgrade path! This is precisely the reason I've only purchased lenses compatible with full frame cameras to use with my 20D. Argh! This is such a complicated and expensive hobby!
  4. There's a forum for commercial dive trips for posting such as this. Its a sub-forum of this one (Dive Destinations and Travel). This post would be better suited in that area. Maybe one of the Mods could move it there?
  5. Those are some really amazing images, Alex. Truly an inspiration!
  6. Tools are not allowed in carry on luggage. I was warned about my allen wrench in my carry on in San Juan, PR and was told that I should place it in my checked luggage. I didn't get searched for it, but I'm sure if I did, they would have confiscated it.
  7. I saw an octo ink twice in about 10 minutes in Dominica. On a side note, I just got the latest issue of Scuba Diving magazine. Strange coincidence that this month's cover looks a lot like Eric's screaming turtle. Its also a turtle silhouette type shot from underneath the turtle, but with a lot less expression than Eric's shot. I don't pay that much attention to their covers, but you'd think they'd pick something different from anything that was up for their Photo Annual cover shot contest? So much for variety.
  8. I've got a Pelican 1550 with padded dividers. Its a little bigger than official carry on size, but I haven't been hassled about using it as carry on yet, though I have had to gate check it a couple times when the planes were so small that all carry ons were checked. So in the 1550, I can put the Aquatica housing for a Canon 20D, macro port, dome port, zoom gear, handles, two sets of Sea & Sea arms, two Sea & Sea YS-90 strobes, synch chords, Canon point and shoot housing and tray. This makes this case very heavy. Hope this helps!
  9. I'm sure somebody at Saturday's workshop will have an answer. I'll be there and listening in. Its quite the catch-22. If you uncheck constrain proportions, then you'll get some sort of stretching/distortion that will make the image look unnatural. It may not be enough to be noticed by most folks, but certain things will look off. However, if you leave constrain proportions checked, then a portion of your image will be cropped during the slideshows. I wonder if there is some sort of Photoshop plug-in/action that stretch an image in a given direction without getting any distortion and without any noticable loss of quality. Another option is to maybe shoot for slideshows. This means that you'd frame and compose your shots such that they'd be croppable to a 4:3 aspect ratio. Just thinking out loud and waiting for the freeway traffic to lighten up so I can go home.
  10. I bought the Aquatica moisture alarm from B&H for around $70 + shipping. It comes with installation and operating instructions and a battery. Quick, easy, painless... as long as you don't have to ask B&H any complicated questions.
  11. I'd probably recommend one of shorter length macro lenses in addition to what james recommended. Either the new Canon 60mm or the Sigma 50mm macros.
  12. Having just returned from Dominica via SJU on Sunday, I can relate my experience. Having read this thread several times over, I decided to gate check/valet my pelican 1550 on the flight from SJU to DOM and back. In short, there were no problems. SJU to DOM: You take a from your departure gate, you take a shuttle bus to your turboprop plane. Before you get on the shuttle bus, your carry ons are tagged for valet and you're give a claim stub. Both you and your now valet checked bags are loaded onto the shuttle bus. The bus takes you to your plane; you get on the plane and the valet bags are loaded onto the plane right there in open view of the boarding passengers. My take was this was very low risk since the handlers would have to be pretty bold to pop open a case right there as passengers were boarding. In DOM, all the luggage was brought into baggage claim at the same time (no claiming of your bad at the aircraft) since the airport is so small. DOM to SJU: Same as in SJU, you valet check your pelican case and you get the claim stub. In DOM they seemed to load up the valet bags separately from regular luggage. Landing in SJU (after dodging the iguanas on the runway during landing), the valet bags are unloaded onto a shuttle bus and taken to the gate area. You may or may not be on the exact shuttle that your bags have been loaded onto, but passengers from your flight will be on that bus (can't fit everyone on the plane into one shuttle bus). You pick up your valet bag from the shuttle before entering the airport gate area and proceeding to customs/immigration. This is still fairly low risk since the bags are all loaded onto the shuttles and kept separate from regular luggage, but there is still a chance that your bag may get "left behind" or "mixed into" regular luggage. I think American's baggage department is giving you a line of BS if they're telling you that gate checking/valet is higher risk than handing your bags and property over to American employees who then wisk your bags out of sight for an hour or more based on some sort of trust that the good honest folks at American will guard your belongings while being "not responsible" for thier safe keeping. Sorry for ranting, but hearing the airlines and TSA both claim that you're not responsible for what happens to your bags after you give them your bags just gets my wetsuit in a bunch!
  13. Congrats to you and Sarah both! You're not missing much in Houston other than temperatures approaching 100F! Enjoy the honeymoon and don't forget your cameras. -- Ken & Misty
  14. Famorim, Are you using the wide-angle or the fisheye dome shade when you shoot with the Sigma 15mm fisheye? Thanks, Ken
  15. In the extremely remote chance you don't get any takers, will you consider breaking up the system and selling the components? If you do get to that point, I'm interested in a few of them.
  16. The 20mm cannons were wing mounted, but the Zero did have two nose mounted machine guns that you can clearly see in the photo.
  17. Yep, that's a Zero. Great perspective on that shot as well. Truly classic images. Awesome work, Darek. What are you shooting with?
  18. Awesome. That's gotta be one heck of an experience to dive with such magnificent animals! I'm jealous!
  19. I wonder if this will work: ROLL TIDE!
  20. Welcome to our obsession! I'll tell ya what I've been told, and then I'll tell ya what I'm doing. I'm basically in the same situation as you are. I just bought the Canon 20D and the Aquatica housing and I have been slowly learning about lenses, ports, extension rings, and diopters (oh my!). Others here have recommended that new dSLR photographers start out with macro photography, since its a lot easier to do than wide angle, and then grow into the wide angle photography. I'm planning on cutting my teeth on macro stuff on an upcoming dive trip in a month and hopefully by the end of that trip, I'll try out some WA stuff. For macro, I bought the Sigma 50mm macro lens. It lets you do 1:1 with good quality. Other options are the Canon 50 mm macro (only 1:2) and a brand new Canon EF-S 60mm macro (1:1). The EF-S lens is only usable on the Canon 20D and Digital Rebel since is specifically designed for those cameras. There's also a pretty good Canon 100mm macro lens, but the general opinion seems to be its not a newbie's lens. I'm sure others here can comment more on the Canon lenses. I'm going to use the Sigma 15mm Fisheye for my wide angle selection. This is just a personal preference. There's a Canon EF-S 10-22 zoom lens that a lot of folks are using. I've also heard there are some other WA zooms recently released by othere manufacturers (Sigma and either Tamron or Tokina, I can't remember). You should get plenty of comments on these options as well. You'll need to get whatever ports will fit your lens choices; there are *many* Ike fans here, so you should get plenty of help there once you choose your lenses. You can also search the forums. There are plenty of posts regarding lens choices. And if you have a question about a specific lens, ask. Hope this helps, Ken
  21. This is a huge problem in many places: zebra mussels in the Great Lakes; nutria, water hyacinth and formosan termites in south Louisiana; fire ants and kudzu in the southern US. Non-native species often find that they have no predators and can adapt to their new environments and out-compete native species for food sources, often driving native species to the brink of extinction. There's a lot of info on the US government's Invasive Species site, as well as links to other nation's invasive species programs.
  22. I'll find out soon enough on Continental (Houston) and American Eagle (San Juan) in the next month. I was talking with Dave Marsh today at SEASPACE on a topic similar to this and I mentioned the SJU airport and American Airlines. He said that he had four people come up to him today and tell him they had housings go missing from checked luggage in SJU. So if they want to hassle me about my case, they're more than welcome to, but I want assurances that my gear won't go missing. If they want to gate check my Pelican and give it back to me at the end of the flight, that's okay. The case will rarely leave my side at that point and it will minimize my security concerns. Anyone else heard of any problem airlines/airports besides American in SJU?
  23. Welcome to Wetpixel dizzydev. I travel with my housing/strobes/ports in a Pelican 1550 case. Its around 21"x17"x9". That's 3" wider than the published dimensions. I've taken this case to Grand Cayman on Delta, to Bonaire on Air Jamaica, to West Palm Beach on Southwest, and to Roatan on TACA and I've never been asked to check it or hassled about its size...yet.
  24. Its a crinoid of some type. They're also called feather stars. They're echinoderms, and these critters are primarily nocturnal. At night, they uncurl their arms to help catch dinner (plankton). I'm sure somebody will be along shortly with a better ID and description.
  25. That is one slick design. Wish we all had web designers in our back pockets!
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