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About gracer

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  1. I'm just about to go on another trip on the MV Sea Spirit in the Maldives so have been trying to finish off editing the video I took on the same boat last year. I enjoyed making them as it was a good reminder of how much I enjoy diving in the Maldives. Hope you enjoy them too. MV Sea Spirit Cocoa Thila Richard
  2. Steve, I think it's normally stated that the Maldives have two distinct seasons; dry season (northeast monsoon) and wet season (southwest monsoon), with the former extending from January to March and the latter from mid-May to November. For the best weather I believe february and March are the best bets, however you can dive there year round if you pick your area depending on the prevailing monsoon. Our trip was in November which is a transitional period but the weather was fine with just the odd storm in the evenings. The famous Hanifru Lagoon gets its Manta aggregations in August and September but there are many places to see them in smaller numbers (10's rather 100's) and we've never failed to see them whatever time of year we have visited. There are hundreds of resorts to choose from catering to different levels of budget but I think the best option is to go on a liveaboard. We've always used Maldives Scuba Tours and have never been disappointed. Richard
  3. I've finally got round to editing the video I took on a trip to Makunudu Resort in North Male Atoll last year. I've posted the results on YouTube. The Resort Boat Diving House Reef Night Dive Shark Point Richard
  4. Don - a great article and beautiful images. We did a similar trip in the opposite direction in 2009 and I thought it was one of the best trips I've done. For anyone thinking of visiting the area I can highly recommend it. You can find some video of teh dives we did here: Best of Raja Ampat & Halmahera Richard
  5. Thanks syam - we actually didn't get many strong currents on the trip although there were a couple of dives where the surge near the surface was quite strong. I'll have to try your tip for macro shots - I've been pretty happy with the Sanyo and Epoque setup but it is quite small and light and I have found it difficult to keep it steady when filming small subjecst. Richard
  6. Hi, I've been meaning to post these clips for some time as I always enjoy watching other's videos. These videos were taken whilst on a trip onboard MV Temukira through Halmahera and Raja Ampat in November 2009 - some of the best diving I've ever had the good fortune to do. All video was filmed using a Sanyo Xacti HD2000 in an Epoque housing. Schooling Fish Reef Life Muck Diving Mangroves Night Diving Mantas Hope you enjoy them, Richard
  7. Tom, 1 - I just use my hand to white balance against so it's pretty quick and I normally try to do so before each shot. Just in case I need to start shooting straight away I also try and white balance every time I change depth or I notice that the light has changed. 2 - I used Sony Vegas to edit the video and it does have colour correction tools. In this video I've used colour correction but mainly to try and get the blues to look similar from one shot to another rather than because I needed to bring back colour. 3 - I've not had any problem using the zoom on the Epoque housing although I tend not to use it for WA shots as the resulting video can be rather soft and washed out. For macro subjects I've found the macro setting + zoom to give good results. 4 - I do have a light but to be honest apart from at night I've hardly used it as I've been pretty happy with the results without it. I find using it somewhat hit and miss regarding lighting the subject properly and getting a good WB and am happier without that stress. Richard
  8. John, I've just come back from a trip to the Maldives - here's a link to a video I made of a couple of dives on Lankan a well known manta cleaning point. Richard
  9. Thought I would just update this thread with a video clip of a dive on Lankan Manta Point during a recent trip to the Maldives. This was my second trip with the setup and I continue to be pleased with the results for what is a relatively cheap camera and housing. Richard
  10. I've posted a short video made up from some random clips straight from the camera. I've used the software that came with the camera and I don't think that I used a very good format to export as it looks very flat compared to when I view it on the the TV straight from the camera. Hopefully though it gives some idea of the capability of the camera - these clips were all taken in the 15-25m range without lights using manual white balance against my hand. Anyway it wil have to do until I get some editing software and time to use it. Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year Richard
  11. Ron - I'll definitely post some example video but it might be a little time as at the moment I don't have editing software or powerful enough PC so I have to get that sorted out which won't be unitil after Christmas. If I can figure out how to reduce their size I'll try an post some clips straight from the camera before then. Richard
  12. Hi Geopadi - I've just come back from a three week trip to Halmahera, Raja Empat and Lembeh where I used a Sanyo HD2000 and Epoque housing for 60+ dives. I had no problems with the housing at all except for a minor leak when I was testing it in the camera tank prior to a dive and that was entirely down to user error as I forgot to fasten one of the clamps! As the o-ring is quite complicated I only greased it at the beginning of the trip and then left it in place merely applying a smear of grease every day or so to the opposite suface and that seemd to work well. I was able to white balance using my hand down to 25-30m which seemed to give good colours and never needed to use a colour correction lens. The only slight down side for me was that the housing is quite small and even mounted on a plate it could be hard to hold still for macro shots - however since this was my first attempt at video this my be down to my lack of skill and a small housing is nice when it comes to travelling. Given the total cost of camera and housing I think it represents an excellent deal especially if you have existing external 67mm wet lenses as I do. Hope this helps, Richard
  13. Thanks for the info folks - it's just the sort of thing I was looking for. CJ how did you find the location of Divers Lodge Lembeh - was the distance for the main sites an issue? Did you get to dive the sites on the ocean side of the island? Thanks, Richard
  14. My wife and I will be spending 5 days in Manado at the end of November and are interested in diving in Lembeh. As this is part of a larger trip we are keen to find an option that offers good diving but at a budget price. I've been researching possible options and there are a lot more resorts since we last visited. I'd be keen to hear of any positive (or negative) experiences at any of the following resorts: Bastianos, SDQ, Two Fish, NAD, Divers Lodge. We also considering two resorts furher afield - Pulisan and Blue Bay Divers on Bangka. Has anyone visited either of these. Thanks, Richard
  15. Damo, One of the "swarm" here. You've captured a nice set of pictures - it makes me wish I'd taken my camera too! I really like the midas blenny shot - great colurs. Good to see that you captured the big eyes in the black coral and the elusive citron goby. Save diving, Richard
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