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Everything posted by ornate_wrasse

  1. Super shots, Carol! Thanks for sharing the images and the stories behind them. A friend of mine dives there regularly and also reports seeing a great assortment of unusual marine life. I have dived there once and, even though the tides didn't allow me to dive under the bridge, I still saw lots of interesting things, including some cool moon jellies. I hope to dive there again on my next trip to Florida. Thanks again for posting! Ellen
  2. Hi David, I don't think that those little packets with snap off caps are necessarily non-reusable. I took those packets on a trip last summer and didn't use all of the o-ring grease inside the packet. I took the packets that were opened but not totally unused and put them inside some sandwich sized zip lock baggies and saved them for the next trip. If any of the grease comes out of the packet, the zip lock baggy keeps it from getting all over everything else in my luggage. When I go on a trip, I always pack a number of zip lock baggies with me in various sizes. They are very useful when packing and, since they are so cheap, it hardly costs me anything. Cheers, Ellen
  3. Hi Greg, There are lots of comments on www.nikonians.org from folks who are saying the the minor improvements in NX2 are not enough to justify the $$$ they want for the upgrade. As for myself, I have not used NX2 so I can't say whether it's worth the upgrade. As for learning Capture NX, I have been very pleased with the Capture NX workshop offered by www.nikonians.org You can attend a workshop in Seattle (not many are offered in Portland unfortunately). I found that it was well worth the money spent. Also, have you bought the ebook on NX offered by Jason Odell? It has been very informative and helpful in learning to use the program. I see you bought the Aquatica housing instead of the Subal I hope you get to use it soon! Cheers, Ellen
  4. In response to your request, as a woman photograher, I will add my two cents. These images, IMHO, are very tastefully done and don't look at all "cheesy". They look more like well thought out art than anything else (I'll leave "anything else" to the imagination!). My favorite image is, by far, the third one in your post. It's very striking and really caused me to look at it more than one time. Hope that helps. Ellen
  5. Thanks. You've relieved my anxiety I thought perhaps I'd destroyed the gold pins because they were not the same bright shiny gold as they used to be. Good to know that the acid was responsible for the tarnish and that it shouldn't affect the functionality of the cord. Ellen
  6. I experienced something that most of you have probably had happen to you at least once if you're an underwater photographer When removing the sync cord from the top of my Subal housing, some water dropped on the Nikonos style connector. By the time I got back home, there was quite a bit of corrosion. I used a vinegar/water combination to remove all of the corrosion and am hoping it works A-OK. I'll test it after it dries completely. My question has to do with the Sea & Sea Sync Cord. There was a small amount of some greenish looking material around the connectors. I scrubbed off the stuff with an old toothbrush, then used a q-tip dipped in the vinegar/water solution to remove all traces of the material. Some of the pins don't look shiny gold anymore. Instead they appear to be discolored. As with the connectors on top of the housing, I'm currently waiting for the cords to dry before I test them to see if they work. Is there anything else I should be doing before the cord dries and I test it out? Have most of you been successful in getting the cord to work again? Next time I'll be more careful when I remove the cord from the connectors on my housing Thanks for sharing your advice and experiences. Ellen
  7. Hi, I'm not clear whether you are planning to visit all three of the national parks you mention in the two weeks you have alloted for non-dive activities. If you are, I think that would be difficult to do. Yosemite in Calfornia, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon in Arizona are very far apart. I think you would enjoy your vacation more if you limited your visit to, for example, one national park combined with the diving. You might want to visit Yellowstone and combine it with a visit to the following museum in nearby Cody, Wyoming: Museum in Cody Wyoming I have been to this museum on my way to Yellowstone and it is a place that should not be missed, particularly if you are interested in the American West. As for driving in Mexico, my advice would be: Don't risk it! I have heard horror stories of drivers stopped by the Mexican police for small traffic violations. The police then demand huge sums of money and basically hold you hostage until you pay them. My two cents, Ellen
  8. I've got good news! Shortly after arriving at The Great Escape and before departing Long Beach for Catalina, Bonnie was able to singlehandedly remove the 105 extension from my Subal macro port Thank you Bonnie! That was quite a feat, especially considering how tightly it was attached to the port. However, that being said, since Bonnie won't always be available to do this for me, I am going to purchase the Versa Grip Strap Wrenches. Thanks everyone for the suggestions and comments. Ellen
  9. I haven't been able to get it apart, though it's not for lack of trying. <_< I did call Brian and he told me he'd bring his strap wrench. Between Brian's strap wrench and the strong men who can help, we should be able to take care of it Thanks, I'll see you at 7! Ellen
  10. James, I don't have a strap wrench. However, I tried to use my belt to do the trick and it wouldn't cooperate. I must have put it on real tight the last time I used it. Bruce, I tried using my rubber gloves but that didn't do the trick either. All is not lost, however. My dive buddy has a strap wrench and he said he would bring it to the boat. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll be successful. Thanks to both of you. Ellen
  11. I am preparing for a dive trip to Catalina Island on Saturday. In getting my Subal housing and ports ready, I find that I can't remove the extension for the 105mm lens from the macro port I use for the 60mm lens. Does anyone have any tips to remove the extension so I can shoot with the 60mm lens? The last thing I want to do is to break anything, so I haven't been too forceful. Thanks for any ideas you may have. Ellen
  12. Bandito Charters is highly regarded for boat diving. Bandito Charters As for dive sites, do you want easy or do you want big current dives? In the Pacific Northwest, the current is always a factor and, at some sites, you have to closely watch the tide tables to know when to get in the water and when not to get in the water. Do you like cold water? I hope so, because typical water temperatures in Puget Sound are about 47 degrees, give or take a degree. The viz in August will be better than during the spring algae blooms, but not as good as in December when you usually get the best viz. Generally speaking, the further north you go in Puget Sound (closer to Vancouver) the better viz you will get. If you are diving in South Puget Sound (closer to Hood Canal and Seattle) the viz is not as good. Here's another link that may be helpful. You may enjoy reading their reviews of different dive sites. Northwest Dive News If you have more questions, just holler Ellen
  13. Actually I did not have time to do a dry test. I charged them Sunday night and had to leave early Monday morning for an out of town business trip. I'll check when I get back on Thursday night and see if they work OK in my Z240 before I depart for California on Friday morning. If they don't work, I'm in big trouble
  14. I'm diving at Catalina Island in California on Saturday and will let you know. But don't rely on me. I see that Bruce has posted that he's been very happy with them in Indonesia. Ellen
  15. This is exactly what I thought I just posted (OK, so I thought the percentage was 80% instead of 85% ) but the post seems to have vanished into cyberspace. To answer the earlier question, I had never charged the Eneloops since I had recently purchased them and did not need them until this weekend when I tested them. Ellen
  16. I bought some Sanyo Eneloop batteries from Costco recently in preparation for my trip to Indonesia. Since I'll be diving in Catalina on Saturday and hadn't used my Inon Z240 for some time, I decided to test out my system to make sure everything still works. I put the Eneloop batteries in the strobe battery compartment and nothing happened. The strobe ready light did not go on and of course the strobe didn't fire when the shutter button was depressed. I was going into a minor panic thinking that the strobe didn't work. I also tested my second Inon Z240 (which I'd just purchased). The same thing happened. By this time, major worry had set in! Out of desperation, I put in some standard alkaline AA batteries (non rechargeables). Everything worked fine and I was in seventh heaven that my strobes were finally working The point I'm making is that I had thought the Sanyo Eneloops were supposed to retain their charge for a long time. Obviously, mine hadn't retained enough of a charge to allow my Inon Z240 to go to the ready mode and to fire. After this happened, I put the batteries into the charger that was provided. After an hour they were still charging (i.e. the green lights were still flashing on the charger). The next morning, the green lights were steady so I assume they were fully charged. I don't know if my experience with these batteries is a common one or not. I would hate for someone to go on a trip, take the batteries out of the box, so to speak, and expect them to work. Has anyone else experienced this with these batteries? Ellen
  17. Hi Hank, I have a Nikon D70S so I'll jump in here. 1. As to your question if either of the two lenses you have can be used effectively for underwater photography... I don't own either lens so I can't comment from experience but I will say this: although your Tamron lens is an excellent, fast lens I've heard great things about for topside use, it may not be the best lens to start out with for underwater use. Due to the DX factor, it ends up being a fairly long lens. The 105mm lens, which is more commonly used underwater, is not the easiest lens to use underwater. For that reason alone, I would suggest you wait until you're more experienced with other lenses before you use it underwater. 2. I would strongly suggest the 60mm lens as an excellent first macro lens. It's very easy to use and you can get great results pretty much from the beginning. For Wide Angle, I see that the 5510.10 Dome Port that Ikelite sells can be used for several different wide angle lenses, all of which are excellent. I own the 10.5 and the 16 Fisheye lenses and they are both excellent. Don't let Fisheye lenses scare you off. There are not usually any straight lines underwater, so the Fisheye lenses don't look too fishy when used underwater. I have heard excellent things about the Tokina 10-17 and was thinking of getting one myself. You can use the same dome port for the Tokina as you would use for the 10.5mm and 16mm. I'll also add that the Sigma 15mm lens would be another choice for wide angle shooting. When you are using either the 10.5mm lens and/or the Tokina 10-17, you are very close to your subject which goes a long way towards minimizing the amount of water between the lens and your subject. I don't own the Ikelite housing so don't have any experience there. Perhaps others can jump in with their input. Steve has provided you with a very useful Ikelite chart. Hope that helps. Feel free to ask away if you have further questions. Ellen
  18. Nice to see you over here, Judy! I have no doubt that you'll make as many fine contributions to www.wetpixel.com as you have made over the years at www.scubadiving.com. Cheers, Ellen
  19. Simon, Yes, those are the friends I am referring to in my post. They've made many posts about this trip on another scuba board. I did see Judy make a reference to Simon and wondered if it was you. I'll have to check with her to see if your "Most Handsome Cruise Director" statement is accurate Ellen
  20. I'll add to the excellent advice. If you're shooting in RAW with a Nikon camera (i.e. your D200) you should look into getting Capture NX. I've been using this software as my raw image editor and, although it does have its rough edges, I've been very impressed with its capabilities. Supposedly Capture NX is better for Nikon RAW images (NEF files) than some of the other raw image editors as it's designed expressively for Nikon RAW images whereas the other software is designed for the raw images of all cameras, not just Nikon. Anyway, you might want to check it out. It's great for NEF images and its U Point technology is impressive indeed. Enjoy your new camera! Ellen
  21. Spectacular shots! The Mandarinfish image was very well done. I'd also be interested to know what camera and lens you used (especially for the mandarinfish image) as the information didn't seem to be available on your flicker site. Thanks for sharing! Ellen
  22. Notice that I did say "if you are learning, I guess it makes sense to stay in the club" I tried to soften the blow
  23. Here's my take on the whole thing. I hear your frustration and I basically think you're wasting your time at that photography club. I'll share with you an experience I had recently. I was going to join a photo club similar to the one you're now in. My friend, who's basically a landscape photographer, warned me that the club would be a bunch of old guys getting together and judging photos and that a lot of the judging wouldn't make sense and wouldn't help me to learn and grow as a photographer. He suggested that I join some other photo groups that don't concentrate on judging images. He was completely 100% right. I went to the photo club and could see after a few meetings that I was wasting my time. Needless to say, I haven't been back. If I'd become a member of the club, I'd probably have plenty of stories like yours The club you're in doesn't appreciate or understand your uw images or the tremendous effort it takes to get the images. Now if you are learning, I guess it makes sense to stay in the club, but I'd probably ignore 99% of the judges comments and ratings. That's my two cents. Ellen
  24. Are you available for photo instruction in Bali? I'll be there in September and October. If you offer a short course, maybe we can work something out. Ellen PS Your job will be easy, I even shoot with a D70
  25. Hi Bonnie, That's a shame that NX isn't able to de-fish the images from your Tokina 10-17. I have both the 10.5 and the 16 and have used Capture NX to successfully de-fish a number of topside images taken with those lenses. I've thought about getting a Tokina 10-17 to add to my lens arsenal, but not sure if it would be necessary since I already own the 10.5 and the 16. I'd be curious to know how you're liking the Tokina. Good luck in your search for a successful de-fisher See you in about 2 1/2 weeks! Ellen
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