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Everything posted by ornate_wrasse

  1. You're off to a great start! Congrats on getting some fine images your first time out. Ellen
  2. I'll be diving Catalina for the first time in early June. I've never been diving in Southern California before and very much looking forward to it. I'll be renting a 7mm suit that comes with an integrated hood. I've dived in Puget Sound with typical temperatures about 46 degrees and I'm hoping it will seem like bathtub water in comparison Although I own a drysuit, I've never taken my camera underwater in the chilly waters of Puget Sound, so I decided to rent a wetsuit to keep task loading to a minimum until I'm comfortable with the drysuit AND the camera at the same time. Did you get any decent images when diving Catalina?
  3. Thanks, Bruce. That website looks like it'll be very handy for future trips I'll be taking.
  4. That is the less expensive one that doesn't use batteries. Here's the one that I bought: Balanzza I imagine both work about the same.
  5. I'm flying Singapore Airlines in September on my way to Bali. I know my Subal housing + ports that I take in my wheeled carry-on will be over the weight limit. Thank goodness I just bought a balanz scale for weighing my luggage at home before I head out to the airport.
  6. Just wanted to give everyone a heads up on my experience this past weekend purchasing trip insurance for my trip to Wakatobi, Bali & Lembeh this September. On Saturday, I entered my age, trip cost & destination and got a quote of a little over $300. On Sunday, when I was going to purchase the insurance, I entered the same information and got a quote of over $100 more. I called up CSA Travel Protection today to find out why the premium increased more than $100 in one day. I was told the reason for the increase in premium was that CSA had a new underwriter. To be fair, there were some additional benefits for the higher premium. However, I didn't want or need the additional benefits. The woman I spoke with did allow me to purchase the cheaper policy since I already had been given a quote, but apparently if you have not been given a quote already, you will have to pay the new rate. In the past, I have not purchased travel insurance for dive trips so this sudden increase was a big surprise to me. Perhaps it's common to have premium increases of this size, but just thought I'd alert you to the change. Ellen
  7. Reminds me of Monkey Boy Jones! Snoopy's fins and weight belt are so cute! I was looking through your galleries earlier today, thoroughly enjoying them. For me they are previews of coming attractions as I'll be there in September. I really like the green and orange one with the unpronouncable name and the Harlequin Shrimp. The Stargazer scares me I had some questions on the focal lengths of the lenses you were using, I'll ask later when I can remember what my questions were Right now, Snoopy is too much fun!
  8. Hi Scott, You just may be able to afford a Subal housing. I was able to purchase my Subal housing for the D70S at Reef Photo at a cost only slightly more than a brand new Ikelite. You might check with Ryan and see if he has any used housings for your camera. When I found out that I could purchase a Subal for a price similar to the Ikelite I jumped at the opportunity. Since I live in Portland, I would be willing to show you my Subal housing if you would like to see one close up. Hope that helps, Ellen
  9. OK, I'll be the Answer Woman today. We're staying at Scuba Seraya right after we arrive in Bali. To be truthful, if I didn't have it written down in a file in Text Edit on my MacBook Pro, I wouldn't know I'll attempt to answer your other photo-related questions, even though I was not the photographer. Usually, the way the background looks has to do with shutter speed. If using a higher shutter speed, the background will be darker or even black. If using a slower shutter speed, the background will be closer to blue. I'm guessing that the reason why the background was blurry on the pipefish shot is that the image was shot using a macro lens (probably a 105 or similar lens) with a very wide open aperture (e.g. 2.8) which resulted in a very shallow depth of field. Most likely only a inch or two (or less) in front and in back of the eye was in focus. He has, IMHO, effectively made certain the eye of the pipefish was in focus. He probably knew that the rest of it would not be in focus. If you look at the image, you will see that the portions of the pipefish that aren't close to the eye are not in focus. I agree, his images are nothing less than spectacular.
  10. Thanks for the tip! I just learned something new today Again, thanks for the tip! I had a real problem with the never-ending beachballs when in ViewNX. I clicked on "Open in CaptureNX" on the top menu bar and the beach ball kept spinning for several minutes. . I finally had to use Force Quit and thankfully the never-ending beachball finally disappeared. Finally, I discovered something quite accidentally a few weeks ago. I had become very annoyed at how the Delete button operates on a Mac. When I click on fn (I think it stands for function) at the lower left hand side of the keyboard and Delete at the same time, it operates like the Delete key in Windows. After that I was a very happy camper It's amazing how the little stuff that you think wouldn't bother you can make such a difference! Ellen
  11. Thank you to you and all the others who contributed to this thread and who sent their input via PM. It seems like it's most definitely a way to go. I will be investigating whether it's better to order direct from Yuko or have my nephew purchase it in Japan and then ship it to me. Glad you got your strobe back so quickly. I think the distance to the U.S. West Coast (where I live) is further than from Japan to where you live, but hopefully I would receive it just as quickly as you did. Ellen
  12. We previously announced there was an opening for a single female. However, that opening is NOW AVAILABLE FOR A COUPLE! The price for 10 days at Wakatobi is currently advertised on their web site for between $3,080 and $4,280 depending on your lodging option. Because this trip was arranged in 2007, the price will be considerably less for you. It will be approximately $2,600. The group discount is being shared and no one person profits from it. This trip will depart Bali on 9/29/08 and is for 10 days. It's with a fun group of underwater photographers. At least one person who posts here on Wetpixel has been offered the spots and would join the group except for prior commitments. I'll be happy to answer any inquires you have. I hope you can join us! Ellen
  13. Linda, Is that the case even if the Z240 is purchased from Japan? Ellen
  14. Do you have Yuzo's contact information? Thanks. Ellen
  15. Your image tells an interesting story when looking at it. Who would have thought when you took the picture many moons ago.... What a pleasant surprise to get a blue ribbon for it! Congrats! And may you do well in future competitions as well.
  16. Hi Alex, I just took a flight on Alaskan Airlines a few weeks ago from Calfornia to Portland. The flight attendants were quite pleasant and were in sharp contrast to the flight attendants on the United Airlines flight I had just been on. The United flight attendant was quite b**chy and *yelled* at me for putting the wheels of the trolley (I use a Kata carryon with the removable trolley wheels which I purchased from Reef Photo and which was recommended by Ryan) in the overhead. Actually, she announced on the loudspeaker before flight departure "Will the passenger who put the wheels in the overhead please press their call button" and proceeded to chew me out for the heinous deed. On the Alaska flight immediately following the United flight, I specifically asked the attendant if it was OK to put the trolley wheels in the overhead. With a very pleasant smile, he explained to me how I should put it in the overhead to avoid any problems. They have very convenient schedules going up and down the West Coast from the Pacific Northwest to several airports in California. I will be taking them again this June when flying from Portland to John Wayne airport when I'll be diving Catalina Island. I don't know if you actually have to be in San Diego or not, but the John Wayne Airport (in Long Beach) is a great airport to fly into. It's small and doesn't have the awful congestion and crowds that Los Angeles does. I was able to go directly from the United flight to the Alaskan flight in about two minute walk at the John Wayne airport. I can't comment on the baggage, as mine actually travelled on an earlier United flight, a long story that I won't go into. I wouldn't hesitate to use them as my airline carrier. Hope that helps, Ellen
  17. That looks like a great price for the type 2. Thanks for the link. Do you know if they ship to the U.S. at that price? The other question is the warranty and if it will be honored here in the US.
  18. Are there any disadvantages of buying the Inon Z240 in Japan? Other than, of course, saving $200 over the cost to buy one here. My nephew lives in Japan and would be willing to purchase it and send it to me. No problem with the manual being in Japanese, as I already have one Z240 and have the English manual. I believe the one he saw on a website was not the newer version that was discussed earlier on this forum. If there are good reasons to NOT purchase this strobe in Japan, I'll certainly pay more $$$ to avoid potential problems down the road. But if not, I thought it would be a great way to save money. Thanks. Ellen
  19. Don't know if this will specifically address your question, but here's an interesting fact sheet on the eneloop batteries and may be helpful: Facts About Eneloop Batteries Ellen
  20. That's a good question. As far as the Eneloop batteries go, here's a tip for where to purchase them cheaply. I just recently found out about this quite accidentally while shopping at COSTCO. They have a set consisting of 1 eneloop Battery Charger, 8 AA eneloop Batteries, 4 AAA eneloop batteries and 2 each C and D adapters. All of this comes in a convenient carrying case and it cost just a little more than $25. Also, it did say "worldwide voltage" on the package leading me to think I could use them while traveling outside the U.S.
  21. Hi Scott, I'll be there for a Saturday dive out to Catalina on the boat The Great Escape. It's my "warm-up" for my trip to Indonesia in September. I've heard very good things about Pinnacle wetsuits, so I imagine their gloves are top quality, too. Thanks for your input. BTW, I took a look at your gallery. You've got some fine images in there. I like how you group them into Macro, Wide Angle, Fish Portraits, etc. There was especially nice work on the Macro shots! Ellen
  22. Hi Jim, Do you use these gloves when shooting with your Olympus camera? 'Course, from what I've seen, most of your diving lately has been in warm water, like in Indonesia Do you have a link where I could buy these gloves? Thanx, Ellen
  23. Most of the time I used drygloves when diivng in Puget Sound so my hands weren't even wet at all. However, I've never dived with a camera before when diving in cold water. So it's hard to compare. Probably not as tough as you I like your suggestion of using 3mm gloves with the fingertips cut off and using wetsuit glue to seal the seams. I don't care what they look like as long as they're functional. I think it would be very hard to work with the 5mil gloves based on what you and others are saying. Thanks all for your very helpful responses. Ellen
  24. Hi all, I'll be diving in Southern California for the very first time in early June, Catalina Island to be exact. All my diving with my rig (D70S in Subal Housing) has been in warm, tropical waters. I certainly haven't needed or used gloves for warm water diving. I also have dived Puget Sound (water temperatures in the high 40's) but have never dived with a camera in cold water before. I did see some gloves that cover part of your hand leaving the fingers free that looked like they were marketed for uw photogs in colder water, but I don't know if that'll be enough. My question is: What kind of gloves (thickness, etc) work well for uw photogs in Southern California in June? Thank you! Ellen
  25. Never fear, Drew. I've heard that good things come to all who are patient.... Isn't that about the same as waiting for an important piece of uw photog equipment to be returned from the shop just before an important trip?
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