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Everything posted by ornate_wrasse

  1. I am concerned that you may end up being unhappy with this camera in the long run. I think it all boils down to to whether you want to grow in uw photography. The camera may be perfectly fine for your topside needs, but will it give you the tools and advantages you need to succeed in getting the uw photos you want? That is the question and only you can decide. You may not see raw as important now, but after our trip this fall, you may wish you had a usable raw function that didn't take forever and a day to use. Ten seconds, if a true estimate of the time to shoot each raw image, is a long time to wait. Your shots ~may~ not be perfect out of the camera and you ~may~ wish you had the capability to improve them more than you can when shooting jpg images. And I'm not sure how Photoshop converting a jpg image into a raw image is going to help. Maybe I'm wrong here, but if you lose important data by doing this, you will have given up a lot of flexibility that shooting raw offers. All this is food for thought. Who ever said making uw and topside photography decisions was easy when it comes time to purchase new equipment?
  2. Bravo! You've done a great job in describing what makes a great photograph. This should be very helpful to lots of uw photographers. Thanks for doing this! Ellen
  3. There are many dive ops in Coz. Lots are cattle boats, Here's one operator I've used that's a cut above the rest: Liquid Blue Divers Personal service and small boats. They will take good care of you. Tell Michaela I sent you. The other dive op I'd recommend is: Blue XT Sea Diving Lots of personal service here too. I've wanted to dive with Blue XT Sea but haven't been able due to the fact they were fully booked when I went. Tell Christi I sent you. She's a first class person. I haven't been to Belize so can't help you there, but I've been to Coz three times and still want to go back. Coz also holds a special place in my heart as it was there that I used an uw camera for the first time (a rented MX5). THAT'S when I fell in love with uw photography If you have any other questions, just holler and I'll do my best to answer. Ellen
  4. Cozumel is one of the best places to dive, even considering the travel time for a West Coaster like myself. Agree with you 100% about the whole area. Have not been to Tulum, but when I went a few years ago managed to do Chichen Itza. Stayed one night at Hacienda Chichen and avoided the hordes of crowds going by bus. Although my first choice is NOT an all inclusive in Cozumel, I stayed at an AI (Scuba Club Cozumel) because the UW Photo Workshop was held there. I stayed at Casa Mexicana a few years ago and would go back there again in a heartbeat. Excellent location, excellent breakfast buffet and quiet, too, even though it's close to town. Coz is also, of course, excellent for underwater photography
  5. It's not a direct flight, but I'll throw out a suggestion for you, especially since you're on the West Coast. I used Mexicana Airlines to fly to Cozumel last summer. Cozumel is inexpensive, has warm water with great viz, great diving, lots of WA opportunities and great food. I flew south from Portland to Guadalajara, Mexico City and then to Cozumel. Flying on Mexicana, you get the higher baggage allowance (it was 70 lbs per checked bag as I recall) and free food. In Cozumel, you have your choice of low budget all the way up to high budget acccomodations. It's not Florida, but it sure has great diving and lots of photo opportunities. Ellen
  6. Here is a portion of the text from Ground Rules at the Image Improvement Center: "Hello, all. In an effort to foster more constructive criticism, we've created the Image Improvement Center, which will be more actively moderated than the Photo Showcase is" It was originally posted in February 2004, nearly four years ago. If the Image Improvement Center isn't meeting goals for which it was set up, perhaps it's time to revisit the ground rules or just remove it entirely. If lots of other folks as well as Simon are staying away, perhaps some improvements need to be made. And, as far as that dress goes....I guess it's just the image of the hairy chest underneath that dress that attracted my attention Cheers, Ellen
  7. 1. I am using a Nikon-Subal-Inon setup. When in Cozumel last summer, I was able to demo the Inon Z240 and I ended up purchasing the strobe. I was very pleased with this strobe. 2 I don't yet own two Z240 strobes. However, for most of my Cozumel shots using my 10.5 FE lens, I used both the Z240 and either my old SS200 or my old SB105, so it's hard to answer your question. I am planning to buy another Z240. What the results will be when using two Z240s with my 10.5, I'm not sure. I will probably know the answer when I go on my next big trip this fall. 3. I haven't had to use their service yet. However, when in Cozumel, I was on the same boat with both Steve Philbrook and his wife. Steve was great about answering all my questions. After I got home and had a chance to read the manual, I emailed Steve's wife with some additional questions I had and she promptly answered my questions. That probably doesn't qualify as service, but they were responsive. 4. I don't use these products. Hope I've been of some help :-) Ellen
  8. 'Scuse me for not remembering it was you who said it. I hope I'm forgiven I got brave and posted advice on the photo in question! I felt he richly deserved the feedback he was requesting. After all, he was brave enough to post the image. I didn't have the courage to post any images until I'd been here a long time. As for being a moderator here on Wetpixel, I'll leave that one up to the decision makers and, of course, if there is an opening. Cheers, Ellen
  9. First of all, you have a great housing. As you can see, I have a Subal housing, too. Second, I will be in Wakatobi in October so I'm very interested in images taken there. I see the photo as being too busy. It needs, IMHO, a center area of main focus. I would have liked to see the center part of the photo, the part that's well lit, be the main focus of the photo without all the other distracting parts of the reef. I think by cropping the photo, it will come across as being more interesting to the viewer. I echo the comments made about acquiring another strobe (if you don't already have a second strobe) and using two strobes when you shoot your images. Overall, a nice image. Thanks for sharing. Ellen
  10. You have just given me an enormous boost of confidence in my abilities as an uw photographer. The kind words you said about the photos in my gallery really mean a lot to me, especially coming from such an accomplished and experienced uw photographer as yourself. I look at the photos of others and realize I have a long, long way to go to be where I would like to be. I will go ahead and add my thoughts to the photo posted in the Image Improvement forum. There was some talk earlier of having some of the newer less experienced folks becoming moderators. I don't know if I would even be remotely qualified for such a task, but I'm interested in learning more about what it takes to become a moderator. But I really don't know if the remark was made in jest or not. Thanks, Ellen
  11. OK, I'll add my two cents to this thread. I think one of the most important things is to feel welcomed. A new poster to wetpixel does not like to feel ignored. One of the things my friend mentioned to me, although not stressed in her post here, is that she posted a photo for critique. Apparently no one replied to her request so she was somewhat put off by wetpixel. I'm glad she's returned to posting on wetpixel, but you can see where I'm going with this. As I post this, I see no replies to edpdiver who has titled their post Newbie Entry in the Image Improvement Center. I can't see a single response to the post and it appears it has been there for about 24 hours! Couldn't one of the moderators respond to edpdiver's post? If edpdiver doesn't get a response, s/he may well be turned off like my friend. I have been toying with the idea of responding and giving my feedback, but I'm certainly no pro and am far less experienced than many posters here. I like the idea that was mentioned before of using blogs. For example, "What camera should I buy?" etc etc etc My two cents for the day, Ellen
  12. Hi James, I have been seeing lots of recommendations for the Sigma 15mm FE lens. I recently bought a Nikon 16mm FE lens. I'm wondering if the Nikon can also be recommended for similar shots and if the two lenses (Sigma 15mm and Nikon 16mm) are comparable for uw WA shots. Thanks. Ellen
  13. Geez, I should've picked a descriptive name like yours instead of the same "boring" name I use on the other board I post on regularly. Guess I wasn't too creative when I first came to Wetpixel. OTOH, maybe I'll just put all my energies into improving my uw photo skills. I think I'll sign up for one of Mike and Simon's courses. After all I hearing here, that would be FUN. Not sure how much I'd learn though. jk Ellen
  14. [quote name='Nakedwithoutcamera' date='Jan 23 2008, 10:32 AM' post='155331' Now, what kind of camera should I buy? Bwa haa haaa Well, well, look who's posted on Wetpixel You've actually saved me a lot of trouble. I was going to post the responses you sent me when you answered the PM I sent you, but now I see you've beat me to it and have actually posted those responses yourself Now, who can say you haven't received a warm welcome? And, BTW, it's warmer than the welcome I received when I first started posting here I see James agrees with me in recommending the G9. But you have lots of other choices. Your new camera will probably be so darn good that I'll probably ask to borrow it on our trip this fall After all, my D70S is getting kind of ancient Good to see you here....oh, and I extend to you a very warm welcome! Ellen
  15. Mike, I'm really glad you've asked those questions. Her answers will perhaps give some insight as to why some folks are intimidated when first coming to Wetpixel. At the very least, hearing what she has to say should prove helpful. I will email her and see what she has to say, how's that? She will be coming on the trip this fall to Bali, Wakatobi and Lembeh, so if you'll be in Bali at the same time, you'll have a chance to meet her and can discuss the reasons why she was intimidated in person with her. As for myself, I felt very intimidated when I first came here, which wasn't too terribly long ago. Everyone was talking about concepts, gear and destinations that were so far removed from my comfort zone that I felt I'd be laughed at with my questions. I will get back here as soon as I hear from my friend and will post what she has to say. Ellen
  16. In my very best D. Schwartz imitation: "I did see the film "The Pink Panther". I personally know the Director of the movie as well as all of the actors and actresses in it, too. In fact, I even went to high school with one of the actors in the movie. We did a skit where we were dressed in pink. The principal of the school even wrote a pink book. I read each and every single word of the book, and I'd be happy to paraphrase it for you. My girlfriend bought me a copy of it, too. All of this goes to show you that I'm darn good at taking pink underwater photographs with my Medium Pink Format camera." I don't care that Eric banished me from this pink forum. I'm back! Dan Schwartz Hope y'all enjoyed that
  17. A friend of mine is shopping for a new camera to replace the one that flooded on her first dive of a trip. I suggested she visit Wetpixel and stressed that it offered a Beginner Forum. Her reply to me was that she felt intimitated when she visited Wetpixel. I can see by the above post that my friend is not the only uw photographer that feels that way. Although nasarev later changed her mind and will be posting her images, I'm wondering how many other aspiring uw photographers are intimidated by the very experienced posters. I'm wondering what could be done to make these folks feel more welcomed. At this point, I don't have any answers. Ellen
  18. That is indeed good to know! Maybe I'll be lucky and my flight experience will be as good as yours obviously was. I took the liberty of visiting your web site where I read all about your experiences diving the Lembeh Strait. Great images and great commentary. Ellen
  19. Oh No! I was just ticketed on Friday for my up and coming flight on Garuda When I was growing up, we used to call Allegheny Airlines "Agony Airlines". Sounds like this is exactly what these Indonesian airlines should be called
  20. In my experience, the underwater photography course offered by PADI was virtually a complete waste of my time and money. I admit that I took it years ago in the pre-digital age when I was shooting with my Nikonos V film camera, but the instructor didn't teach me much of anything about uw photography. It seemed to me it was just a series of exercises for me to do. In the end, I felt like he was just taking my money, sad to say. I did get a lot out of a workshop I attended last year in Cozumel with other uw photographers and a qualified instructor. As far as books go, I highly recommend the Martin Edge book that several have mentioned. I got it out of the library, then liked it so much that I requested it as a Christmas present so I could refer to it again and again. Oh, and I received it as a Christmas present Another book I picked up while shopping for something else at the local bookstore: "The Essential Underwater Photography Manual" by Denise and Larry Tackett. I did not like this book nearly as much as Martin Edge's book and found it to be quite a bit more basic, but still found it somewhat helpful. Ellen
  21. Hi Jim, I'm planning on staying at the transit hotel when I'm in Singapore on the way to Bali. My flight arrives at the ungodly hour of 1 AM and I depart the next morning at about 9 AM. So, it'll be a six hour block of time for me. Thanks for the tip on checking my bags all the way to SFO when I board in Manado. I'll see if that's possible. Cheers, Ellen
  22. Partly as a result of seeing ScubaSi's post about purchasing a photo vest at a photo shop in Sim Lin Centre, I'm on the verge of making a decision to spend an extra day in Singapore. Ken at Ultimate Dive Travel tells me there is a program called Singapore Stopover which makes it easy for the traveller to spend extra time in Singapore (free travel from airport to hotel and return). There is a hotel called Allson and it's apparently a 10 minute walk from Sim Lin Centre. I have two questions: 1) Would it be a good idea to spend a day in Singapore seeing the sights, shopping, etc? 2) What are the places that you recommend that I spend my time at? As it turns out, I have to spend one night in Singapore anyway. My flight from Manado arrives in Singapore at 5:05 PM and departs for San Francisco the following morning at 9:15 AM. If I didn't add on an extra night in Singapore, I was told there's not really enough time to see Singapore. Any thoughts? Thanks! Ellen
  23. I'm flying on Garuda Airlines from Bali to Manado (the plane stops at Makassar on the way) this October. Hope there are no horror stories flying this airline Ellen
  24. Simon, Thank you so much! I've been wanting a photo vest, but didn't really want to pay big $$$. This will be perfect. I'll contact them to see if they are still have the vest. Ellen
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