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Everything posted by RogerC

  1. put me in the "Never underwater, never in studio, always outside" camp. Go outside and try a good UV filter. Take a picture of a distant horizon. They do cut haze. I'm a big fan of filters of many colors besides UV and polarizer, it's an easy way to get a good effect. people who say they can do anything in photoshop, why do they still have cameras?
  2. Only one of the 4 screw holes is bad? it may still be OK. I try to handle my rig by the strobe arm, so the plastic stuff only has to take the weight and torque of the camera itself. If you hold onto the camera, the strobe and arm can put a lot of torque into that mount.
  3. I carry on my rig. I use a large soft cooler from wetpixel sponsor underwater photo-tech, the larger of their two bags. http://www.uwphoto.com/shop/customer/produ...4&cat=18&page=1 it fits well in the overhead and has been up there on at least a half dozen trips, no problem. It helps, I think, that it has the UW camera silkscreen on the side, I put that side up on the x ray belt. Even the TSA guys can understand a picture of a camera. It also makes a great rinse tank and I use it to carry my assembled rig on every size boat. On my last trip, it held an Ike housing for an oly E1, with tray and 8" dome on. Plus a 6" dome on the side, 2 Ike DS125 strobes, my sync cables, my ike EV sensors, and my ULCS arms, 12" and 16" floatation arms. My whole rig, and it is a pretty large system, though there are larger. I padded it with some optech wraps and some t-shirts, and had room left for some small trinkets and an extcernal hard drive, cirtical chargers, etc. Camera and lenses went into my smaller under-seat bag.
  4. yes. I read that it's faster for G4's, too. I think I read that lightroom is universal binary, too.
  5. And some sigma lenses for the four thirds system, too.
  6. Claude, Herb, the link titles and the bottom block of text are all from Chris Bangs. His rig always fascinated me and I've saved a couple clips on it and links to it, just thought I'd paste them in here. THe 8 or 9:1 calculation is his, the quote on lenses is his. Herb, doesn't focal length matter in one parameter: you can stay farther away form the subject with a longer lens to get that same magnification of DOF, or am I missing something?
  7. Rand, I do see what you're saying, but I'm not sure how to say it any better. Fish don't have pixels, but what then? The sterile technical term might be quantization. My guess is it's the scales on the fish, individual chunks of almost dichroic reflectivity. Well, ok, that's two days in a row I've posted an extremely left-brained reply.
  8. I got aperture at christmas, and I'm still learning to use it. The concept of when I am dealing with (or moving or deleting) a master file and when I am dealing with a version has been tough for me. But, I think, aperture is saving me a lot of time, even on my old 17" powerbook (1.33ghv g4). It does bog down and spin at times, but it still saves me time overall. I do tend to take a lot of pictures of a good supject, and its way of stacking a series and letting you pick a compare image and letting you use it to find your one select, it really works for me. I also really love the backup vaults. Really really. My laptop died for a couple days on my last trip, flaky power on the boat, I think, but I was totally backed up when it died, thanks to aperture. I lost no sleep. On a trip, I do very minimal culling. I just don't spend the time on it. On my last trip, I was shooting a couple hundred shots a day, 5mp raw images, 4 or 5 gigs a day, deleting almost nothing. Really only images that were completely dark or obviously out of focus. I'm on vacation, I'd rather be in the water, napping, or eating, or even interacting with other humans on the trip. And with my laptop dead for a few days, I didn't even manage to do that much culling, I just copied them off onto a hard drive using my wife's laptop and kept shooting. So I came home with, I think, around 30 GB of files. I often have 10 or 20 shots of the same subject, and I find it very slow to pick the best single shot. That's why I wait until I get home to do my selecting. They typically aren't experiments, they typically have all the same exposure. I'm looking for the one with just the righ composition, depth of field, and gesture. I complely agree with you that I'm going to end up with just a gig or two, but the way I shoot, the way I take time over my selects, and the way I fill my time on vacations, it just takes longer for me. Different strokes....
  9. Is it fair to run those two calculations at the same distance? isn't the nikon more like a 150mm on the cropped sensor, so to make it apples to apples, I'd change the distance or change the lens, just for the calculation. But the point really is, yeah, the nikon has less depth of field, but it has more power, and power matters. The nikon is not giving up something and getting nothing in return. And even if it was, some people are going to like shallow depth of field. I really like it on the images with the polyps out. I'm having trouble with the quoting, but people have done this with film, I think Chris Bangs has. His macro canon needs a weight belt, not a bouyancy collar. Chris Bangs' rig Chris Bangs' anemone fish eggs at 8or9:1 Chris Bangs gallery an old description of his rigs I saved: Cameras used, Fuji -S2 ,Nikon F-5,N-90,or 8008 Aquatica housings, Ikelite was used with the N-90 for up to 5:1 custom ports built using multiple extensions Lens - Nikon Macro lens 105 mm or 200 mm Kenko PRO 300 teleconveters ( 1.4x/2x/3x. single or stacked ) Multi element diopters as required for magnification Note: your images can only be as good as the glass you use on the camera, the camera itself is not nearly as critical! Strobes, Dual Ike 50, or Nikon SB-105 ( full manual mode )
  10. Ikelite does, but you may need to also get converters that go from Ikelite back to Nikon. Or contact them directly about a custom cable.
  11. We ran into people who had been on the thorfin, and saw the trukstop and have friends who stayed there a few years ago. People were happy with both. Unlike the Odyssey, you get to choose (democratically) where the skiffs will take you every day. You might want to take a soft cooler to take care of your own camera, I don't know what the skiffs will have, and I like protecting my own gear in my own bag, just in case, I want to be responsible for my own floods and damage. I heard that the food at the trukstop was good, but we were very happy with the food at the blue lagoon (we stayed there on either end of the odyssey trip. The odyssey may be the best accomodations in truk, it has been rodales best livaboard of the year a few times, it's about as good as a boat can get. The blue lagoon hotel is probably second best room in truk, thorfin and truk stop probably tied for third. Haven't been to those two myself, so I can't really say. I only say this in case the thorfin or truk stop turn out to be unacceptable (unlikely) so you have the blue lagoon as a backup option. I'd be happy to go with you to show you around if you need help. carry your bags, whatever. Water was a steady 84. I was in long enough to need a 1mm henderson suit and a polartec skull cap. Some around me wore 3mm, some wore shorts. if you are doing the island hopper, sit on the right side, better island views this time of year. if you buy any wood carvings, don't buy the ones with the shark teeth in them, I think the sharks should keep them (another diver in the airport said, "I think they just find the teeth"). Yeah. Same place they find the fins. See if either operation uses moorings or grappling hooks. At least one is using hooks. eat all the fruit you can, it's excellent. The tangerines look green but are great. The little bananas are like candy, you will never have a banana that good again. I am trying to find the species (apple banana?), hope they will grow in my backyard. Everywhere we went, the odyssey, the other hotels, they had a stalk of the bananas hanging. If they don't have a stalk on the thorfin, give somebody the money to get a stalk when they go into town. All the stores have them hanging in front. Boy, I miss them.
  12. Drift gillnets and longlines will be allowed back into California waters under a proposal to be considered at the March 2006 meeting of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council. For more information and how to contact the PFMC with your opinion, see the link below: http://seaturtles.org/actionalertdetails.c...tionAlertID=107 from that site: As a result of the efforts of the Sea Turtle Restoration Project and the Center for Biological Diversity, since 2001, areas north of Point Conception to an intersect with the Oregon coast and out beyond the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to 129° West longitude have been closed to drift-gillnet fishing from August 15th through November 15th in order to protect leatherback sea turtles which seasonally inhabit these waters. Similarly, pelagic longline fishing has been banned within 200 miles of the California coast for well over a decade, and in March 2004 this ban was extended to the entire West Coast EEZ for all pelagic longlining, and to the high seas beyond the EEZ for West Coast-based shallow-set pelagic longlining. The proposals under consideration by the PFMC would allow drift-gillnets back into the seasonally closed area when leatherbacks are present, as well as allow an “exempted†longline fishery in the EEZ off California. While the PFMC's decision must still be reviewed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service over the coming months, public support for these conservation measures can help influence the final decision. These two successful proven conservation measures, which protect endangered and threatened sea turtles, seabirds, marine mammals as well as sharks and other overexploited fish species, are urgently needed. Your support for these conservation measures is crucial to keeping them in place and protecting marine wildlife injured and killed by these destructive fishing practices. Sample letter from that site below. Writing your own letter is always better, but a form letter is better than nothing. February 6, 2006 Mr. Donald McIsaac Executive Director, Pacific Fishery Management Council 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 200 Portland, OR 97220-1384 1-866-806-7204 (phone) (503) 820-2299 (fax) Dear Mr. McIsaac: I am extremely concerned about two decisions the Pacific Fisheries Management Council will be making at its March 5-10, 2006 meeting. The Council will take a final vote on two applications for fishing permits that will undermine conservation measures protecting the critically endangered leatherback sea turtle as well as seabirds, marine mammals and sharks and other fish by allowing drift-gillnets and longlines to be used again in a critically important protected area along the California and Oregon coastline. I am writing to urge you to 1) continue the ban on longline fishing and to 2) maintain existing drift gillnet fishery time area closures along the West Coast. These two successful conservation measures protect endangered and threatened sea turtles, seabirds, sharks, marine mammals and fish. These two effective conservation measures were originally put into place to protect the Pacific leatherback sea turtle. The leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is at the top of the list of species being driven to the brink of extinction in the Pacific by the global expansion of industrial fishing. The Pacific leatherback turtle’s nesting population has plummeted from 91,000 in 1980 to fewer than 5,000 in 2002. Leatherback sea turtle populations are in decline throughout their range. Leatherback sea turtles are listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and critically endangered by the World Conservation Union on the IUCN red list of threatened species. Leading scientists warn that unless immediate and significant steps are taken, the leatherback sea turtle, which has swum the oceans since the time of the dinosaurs 100 million years ago, will soon become extinct. Moreover, the plight of the leatherback sea turtle, the world’s largest and most wide-ranging sea turtle, may foreshadow a host of extinction events that may significantly alter the oceans’ ecosystem functions. These drift-gillnet closures have provided a successful working balance between the interests of fishers and the urgent need to protect the critically endangered leatherback sea turtle which is on the threshold of extinction. During the past three years of these closures, this fishery, which targets swordfish, tuna and shark with drift-gillnet gear, had no recorded takes of critically endangered leatherback sea turtles. Such successful time/area closures, which eliminate the overlap of longline and drift gillnet fishing gear with the presence of leatherback sea turtles, should serve as a successful model that should be replicated elsewhere in the Pacific where the leatherback is at the greatest risk of extinction. Allowing drift gillnets back into these areas will result in increasing injury and mortality to threatened and endangered wildlife as well as valuable recreational species. Since 2002, 64 dolphins, whales, seals and sea lions have been killed by the drift gillnet fishery. Additionally, seabirds including Northern fulmars and Cassin's auklet have been injured or killed. Injuries and killings of these species are in violation of numerous US laws including the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. One of the misconceptions perpetuated by permit applicant, the Vermont based Federation of Independent Seafood Harvesters, is that "the DGN fishery is now in serious decline because of that time/area closure." (Draft Exempted Fishing Permit Application, October 6, 2005, PFMC Briefing Book, Exhibit J.3, Attachment 2, November 2005) The facts do not support this accusation. Rather, the decline in both the number of vessels and the ex-vessel value of the catch actually began in 1994—long before the time and area closures were implemented. From 1994-2000, the number of vessels had already declined from 138 to 78 and the ex-vessel value of the catch also declined from $6.6 m to $4 m. (Status of the U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species Through 2004: Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation, PFMC, 2005 HMS SAFE, October 2005, p. 12) The proposed exemption would allow as many as two thirds of the remaining 36 vessels in the apparently unprofitable drift gillnet fishery into the closed areas. Last year, 1,007 scientists from 97 countries and 281 non-governmental organizations from 62 countries delivered a letter to the United Nations urging it to implement a moratorium on harmful gillnet and longline fishing in the Pacific. The current restrictions on the longline and gillnet fisheries off California and Oregon are a model conservation measure in the spirit of this statement that should be emulated not abandoned. The ban and time and area closures both demonstrate that the US is complying with not only the UN but also best scientific practices to protect our marine resources. I urge you, as the Executive Director of the Pacific Fishery Management Council, to: • Identify other measures such as capacity buy-outs that can help those who wish the leave the fishery do so without having to eliminate or weaken effective conservation measures. • Maintain the current ban on all pelagic longline fishing within the West Coast U.S. EEZ and on shallow-set or swordfish longlining on the high seas beyond the U.S. EEZ. • Maintain the current time/area closures that prohibit the deployment of drift-gillnet fishing gear in areas off the California and Oregon coasts when leatherback sea turtles likely to be inhabiting these waters. Sincerely,
  13. long article on a day with the E330: day with the E-330
  14. If they are anything like the scene modes on my wife's little stylus (which has pretty much all the same scene modes), UW macro puts the lens in macro mode and zoomed, strobe on. UW wide is lens wide, strobe off. There may also be a color shift or white balance shift to punch up reds, but I haven't done enough testing to figure that out. I'd skip it and shoot manual, even manual/raw, particularly if you have an external strobe. But I have to say, with the little toy styluses which don't have manual modes, those scene modes are great. "P" does a lousy job of, say, an evening portrait with a sunset background, but if you go to the sunset mode, or the candlight portrait mode, or the night portrait mode, Wow, it's really nice, well exposed sunset with a bit of fill flash. Great in a camera without Manual mode, in a newbie's hands, and probably costs Oly nothing to add to a camera like the 330, even though it's much less necessary.
  15. There is definitely a water temp range that calls for a 7mm and not a drysuit, IMO. I dislike body glove since they moved production from california to offshore; I think that almost every suit they make will need at least one seam repair (free, but a pain) and the quality of their neoprene isn't great. It's tough, but gets stiff and loses warmth, probably the opposite end of the scale from the stretchy/fluffy neoprene that's so great when new but gets thin and torn with time. My wife has a 3mm bare that really impresses me. It has many panels in it and she says it's really comfortable. I'd definitely try a bare if you're buying off the rack. Look for stuff with a lot of panels, especially if it's not the stretchy neoprene. Another knock against body glove, their suits don't have many panels, they are really basic cuts. Custom is, of course, a good way to go, not just for cut but also so you get the neoprene you want. Aquaflite has some tough, thick stuff that could be 10mm, I can't remember, that a lot of serious SoCal lobster hunters wear. You can also go skin-in, like a freediver wears, that's warmer and takes a spray bottle of conditioner to put on. There is also something to be said for buying a cheap suit off the rack frequently. A new, soft, fluffy coat of neoprene is really nice.
  16. We're just back from a couple weeks of travel: a week in Chuuk on the Odyssey, a few days in Pohnpei at the Village Hotel, and a final weekend in Honolulu at the Hawaii Water Sports Expo (for my wife's beads, http://www.JujeeBeads.com). A longer trip report with pictures will follow, but I wanted to write something now, since I know at least one other guy out there is on the way to Pohnpei. Sorry, as well, to be cross posting this if you've seen it elsewhere, but I got help from many forums and wanted to pay all back equally. Plus I know that at least one guy from this forum is headed to Pohnpei soon and others were interested. Chuuk and the Odyssey: The Good: More like, the Outstanding. The diving was beyond our expectations, the boat was excellent, the crew was a lot of fun. Midweek, my wife was talking about when we should book the boat again. The vis was good, the wrecks were great, sea life was great from large to small, from jacks, sharks, eagle rays to nudibranchs. The Bad: Nothing. The Ugly: there are still signs of dynamite fishing, and other dive operations aren't using moorings, the damage to the wrecks is obvious and ongoing. Dynamite fishing is one thing, there are lots of locals not benefitting from tourist money and they have to eat, but it's really a shame to see dive boats from the other operators pulling parts off the Fujikawa Maru with grappling hooks. Yes, I have pictures of it. Pohnpei and the Village Hotel: The Good: Again, Outstanding. It's a beautiful island, with seemingly good infrastructure, it seemed friendly and safe. The Village Hotel is beautiful, the food was excellent. They brought in a fresh tuna every day, I had tuna for breakfast lunch and dinner. Diving was excellent: I've never seen so much fragile, branching hard coral, clearly, diver pressure is low. We did see mantas, and also wonderful wide angle scenics, and even lots of nudibranchs. Sharks, too. The Bad: Nothing. The Ugly: some con artist tricked the Pohnpei Airport into buying luggage carts that only hold one bag and then tip over. Skip them. Carry your bags, no matter how heavy they are. An airport is where a country makes its first impression, Pohnpei's is clean and likable, on the water, with a great view of Sokehs Rock. I was fully prepared to like the island from the outset. But then your luggage takes a dive, your camera bag goes rolling, and you think, ah, the governor's idiot nephew must work here.... The Be-Aware-Of: the Village's cabins are the real deal, real thatched roof bungalows. We loved it, but I'm not sure my Mom would last long before heading for the Marriott. Also, diving is out of small boats, as in many operations. If you have a camera, bring a soft cooler or something to keep it in, there isn't a camera table and rinse tank. The diving day is relaxed, with a start at around 9:30, rides of varying lengths, a relaxed lunch with some snorkeling... a day with only 2 dives can take until 3 or 4PM. Everyone was quite accommodating, though, and I imagine a schedule could be worked out that would give you an earlier start and a shorter day, with time for 4 dives or an afternoon trip to town, maybe a day spent on the closer reefs. Don't skip the snorkeling or lunch, though. Both are excellent. My favorite lunch was the tuna sandwich, a fresh tuna steak on great bread with so much mayo that you made your own fresh tuna salad as you ate it; the bento box (more like a bento bag) was also great: tuna, rice, a hardboiled egg, some portugese sausage in a banana leaf. Honolulu/Waikiki and the Hawaii Water Sports Expo The Good: decent water pressure in the shower at the Ala Moana Hotel. The Bad: The Expo Show Floor was quieter than our hotel room. I'd put attendance in the low hundreds, a few percent of the promoter's estimated 15,000. Apologists made excuses for the promoter and his first attempt, but I won't, it just cost us us too much in time and money, and the gap between his estimates and actual attendance was much, much, much too vast. Those who pulled out were much smarter than us. We should have realized that a population as small as Oahu's could not support an expo worth attending. We should have pulled out when we realized the promoter had scheduled it for superbowl weekend. We should have gone to the beach, rather than the show, when we saw the lack of signage and traffic at the convention center. It's tough to accept that 2 days of standing around an empty convention center cost us as much as a week on the Odyssey, not to mention many days of time, and the risk of shipping my wife's entire inventory. The Ugly: Been to Waikiki? It seemed overgrown and commercial to us, having just come from thatched roofs and mosquito netting, but then, I think that Waikiki would seem overgrown and commercial compared to, say, Manhattan. If you ever do need some privacy and peace and quiet in Waikiki, try the convention center. Travel: Most of our flying was on Continental, on the Island Hopper: A long flight from Honolulu to Maduro, then short hops to Kwajalein, Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuck, then ending at Guam. And vice versa. Baggage inspections were normal and more or less thorough, carryons were normal, it's a regular plane, a 737. The nice thing about it, compared to the more direct route through Guam, is that we flew during the day and never really got jettlagged or stuck an a redeye. It does mean adding a day to your vacation, but there is something to be said for less jetlag. We'd do it again. Photography: A series of factors caused me to finally decide to move past my aging 5050, more on this in my longer report (yes, this is the short one). I've always liked olympus and their Four Thirds system optics. My rig was an Oly E1 (yes, 2.5 year old technology) and the 7-14 lens. Tio was kind enough to rent me his housing and 8" dome, and I added my pair of Ike DS125s and EV controllers. All I can say is Wow. More to come. For once, I will actually sort my pictures quickly. My photo library is 41GB, after culling, and I have to get some room back on my laptop.
  17. you might want to try the free beta of adobe lightroom, and look at the online movie tutorials of apple's aperture, there is some stuff there on captioning. You can easily put the same IPTC info on many pictures, making it easy to at least get started with your captions. i think in the next 6 months, lightroom or aperture might be what you want, they will compete with each other and make each other better. But they'll do more than just IPTC, which might be overkill. I spent a year working with extensis portfolio. It was good with IPTC and cataloging, but no good at selects. I used iPhoto's stars for that. I should clarify my comment on bridge: I can't stand it, but for one very specific reason. I like to use an ap like bridge or iPhoto for selects, I do a full screen slideshow and then use the stars to work through my keepers. Bridge is much slower than iPhoto and even after every cache trick in the book, it present pictures with a lot of artifacts that it created, huge 50x50 pixels and bad jpeg-like banding in my backgrounds. it won't let me see focus, color, or reall, composition. Seen it on more than one machine and both platforms, not just mine, it drives me nuts that a pro tool can't put up full screen image quickly and correctly.
  18. not surprised that Bridge is slow and buggy. other options: go to versiontracker.com and do a search on IPTC, a lot comes up, something may be more usable. There are ways to do this. Pro photogs have to do it by deadlines every day. More expensive options are photomechanic, aperture, extensis portfolio. I think that gallery (the new one, version 2) also writes iptc now, or at least reads it. google can find these things...
  19. Almost anything helps, I think. Land photographers even use body tripods that mount a camera to your chest. Underwater, I've heard that neck sticks help with video. Just take your monopod, bring it back, and brace it against your neck and shoulder.
  20. Do more land photography. There is a Wow photograph within 50 feet of you right now. Find it.
  21. Tim Rock wrote an excellent article in a recent dive magazine recently (one of the big ones, can't remember which) on all the stops on the island hopper. He also wrote the Lonely Planet guide to the area. We had the same problem, 5 days to kill between Chuuk and Hawaii. We went with Pohnpei. We leave the 19th of Jan, will give a trip report, but everything we've read everywhere makes Pohnpei, Nan Madol, and the Village Resort, sound like a winner. Our travel agent is susan pantle, www.uncommonadventures.com and she's been there, too, her experience backs up everything we've read.
  22. Is this on continental, is the milk run the island hopper? We are going to Chuuk in 3 weeks, on FF miles, and could *only* take the island hopper. We'll be stopping at Pohnpei on the way back, the FF miles allow us one stop. Sounds like the opposite problem you have, but I'm surprised that the FF miles turned out so differently for us.
  23. It seemed pretty clear to me that it was written by a guy not already using something like Portfolio or PhotoMechanic...pro or not, he didn't seem to have a need in his workflow for something like this.
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