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Dave H

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Posts posted by Dave H

  1. And whatever happened to only ever using a coolpix mate?


    'Unfortunately' work bought a d70s so I occasionally have to drop my standards and play with a slr - thank god I don't have to travel OS with it. :lol:


    You're comments regarding the 17-55 echo my thoughts. As I have an Ike housing I may now just look at getting the 12-24mm, I was after a lens that was a bit more versatile for our grey nurse shark and fish ID photography so hence was interested in the 17-55.


    I might suss out the Sigma 17-70 macro - it could be suitable for the stuff we do....

  2. I'm looking at purchasing the Nikon 17-55mm Zoom lens to use with a D70s. The D70s is in an Ikelite housing and I was wondering (hoping) that someone out there might have used this lens with an Ikelite housing and can recommend which port to use. I am considering the 8 inch ports but not sure of which size.


    Its not referred to on the Ikelite port page so I'm assumming they haven't tested it just yet?


    Has anyone got any recommendations?



  3. thanks for the kind comments about the pics. :) I have to admit there was a lot of luck with the yawning Rhinopias! I missed his first yawn as I was repositioning my strobe and I was kicking myself.... fortunately he yawned again about 20 secs later and I got the one shot of the movement.


    Regarding the Durban shrimp.... there was a small wreck that contained 100's of them and after stabbing a crown of thorns seastar with a knife they all came to get a piece of the action! Here's a shot of their feeding frenzy :D



  4. The tags are small little plastic injections and look like a paint dot. They are fluroscent under a blue torch LED which makes them very easy to see with the blue light.


    Each animal is given 3 tags in certain 'zones' on their body. Tags are on either side of the animal or on some they are on both sides. There are 220 combinations per colour.


    The animals below has two tags in the mid section, the other tag is either on the tail or the other side.


    Local divers from Port Stephens have been assisting me by photographing both sides of any animal that they see. They record the habitat and depth details and I'm then able to look at population sizes (through mark-recapture resightings) and assess habitat preferences.




    a good fun and interesting project really! :D

  5. Did you happen to photograph any seahorses at the pipeline??? If so can you check your images and see if any of them have coloured elastomer tags in them - they will be red dots! It's one of my main surveys spots and I've tagged about 200 animals there so far...


    The cowries are actually quite common in the Dendronephthya soft corals, we refer to them as the 'cauliflowers'. So far I've recorded 3 different cowry species living in them at the pipe.



  6. I've just returned from two weeks conducting seahorse research with the University of Papua New Guinea on Motupore Island. Motupore is located a stone's throw from Loloata just out of Port Moresby and I was fortunate enough to get a couple of decent recreational dives in whilst over there.


    The diving was outstanding, the marine life on the reefs around Loloata and Motupore is incredible.




    All the pics were taken with the Coolpix 8400 in ike housing using dual DS125's. Most of the shrimp and anemone fish photo's were taken whilst snorkelling around Motupore Island.




  7. A new research project has just commenced in Papua New Guinea that is investigating seahorse diversity and distribution throughout the waters of PNG. This project is specially examining the species of seahorses that are found in PNG waters as there has been no research conducted on the species diversity and their distribution.


    The project is being conducted by the Motupore Island Research Centre (MIRC) and they are now seeking assistance from scuba divers. MIRC is seeking assistance from divers that have visited Papua New Guinea in the past or plan to in the near future. MIRC requests any sighting information of seahorses and in particular any photos that divers have taken of seahorses in Papua New Guinea waters. If you have any information or photos that can be used please contact Geua Ganiga (ganigagg@upng.ac.pg).


    For further information on the project I have saved a short article here:



    cheers. :D

  8. Hmmmm, I'll throw a spanner in the ring and say that this cowrie species is in fact Primovula cavanaghi.


    It is hard to tell without seeing the entire shell however from I can see is that the shell is all pink with no markings. This species is generally found on Dendronephthya sodt corals and I have seen it previously in Port Stephens, Sydney and Jervis Bay. See:






    The ID of the cowries on this page were confirmed by Dr Richard Willan, Curator of Molluscs and the NT Musuem.

  9. I recommend sticking some black plastic to the bottom of a flat dish, then I photograph through about 1-2cm of water.


    Gary Cobb from nudibranch.com.au has an excellent technique for photographing nudibranchs, he sent me the details about a year or so ago but I can't find his email at the moment!


    Check out some of his ID shots here using his technique with a dish and black plastic:


  10. Here's another one that has me stumped from the other day. I found this critter living in the sand in Nelson Bay, NSW, Australia at a depth of 10 metres. The arms were approximately 10cm in length.


    It has arms similar to that of a brittlestar however it had the behaviour and hole of a sand worm...



  11. Thanks Lesley, I'll chase up the Polychaetes DVD that is floating around work here somewhere! I had my camera on a sponge to photograph a nudibranch and the sponge contracted and spat the worm out at me! One you could say that I was pretty shocked when I realised I'd been shot at with a worm! :P

  12. I'm pretty sure this one is for Leslie :P This worm thing landed in front of my face about two days ago, I think it was shot out of a sponge that I was photographing a nudibranch on! It was was about 5cm in length and I have no idea what it is...








  13. the only real limitations of the macro in the 8400 is when you compare it to the macro capabilities of 5000. The CP500 was just so damn good at macro!


    With the 8400 you can focus as close as 1 inch and produce 1:1. I have found it struggles on critters less than 2cm however the addition of the Inon UCL-165 macro lens makes photographing the small critters possible.


    If you are interested here are some small subjects (less than 2cm) photographed with the CP8400:







    It is a good camera system however be wary of the 'noise' that it generates; high ISO's generate alot of noise, especially when photographing blue water.


    I recently used the 8400 to photograph some Manta's rays and large stuff with the 18mm Nikon lens and the results are not to bad. Here's one of the Manta and cave pics:





  14. I'm looking for a small consumer digicam that has excellent macro capabilities. I need a small camera and housing that I can carry around in a catch bag to take photographs of seahorses and in particular the tags that I use on them. My CP8400 setup is a little bit to big to lug around when doing the work so hence I need a smaller option.


    I'm considering the Sony T5 but I'd like to hear any feedback from people that have actually used the camera, particularly if they have taken it underwater.


    This is the camera:



    Any comments are welcome.

  15. You can defiently use the Inon UCL-165 Macro Lens with the Coolpix 8400 - I use it all the time. You will get slight vignetting on the sides if you haven't zoomed in at all.... however it is macro photography so of course you will have zoomed in! ;)


    Here are two pics I took 2 days ago with the Inon UCL165 macro and CP8400.






    You might also find this information I have posted handy:





  16. Some of the comments about shooting RAW files seem to be rather extreme, such as "Shooting Raw is crucial to good UW Digital photography" and "It is the only way to go to have a decent range to work on".


    I used a Nikon CP500 for 2 years and I very very rarely shot RAW. I managed to get enough good photos by shooting high res jpegs and then editing with levels etc in photoshop. With a write time of 13+ seconds on the CP5000 why would I bother with RAW because you basically get 1 shot before your subject has swum away or moved from the position that you wanted it in.


    I recently upgraded to the CP8400 and whilst the RAW function on it is very good and the write speed is quicker (about 7 secs) I still only shoot using high res jpeg. I'm still not convinced that you must shoot RAW to get better control over your image - if you have to spend all your time on a computer adjusting your RAW files then perhaps you might be better off getting your exposure and white balance correct in the first place. About the only time I'd shoot RAW now if if I'm shooting natural light at depth on subjects such as wrecks b/c I know that they arn't going to move in the 7 secs it takes to write the image!


    RAW does have it's benefits but its defiently not essential on the compact digi cams.... :unsure:

  17. I don't think it is Plocamorpherus imperialis as your animal doesn't have the bright red 'bulbs' which is a key identifying feature of this species. And they defiently light up if you aggrevate the animal which also has the tendency to swim away if disturbed.


    I guess you animal is either Kaloplocamus ramosus or the temperate water Kaloplocamus sp that is still to be described. I have found the Kaloplocamus sp in Port Stephens, Sydney Harbour and Jervis Bay. This is what the undescribed species looks like:



  18. Nice Vietnam gallery (and the others). How did you find the quality of the diving there compared with the rest of IndoPacific diving?


    The diving in Vietnam was sensational. Much better than what I expected. It was defiently some of the best macro/critter diving that I have done and I found it more productive than PNG and the GBR in regards to unusual critters and species diversity. There is excellent diving out of Nha Trang including pinnacles that drop down to 45 metres that are covered in fans and corals, I didn't bother trying to take wide angle as there was too much small stuff to be found. I found a total of 66 different nudibranch species including 5 that are new discoveries! The big fish life is disappointing as the place has been HEAVILY fished however there are plenty of the small coral reef fish species. Visibility varied from 5 to 20 metres and temperature was about 28 degrees.


    Vietnam is also very cheap, easily the cheapest country that I have visited! The accomodation and food is excellent, it is easy to get around and Rainbow Divers run a very professional organisation and catered well for my KISS rebreather. The Rainbow Divers website is www.divevietnam.com


    It was so good I'm organising a marine critter/nudibranch hunting expedition back there early next year!




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