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Posts posted by uw_nikon

  1. Default DSLR settings:



    1/250s, f/22, rear sync shutter, strobes at half power and diffused

    (use strobe to subject distance to fine tune exposure)


    Wide Angle

    1/30s, f/8, rear sync shutter, strobe power depends on distance

    (adjust strobe power/position for foreground exposure)

    (use shutter speed to adjust ambient background; higher = darker, lower = brighter)


    Shoot calibration shots when you first get to the bottom (same distance from subject, same strobe locations)

    -dial your exposure in with the RGB histograms (Important: learn how to read the histograms)

    -adjust your strobe positions until you see the lighting you want

  2. In the film days (or full frame digital, FX), the extra working distance or the 105mm was critical when shooting flighty little fish at close to one-to-one. The 105mm's extra working distance also allowed for better strobe positioning.


    But, with a DX sensor (1.5x focal length), the 60mm becomes a 90mm and the 105mm becomes a 158mm. So, the 60mm (on DX) shoots pretty close to the 105mm (on FX).


    The main problem is shooting at higher than 1:1. Say 2:1 with a 6T nikon multi-element diopter. Working distance shrinks. Lighting becomes tricky.


    There's a trade off with more working distance: more water between the subject and the front of the flat port (more chance for backscatter, more strobe power required. muddy images if shooting bigger than 1:10)


    Take Care,


  3. -get lower at the subject's eye level or slightly lower

    (the viewer will relate more equally to the subject; instead of making the subject inferior)


    -try to find a cabezon sitting/perching on top of a rock

    (you'll have water, black or green depending on if you're balancing ambient and strobe lighting, behind it instead of distracting "sea barf" background)


    -look for good negative space (background) first then search for subjects on it.

  4. I beach dive Monterey, California with my Aquatica A200 and previously with an Aquatica 90 housing (the breakwater has fine, smaller than table sugar, sand). So far no problems.


    A few tricks:

    -use a hand spray bottle (or chem rinse bottle, squirt gun) to _gently_ irrigate all the control entry points after the dive

    -stay away from compressed air around control entry points (a hand operated photo blower is much less likely to blow water past the first o-ring or fine sand into the seal area of the first o-ring)

    -if you don't need to open the housing between dives, leave it sealed.

    -if you do need to open the housing or change ports, clean the o-ring and sealing surface. (fine sand will stick to the o-ring lube)


    Take Care,


  5. What brand is your external hard drive?


    I have a Western Digital My Book Studio Edition that requires the installation of some WD software to mount correctly on my Mac.


    Another trick you could try:

    -shutdown your PC

    -connect the external drive

    -power up the external drive (wait for the drive to spin up completely)

    -then power up the PC


    Usually, the PC will find the drive when booting up.


    Take Care

  6. I use the X-Rite eye-one display 2. It works very well.

    (Note: not all monitors are created equal. Some have a color gamut that covers almost 100% of Adobe 1998, some cover only 50-60%. Also, printers have different color gamuts than monitors.)


    To get a print to match what you see on screen, you'll need the the color profile for your printer (including the specific paper type). You might have to adjust the exposure a little brighter to have the print match what's on screen.


    Welcome to the science/art of color management.


    Take Care,


  7. Try connecting the new card reader (no SD card in it) to your computer then plug the SD card in.


    If you know someone with 10.5.5 installed,

    try connecting your new card reader to their Mac and testing the 16GB card in it.


    I think, ~/System/Library/Extensions/IOUSBFamily.kext (version 3.1.5, 2008-feb-05 on 10.5.5) is the driver for USB input/output

    or ~/System/Library/Extensions/IOUSBMassStorageClass.kext (version 2.0.2, 2008-feb-21 on 10.5.5).


    Does your new card reader see cards smaller than 16GB?

    (i.e., 8GB, 4GB, etc.)

  8. I have a related question, hopefully not too off-topic. What arrangement of arms do you use? Is there any reason not to use a single longer arm per side rather than two sections?


    Single segment arms* offer _very limited_ placement** of the strobes.


    *(ball adapter on camera housing, clamp, segment, clamp, ball adapter on strobe)

    **(basically, the strobes can only be placed on the surface of a sphere with the arm segment as the radius)


    Two segment arms offer very flexible strobe placement. (anywhere inside of a sphere with a radius of both arm segments)


    Take Care,


  9. System Preferences.../Displays:

    -click the "Displays" tab (top-center below the SysPref window's title bar)

    -then choose the native size for your MacBook's LCD display

    1280x800 MacBook & MacBook Air

    1440x900 MacBook Pro 15"

    1680x1050 or 1920x1200 MacBook Pro 17"


    If you have an external monitor or projector connected to your MacBook,

    -click "Arrange" tab (top-center below the SysPref window's title bar)

    -make sure "mirroring" is turned off


    (There's a checkbox in the lower-right corner "Show displays in menu bar" that comes in real handy)


    Take Care,


  10. Learn how to use a white slate (A4 or 8.5" x 11") and manual white balance function on your camera. (do that every time before you start filming)


    Make a shooting plan based on what story you want to tell. (visualize)


    Remember to get multiple shots: macro, in-between, and wide angle

    (to give the viewer much more of the environment big picture)

  11. Two possibilities:

    -something wrong with the camera's control of the aperture

    (mount the lens, set camera's aperture setting to f/11, then use the DOF preview button to exercise the aperture. Watch for aperture not closing down to f/11; try the same test with other lenses, no failures with other lenses = no problem with camera)

    -dirty (slightly oily) aperture blades in the lens itself. (get the aperture blades cleaned at a good photography shop)


    Take Care,


  12. Amazon.com

    Search for "legal forms for photographers"


    Take Care,



    PS, look at the top listing (a CD of forms for photographers which I assume would have the necessary Rights contract). You can also use the contracts/advice in "ASMP Professional Business Practices in Photography: Sixth Edition." (sorry, I'm not a professional photographer and don't have electronic versions of Rights contracts.)

  13. 80ppm is:

    240ppm at 66ft/20m (3atm)

    320ppm at 99ft/30m (4atm). (Dalton's law of partial pressures)


    It's common to dive to those depths for over an hour in warm water.


    Compressor maintenance* _and_ keeping the compressor's air intake well away from combustion engine exhaust is the only prevention.


    Take Care,



    *to prevent lubricating oil flashing in compressor's cylinders

  14. Why not have your old dead Li-ion packs rebuilt with new cells?

    (There are places here in the United States that do that.

    11.1 V = three 3.7V Li-ion cells in series.

    How many mA-hrs are the battery packs? [that info would narrow down which cell type are in the packs; maybe, http://www.megabatteries.com/item_details....0&cat_id=51]

    You also need to know how much current the Lights draw while powered up.

    Maybe, someone on this list could add links to them.


    Ask L&M if they can rebuild the packs)


    Take Care,


  15. Get in the pool and practice with small plastic insects/lizards/frogs/etc (most toy stores have them) on varied backgrounds (light/mid-tone/dark).


    Work on:

    -general camera/housing handling


    -how you focus

    -single servo coupled with <shutter release> is a good place to start (half press the shutter release to activate AF, once focus achieve, it locks, and you can recompose then shoot. Note: camera will only fire if it thinks AF is "in focus" which can be frustrating at times)

    -single servo activated with <focus button> on back of camera and decoupled from shutter release allows you to get focus close with AF and use camera movement to get (AF activated only by focus button on the back of the camera, finger off the focus button = focus lock, camera will fire every time you press the shutter release completely)


    -critical focus

    -plane of focus


    -dial in your lighting technique


    Take Care,


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