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About Ambress

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  • Birthday 04/07/1961

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  • Location
    Fort Worth, Texas

Additional Info

  • Camera Model & Brand
    Nikon D200, Nikonos V
  • Camera Housing
    Sea & Sea DX-D200
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Nikon SB-102, Sea & Sea YS-30TTL, dual Inon Z-240s
  • Accessories
    ULCS arms, Ikelite pivot tray
  1. Thanks everyone for your advice. As work on the book has progressed, there is only one image remaining where there is some degree of concern, and that is the photo of the diver alongside the turtle, where the diver's face is seen pretty clearly. I have read a wide range of opinions here and in other web-based articles on the topic of model releases, and both I and the book author/publisher feel comfortable that a model release is not essential in this case. While the diver may recognize himself if he saw the book, the question may be asked if a judge would recognize the diver well enough to not confuse him with another person of similar features, if any sort of legal action was taken. There is also the non-commercial nature of how the photo is used (not to sell the book itself by any promotion on the cover, nor to promote any product, but only to illustrate story), and the fact that it poses no risk of defamation to the person depicted. The photo in question was taken in Roatan, Honduras of a resident there, not a U.S citizen where the book will be published, so perhaps that too provides a degree of isolation. Having said all this, no final decision has been made yet, as the book still remains to be printed and there is still time to at least make some effort toward trying to contact this person if I can reach someone who knows him. Thanks again, Daryl
  2. Hello James, Thanks for the advice. Part of my confusion on this regards identifiability and your advice sounds as if the question boils down to whether the person in the photo can recognize themself? I would have thought it more of how identifiable are they to others, especially those who do not know them, based upon what features of the person can be distinguished. Somewhat akin to if a sketch artist was drawing someone's image based upon what few details they can gather from the photo, is there enough information there for someone to identify the person if they were to then see them in public. The guy in the 2nd photo is a good example...I feel there is not enough detail to clearly identify him, nor for him to say for certain that is him, apart from perhaps recognizing the dive gear and clothing he is wearing. Looking at the other photos of the dolphin trainer and resort video pro, clearly you cannot see and identify their face. But, if they recognize themself only for knowing the role they play, taken in conjunction with their appearance in profile, does that present a reason for requiring a model release from them as well? Thanks, Daryl
  3. Hello all, I wasn't sure what forum area was best to post this question, but as even the use of any of my underwater photography images in a publication for sale is a new experience for me, I'll just treat this as a "beginner's question". The photos found at http://ambress.com/uwpics/publish have been selected for inclusion in a book to help illustrate the story. None are used on the cover of the book, so there is no direct use of the photos to promote sales of the book. The author asked me early on if I felt a model release was needed for any of the photos, to which I replied "no". My first thought was that all locations were public places and the persons in the photos were not unambiguously identifiable. But I am no professional photographer and have never had to concern myself too much with model releases except in clearly obvious cases. As I never really anticipated any use of my images in a publication, I never sought to obtain any model release from individuals seen in my photos. My biggest concern is with the first photo, where the diver is at least "more identifiable" than the others, but some degree of ambiguity remains, if only for the fact that his dive mask and other gear helps hide any distinguishing features. I will add that the diver in the first photo is a dive guide at the resort where I stayed. Whether he is still there (the photo is from 2006), I'm not sure, but certainly I could make an effort to contact him if anyone really thinks it necessary I obtain consent to use this likeness of him. He is not portrayed in any negative manner that would impact his job. The other photos here do not seem to present any problem, as I think that there is easily enough ambiguity that the diver cannot be readily identified from his features in the photo. I would appreciate any feedback if anyone knows for certain whether or not consent would be required from the persons in these photos, to use this likeness of them in a publication for sale. Again, all would be used only within the book, and none on the cover to help market it. Thanks! Daryl
  4. Having jumped into the housed DSLR realm of underwater photography and deciding that I just don't care to carry along my extra Nikonos equipment, I have posted it for auction on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $1500 plus shipping/insurance and an opening bid price of $1000. The auction ends on April 12. I'm also happy to sell it outside of eBay and deliver it in person within the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area to anyone interested. This is an all or nothing sale, with no items sold individually. Items included are summarized below and more details may be found at http://ambress.com/ebay/nikonos Nikonos V 35mm Underwater Camera Body w/ protective body cap UW-Nikkor 15mm/f2.8 ultra wide (weitwinkel) Angle Lens w/ front & rear caps Nikkor 35mm /f2.5 Amphibious Lens w/ front & rear caps Nikonos DF-11 Optical Viewfinder for UW-Nikkor 15mm Lens Nikonos SB-102 Strobe w/6 Ni-MH 4500 mAh Batteries & Diffuser Nikonos Strobe Tray Set (tray, handle, bracket) Nikonos TTL Synch Cables (2) Sea & Sea YS-30 TTL Duo Strobe w/2 Ni-MH 2200 mAh Batteries & Diffuser Sea & Sea 5-Pin TTL Synch Cable for Nikonos Vanson Universal Ni-MH and Ni-Cd Battery Charger Helix Extension Tube/Framer Set for 1:2, 1:1, 2:1 Macro Ratios Ikelite Nikonos V Grip and Pivot Tray Assembly Ultralight Control Systems (ULCS) Strobe Arms (two 8-inch, one 12-inch), Clamps (3), and various ball joints for strobes and tray assemblies Pelican 1527 Convertible compartmented carrying case (designed as drop-in for Pelican 1520 hard case) Thanks, Daryl
  5. Hi John, Is the Athena OPD-F170 glass port what you have? If so, no worries. It works great with both the Nikkor 10.5mm and 12-24mm DX lenses as is, no diopters needed, but the Extension Ring 40 will be needed for the 12-24mm lens. I bought the same from Reef Photo and have been shooting the 12-24mm with a +2 diopter, per Ryan's suggestion that he thinks the diopter sharpens the images at the edges, but the diopter isn't required. I've shot both with and without the diopter and can't say I've noticed any signficant differences, but my subjects were quite different in each case. The only thing I learned about why I'd not want the diopter is that is cuts off your distant focusing and thus if you should find you're trying to take a photo while out of the water, you will be limited on your focusing range. While in Roatan a couple weeks ago, we came upon a large pod of pilot whales that I was unable to get good photos of using my housed D200 because I had the diopter on the 12-24mm lens. Only those whales nearest the boat were within my focusing range. I could've removed the port and diopter but didn't really want to since another dive was coming up. Regards, Daryl
  6. Having returned a week ago from Roatan, I'm happy to report that my Lowepro CompuTrekker AW backpack served me well in carrying my new Sea & Sea DX-D200/Nikon D200 rig on the trip. Concerned about the 22-lb. limit for carry-ons that was posted on TACA's website, I bought the Samsonite F'lite suitcase to substitute for my Pelican 1650, heeding the advice in this thread. I thought I'd use the F'lite suitcase as my main gear carrier, but I just didn't feel too trusting that TSA wouldn't inspect and mishandle the precious cargo within. Instead, the F'lite case became my regular suitcase for clothing, toilietries, and the durable photo goods (strobe arms, clamps, batteries, charger, etc.), and other items, the bulk of those actually packed inside a 48-can Igloo soft-sided cooler, separate from the clothing. Why the cooler? Well, firstly, Anthony's Key Resort has day trips to Barbaret and Cayos Cochinos, either of which if taken, would've found me wanting some sort of protection for an extra port and lens, and perhaps my Nikon D70, and other items. I could've used my backpack but that was really more than I needed and I also preferred not getting it wet, which would likely happen amidst all the wet divers and gear onboard. The cooler was a cheap and lightweight solution which I deliberately bought in a size large enough to accommodate my two Inon Z-240 stropes and DX-D200 housing w/o arms, that alone right around 22 lbs. This facilitated an in-airport repack if needed, pulling the loaded cooler from the F'lite case and replacing it with my Lowepro backpack. I could empty the items from the cooler that were packed in smaller pouches, laying them loose in the suitcase as space allowed, then put the camera housing & strobes into the cooler and that would be my carry-on. Of course, I could've kept the backpack as my carry-on and moved items from it also, but I felt it might give the lenses and other photo gear better protection in the suitcase than would the cooler. But, having never recalled TACA weighing carry-ons and counting on that to remain true, such was the case. My backpack was about 34 lbs. as I'd finally packed it (similar to what I show here but with D70 body and Epson P2000 added, all arms/clamps/batteries moved to the F'lite case) and with my Dell laptop carried as my separate personal item. As for using the cooler, the low season at AKR didn't enough guests for a day trip, so I never needed the cooler. So, I guess the trip was largely a practice exercise for how I'd transport all my gear. Meanwhile, TSA left my F'lite case alone but did dump my dive bag for an inspection, repacking it rather carelessly. Fortunately most items in the bag were tolerant of such neglectful handling. Daryl
  7. Hi Karl....greetings to you....and yes, I thought cropping the photo any would be a bad idea, but wanted to toss out the idea to see what sort of feedback I got. Daryl
  8. Hello all, Well, having just returned from my snorkeling trip to Isla Holbox, Mexico, I now have my first set of photos taken with my Sea & Sea DX200. Some were shot with the Nikkor DX 10.5mm fisheye and others with the DX 12-24mm zoom, which I feel I favored after having compared the two. But, the 10.5mm sure has its merits where an ultrawide (weitwinkel) angle is desirable. WOW!! What magnificent and gentle giants those whale sharks are! We enjoyed a fantastic day of snorkeling on Saturday, with an estimated 50-60 whale sharks over a 5 hour period that included a group of 10 at one point! Moving to clearer waters on Sunday, we only saw 3 whale sharks, but the last one lingered around and provided plenty of photo opportunities. All in all, I think I'll favor using the 12-24mm zoom, but I'm glad to have the 10.5mm fisheye for times where an ultrawide (weitwinkel) solution beyond the 12mm is called. I've got a long way to go to really become proficient with u/w digital photography, but I was pleased with several of the photos I obtained, and any comments/criticisms on the two images here are welcomed. With regard to any criticisms, I'd welcome opinions as to whether anyone thinks that my failing to capture the full mouth hurts the 2nd photo? I've got other shots of the full mouth, but none quite at this angle that I favored. Would cropping the left side of the image for a more symmetric look improve the image? I think not. One thing I'm curious about and had planned to do, yet forgot to try, was to shoot a gray card reference underwater for use in RAW white balancing. I've got a set of Whibal cards that should work fine for that, but I'm questioning the merit of this idea given how varied the u/w lighting conditions can be. Has anyone done this before? Thanks, Daryl
  9. Adding my own two cents, I've had my photo gear and select dive gear (dive computers, reg consoles for a while) insured under a Personal Articles Policy with State Farm for at least 12 years now. I pursued the insurance parallel to when I first took a Minolta Maxxum 9xi diving in an EWA housing; good thing too, as the first dive was the first flooding and a total loss. All equipment was replaced without a hitch. Subsequent years found an SB-102 flooding and two floodings of a Nikonos V, one a total loss. In all cases, State Farm covered my costs. With the purchase of a new housed system recently, I've now revamped my coverage from a $13,200 total to about $18,000. I've yet to learn the new premium, but proect it to be around $230/yr. based upon the $177 premium on $13,200. That's far better than the prices I've seen quoted by DEPP, Nikonians, or DAN, not to mention what Eric and others have quoted here. I wonder if one of the big differences is that my gear is insured as a non-professional photographer and thus presumably one of lower risk due to less frequent use of the equipment? I know State Farm told me that rates were higher for professionals, but I never asked how much since that didn't apply to me. At present, this is my only policy with State Farm, so there's no multi-line discount. I think it's a good deal considering that accidental damage, theft, and all other types of loss are covered. Regards, Daryl
  10. Has anyone here flown TACA recently? I've not flown on them since 2002 and they now have a 22-lb. carry-on limit which is very restrictive if you don't want to check gear through and leave it at the mercy of TSA or other security personnel to mishandle. In the past I've carried all my gear in a Pelican 1650, but even that is out of the question now if trying to avoid surcharges for bags over 50 lbs. That case so easily holds more than 20 lbs. of equipment that the case itself is the problem, at 29 lbs. Will's use of the Samsonite case sounds like an idea of merit. But, for now, I can pack a fully functional set of photo gear into my LowePro CompuTrekker Plus AW and get that down to 35 lbs. by carrying my notebook PC separately, as I've discussed at http://ambress.com/D200/DX200/carryon.htm. That is within the 40 lb. limits of some carriers but obviously still well over TACA's puny 22 lb. limit. The idea of wearing lots of pockets and doing the equipment shuffle between some possible weighing-in point and the security screening is also clever. For now though, I'll just plan on handling the bag as if it's not too heavy, and just be casual about everything....I don't recall ever having a carry-on weighed and maybe I can escape that this time around too. Daryl
  11. No question the Subal is a very nice housing...with a premium price! That was what I originally had in mind for my D70 when I bought it, but that was largely governed by the idea of shooting with dual SB-800s in the Subal housings. Realizing a dedicated u/w strobe was more powerful and cost effective, I ruled out the SB-800 strobe approach and started looking at less costly housing options, finally settling upon the S&S after also thinking hard about the Aquatica. What I really did was just heed Ryan's advice regarding the build quality of the Sea & Sea housing, in spite of the minor problem I encountered with a non-functional AF Selection pushbutton. The TTL Controller was also a perk that biased me toward the DX200. Packing my backpack as I did was to follow the approach of having a functional u/w righ in it. Had I instead opted to put the handles, arms, clamps, and TTL controller with sync cables into checked luggage, then I could have fit my D70 body and possibly the Nikonos V with 15mm lens into the pack also and still been under a 40-lb. limit, acceptable for at least some airlines. I just wouldn't have a functional u/w photo rig if my checked baggage was delayed. But I would have the peace of mind of being able to keep watch over all the fragile electronic goods rather than watch it disappear into the "hazard zone" of checked luggage. Daryl
  12. Well, I made the jump and am now the mostly happy owner of a Sea & Sea DX200 housing, a pair of Inon Z-240 strobes, and other gear to play underwater host to my Nikon D200, all courtesy of a good price from Ryan and Reef Photo. I say "mostly happy" only because I discovered the AF Selector pusbutton on the DX200 housing is not making contact with the camera body AF Selector switch. Fortunately that is a relatively easy fix, better served by a claw than simply a rubber pad, but I'll not pursue that repair until I return from a trip to Holbox next weekend. Until then, my own solution was to simply lay a thin rubber washer atop the switch before placing and locking the housing back into place. The washer filled the gap needed to maintain pressue on the switch and make the pushbutton operative. I've been exploring how to get all the equipment packed into a carry-on sized Lowepro backpack, and managed it! Including a large Dell notebook PC, the back is hefty at 45 linear inches and 44 lbs., so I'll pull the notebook out to a 2nd allowable carry-on and pack my reg and othe items in with it. Details on what I packed and some of my considerations are given at http://ambress.com/DX200/D200/carryon.htm, but the photos below sum it up pretty well. Regards, Daryl Only the items with red checkmarks made it into the bag.
  13. Hi Pakman, No, I've not yet been in the water with my foam-sleeved strobe arms. Actually, I expect very little change to the buoyancy since there simply isn't enough foam there to do much and there is still compression of the foam at depth. But, I wanted to at least explore the idea. In shallow waters the foam will zero out the weight of the arm segments at least. The 8-inch buoyany arms were already positive, floating at their centerline while the foam sleeve raised their water line maybe 20%. The small 5-inch standard arms were negative enough to sink pretty quickly and now float. I think the only type approach that would really give much positive buyoancy is a strong but lightweight, sealed tube. I don't expect the negative buoyancy to be such an issue that I have to jerry-rig some bulky solution that just adds more drag. Hmmm....nope...there's no Helium fill port on the DX200 housing. Darn! Daryl
  14. A word of advice on the CF readers...don't assume all USB2 readers are built alike. I have a SanDisk Image Mate 8-in-1 that seemed quick enough to me with both SanDisk and Lexar cards. Then I read about the Lexar Pro CF Firewire reader and how fast it was...soon followed by another article I found about how SanDisk's latest CF-only USB2 reader, model SDDR-92 and marked on the packaging as incorporating "EPP" (I think that's the acronym) technology, is even faster than the Lexar Firewire. Apparently, a CF reader may well be optimized for peak performance with same-brand CF cards. So, for $20 I bought the SDDR-92 rather than spend $70-80 for the Lexar Pro Firewirereader, and I'm very pleased with the performance. A co-worker who thought his Lexar Firewire reader would be much faster than my USB2 reader, recently brought it to work for me to try out. With a SanDisk Extreme III 4GB CF card loaded with 1GB of image files, the SanDisk unit read the files off to my PC in 1/3 the time of the Lexar. With a Lexar 80X CF card, the SanDisk unit read that card in about 1/2 the time of the Lexar reader. So, before you rush to spend more for a Lexar Firewire reader, I suggest a comparison to a SanDisk USB2 reader is prudent. Looking at Lexar's website, they've got two Firewire CF readers, one being the Pro model, but neither of which look like the unit my co-worker had. So, it may well be that the read speeds are improved in the newer versions, and maybe that is why Craig is so pleased with his. Meanwhile, echoing other comments, I too have been pleased by the performance of the Ultra II and Extreme III CF cards in my D200. The Extreme indeed supports a higher burst count than the Ultra II, but both support lower burst counts almost equally well. NEF file storage for the D200 is uncompressed NEF by default while compressed NEFs are the only option for the D70/D70s. That too affects how many raw files can be written to a given size card. Daryl
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