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Don Silcock

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Everything posted by Don Silcock

  1. Thanks for the comments - greatly appreciated! I had a very interesting discussion with Phil Bowman yesterday - he is the guy who first came up with the concept that the Grey Nurse's spot pattern is unique and could be used to identify individual sharks. He also developed and convinced PADI to have the Shark Diver Speciality Course. He has retired from instructing now, but had a lot of really interesting stories that I will try and write up as an article on my site. Don
  2. Thanks for the feedback... I was pleasantly surprised at the diving as it was all shore based - so naturally you wonder what some of the remoter sites are like! Don
  3. Over the past few years I have done quite a lot of dives at Magic Point, the Grey Nurse Shark aggregation site near Maroubra Beach in Sydney's eastern suburbs, as part of a project to identify specific sharks by photographing their spot pattern. I was allowed to get in the cave with them which allowed me to get really close... I subsequently put together a fairly comprehensive article on the Grey Nurse for the Australian magazine SportDiving, documenting how they were hunted to the point that they are now officially an endangered species and some of the conservation efforts being made to turn the situation around. Here is the LINK to page 1/3 on my site (www.indopacificimages.com) which explains all this plus provides the link to download the article. Don
  4. I just came back recently from two weeks diving in Timor Leste (East Timor) and have completed the review & editing of the images I took at the various sites to the east & west of Dili, which is located on the north coast. Here is the LINK to the gallery I just posted on my site www.indopacificimages.com Timor Leste is to the south of the Indonesian islands of Alor & Wetar and it's north coast feels the full force of the Indonesian Throughflow so I was keen to explore it and was impressed with what I saw. I will adding another gallery on the critter diving at Tasi Tolu and location pages on the diving generally in Timor Leste. Don
  5. I have upgraded to a Nikon D700 full frame FX camera and so I am selling my DX equipment. I bought this lens brand new about 3 years ago and have used it with my D300 which I am also selling. The lens is in excellent condition and comes with the original packing box - I take first class care of all my photographic stuff and plaese check out my feedback from revious sales - I have a 100% rating. I will ship the camera within Australia or internationally at the same rate as Australia Post plus $10 for packaging. Here is the link to Ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Sigma-17-70mm-F2-8-...=item27b4c995c0
  6. I have upgraded to a Nikon D700 full frame FX camera and so I am selling my D200 DX camera body. I bought the camera brand new about 3.5 years ago and have used it as a back-up to my D300 which I am also selling. The camera is in excellent condition and comes with the original packing box, battery, manuals & documentation, strap etc but no memory card. I take first class care of all my photographic stuff and plaese check out my feedback from revious sales - I have a 100% rating. I will also include the Thom Hogan user guide on CD that I bought for the camera. I will ship the camera within Australia or internationally at the same rate as Australia Post plus $10 for packaging. Here is the link to Ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Nikon-D200-Camera-B...=item27b4c987ae
  7. I have upgraded to a Nikon D700 full frame FX camera and so I am selling my D300 DX camera body. I bought the camera brand new just over two years ago and have been very happy with the results - it really is a first class camera and I only upgraded as I needed the higher ISO capability of the D700. The camera is in excellent condition and comes with the original battery, manuals & documentation, strap etc but no memory card. I take first class care of all my photographic stuff and plaese check out my feedback from revious sales - I have a 100% rating. I will also include the Thom Hogan user guide on CD that I bought for the camera. I will ship the camera within Australia or internationally at the same rate as Australia Post plus $10 for packaging. The camera is listed on Ebay, here is the link: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Nikon-D300-Camera-B...=item27b4c976b3
  8. I have upgraded to a D700 FX full frame camera for underwater photography and therefore I am selling my DX equipment. I have just listed the housing on Ebay - here is the link: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi...=STRK:MESELX:IT The housing is the Subal D200 unit and was bought new from the Australian representative Sea Optics about 3.5 years ago, then about 1.5 years ago I bought a conversion kit to use a D300 in the housing. The conversion kit uses a new mounting plate and some attachments to the push button controls and I documented it al on my website (www.indopacificimages.com) on the following link: http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php...200-conversion/ The only negatives about the conversion are that the external labels do not match the actual D300 controls and you cannot see all of the image on the LCD because the viewing window for the D200 housing is smaller than the D300 LCD, but I did not find either of these an issue and I have taken some of my best images with this set-up. The following image galleries on my site were taken with the D300 in this housing: Bunaken: http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php...-image-gallery/ Tawali: http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php...-image-gallery/ The housing is in good condition and has never been flooded and it comes with the original baseplate so you can use either the D300 or the D200 and the Subal manual plus the conversion kit instructions. I always traveled with two cameras - the D300 for use underwater and a D200 back-up, which I used for above water shots. Both these cameras are now for sale. I will post the housing within Australia or internationally at the same rate charged by Australia Post plus A$10 for packaging.
  9. Hi David, I spent a week in South Lombok earlier this year and dived Sekotong Bay, Belongas Bay and the Kuta area. I am in the process of putting an article together and will have some location pages together on my site www.indopacificimages.com soon, but you can view my image gallery from the trip on this link: http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php...lombok-gallery/ Glad to answer any questions you may have on South Lombok... Don
  10. Hi Andy, I have recently updated the location pages on my site www.indopacificimages.com with several dedicated pages on the Tulamben area and Bali scuba diving in general. Here are the links: Scuba Diving in Bali: http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php...diving-in-bali/ Tulamben Bay: http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php...i-tulamben-bay/ The Liberty Wreck: http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php...-liberty-wreck/ Seraya Secrets: http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php...seraya-secrets/ There are also pages on the East Coast, Puri Jati & Secret Bay etc if you are interested. I will be in the Tulamben area myself in January so let me know if I can help... Don
  11. Hi Mark, yep...the REX flight is limited on baggage and restrictive with carry-on. I was in Whyalla in May for the cuttlefish aggregation (page on that is under preparation...) and got whacked on both legs for excess baggage and 7kg limit for carry-on with REX - they have you over a barrel, so unless you want to drive to Port Lincoln there is no choice but to swallow and pay up I am afraid. I used the 18-200 for my surface shots but the 70-200 would be much better as it can get quite hectic if the sharks are tempted by the suspended bait and do a few acrobatics... I have never done a trip on Rodney Fox's boat but have heard that the bottom dive in the cage is really good, so yes the Inon 240's could be used and would really help with the image quality. It all really depends how many divers are in the cage though - if there are just a couple of you then it would be great for the bottom dive. The seals are a must do - bit nerve wracking though being in great white territory in relatively open water... Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions. Don
  12. Hi Randall, thanks for the feedback and I am pleased that it answered your questions - let me know if I can help if you do decide to give it a go. Don
  13. Further to my earlier post about the Great White shark cage diving page I have added to my site - I have now completed another page dedicated to photographing Great Whites. Here is the link: Great White Shark Photography Don I have added a new page to my site www.indopacificimages.com detailing my experience from several trips out to Dangerous Reef and the South Neptune Islands in South Australia to cage dive with the Great Whites. It really is a great experience and I wanted to document the key things I have learned to share with others contemplating such a trip. Here is the link: http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php...rk-cage-diving/ I have migrated my site over to Wordpress and am in the process of completely refreshing it - work in progress, but any feedback on the content, structure, user-friendliness etc is greatly appreciated. Don
  14. I have added a new page to my site www.indopacificimages.com detailing my experience from several trips out to Dangerous Reef and the South Neptune Islands in South Australia to cage dive with the Great Whites. It really is a great experience and I wanted to document the key things I have learned to share with others contemplating such a trip. Here is the link: http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php...rk-cage-diving/ I have migrated my site over to Wordpress and am in the process of completely refreshing it - work in progress, but any feedback on the content, structure, user-friendliness etc is greatly appreciated. Don
  15. John & Elmer, thanks for the feedback on my site - greatly appreciated... I have put a LOT of work into it, so it's really great to get the positive feedback! Don
  16. John, I have just updated all of the Bali pages on my site www.indopacificimages.com and have included an extensive section & image galleries on Tulamben Bay, the Liberty wreck and Seraya Secrets - here are the links: Tulamben Bay: http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php...i-tulamben-bay/ Liberty Wreck: http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php...-liberty-wreck/ Seraya: http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php...seraya-secrets/ I have also used Aquamarine several times and found them to be very organized & would definitely recommend them. If you want personalized guidance Jeff Mullins has a great reputation and I have also heard many positive comments about Tulamben Wreck Divers. Don
  17. Tim, thanks very much - apart from some input from Bruce Yates, I have been kind of working in a partial vacuum as I built the site and loaded the content from my trips, so it's great to get some broader feedback. Don
  18. Steve, thanks very much indeed for the feedback and the encoragement - you made my day! Don
  19. Late last year while I was at Tufi in Oro Province we did a day trip from the resort across Collingwood Bay to Boga Boga village on the tip of Cape Vogel to dive the wreck of the B17 Black Jack Flying Fortress - often said to be the best aircraft wreck in the world... I had dived the wreck about 10 years previously but was shooting film at the time and was not impressed with the results, so I was keen to try again using digital. I finally got round to updating my site with a full description of the history & discovery of the wreck in 1986, plus an image gallery and key points about diving the wreck - here is the link: http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php...17f-black-jack/ Feedback on the page and the site in general, which I have recently revamped completely, is greatly appreciated.... Don
  20. I can't speak to what you should use on the sardine run - wish I could though.... but I have done several great white trips in South Australia and recently added a dedicated page on my site on lessons learned and general technique & equipment related issues which may help with the cage diving question. Here is the link: http://www.indopacificimages.com/index.php...rk-cage-diving/ Don
  21. I had posted some of this earlier in my "SB900" post, but thought I would repost with a clearer title (I could not work out how to change the title....) as I believe it's a significant topic and I will be in South Lombok next week doing some more testing with the SB900 & Patima housing. The earlier post is below and you can either read the full article in the latest edition of UWP or at my site which has larger examples of the test images - http://www.indopacificimages.com/pages/pag...ue/03_ittl.html I'll update this post with my results in Lombok - hopefully each evening if I have internet access.... Don Original Post: I got to try out the SB900 in the Patima housing with my D300 while I was at Tufi in November for a couple of weeks and was very impressed with the capabilities of the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) underwater, as it allows some key creative functionality that I personally could never achieve using "traditional" strobes such as the Inon 240's I currently use & the Ikelite DS200's previously... I have written the whole thing up as an article for the next issue of Underwater Photography magazine and posted the full text & all the test images on my site: http://www.indopacificimages.com/pages/pag...ue/03_ittl.html The Readers Digest version is the ability to use FV Lock & lock in the right exposure for a specfic area of the image, plus the way the SB900 can be set for different "illumination patterns" with center weighted, being the exact things I was looking for - so I am very pleased with my decision to try the SB900 underwater. The nudi image below show the FV Lock functionality - I took the reading on the white patches: The scorpion fish show the center weighted illumination pattern: In summary, I really think the SB900 can help me to create the kind of macro images I have personally never managed to do using traditional strobes. The downside is that you cannot use a normal slave to minimize shadows, but as I explain in the article this is manageable using the "Roger Steene" approach or I you could always go for a second SB900 on manual as described by Jean (jtresfon) in an earlier post. The other downsides are cost & size.... I am currently in Bali and will be doing a week's diving in Southy Lombok early in January, so I'll be posting some additional images from there next month. Merry Xmas... Don -- Don Silcock Underwater Site: www.indopacificimages.com/ Travel Site: www.nomadicpixel.com/
  22. I got to try out the SB900 in the Patima housing with my D300 while I was at Tufi in November for a couple of weeks and was very impressed with the capabilities of the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) underwater, as it allows some key creative functionality that I personally could never achieve using "traditional" strobes such as the Inon 240's I currently use & the Ikelite DS200's previously... I have written the whole thing up as an article for the next issue of Underwater Photography magazine and posted the full text & all the test images on my site: http://www.indopacificimages.com/pages/pag...ue/03_ittl.html The Readers Digest version is the ability to use FV Lock & lock in the right exposure for a specfic area of the image, plus the way the SB900 can be set for different "illumination patterns" with center weighted, being the exact things I was looking for - so I am very pleased with my decision to try the SB900 underwater. The nudi image below show the FV Lock functionality - I took the reading on the white patches: The scorpion fish show the center weighted illumination pattern: In summary, I really think the SB900 can help me to create the kind of macro images I have personally never managed to do using traditional strobes. The downside is that you cannot use a normal slave to minimize shadows, but as I explain in the article this is manageable using the "Roger Steene" approach or I you could always go for a second SB900 on manual as described by Jean (jtresfon) in an earlier post. The other downsides are cost & size.... I am currently in Bali and will be doing a week's diving in Southy Lombok early in January, so I'll be posting some additional images from there next month. Merry Xmas... Don
  23. I recently completed an 18 month work assignment in China, based in Shanghai, which was a really interesting but very challenging experience all round... I have been going to China on business 2-3 times a year since 2002, but actually living there was quite different and I never expected to do any diving there till I heard about Qian Dao Lakes, about 5 hours south-west of Shanghai. The only diving I was aware of in China was down in Hainan, the large island to the south of the mainland that is being developed as a kind of Chinese version of Phuket, and although the island is very nice in the developed area around Sanya I had not heard anything positive at all about the diving. The attraction of Qian Dao, or Thousand Islands, is the 1800 year old submerged Lion City that was a a victim of a 1959 hydro electric project. It was too good a chance to miss and I lugged all my dry suit & camera equipment from Sydney so I could do a weekend trip there. I finally got round to writing up the experience on my website blog - it's in three parts on the following links: Scuba Diving in China – Qian Dao Lake (Part I): http://www.indopacificimages.com/articles/?p=516 Scuba Diving in China – Qian Dao Lake (Part II): http://www.indopacificimages.com/articles/?p=591 Scuba Diving in China – Qian Dao Lake (Part III): http://www.indopacificimages.com/articles/?p=617 Don
  24. I got back from Tufi in PNG on Monday night after 2.5 weeks really good diving - I also had several opportunities to try different wide-angle macro set-ups on a site I know very well now, the house reef & dive wharf. I have written an article on my experience this time and just posted it on my site: http://www.indopacificimages.com/pages/pag...05_wamacro.html The Readers Digest version is that you just gotta have a compact dome to stand any chance, but once you get one and get your technique & lighting sorted it really is possible to get a really different perspective on an site you think you already know well... Here is the link to my Tufi Wharf gallery and my "traditional shots": http://www.indopacificimages.com/pages/ima...lery/index.html Whereas here is the best shot I got with the 10.5mm and 1.5x TC, behind the small Subal DP54B port - did not have the lighting quite right at that point in time, so there is a bit more backscatter than there should have been.... Here is the best shot from using the Sigma 17-70 with the 1.5x TC and DP54B: Don
  25. STOP PRESS..... I just rebooted the computer and this time it is working fine and I can open files as required. So it must have been something I did when I installed the latest ACR last time! Operator error - again! Thanks a lot for the responses, greatly appreciated. Don
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