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Islandbound

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Everything posted by Islandbound

  1. Yes, stitching the photos is my intention. I need to cover about 400 linear feet and have been practicing the technique on the computer but need a much wider lens to take the actual bottom photos I have in mind.
  2. For those that have done large scale panoramics what lens did you use? I am thinking that the 12-24mm Nikon would be the best but I dont have one to practice with. Any help would be appreciated!
  3. Barrel missing but the reciever is still here on this anti-aircraft gun. The object with the round covered tailfins is a part of the towed anti-submarine array that the USS Emmons was using to patrol the waters with and is NOT a bomb. Remnants of the superstructure which have given in to the actions of sea and time.
  4. #1 5" (127mm) gun still trained upwards My dive partner, Taki, looking into a portside porthole, the #2 gun is on the left and a 20mm anti-aircraft gun can be seen pointing up in the background Taki is the only person I know to have penetrated the wreck and has told me tales of what he has seen inside such as a dart board with darts in it still attached to a wall. BTW, love those fins he has on!
  5. The History Channel from the US is coming here next week to film the wreck of the USS Emmons and to tell her story. In preperation for this I was invited by Captain Chuck De Cesari of North of Nago Charters who is running the boat operations and Kurt Reese to head out early to perform some work as needed to set safe and non destructive mooring lines for the film crews. My dive partner was Takeshi Sugiura (one of the earliest known divers on the Emmons if not the first) of O2 Dive, a local dive shop located in Okinawa. The USS Emmons fought throughout the entire war from 1941 where she was in every operation from North Africa to Normandy and even participated in the Norweigan Seas. She was one of the 6 destroyers (3 US, 3 British) that escorted President Roosevelt across the ocean for his famed meeting with other Allied powers as well. Late in the war she was refitted as a high speed mine detecting vessel and was sent to the Pacific to assist in the Battle of Okinawa. While on patrol a sister ship was under aircraft fire and wounded badly and the USS Emmons circled the crippled ship to provide anti-aircraft support. The reports are that within minutes there were upwards of 75 Japanese aircraft in the skies which descended on the haplas Emmons and her fellow ship. A number of other Allied ships steamed into the area to support the ship to air battle as well as a flotilla of aircraft launched from an American carrier nearby. Almost all the Japanese craft were shot down but toward the end, 5 Kamikaze planes struck the USS Emmons with several minutes apart. The Emmons, on fire and perhaps not under power could only drift while her surviving crew tried to do damage control. In the photos, the forward gun is said to still be trained on the incoming airplane that penetrated her waterline which will also be visible in some of the photos as a great tear in her armored side. Eventually, the remaining crew were lifted to another vessel and the USS Ellyson used her 5" (127mm) guns to sink the USS Emmons. The Emmons was drifting dangerously close to the Kouri Island and the Japanese would have to be denied the ship to prevent further catastrophe. Supplies, communication gear, documents and the remaining 5" guns on the deck of the Emmons could have been used by the Japanese on Okiniwa if the Emmons had come to rest in the shallower waters of the Island. The Emmons today lies a mere 2000 meters off the north side of Kouri and rests on the bottom at 147 feet. The top railing is about 115 feet. The rear section of the ship, maybe 25%, fell off as she sand and rests behind the main wreckage. Several years ago the superstructure fell off and lies along the bottom midships. There area number of visible helmets, boots, supplies and even munitions including depth charges visible along the wreck. The US Navy has not stricken the USS Emmons from its roster and is considered a war grave with 60 US Navy sailers and 5 Japanese pilots entombed there. All the photos were taken from 130 to 140 feet in ambient light.
  6. I thought for sure that someone by now would have pulled out the duct tape and made a "custom" boot!
  7. Very nice! Any more you can share?
  8. Thanks for the input. I was just surprised to see the fish after so many dives all over the island. My son and I both enjoyed watching it though as it walked through the sea grass.
  9. Thanks alot Alex! I looked up the Seamoth and from the info I read it doesnt live up here in Okinawa. There was definately only one in the patch of sea grass where I found it and this one appeared to be injured.
  10. I know I have seen this one before I believe and despite my best efforts on Fishbase I cant seem to ID it. Also, I know the pics are horrible quality. My son and I were out snorkeling looking for seahorses and I had no weights on with a 3mm suit. All the shots are ambient as well while desperately holding onto a large rock with one hand to hold myself still, sorry for the crappy photos. At first I thought it was a Gurand type of fish but I cant find a match for it. P.S. Leslie, I have a photo somewhere from a night dive last week of a worm that was stretched out almost 10 feet long. As soon as I find it I will forward it to you.
  11. Wow! Love the photos, what camera and lens combinations did you use?
  12. I am not sure just yet how to best use this lens but it was alot of fun at night. I think what I like the most about it at night is that the images are probably the closest to what I actually see at night while carrying a light. Daytime photos are obviously better illuminated but a range of differences exist from the curvature that develops in the picture to the differences in actual illumination from what the eye truly sees.
  13. After work decided to go diving as the tyhpoon left us with very calm seas. The night was absolutely gorgeous! Faint but constant moonlight (didnt help with photos at 30+ meters though) to help us swim out from shore mixed with a wall that drops almost 100m makes for a great dive. I decided to try and see what the Tokina FE lens could do with my two little wimpy stobes and to generally just have fun. If anyone has some pointers on WA night photos, please tell me!!! The basket stars love the current at the depths. My partner taking photos with my G7 The Tokina FE takes closeup WA fairly well My buddy makes a new friend Tried a distance photo but the scatter showed up Strobe lighting is difficult Arch near a cave At 10mm At 17mm and a foot or so away The photos are JPEGs straight from the SD card and have not been processed in any way.
  14. I recieved my 8" modular setup last Thursday and have had it out several times including a night dive and really like it. It was also the first time I was able to take out my new Tokina 10-17 FE as well and the combination is a blast! I am not sure what all the discussion about a strap wrench is though. I screwed it together by hand and have had absolutely no problem with any leakage. Is a wrench supposed to come in the kit?
  15. This little guy (<2cm) was drifting by last night after the safety stop and was in about 3m of water. As he swam around the bottom in the surge he looked almost exactly like a bumblebee in his flight. Anyone have a name?
  16. I am considering the 10.5mm Nikon Fisheye lens and would like to see photos from a FE lens if anyone can post some. Also it would be nice if the approximate distance to subject, strobes and settings could be disclosed. Right now I use a 18-70mm kit lens as my only WA type lens and would like to move past this lens for better WA effect and photo detail sharpness. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks!
  17. There was a video playing but to be honest I went outside and enjoyed the sunlight and warmth while it was on. The fellow with the posters only spoke to me and another guy about the biology etc of the whale sharks and talked about conservation. The mainland tourists were in another area of the marina with the actual tour people watching a video. As far as I know they did not get any conservation info or pertinent information about the whale sharks in the wild. I will try to see what they watched and get back the information. The man who spoke to us was the one who forced the Okinawan Fishing Bureau which oversees licenses etc to maintain at least a minimum of care for the whale sharks. You must understand just how politically powerful the Fishermans Groups here are in Okinawa. They at times are akin to strongarm groups with tactics that are very aggressive in getting their way. As an example, this post December they arrived at a "resolution" where all the local dive shops here in Okinawa are supposed to pay a 500Yen fee per diver that goes through training. This fee is an assessment against Scuba Divers to use the local ocean because the Fishermans groups say the ocean is where their livelihood is made and so they control it. The fee is not to go directly to the fishermen however but according to the news is to be used to reduce the number of Crown of Thorn starfish (of course they kill Tritons trumpets here all the time...and wont stop...). Here are some of the plaques on the wall...
  18. After Eric Cheng had mentioned about his trip to Churumai Aquarium in Okinawa and its Whale Shark exhibit I decided to take the short trip to the in-ocean Whale Sharks at Yomitan to see for myself how it all looked. The Yomitan Fishermans Group in Okinawa has for many years been netting whale sharks and housing them in a semi-mobile near-shore net enclosure for tourist divers, mainland Japanese mostly, to visit. My guide for this trip was a fellow Japanese diver named Takeshi who principally dives caves and wrecks but for this day accompanied me to the pen. Apparently not so many years ago the Yomitan Fishermans Group (YFG) would trap the whale sharks and then let them fend for themselves until they died. It was easy enough to get more from the nutrient rich waters in the Sea of Japan when replacements were needed. Through the efforts of Dive Shop owners like Takeshi it has only been recently that pressure was exerted through the Okinawan government to in some small manner take care of the Whale Sharks health through feeding and maintenance. The YFG simply looked at the Whale Sharks as "large fish" no different than any Trevali or Tuna. I also found out that there is no apparent exchange program with the Churamai Aquarium to rotate the Whale Shark population at either location to aid in keeping the health and safety of the sharks. The dive briefing began with Takeshi showing me a number of educational poster designed to bring awareness of the whale sharks. Information covered was feeding, mating, size, global distribution, where these sharks in the pen came from etc. The information was very good and certainly ecologically sound as it covered the shark destroying habits of the fishing fleets in the asian areas. The final information covered was the safety briefing of the pen itself and what to expect from the interaction with the whale shark. The actual dive time is limited to a 30 minute dive to lessen the impact to the whale shark. During the packing of the equipment for the short boat ride I didnt bring out the camera until the last minute and was told not to film the trip. A co-diver with a video camera rig was told not too as well. The camera made it obviously. The pen is an underwater suspension setup which seems similar to a very large circus tent setup in design only with a bottom on the sea floor. The top is 3 or 4 meters under the surface with sides held out by UW buoys under tension. The shark is visible even from close to the surface as it passes slowly through the depths still allowed to it for swimming. There were 9 divers total paying about $125 dollars us equivalent for the dive. I was told that until recently that only when enough divers went that the shark even ate otherwise it was to go hungry. Of the divers themselves only myself and one other diver with two children went into the pen through the meter wide door in the pen. The other 5 divers stayed suspended on the outside of the net hanging on in the surge watching from a distance. The "handler" had brought several large pillow sized bags of some sort of food that he fed to the whale shark as we all watched. The whale shark was ravenous and knew exactly what the bag contained. When the bag came out the whale shark and its entourage of fish stopped swimming around the pen and ate what they could very quickly. The whale shark itself was a gently giant and curious enough. It visited with one little girl who had a beautiful moment of brief contact at which point I can only wonder what the two of them were thinking. The deepest I went was 70 feet and the pen went another 20 feet or so below me where it ended just short of the sandy floor. The whale shark slowly swam in a large circle around the inner perimeter of the pen at about 50 or so. While the opportunity to take photos was very nice it did seem somewhat contrived to me to have an animal like this penned up. It is of interest to note that as of the fall of 2007 there were 3 whale sharks in the enclosure but only one when we went on our trip. I asked after the other two and was told they they were just "gone". No further explanation was offered.
  19. On a night dive last night this little guy at about 3 or 4 inches long was skirting a reef wall near the bottom at 50 feet. The white picture is from when he didnt notice us, the brown picture was when he began to turn and seemed alarmed. After that photo I left him alone and was concentrating on a particularly nasty sea snake that inhabits this area and will strike after chasing you for up to 20 feet or so. The little cuttle reappeared along the bottom heading right for me and was now brilliant colors of dark reds, yellows, browns etc. I have never seen this cuttle here in Japan unless its a juvenile form of the Broadhead. However, I have seen other junenile Broadheads and they are similar to their adult forms in my opinion which this particular cuttle is not.
  20. I have literally hundreds of dives this year on an Ikelite D80 case and flat ported 60mm with no issues ever. Once you hear back from Ikelite on this please post what the outcome is as I am very interested in why yours broke and if my system is at risk based on batch number or production date etc.
  21. John, before you put out the money for the Inon lens you should understand what the G7/9 can do on its own. The Canon has a built in macro telephoto with 2 powers available already. Combined with the optical zoom in macro mode this is a very powerful macro tool. This image is NOT cropped of a 2.5 inch long nudibranch using only the G7 in an Ikelite housing.
  22. I for one do not "model" what I shoot but then I live minutes from where I like to dive and am in the water daily. This has allowed me the opportunity to go back again and again to a particular place to try and get the shot that I think I like. If I found out that a particular photographer that I admire for their work has a habit of manipulating their subject I would be greatly disappointed. When I see a beautiful photograph I always assume that that photographer has spent the time and effort to capture that image through patience, subject knowledge, skill and perhaps a bit of luck. An image captured through manipulation might as well be a photoshopped image because it is no more real as a representative of nature in what it represents. I look at many photographs by the great photographers here on Wetpixel and other places as a source of what I should strive to be like and this certainly does not include poking a stick at an animal to make it turn around. Having said this what Craig did my moving the fish to spare the coral does make sense to me however and I would probably do the same thing in his position.
  23. Eric, there unfortunately is a dark side to the Whale Shark exhibit. The Yomitan Fishermans Assoc. keeps a deep water pen off the coast not far from the aquarium which houses at any time several whale sharks. As the sharks in the exhibit begin to shown signs of "failure to thrive" they are removed and exchanged for those in the pen kept off shore. Until recent years even those kept in the pen were not fed or had their health checked. It was up to various conservation minded persons like Takeshi Sugiura and others like him that the whale sharks became to be regarded as something more than just some fish that were caught. Now there is some effort at least to feed and maintain somewhat regular health checks. A dive with the whale sharks in the offshore pen is pretty popular here with the mainland Japanese tourists and runs about 14000 yen for the boat and dive fee.
  24. My choice would be: 1) Ikelite housing 2) 60mm lens (I like macro most of all) 3) Port for 60mm and one for the "factory" lens, hopefully the 18-70mm 4) 2 sets of Ultralight arm setups 5) 2 strobes, Z240, YS110 or equivalent 6) Woodys Diopter 7) Sync cable to fire the strobes This is what I have now and for the money has produced many photos of things big and small.
  25. Not my best photographically speaking but the image itself makes me smile whenever I see it!
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