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Everything posted by Undertow

  1. I really like the lighting effect from below, but I think the impact is less shooting down on the eel. If the camera was lower, at the eel's eye level, then eye contact could be made and the lighting effect would really shine. Obviously getting low enough to be at the subjects eye level can be frustratingly difficult and often impossible, but I feel it is such a key element.
  2. Page 35 of my D200 manual has the temps: Cloudy: 6000K Shade: 8000K Flash: 5400K cheers, chris
  3. I can tell you that I bought the Nikon 16mm after looking at the Sigma nikon mount and I'm regreting it. Its a fantastic super sharp lens but the min focus onlly gives a 1:10 reproduction ratio and on 3 dives i've already missed some spectacular opportunities from the lack of close focus. I'm now looking to make a trade in. Chris
  4. I would also like to hear people's opinions between the nikon 16mm and the sigma 15mm, especially related to sharpness. I just bought a nikon 16mm and while I love it and its super sharp and pops like the 10.5mm, I've already buggered a couple potentially spectacular shots because its lack of super close focus. I know the sigma has much closer focus, but how is the sharpness and how close does it really focus with a common 8" dome?? Cheers, Chris
  5. "Pistoleros" on hookah systems are wiping out every last fish on the reefs between La Paz and Loreto Bay in the Sea of Cortez on the eastern side of Baja California. Check this link out here (and be sure to watch the video): http://seawatch.org/mail_campaign/alert2_back.html These disgusting fishing practices appear to be causing a total collapse of fish life in this part of the Sea of Cortez. I remember spectacular diving off La Paz on a trip a few years ago, the highlight of which was playing with the mantas as La Reina. I hear those mantas are now gone along with almost all the other fish. If you have ever dove the Sea of Cortez or ever wish to, speak out now. You can write a letter to mexican officials here: http://www.seawatch.org/mail_campaign/pistoleros_letter.php The review period, before potential legislation is passed to ban hookah systems, ends on JULY 8. This topic has been briefly discussed (together with horrible long lining) here: http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showt...l=sea+of+cortez but i felt it necessary to tell everyone that now is the time to speak out. Here is the letter i wrote: 2007-07-03 Dear Conapesca Official, I have visited the Sea of Cortez a few years past and was amazed by the abundance of life on the reefs. As a diver, I found the destination and people spectacular. While I was planning to revisit soon, a little research told me that most of the sites I visited off La Paz and Loreto Bay have been wiped clean of most of the marine life (including my favorite dive at La Reina to see the mantas that I hear are now gone!). I hear now that this disapearance of life is due to disgusting fishing practices by so called "Pistoleros" on hookah systems. Many beautiful locations have realized the immense value in tourism related to their wildlife. The short term gains made by slaughtering all the marine life pales in comparison to the long term gains in diving related tourism and sustainable fisheries. These devastating fishing practices MUST be stopped at all costs. Now is the time for the human race to take up stewardship and protect what we once thought was an infinite resource in the ocean. Now we know it is not. PLEASE help me to stop this so the marine life in the Sea of Cortez can be enjoyed by all for generations to come. Sincerely, J. Christopher Burville
  6. ran into this cute fellow about 10 miles offshore in open water. it's a greater shearwater and they're currently migrating north. I couldn't resist getting into the water with this guy since he didn't mind the boat whatsoever! Oddly, when he dove his feathers seemed to turn shiny & silver like mercury, making the blowout rate ridiculous. So fast too, really hard to shoot but so much fun. Chris
  7. COCOS! - but you're going there so I'd say hit the carribian, Belize or Cayman are fantastic. The kelp forests in California are very cool too.
  8. I too am starting to explore cavern (not cave certified yet...) photography and have found little info. I am by no means an expert and have tried very little but here's what i've learned: - the wider the better, I use my 10.5mm fisheye. - try and have a diver model for you, it adds loads of context - avoid even front lighting, unless it accents some back or side lighting or is lighting the diver. Formations and walls look far better with harsh shadows, gives them depth. I find 2x 11" arms gets 1 strobe far enough out - use 1 strobe on the camera and 1 or 2 slaved either on a small plastic tripod (i have a Velbon) or in a diver's hand for side or back lighting. It also extends the reach of your lighting if the diver points the strobe away from you. - start with cave entrances, they're easier I only have 1 pic on hand to post, and it shows none of the lighting techniques as my 2 slaves malfunctioned this dive. Oh well. Have fun and be safe. Cheers, Chris Edit: This pic was taken at ISO 200, f/2.8 & 1/40th sec. I'd shoot wide open (f/2.8) and keep ISO low otherwise noise will appear in the darker parts of the pics. The only difference shutter speed makes when shooting away from the cave entrance is to determine how bright the diver's dive light shows up - and yours too, so beware.
  9. ok, sounds like the tinting is standard-issue. not too keen on it, but you guys are right that it shouldn't really affect the shooting. just wondered if i may have accidentally gotten a pre-production or uncoated sample. guess not. can't wait to get it in the water. cheers, chris
  10. Hi All, I just recieved my aquatica aqua view today amid much excitement as is usual when spending more than $1k on something. I read reports of a yellow cast (and saw it at dema) in the pre-production models that was supposed to be corrected with coatings in the finished product and can't find mention of any recently. My viewfinder has a slight yellow cast (similar to the one at dema) when looking through it at home (makes my sky blue bedroom wall look green). I have not used it underwater yet, but would like people's input on thier viewfinders. Here's a pic using my 60mm of a white wall framed partially through the viewfinder and partially not. The pic is a jpeg straight out of the camera and has only been resized. Seems a bit much to me. Is this normal? do others have it too?? Cheers, Chris
  11. Continuous focusing AF-C (C-S-M flip switch) Dynamic area autofocus [+] (4 spot flip switch on back) FPS rate to Ch (at 5fps - but with a gentle shutter finger) (bezel switch around base of ISO-QUAL-WB switch) and focus priority to FPS + AF (in Custom-Focus menu) so it continually focuses but will also fire without locking up. I would never set a camera to fire only if in focus - i don't trust the camera for that, i'd rather have the picture and delete it later. For wide angle i set the focus areas to Wide 7-area. For macro I use the standard 11-area mode. I also set the focus areas to Wrap so changing focus areas quickly is easier with the awkward housing controls. (All under Custom-Focus menu). think that's it. Cheers, Chris
  12. if you're going for the monochrome look, i'd suggest converting them to black & white. I think they'd have more impact that way. its a nice start.
  13. I just paid $300 for Aperture and this program looks USELESS to me. I'll admit I haven't put much time into it yet, but I don't even know if I can start. I bought it because I read numerous recomendations for its RAW workflow. MAJOR PROBLEM: Aperture requires you to reorgainze your entire image collection! This is ludicrous! I have thousands of photos (almost 50GB) of a wide variety of subjects already organized on my hard drive. Firstly it tries to have you copy all your photos into its own library file that only aperture can read. right..... So you can use "referenced" files and keep them in their original location - but you still have to "import" them, (which seems to take forever considering its not supposed to be copying the files) and reorganize them in aperture's "projects" and "albums". I don't have time for that. This is ridiculous. I also don't shoot many "projects" but primarily stock photos and organize by subject matter. Am I missing something? Why can't it just open, store and work with everything where you already have it like photoshop? This seems like a ploy by apple to make you dependant on aperture - what happens if I want to switch image editing programs in the future??? Unbelievable. Any advice?? Was this just a waste of money? Should I just buy PS CS3 and stop whining? (you may laugh, but I've always worked with Photoshop Elements and finally decided to upgrade) Cheers, Chris
  14. Unless you already have a D70s, get a D80 or even a D200. With the speed of technology today, its already obsolete. The D70s is discontinued and many stores don't even sell them anymore. I'm sure a D80 won't be much more. It makes no sense to buy a new D70s now unless you get a whole used rig super cheap. The tokina 10-17mm and nikon 60mm sound like good choices to cover all the basics. I would definitely get that combo over your other 2 choices. If you get a lens requiring the 8" dome in the future, you may never again use the 6" and regret buying it. I would also consider the 10.5mm since it is so sharp and really 'pops' compared to the tokina zoom. You sacrifice versatility but I love the way its pics just jump right out at you. They will both be way wider than your old NikV 20mm, though the 17mm end of the zoom (or the nikon 16mm FE - also 'pops') will be closer. Either way, I'm sure you'll have fun experimenting with digital. Cheers, Chris
  15. A UK Light Canon will be tough because it is big and bulky (and horribly unreliable i've heard). For night & cavern dives I use a dive rite canister light with a ball joint 'macguyvered onto the light head. I screw another ball head into the top of my aquatica housing (in the middle) and attach the light head smack in between my 2 strobes. The bulky canister gets strapped to my BC harness. I think you can get a ball joint for the light canon and do the same if you have a screw thread in the top of your housing. The other option would be to replace one strobe with the torch. So you have a strobe on one side and your light on the other. Also if you're new to UW photography, starting with 1 strobe simplifies things greatly and will reduce your overall bulk. Obviously you can't carry it, so i'd first look for a ball joint attachment for the torch and go from there. I wouldn't worry too much about the torch in the pics as the only exposures I've ever caught my torch in were shooting cave formations at 1/40th of a second and f/2.8 at iso 200 (well, maybe in your dark murky green waters...). Even then with an adjustable beam angle of the light head i can just widen the beam and lose the hot spot. Maybe that means you should buy a canister light to go with your brand new camera rig dive safe, Chris
  16. I'll ring in for the 10.5mm. I've only played with a 10-17mm topside but I have a bit of a soft spot for sharpness and it definitely doesn't 'pop' like the 10.5mm. (Nor would any 3rd party zoom vs. a nikon prime). The close focusing is sweet, but differences in sharpness are magnified UW and I find most pics i've seen a tad soft. Also, b/c UW photography is so much harder than topside, I personally prefer a prime with the simplicity, direction and 'focus' (forgive the pun) a single focal length gives. Zooming becomes one less thing to worry about in the complex world of UW photography. Its always a tradeoff - versatility vs image quality. You decide which is more important for your needs.
  17. Thanks for the tips guys. The Agafa slide film actually sounds quite delicious, but I doubt I'll find it now that it's out of production. The Ilford 3200's 'mood' looks interesting (indeed the comp screen doens't do it justice) but I'm hoping to use the pics in a book printed at 350dpi. I think the high end printing would crush that 'mood'. I'll try the Ilford Delta 400 then. Cheers, Chris
  18. James, I never said 'bad colour', just not as good as my nikon (and i was being a little cocky). Can you please elaborate on the calibration of the colour in my 1DmkII? My 3 collegues and I tend to find the colours of our cameras quite dull. I keep it on high saturation and its duller than my D200 on normal saturation. I wasn't aware that you can recalibrate it. Never bothered to download the manual though. You can PM me the info if you don't want this thread getting off topic. Cheers, Chris
  19. I've decided to dust off my nik V & put down my D200 rig to do some ambient light B&W shots of my favorite wrecks. Can anyone recommend a good film? I saw an Agfa B&W slide film mentioned in another forum, which is intruiging, but B&H are out of stock and who knows when it'll be back. Do people tend to use higher speed B&W films - I usually hear 400 & 800 ratings. Is this purely out of necessity or does the grain add more character than a 100 speed film?? I'm assuming, of course, that my D200 could never to justice to a good b&w film. Please tell me if you think otherwise. Cheers, Chris
  20. I'm not aware of a nikon 17-85mm lens but in that price range i guess the 18-70mm is your best bet for a cheap mid zoom. It won't be wide enough for WA, especially for shooting divers (like your kids) and won't focus close enough for good macro. You'll soon want the 12-24mm for WA and the 60mm for macro. For less money people like the sigma 10-20mm ($500 at B&H). Fisheye's are great too but won't do you much good above water. Generaly the best lenses for above & below the water differ significantly. There are numerous other threads discussing lens choice. Cheers, Chris
  21. This might fire it up a little: NIKON RULES! hehe I have no experience with a 400D but I shoot with a $3.5 grand Canon 1DmkII for work and a $1.6 grand D200 for personal (and UW) and vastly prefer the D200. Nikons have better colour, better glass (pro glass that is), better focus tracking, better TTL and more efficient controls. Get the D200 (or D80 if money or weight is paramount). Cheers, Chris
  22. It can be used, though nikon's site says AF will not work. I've read elsewhere that AF will work but its quite shoddy. Metering & VR will work. I find this odd as I've used an old 105mm macro (non-VR) with a kenko 1.4x and ok AF. At the same time, once you're shooting a 150mm f/4 lens+TC combo at greater than 1:1 auto functions are gonna struggle regardless. Check this site: http://www.naturfotograf.com/index2.html cheers, Chris
  23. Hi Andy, sorry to hear about your misfortune, but at least you got the insurance $$ to upgrade now. I think your best bet is a D200 or D80. We're (I am at least) still eagerly awaiting the anouncement of the D3X which is long overdue. That technology will subsequently filter down into the D300 followed by the D90 (names are purely speculation). Don't expect the D300 till at least 6 months after the D3X (and 3+ months for housing) - and few people beyond full time pros want to lug around a heavy pro body and housing like the D3X will be. So assuming they released the D3X tomorrow, you wouldn't have a housed D300 for 9 months to a year or more. I have a D200 & Aquatica and love it - so i'd suggest that unless you want to play the waiting game. It's tough though cause the D200 will soon be obsolete. Also, people are speculating on a possible full frame sensor on the D3X so perhaps then on the D300 too. In that case you'd have to replace your DX lenses with old school ones (though I've heard an odd rumor that nikon has 15 'special' new lenses to release with the D3X... hehe, we'll see about that). As for a P&S, check the compact cameras forum and you should get some good suggestions. Cheers, Chris
  24. Hi All, I'm new to selling images and I have a large organization looking to "buy the copyrite to" a few of my UW images. They are awating a per image price quote from me. I have been suggested a significant price (in the thousands) by some of my compatriates, but I'm reluctant to just dump the copyrite. I would prefer to give them an unrestricted use license and I'm curious about the distinction between the two, both legally and money wise. If I have a price in mind to sell the copyrite, would someone suggest a fraction of that price for an unrestricted use license. For comparison's sake, imagine this was a large diving organization, like a liveaboard fleet (it is not, and only mentioned for size comparison) and they wanted the images for their publications, tradeshows etc. They are also quite keen on my images vs others. Please help, I want to get a good value for heavy use of my images but I'm also hoping this may turn into a fruitfull long term relationship. Cheers, Chris
  25. Thanks for the info Chris. It is colour offset printing, i remember now. So, for 175lpi I would need 265dpi for lots of detail and 350dpi for it to look smoother?? Wouldn't the higher dpi result in more detail?? Or does that mean it renders the detail more smoothly? Also, can anyone recommend a good interpolation program to increase the resolution? What kind of realistic size difference can these programs give (at 300-350dpi terms)? Thanks for the help, trying to get my head around this level of printing so I can think realistically about what sizes I can print. I would love any input from someone who's done a high end photo book from a modern dslr. Cheers, Chris
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