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Kelpfish

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It's amazing how poorly deckhands are trained to handle expensive camera gear. The older dude was grabbing cameras from the swim step by their ports to huff them on board. Later I heard him laughing and telling someone that he grabbed onto this housing by a lever and it kept shooting pictures. He said, "I had no idea what I was touching or hitting, it just kept going click, click, click, click. Eventually, I had to pull him aside and give him some handling instructions. Turns out that it was my housing he was laughing about handling.

 

Here are a couple of comical images, impromptu I might say, taken not by me, but by the person in the picture, both of whom are deckhands on two different boats.

 

Enjoy.

 

Joe

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post-1513-1159731319_thumb.jpg

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hahaha...

 

too funny.

 

you are lucky they didn't break your port!

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Someone in my uw photo club just reported having flooded their camera on a Channel Islands trip aboard one of the Truth Aquatics boats. She said that she'd done the pre-dive rinse tank leak check where everything checked out. She supsects that the cause of the flood was a jarred dome port. As is common practice on those boats you hand your rig to one of the deck hands who then attached a line to the camera and lowers it from the deck to the diver in the water. At times, giant stride entries are required from the bow of the vessel, in which case the elevation difference to the water is a good 6+ feet from the deck. Depending on how fast the deckhand lowers the camera to the diver or directly into the water... Come to think of it, I've had them try to attach their "lowering line" to the synch cord on my own rig!

 

GG

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Someone in my uw photo club just reported having flooded their camera on a Channel Islands trip aboard one of the Truth Aquatics boats. She said that she'd done the pre-dive rinse tank leak check where everything checked out. She supsects that the cause of the flood was a jarred dome port. As is common practice on those boats you hand your rig to one of the deck hands who then attached a line to the camera and lowers it from the deck to the diver in the water. At times, giant stride entries are required from the bow of the vessel, in which case the elevation difference to the water is a good 6+ feet from the deck. Depending on how fast the deckhand lowers the camera to the diver or directly into the water... Come to think of it, I've had them try to attach their "lowering line" to the synch cord on my own rig!

 

GG

 

Has anyone thought about/experimented with large zip-loc bags that might allow a simpe giant stride w/ camera in hand?

 

Seems that the bag would mitigate the significant pressure encountered when entering the water.

 

I know that I'd feel better with my camera in-hand and relatively untouched by other humans :)

Edited by hoovermd

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I don't think the zip-lock bag would have any cushioning affect when hitting the water from a giant stride. The suddenly increasing air pressure inside would simply burst the zip open.

 

I have perfected a technique where I lower my camera rig (with big dome) into the water and then fall in head-first after it. It doesn't look pretty and many dive guides think I have fallen in by accident the first time they see me do it, but it has proved succesful so far (and beats the twisted Subal dome port factor). Of course it doesn't work if the freeboard is bigger than my reach with the camera held by a strobe arm (about four and a half feet)!

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Here's a technique I've employed which isn't the easiest but seems effective. I fully inflate my BC while hold the camera rig in my left hand fully extended above my head with a completely stiff arm. As I giant stride in, my full buoyancy along with some well timed fin kicks make it so the camera barely touches the water. Seems to work as my body becomes a full shock absorber. I realize with some rigs...this is an impossible task with others it might be an option.

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If you have Locline strobe arms warn the person handing in/lifting out NOT to use these as the lifting point. I have had them disconnect in mid lift with the camera left dangling by the synch cord/fibre optic.

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If you have Locline strobe arms warn the person handing in/lifting out NOT to use these as the lifting point.

 

you should always a connect the locline elements with a wire (from top to bottom) inside. :)

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What kind of operators are you folks diving with anyway? Is this what it means to dive in the US - that the crew trash your housing and gear?

 

Does anyone else see anything wrong with this picture, or has it somehow become silly and unrealistic to expect the crew (who are working on the boat that I'm paying good money to dive on) to exercise reasonable care in handling my equipment?

 

Frogfish

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Robert,

 

You touch on a good point. Deckhands turn around like a clock. They are told the basics but almost never given instruction on handling housings. When I do tell them how to handle them, the next time I go diving its a new group of deckhands/safety divers. It may just be that, compared to the cost of living here in the US, that many find it's way too much work for the pay. I don't think deckhanding here is a "career" per se like it is in most other parts of the world, so we get stuck with what we you see in the pictures I posted. To be a little more fair, the L&M housing has a hugh long shutter release that's easy to hit. My fear was them grabbing onto ports to lift the housings from the swim step to the deck.

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I have found that in the Third World, local people appreciate being shown anything in the way of a new technique, including how you want your camera handled. It's only when you are dealing with people who think they know better...

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One thing that I've seen done but havn't tried myself is the use of a lanyard. I saw Gerb (from this board and others) use about a 15ft lanyard attached to his wrist. He lowered the camera rig into the water first and then followed with a giant stride. Seemed like a pretty good solution.

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My biggest problem hasn't been deckhands so much as fellow photographers -- go figure -- who haphazardly drop their rigs into the all-too small rinsing tanks -- even if they have methods of fastening them with carbiners to the edge of the tanks. I now use Polar Bear Coolers ( the large "48 can" size) to serve as a rinsing tank and well padded case. I dive commercially for laboratories and they've been great to carry specimens over the years and serve well as a live tank.

 

Sure, I've received the stink eye on a couple of occasions but it certainly protects a camera which cost more than my car in college. You can even get the bags personalized for about ten bucks more . . .

 

One thing that I've seen done but havn't tried myself is the use of a lanyard. I saw Gerb (from this board and others) use about a 15ft lanyard attached to his wrist. He lowered the camera rig into the water first and then followed with a giant stride. Seemed like a pretty good solution.

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