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Wetpixel Ocean Safari begins Monday

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Matti, I missed the Bryde's going through 4 time which must be some kind of record! Sure 3 of those times it came from behind but seriously!

The billfish have been a feature in the last 2-3 years. Last year we had black marlin. I do believe the warmer conditions are bringing in the tropical predators. Since most of the baitfish were herrings when this all occurred (vs the sards which were much more prevalent before the big storm June 16th), it correlates with the warmer water temps. In the years we had great sardine action, the water temps were usually in the high teens, all the way to the surface, which suited the sardines. The herring don't mind the warmer conditions as much.

Btw, again I have to say, this year was a windfall year. Many a people would've killed for 1/5 of the action the last 2 years before this season.

 

 

Well Drew, at least you did not miss bryde's with your eyes like I did - I'm glad Andrej has picture of bryde's passing behind me while I'm looking into opposite direction, always brings me a lot of laughs :)

 

Anyway, where is Andrej ? I believe he has fantastic images to show to us all. Meanwhile here is three more from my collection:

 

_DSC3125-Edit-2.jpg

 

_DSC2798-Edit-2.jpg

 

_DSC2867-Edit-2.jpg

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And few more shots from recent batch I put to my blog:

 

_DSC2729-Edit.jpg

 

_DSC2742-Edit.jpg

 

_DSC2449-Edit-Edit.jpg

 

For some photos I provide commentary on shooting technique I had to quickly adapt and to use in bait ball conditions - it would be interesting to hear about experiences of others. Drew, any killer tips you have from your shots this year ? :lol:

Edited by pats0n

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For some photos I provide commentary on shooting technique I had to quickly adapt and to use in bait ball conditions - it would be interesting to hear about experiences of others. Drew, any killer tips you have from your shots this year ? :lol:

Thanks for the great photos and the info on technique; very interesting and potentially helpful. Though I'm sure I'd forget everything if I ever got caught up in something like this. :wacko:

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Thanks for the great photos and the info on technique; very interesting and potentially helpful. Though I'm sure I'd forget everything if I ever got caught up in something like this. :wacko:

 

Thank you ! Hints are pretty basic, I started that coz many readers of my blog asking about technique - there is nothing special about it obviously, just more of common sense thing. But I just wanted to provide account on my experience also hoping that someone is going to tell me what I was doing wrong or in unreasonably complicated way - something like that :lol:

 

Forgetting everything - happens all the time ! I lost a lot of potential shots of 5.5m tiger shark "Scarface" on Shark Reef in Beqa Lagoon couple of weeks ago simply because then I saw it I forgot about tracking my exposure parameters for few minutes - very professional =) !

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in case someone is still reading this thread - three more pictures from recent batch in my blog:

 

_DSC3092-Edit-2.jpg

 

_DSC3042-Edit.jpg

 

_DSC3046-Edit.jpg

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Still reading; great stuff.

What do you do in post-processing to get this almost monochromatic metallic look?

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yup -still reading.

 

Would also like to know about the post processing steps that you are using here.

 

Awesome pics by way.

 

Paul C

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This really is the thread that will not die. LOL

However if you guys are going to discuss post, please bring it to the appropriate forum so others will appreciate it. ;)

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Thank you for your replies. Regarding postprocessing -

 

these are shots from the last day when we had 20m viz BUT overcast skies, and bait ball was relatively deep - we stayed about 12 m for the most of dive. All these conditions resulted in pretty dull lighting conditions, which in fact were more challenging then 10m viz with nice directed sunlight few days before that - "shiny" images from previous post are from that day.

 

 

For two close-up shots:

It was next to impossible to achieve any result without strobes and I had to keep aperture open (5.0-6.3) due to very dark conditions and lack of any contrast in background. My port sucks with open aperture, so this is why some images have this soft feeling in corners. Still most of images came underexposed a bit, so first step in processing was exposure correction about +0.7-1.0 EV. Second step is removing blue cast from shark/dolphins by decreasing "vibrance" parameter in Lightroom, little bit temperature change but Drew there is still no that bronze look on dolphins and sharks which I can see from shots above 5 meters - lighting is strong enough for proper color, I believe it has to do something with effect of water column even if it less then 1.5-2 meters thick. And last step is small contrast enhancement with "contrast" control in Lightroom, I did not even used curves. This shots have minor crop (< 5%) and due to good conditions there was no need for any scatter removal.

 

for shot with everyone chasing bait ball:

this one was VERY underexposed - things happened too quickly, and I had to do almost +1.7 EV correction in lightroom, and small "Vibrance" decrease. Next I used "Clarity" control to increase local contrast, in this kind of images it is very helpful to enhance small details like bird texture . Selective noise reduction in Noise Ninja, removal of scatter with Dust and Scratches filter, and finally crop - this one has about 5% cropped from the right and 10-15% from the bottom.

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Couple of more images I released to my blog - these two are not cropped and with minimum color correction:

 

_DSC2860-Edit.jpg

_DSC2860-Edit1.jpg

_DSC3111-Edit.jpg

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My God this thread just keeps going and going...

 

Alright I am totally sold, Drew have you secured any dates etc for next year? I wanna go, it looks awesome!

 

Cheers for posting the images

 

Jon

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My God this thread just keeps going and going...

 

Alright I am totally sold, Drew have you secured any dates etc for next year? I wanna go, it looks awesome!

 

Cheers for posting the images

 

Jon

 

 

You welcome ! Since you guys are still reading this thread one more funny bird picture I stumbled upon in my archive:

 

_DSC2834-Edit-3.jpg

 

 

I still have few more, however I'm off to Galapagos next week, and hopefully finally can change subject and stop annoying you with Sardine Run pics ! :) Again, I want to say thank you to Drew for such great trip - his knowledge and guidance were the key for us to enjoy experience and snap some ok shots this year. Thanks a lot and I personally hope Wetpixel will continue tradition of the Ocean Safari, if not next year then year after next !

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My God this thread just keeps going and going...

 

Alright I am totally sold, Drew have you secured any dates etc for next year? I wanna go, it looks awesome!

 

Cheers for posting the images

 

Jon

 

My God this thread just keeps going and going...

 

Alright I am totally sold, Drew have you secured any dates etc for next year? I wanna go, it looks awesome!

 

Cheers for posting the images

 

Jon

 

 

You welcome ! Since you guys are still reading this thread one more funny bird picture I stumbled upon in my archive:

 

_DSC2834-Edit-3.jpg

 

 

I still have few more, however I'm off to Galapagos next week, and hopefully finally can change subject and stop annoying you with Sardine Run pics ! :) Again, I want to say thank you to Drew for such great trip - his knowledge and guidance were the key for us to enjoy experience and snap some ok shots this year. Thanks a lot and I personally hope Wetpixel will continue tradition of the Ocean Safari, if not next year then year after next !

Edited by pats0n

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You welcome ! Since you guys are still reading this thread one more funny bird picture I stumbled upon in my archive:

 

_DSC2834-Edit-3.jpg

 

 

I still have few more, however I'm off to Galapagos next week, and hopefully finally can change subject and stop annoying you with Sardine Run pics ! :) Again, I want to say thank you to Drew for such great trip - his knowledge and guidance were the key for us to enjoy experience and snap some ok shots this year. Thanks a lot and I personally hope Wetpixel will continue tradition of the Ocean Safari, if not next year then year after next !

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I still have few more, however I'm off to Galapagos next week, and hopefully finally can change subject and stop annoying you with Sardine Run pics ! :) Again, I want to say thank you to Drew for such great trip - his knowledge and guidance were the key for us to enjoy experience and snap some ok shots this year. Thanks a lot and I personally hope Wetpixel will continue tradition of the Ocean Safari, if not next year then year after next !

 

What housing are you using?

 

Alex

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What housing are you using?

 

Alex

 

Alex, I have Sea&Sea MDX 300 equipped with compact dome port with Nikon D300 + Nikkor 12-24mm inside. As it usually happens during last few days before trip I'm trying to solve soft corners issue with this setup using your articles among other sources. I'm purchasing +4 diopter, hoping it will improve corners on open apertures a bit, but worrying since I never used one and my time in Galapagos going to be very limited. I was thinking about Tokina 10-17 but decided that I prefer straight undistorted perespective for my shooting style, and that Nikkor 12-24 is good lense which probably can be fixed somehow with usage of add-ons or proper port.

 

I will appreciate your advice a lot on this.

 

Cheers, Alex

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I love the way your images look. They are very unique and almost have a painted feel to them. Keep posting please. I will never be bored of this post.

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And I'd like to re-iterate that you have to write into the email address in the trip announcement if you are interested in the trip, even if you had written in before.

 

Can't wait to see the pictures from 2009!

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Truly awesome stuff everyone!

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Because da Wu made a comment... here's one for the road:

 

post-1861-1227579991.jpg

Canon 1D2N Sigma 12-24 at 12 f4.5 1/160 ISO400

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Nice! Where's the Brydes Whale?

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I've received more than a few emails regarding this trip so I'll respond here.

The trips run by Wetpixel are designed for maximum opportunity to photograph the phenomena (how you shoot is another matter :drink:). We minimize the group to 4 or 5 for that effect. It stands to reason that the fewer divers, the better the photo ops. We'll let the results speak for themselves here. Read this thread and you'll get an idea of what the trip is about. Our operation is not representative of the general ops available besides going to and coming back from sea (and even that is sometimes different).

Sorry to dig up this thread that will not die but after so many emails of the same questions, it's easier this way. Since I dragged this thread up, I'll throw in a pic or 2.:D

 

post-1861-1237792014.jpg

Canon 1DIIN Sigma 12-24 1/200 f13

Dolphins just coming out of the baitball. Note the gannets in the background.

 

post-1861-1237792116.jpg

Canon 1DIIN Sigma 12-24 1/125 f4.5

A lone C. Limbatus hunting in the baitball.

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I've received more than a few emails regarding this trip so I'll respond here.

The trips run by Wetpixel are designed for maximum opportunity to photograph the phenomena (how you shoot is another matter :)). We minimize the group to 4 or 5 for that effect. It stands to reason that the fewer divers, the better the photo ops. We'll let the results speak for themselves here. Read this thread and you'll get an idea of what the trip is about. Our way of operation is not representative of the general ops available besides going to and coming back from sea (and even that is sometimes different).

Sorry to dig up this thread that will not die but after so many emails of the same questions, it's easier this way. Since I dragged this thread up, I'll throw in a pic or 2.:)

 

post-1861-1237792014.jpg

Canon 1DIIN Sigma 12-24 1/200 f13

Dolphins just coming out of the baitball. Note the gannets in the background.

 

post-1861-1237792116.jpg

Canon 1DIIN Sigma 12-24 1/125 f4.5

A lone C. Limbatus hunting in the baitball.

I have one complaint Craig; you don't post enough of your images.

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