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Cenotes and Whale Sharks 2010, Mexico, trip thread

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I dont know what to say.

 

Stew

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Thanks for the compliments everyone. Killer video Eric! That really does capture the lineup!

 

Another great day - fewer sharks, but just as concentrated. Water was slightly more choppy, but visibility was excellent at times. I got in on the first rotation which was nice before all the boat madness (35+ boats of snorkelers show up around 9 am).

 

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Heidi swimming with a new friend.

 

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Whale sharks everywhere.

 

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Botellas were happening early in the day.

 

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With so much already in the can, I took the fisheye off for the first time of the trip and switched to the 17-40. Great for head shots.

 

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Also for other details.

 

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Lots of other pelagics showed up today. Another boat reported seeing a great hammerhead. I saw a barracuda swim by. These mobulas were the only thing I could get close enough to photograph.

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Hey guys, these images are fantastic and Eric, that video is smokin'! Love the editing!

 

I'm heading up with a small group tomorrow...hope these conditions hold out!

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Eric - that video is incredible! Great work.

 

Cheers

James

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Video: 11 whale sharks in rapid succession!

 

Amazing how they can just speed up then slow down like that. So Matrix like :) Very cool.....

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I hereby issue a challenge to capture an underwater video clip with the most whale sharks visible in 90 seconds. I think Shawn has a 9 whale shark video, and mine has 11 in it (although a good number of them are in the background). Let's see what we can do. :)

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For this adventure, is a Tokina 10-17 the lens of choice for the DX format or something else? For those of us that are dreaming of taking this type of trip, we would love to learn from your experience.

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Shoot the widest lens possible...!

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I disagree somewhat with Shawn -- it depends on what you are shooting. A 17mm (full frame) yields much more natural-looking images and video, but a fisheye will let you capture more than one shark at a time (and get close enough to make the water look clear). The Tokina 10-17 should be ideal because you will have the full useful range!

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What I meant to say, was shoot a lens that lets you go as wide as possible...ala 10-17 :)

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Does this count for most whale sharks in 90 seconds...how about 1 second :)

 

[vimeohd]13864905[/vimeohd]

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Does this count for most whale sharks in 90 seconds...how about 1 second :)

 

Man, just intense seeing that.... I have seen a whale shark (a young one, maybe 6 meters) once. Was on scuba and it somehow wound up with us. To see so many of them, just awesome.

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Eric:

I am heading that way with Elmer Yu week after next - what kind of rubber are you wearing for the cenotes and what is the water temperature? I assume you are not using flash with the whale sharks.

Great photos.

Thanks.

Andy

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Does this count for most whale sharks in 90 seconds...how about 1 second :)

Nice video! However, I think you missed the "underwater" part. :)

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I know. Since you are there still and I am not, I think the cards are stacked against me...selective reading is all I have left!

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Eric:

I am heading that way with Elmer Yu week after next - what kind of rubber are you wearing for the cenotes and what is the water temperature? I assume you are not using flash with the whale sharks.

Great photos.

Thanks.

Andy

 

I think most of us were wearing 3mm suits, which was adequate. After the second dive, it gets pretty cold. Some sort of hood is definitely advisable. I feel like the water temperature was around 75 F, didn't check exactly. A 5mm might be good, but I feel like the buoyancy hassles could offset the benefit. Super important to be neutral, and a lot of the areas are shallow.

 

No strobes allowed with the whale sharks, only ambient. You don't really need them, though fill would be nice- the one place they would be especially useful is trying to light down the mouth. But if you can get the light in the right position, you can make it work. Personally, I'm glad not to have to swim with strobes attached to my rig for hours at a time. Much more streamlined.

 

Good luck!

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It seems as if there was another spawning event, as the water was thick with eggs. Alex and Natalie brought back a sample of the bonito eggs which are the entire reason for this wildlife aggregation. Visibility was down, but lots of sharks so no-one is complaining!

 

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Whale shark food. Each one is the size of a small bead. How many of these do they have to eat? Millions? Billions?

 

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Of course, Eric just had to sample the whale sharks' favorite delicacy.

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To photograph the shark, you have to understand the shark. To understand the shark, you have to live like the shark...

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Well, our time with the whale sharks is over, and the next group's has begun. Looks like the Wetpixel luck continues so that Eli and company have stunning conditions to kick off their trip today. I'm looking forward to seeing the fabulous images that everyone will come back with in the next group.

 

Since we had so much time in the water with the whale sharks, we decided to take to the air for another perspective. Unfortunately for us, due to a communication breakdown, it actually took two attempts as we ended up going to the Holbox aggregation site on the first flight. Looks interesting over there, but water definitely seems green. I'm sure the vis would not be too hot. Here are a couple of photos from our flights:

 

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Islas Mujeres from the air.

 

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Manta feeding at the surface.

 

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A pod of dolphins.

 

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The whale shark aggregation that we've been swimming with this week.

 

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Whale sharks feeding at the surface.

 

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Eric in front of our "mosquito" as the airport staff liked to call it due to its diminutive size relative to other helicopters in the area.

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Backstage

Edited by Alexis

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Since we had so much time in the water with the whale sharks, we decided to take to the air for another perspective. Unfortunately for us, due to a communication breakdown, it actually took two attempts as we ended up going to the Holbox aggregation site on the first flight. Looks interesting over there, but water definitely seems green. I'm sure the vis would not be too hot. Here are a couple of photos from our flights:

 

 

Great shots, love the Manta and the aerial of of the Island. I first learned to dive in Isla back in the early 90s and went back often until the late 90s, it has changed a bit :unsure:

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Eric needs a haircut..

 

That shot of the 3 whalesharks together... :unsure:

 

Had no idea Isla was such a built up place, figured you guys were staying in little huts on the beach!

Would love to join some day...

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Here's a shot at 3D whale sharks in blue water. Tried some settings to make it pop a bit more. Interested to know if it worked:

 

[vimeohd]13948878[/vimeohd]

 

(looked decent on my MacBook Pro monitor but not as good on my 24in Dell)

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