Tony Wu blogs from Tonga: Week Two with Humpbacks
Despite consistent strong winds, Tony Wu has continued to experience excellent humpback whale encounters in the kingdom of Tonga, including behavior that has him questioning current assumptions:
The accepted wisdom about why whales (and other cetaceans) blow bubbles is that it’s a sign of aggression. In many cases (such as heat runs), this is definitely true…But last week, a whale blew bubbles at me. There were no threatening gestures, and we had been in the water together for at least 30 minutes. She approached, glided by and sent some bubbles my way, continued her glide by, and blew more bubbles at her mate…
Read the full article for Tony’s interpretation of the event, his responses to questions concerning travel to Tonga, camera gear, and whale photography, and a series of humpback images…
Gates Underwater Products Open House in new location
Our friends at Gates Underwater Products have moved to a new location in Poway, CA, and are celebrating the occasion with an open house on Friday, August 22 from 3-8 PM. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served, but an RSVP is required - visit Gates for all the details, directions, and contact information for the event.
Six gill sharks in Seattle
We’re out here with Hydrus on the M/V Katherine Jane. Stay tuned—I’ve managed to rig up a wireless network here and will be updating this page as frequently as possible with video and still image clips (click through to see video stream).
Bahamas shark expedition, Sep 2-8, 2008
Our good friends over at Jim Abernethy’s Scuba Adventures are offering last-minute spots on a shark expedition this coming September. The Bahamas shark trip is well known here at Wetpixel, but has historically been expensive and hard to get on because of limited availability.
There is a significant discount on this trip, and I have never seen spots go at such a good deal. Trip dates are September 2-8, 2008, and price is USD $1989.00.
If you are interested, contact JASA immediately!
Tony Wu blogs from Tonga: Week One with Humpbacks
After 51 hours of travel, Wetpixel friend Tony Wu has spent the last week swimming with the humpback whales of Tonga, and has written in with an update:
Current status of the whales: The boys are horny; the girls are either hitched, taking care of kids or driving boys crazy; the kids are oblivious and enjoying themselves…They swam under us, around us, between us…playing all the while, doing twists and twirls while watching us. All we had to do was float and wait.
Continue reading for all the details, accompanied by photos of these large, and energetic, cetaceans…
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 slowness and other problems
A bunch of our users have upgraded to Adobe Lightroom 2.0, and many of them are regretting their decision. Users are reporting extreme slowness and inability to import metadata. Daniel Brown, an Adobe expert, added his voice of reason, stating, “There are some optimization tricks that seem to help, but my hunch is that people are using the retouching tools in LR 2.0 the same way they would in Photoshop and they are VERY different animals.”
This is a very good point. I tend to treat Photoshop as an application where my image is placed on a canvas, allowing me to use a tablet/pen to “paint” on a million tiny corrections. But when I’m in Aperture (an analogous non-destructive editing environment), I think of every mouse click as a precision operation because I know that all of the changes are being stored as “layers” over the original RAW file. It’s just going to be slower. Eventually, technology will catch up and we’ll be able to enhance/ruin photos without thinking about machine performance, but we are not quite there yet.
New “Divers Seeking Divers” forum
When I travel, I like to meet up with local Wetpixel members to dive with. It’s great because I get to connect faces with names. Plus, the locals always know the most about the local reefs.
In order to facilitate divers meeting divers, I’ve set up a new forum called Divers Seeking Divers. If you’re looking for a new local dive buddy, or are traveling somewhere and want some local expertise, head on over there and start posting!
Eric Cheng speaking at NCUPS on Fri, Aug 8, 2008
Wetpixel publisher and editor Eric Cheng (that’s me) is speaking at the Northern California Underwater Photographic Society (NCUPS) this coming Friday, August 8, 2008. I will be presenting some of my favorite images and talking about how and where they were taken. In addition, I’ll show the RAW files behind the final images so you can see what goes into a typical image’s post-processing.
Location: New Vision United Methodist Church, 450 Chadbourne Avenue, Millbrae, CA. 94030. Doors open at 7pm for a pre-talk seminar. Eric’s talk starts at 8pm.
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