The Mystery of RAW Converters, Take Two Photo

The Mystery of RAW Converters, Take Two

Four years ago, I wrote a RAW converter comparison article called The Mystery of RAW Converters. In the 2004 article, I concluded that I prefer Canon’s Digital Photo Professional for RAW conversions when the image contains an underwater sunball. That conclusion still holds.

Sunballs are still a disaster when images are converted with Aperture or Lightroom. Underwater, I would rather shoot sunball images in JPG mode than use Aperture or Lightroom to convert RAW files—and believe me, it takes a lot to convince me to shoot JPG over RAW.

Continue reading for a one-image update to the article…

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Nikon D3 Field Review in the East Pacific. PART 1

Wetpixel’s Alex Mustard has recently returned from an extended shoot with the Nikon D3 in a Subal ND3 housing the East Pacific, diving in Canada, USA and Mexico. This three part field review discusses what the DX to FX change means to a Nikon shooter underwater and explores the capabilities of the Nikon D3.

The three part review covers general housing and camera handling, macro, wide angle, lens selection, dome performance, diffraction, autofocus performance and modes, high ISO, dynamic range and image quality. This is Part One, Part Two tomorrow.

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Bahamas shark expedition, Sep 19-25, 2008 Photo

Bahamas shark expedition, Sep 19-25, 2008

Our good friends over at Jim Abernethy’s Scuba Adventures have just had a last-minute cancellation for a shark expedition this coming month. 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 it is rare for a spot to be available at such a good deal. Trip dates are September 19-25, 2008, and price is USD $1989.00.

If you are interested, contact JASA immediately!

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Aquatica announces underwater housing for Nikon D700 dSLR Photo

Aquatica announces underwater housing for Nikon D700 dSLR

Aquatica has sent us photos and details of their upcoming AD700 housing for the Nikon D700 full-frame digital SLR. Featuring a 100m/300ft depth rating, the housing comes standard with two Nikonos or Ikelite strobe bulkheads, and offers compatibility with Aquatica’s Aqua View Finder and remote control cord.

Machined from solid aluminum, it utilizes a locking-bayonet port mount design, adds a lens release lever for easy switching, and is expected to be available shortly - continue reading for the full press release and images…

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Dome Port Diaries - Chapter 1: Water Photo

Dome Port Diaries - Chapter 1: Water

Water and I have had a tempestuous relationship. Around the age of 7, I was swimming at the local pool and a girl, perhaps a year or two older than I, jumped into the pool about 3-feet from where I was; a little too close for my liking given the splash she generated. In a passive/aggressive fit of vengeance, I “inadvertently” kicked water in her face. She, in turn, responded by grabbing me and shoving my head underwater for what seemed like 20 minutes (it was probably 3 or 4 seconds)...

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Snapper Ledge petition for Sanctuary Preservation Area (SPA) status

Snapper Ledge, a popular dive site off of Tavernier in the Florida Keys, is home to some of the most dense and diverse marine life populations in the area. Unfortunately, Snapper Ledge has become a popular destination for spear-fishing. It is common for recreational SCUBA divers to see the carnage left by spear-fisherman, many of whom are underwater simply to shoot animals for sport. Some divers have even reported spear-fisherman killing animals within mere feet of them.

Stephen Frink wrote to me a few days ago and asked me to get Wetpixel behind a petition to get Snapper Ledge designated as a Sanctuary Preservation Area (SPA). There seems to be good momentum behind getting this done, and we need as many signatures as possible before it can be presented to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Petitions work—our last petition, which fought for a no-take zone under the Blue Heron Bridge in Palm Beach, resulted in great success; the BHB area is now a no-take zone. We need you to sign the petition now and to help get the word out to all of your friends!

UPDATE: Stephen Frink has posted a 7-minute video on Scuba Diving’s website about Snapper Ledge. It is well worth a visit.

UPDATE: The news media has picked up the Snapper Ledge petition as a “photographer vs spearfisherman” issue. This is not the case. Read Stephen Frink’s thoughts on the matter, if you want more information.

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Blue Heron Bridge is now protected Photo

Blue Heron Bridge is now protected

We recently received great news about the Blue Heron Bridge. Douglas Kahle, the attorney and diver originally responsible for the Blue Heron Bridge petition, sent us the following update:

The Blue Heron Bridge Petition has been a success. County Commissioner Karen T. Marcus was extremely responsive and apparently sympathetic to the Petition and the cause; she performed magnificently in seeking protection for the marine creatures inhabiting the BHB area. As set forth in the attached letters, Rich Walesky, the Director of Environmental Resources Management, concluded that it is in fact a violation to remove marine creatures from the BHB area. Furthermore, Dennis Eshleman, Director of the County Parks and Recreation Department, is pursuing a submerged land lease with the state to provide additional protection. Finally, a sign will be placed at the area to inform the public that marine creatures cannot be removed from the area and the Park Rangers will be notified immediately.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Commissioner Marcus to thank her for her actions. Read full article for complete correspondence and contact information.

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Manta Fest 2008 Wetpixel Coverage - Day 7 Photo

Manta Fest 2008 Wetpixel Coverage - Day 7

The first week of Manta Fest has come to an end, and unfortunately, some folks are leaving us today.  However, we are looking forward to our next batch of arrivals over the coming days, which include several Wetpixel members!  Over the last week, we have enjoyed Yap’s fine Manta diving with each and every one of our visits to Goofnuw Channel resulting in some kind of manta interaction. 

We have also visited the famous Yap Caverns, the mandarinfish dusk dive, and had a fantastic shark feed at Vertigo with over 20 grey reef sharks and a half dozen black tips—but no surprise visit by any silky sharks, unfortunately…

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