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Weeki Wachee mermaids on film Photo

Weeki Wachee mermaids on film

Since 1947, women and men have donned costumes and fins and been part of a display of mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs in Spring Hill, Florida. Created by an ex-navy diver, Newton Berry, and originally using an air hose to breathe from, the mermaids still perform shows in the aquarium-like setting. The spring and its “inhabitants” have also been used in Hollywood films, and were the scene for a music video “Low C” by the British group Supergrass in 2005.

Recently, some historic film has come to light of the displays. This is fascinating not only for the performer’s prowess, but also for the footage’s quality given the basic equipment that must have been available.

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In a place far, far away deep underwater Photo

In a place far, far away deep underwater

Mike Elliot’s latest underwater video “Escape” uses a Star Wars theme to illustrate the battle between a school of catfish sheltering in a coral encrusted car and a group of predatory hingebeaks and cardinal fish.

Shot in the Philippines, he skilfully combines soundtrack, shooting angles and tight shots to build a sense of foreboding! To quote Mike:

“I found these catfish at 90 feet and thought of this video.”

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The Diving, Resort & Travel Expo, Hong Kong, July 16-18, 2010 Photo

The Diving, Resort & Travel Expo, Hong Kong, July 16-18, 2010

The Diving, Resort & Travel Expo (“DRT Show”) will be held in the Hong Kong Exhibition Centre next month during July 16-18, 2010. Over the three-day expo, more than 30,000 expected attendees will learn more about the latest diving equipment, water sports equipment, dive resorts, tourism boards and diving organizations brought to them by a lineup of over 141 top-level exhibitors from across 21 countries and cities including Europe, America, South Pacific and Asia.

Wetpixel is looking for a local correspondent to cover the DRT Show in Hong Kong. Your job will be to represent Wetpixel, taking photos and writing commentary about underwater photography, videography and conservation news at the show. If you’re interested, please contact Eric.

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Our Oceans in Reverie and Neglect Photo

Our Oceans in Reverie and Neglect

Fabien Cousteau, writing in the Huffington Post, has shown his appreciation of the ocean world.

“This month has been both a special time for our planet’s ocean and one of great distress. June 7th kicked off a week full of events, celebrating Capital Hill Ocean Week, World Ocean Day (June 8th) and my grandfather’s 100th birthday commemoration dive, end-capping the week on June 11th. Throughout the week, the beauty, majesty and fragility of our water world were center pieces of discussions and of reverie.”

However, in the same article he also emphasizes his distress at the unfolding events in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Churning in the water column, resembling a giant ink cloud from a gigantic octopus, a dark shroud has enveloped our aquatic arena since April 20th, 2010 and its vision has become all too familiar, thanks to hundreds of Web sites and blogs showing the live feed. The Gulf oil spill, a catastrophe of epic proportions, has commanded the world’s attention for 62+ days straight now.”

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The Digital Shootout live coverage underway Photo

The Digital Shootout live coverage underway

The Digital Shootout coverage is now underway. The Digital Shootout is an opportunity for shooters to improve their underwater photo and video skills, and is sponsored by Backscatter, Aquatica, Light & Motion, Canon, Sea & Sea, Wakatobi Dive Resort and Wetpixel, among many others. Fantastic prizes will be awarded to the winners of the Digital Shootout.

This year’s Digital Shootout is taking place this week on Little Cayman island. Tune into to the coverage to get an inside track the shooters’ perspectives on the week of diving, as well as see images taken by the participants. Next year, the Digital Shootout will return to Bonaire, and you can contact Under Exposures for more information about joining the trip.

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Danger on the rise for Guadalupe shark divers Photo

Danger on the rise for Guadalupe shark divers

Dive operators and their customers are pushing the envelope at Mexico’s Guadalupe Island, the world’s premiere destination for diving with great white sharks. Some operators have called it an “arms race” to make the encounters with the large predators more and more extreme.

Operators are pointing fingers at each other as to which methods of encounters with the great whites are illegal, but most agree upon one thing: if there is an accident, the Mexican government will likely shut the whole business down, potentially paving the way for poachers to slaughter the sharks. Read the whole story over at the Grind TV blog.

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IWC Agadir meeting fails to reach agreement Photo

IWC Agadir meeting fails to reach agreement

International Whaling Commission (IWC) talks in Agadir, Morocco have hit a wall, with the failure of last-minute meetings to reach a compromise on demands for a new commercial hunt. The talks’ sponsor, the US, admitted yesterday that it was at an impasse, despite 30 rounds of meetings over the past two days. Sir Geoffrey Palmer, of New Zealand, said they had failed to end Japan’s Southern Ocean whaling, and that this is expected to resume next summer.

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Amphibico release ‘electronic one-push white balance’ feature Photo

Amphibico release ‘electronic one-push white balance’ feature

Amphibico has announced that the new ‘electronic one-push white balance’ feature is now available and shipping on Dive Buddy EVO Elite II housing models for Sony HDR-XR550V and HDR-CX550V cameras. This gives access to the white balance function via a push button on the housing hand grip.

Amphibico will be rolling the feature out across the Dive Buddy EVO Elite II range, with housings for the following cameras being the next to receive the feature: Sony HDR-XR520V, Sony HDR-XR200V, Sony HDR-CX12 and Sony HXR-MC50.

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First Panasonic 8mm fisheye underwater footage in the wild Photo

First Panasonic 8mm fisheye underwater footage in the wild

INON posted a video to YouTube which was shot with their much-anticipated X2 housing for the Panasonic GF-1. The clip features footage and stills taken with the just released Panasonic 8mm fisheye lens. The GF-1 is one of the most anticipated cameras from the emerging Micro Four Thirds standard to shoot underwater, and has been a hot topic of discussion in our forums. Wetpixel members have already captured some terrific results using the macro options, and now the wide angle lens selection is shaping up nicely. Watch the embedded video after the jump.

In other Micro Four Thirds news, DPreview posted further information about the upcoming AG-AF100 camcorder that will support existing Micro Four Thirds lenses. The camera will offer 1080 and 720 video recording in frame rates of 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25 or 23.98p with the top two rates interlaced in 1080 mode. The camcorder also features industry-standard HD SDI and XLR connectors, and looks to be an exciting addition to the Micro Four Thirds family.

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Photoshop CS5 tutorial DVD for underwater photographers Photo

Photoshop CS5 tutorial DVD for underwater photographers

Well known educators, Jack and Sue Drafahl aka “the Digital Duo”  have released a new Photoshop CS5 tutorial DVD aimed specifically at underwater photographers. It runs for 16 hours, and consists of 224 individual tutorials, including (among others): Setup, Adobe Camera RAW, global corrections, selective corrections, workflow, plug-ins and animations. The DVD also covers the use of Photoshop CS3 and CS4.

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