Call for entries: Oceans in Focus competition Photo

Call for entries: Oceans in Focus competition

To recognize the United Nations declaring 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity, Project AWARE Foundation and SeaWeb’s Marine Photobank are calling for entries for the third “Ocean in Focus” Conservation Photography Contest. This features species in need of protection, the human impacts upon them and their environments, and the critical need to conserve biodiversity.

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Randall Bentoni returns from Socorro / Revillagigedos Islands Photo

Randall Bentoni returns from Socorro / Revillagigedos Islands

Last year’s Picture of the Year winner, Randall Bentoni, was awarded a one-week liveaboard dive trip to the Revillagigedos by our POTY sponsor, Solmar V. Randall has just returned from his expedition:

The crew of the Solmar V took great care of my wife and me. The food was fantastic (I gained a few pounds) the service was superb, and the diving was sensational. We saw enormous mantas that swam and played with us on nearly every dive. We also saw large hammerheads and galapagos sharks, dozens of white tip sharks and beautiful Clarion Angelfish that evidently we will never see anywhere else.

Randall has posted a few photos from his trip. Be sure to enter our Picture of the Week contest for a chance to win Ikelite underwater flashlights and a trip aboard the Solmar V!

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Howard Hall’s Cocos 2010 video short, shot on RED Photo

Howard Hall’s Cocos 2010 video short, shot on RED

IMAX 3D director and producer Howard and Michele Hall recently returned from a 14-day expedition to Cocos Island, Costa Rica, where they made four dives aboard the Undersea Hunter submersible, Deep See. Howard has posted a 3-minute video short using footage he shot using the RED ONE camera.

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Coral bleaching affecting Maldives Photo

Coral bleaching affecting Maldives

The Maldives is now suffering the most serious incidence of coral bleaching since the major 1998 El Niño event that destroyed most of the country’s shallow reef coral.

Coral bleaching is caused when rising water temperatures stress the coral, leading it to expel the algae it uses to get nutrients. When water temperatures rise even slightly, algae leave the coral polyp and enters the water column, causing the coral to lose its colour and eventually die.

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Bug eye / endoscope video from Lembeh, Indonesia Photo

Bug eye / endoscope video from Lembeh, Indonesia

I’ve just posted a short video shot in Lembeh Strait, Indonesia, with a Canon 7D in a Nauticam underwater housing with 60mm macro lens and INON Underwater Micro Semi-Fisheye Relay Lens UFL-MR130 EFS60 (AKA “bug eye” or “insect eye”)—effectively, and underwater endoscope.

The INON bug eye lens produces images with a perspective otherwise impossible to achieve—like seeing the macro world from a small critter’s perspective!

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Wetpixel PNG Eastern Fields Expedition, January 2012 Photo

Wetpixel PNG Eastern Fields Expedition, January 2012

Wetpixel is going back to the remote Eastern Fields of Papua New Guinea! We’ll be aboard the liveaboard dive vessel, M/V Golden Dawn, with captain Craig de Wit, one of the few captains out there with the expertise necessary to navigate the Eastern Fields atoll system. The Eastern Fields is not over-dived, is not over-fished, and is not sitting next to areas suffering from over-development. We’ll be the only ones in the water and will structure the diving to maximize photography and videography productivity.

Click through for detailed trip information and a short video introduction of the Eastern Fields.

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Valerie Taylor honored Photo

Valerie Taylor honored

Underwater adventurer and shark expert Valerie Taylor has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her service to conservation in today’s Queen’s Birthday honors list.

Together with her husband Ronald, Ms Taylor has fought for over fifty years for the protection of underwater creatures, in particular the great white shark and the grey nurse shark. She has also fought for the conservation of habitats including the Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo Reef Marine Park in Western Australia and also wants to see sea lions, the potato cod, the southern right whale and marine turtles protected.

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Phuket reefs damaged by warm weather Photo

Phuket reefs damaged by warm weather

Bleaching has struck 90 percent of the coral reefs around Phuket, Thailand, and in 10 to 40 percent of them, this is irreversible. This is due to a greater than usual exposure to hot sun and warmer than normal water temperatures. This has placed the entire Andaman region’s reefs at risk this year. Other reefs around Thailand and the Australian Great Barrier Reef have also been affected. Scientists measured reef temperatures this week at 30.5 degrees. Prolonged exposure to 31 degrees or above is harmful.

The damage may be short-term, as the corals being bleached are fast-growing varieties. However more unseasonably warm weather would continue the trend, and if this was an annual change, regeneration may not take place.

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Canon 5D Mark II underwater housing shootout Photo

Canon 5D Mark II underwater housing shootout

The Canon 5D Mark II is the most popular HDSLR with 1080p video and 21 megapixels on a 35mm sensor. From feature films to TV, this camera has been touted as the game changer.  With such fanfare, join Drew as he reviews 2 housings for the camera, the Aquatica A5D Mark II and Sea & Sea MDX Pro, to compare the pros and cons of each housing brand’s design philosophy.

Click through to see this in-depth, 7-page review…

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