British Underwater Image Festival 2007 Photo

British Underwater Image Festival 2007

After a postive reception in 2006, the British Underwater Image Festival (BUIF) returns for another year and is currently accepting entries! The festival is managed by DIVE Magazine, and sponsors include Suunto, PADI, and Apeks. This year there are a number of different categories. For photo; Open, Digital compact camera, and Portfolio, with prints as the entry format (no digital files or slides) and for video; Professional, Liveaboard, and Amateur. Each competitor can enter up to 6 images free of charge. The entry deadline is January 31, 2007 - continue reading for more details…

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Wetpixel forums back online, take 2

Just over a week ago, the Wetpixel forums area was compromised by a hacker and shut down.  We’ve just managed to get things back online, but we’ve lost all posts since the morning of Saturday, August 20.  The software we’re running has been updated to the newest version (with security hole plugged), and all administrator and moderator passwords have been changed.

In addition to a few days of lost posts, the look-and-feel in the new forums area will take some time to settle; my first priority was to get the forums functioning normally and securely.  Please let us know if you notice anything strange.

Because of the method of attack, if you are a user who registered on or before May 10, 2005, you should seriously consider changing your password as soon as possible.  Although we do not store your passwords in plain text, the hacker may have gained access to the encrypted passwords.  In some cases, the password can be recovered via readily-accessible web tools.

If you are being logged out by the main Wetpixel area and POTW area after you successfully log into the forums, you probably need to delete your browser cookies.  Users have reported that it solves this specific logout issue.

The not-often-used forums gallery and blog areas have been updated as well, and I’ve also enabled a new, live chat feature so you can chat in real time with your fellow underwater photographers!

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Canon Announces the Digital Rebel XTi (400D) Photo

Canon Announces the Digital Rebel XTi (400D)

Canon formally announced the successor to the popular Digital Rebel series today - the Digital Rebel XTi (400D). The camera features a 10.1 megapixel CMOS APS-C sensor, a 2.5” LCD monitor, 3FPS shooting for up to 27 JPEG or 10 RAW, a 9-point autofocus, and, new to the Canon lineup, a self-cleaning sensor unit. Similar to some Olympus dSLR cameras, the cleaning unit uses ultrasonic vibrations to remove dust from the sensor. The camera is only 1mm thicker than the previous Digital Rebel XT (350D), so underwater housings should become available quickly. Best of all, the Digital Rebel XTi will retail with a tentative list price of $799 USD.

Continue reading for the full press release…

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New Auto-Magic Filter Photo

New Auto-Magic Filter

Wetpixel’s Dr. Alex Mustard is pleased to announce the launch of a new filter - the Auto-Magic, which is made specifically for underwater photography with digital compact cameras. The filter is designed to make the great colors of Magic filter images simple for everybody to produce. This filter works with the camera’s automatic settings, so all you need to do is to turn off your flash and point and shoot for vibrant and colorful images. For more details and sample photos see www.magic-filters.com.

Unlike the camera’s white balance feature - which alters the mix of light already collected by the sensor - the Magic Filter alters the mix of light before it enters the lens. Since reds and oranges disappear from the underwater spectrum quickly, the Magic Filter provides a better mix of light for the camera’s white balance function to utilize.

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California establishes Marine Preserves Photo

California establishes Marine Preserves

Following the combined efforts of many conservationists and fishing industry personnel, the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) decided on Tuesday to ban or restrict any fishing or taking of game along nearly 18% of the Central California coast, including areas of Monterey. The size and location of the protected areas were based upon a proposal by the fishers and from divers and environmentalists; protecting 5% and 13% of Central California’s coastal waters, respectively. The DFG also took into account a wide-range of testimony presented Tuesday, with the reasoning that it would be wise to adapt stronger protections at the present time so as to be able to relax them at a later date if the fish stocks showed a quick recovery.

Wetpixel thanks the efforts of all individuals who worked to help protect these areas, with a nod to Backscatter’s Berkley White for his call to action to attend the DFG meeting.

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Write to Continue Ban on Shark Finning Photo

Write to Continue Ban on Shark Finning

Wetpixel friend and member Neil Hammerschlag has alerted us that the state of North Carolina is considering relaxing their ban on shark finning.  According to the Ocean Conservancy:

“The U.S. was one of the first countries in the world to ban shark finning (the wasteful practice of slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body back to the sea).  Shark finning prohibitions were first adopted for the U.S. Atlantic and, with your help, have spread to the U.S. Pacific, many other countries, and most of the world’s international waters.

But now North Carolina commercial fishermen are attempting to reverse this progress by relaxing shark finning rules. We need your help to block this troubling maneuver. Lawmakers need to hear that the public, especially those from North Carolina, still strongly opposes the finning of sharks. Please take action today by urging your U.S. Senators to keep the shark finning ban strong.”

Click through to read more about it, and email your representative.  Click the blue button to “take action.”  This is especially important if you are in North Carolina, however if you are from out of state, you can still email your representative as a concerned visitor to N.C.

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Oil spills in Philippines and Indian Ocean Photo

Oil spills in Philippines and Indian Ocean

In less than a week’s time, two significant tanker-based oil spills have been reported to authorities. The first news came Friday after a sinking in the Philippines, and on Monday, Japan’s media stated that the tanker Bright Artemis had spilled oil after a collision with another vessel.

A Japanese tanker spilled about 1.4 million gallons of crude oil in the eastern Indian Ocean following a collision with a cargo ship, the tanker’s operator said Tuesday. Japan’s Kyodo news service said the spill — which would be about 4,500 tons — may have been the largest ever involving a Japanese tanker.

In a separate oil spill, the Philippines said that a tanker had sunk in rough seas Friday off the coast of Guimaras Island, about 312 miles southeast of Manila. About 528,000 gallons of industrial fuel was leaking from the accident, officials said.

A central Philippine island province declared a “state of calamity” following what authorities called the country’s worst spill.

It is hoped that the nations affected move swiftly to contain the respective spills and attempt to minimize the damage to the environment.

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Matt Segal joins Wetpixel moderation team Photo

Matt Segal joins Wetpixel moderation team

Please join me in welcoming Matt Segal to the Wetpixel moderation team! 

Matt, a Southern California native and resident, learned to dive in the Cayman Islands after a knee injury at age 15. He began underwater photography (and photography in general) in late 2003 and has pursued it since, spending much of his time underwater at the local Channel Islands as well as areas in the South Pacific and Caribbean. He is a participating member of the Los Angeles Underwater Photographic Society (LAUPS), and currently shoots a Canon 20D in an Ikelite housing, with two Ikelite DS-125 strobes. Segal is a National Merit Scholar and is majoring in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Southern California on a full scholarship.

Matt is also by far the youngest moderator in the Wetpixel volunteer staff.  We are all envious of his youth and are looking forward to the energy he will bring to the team!

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