Wetpixel sardine run updates from the field Photo

Wetpixel sardine run updates from the field

Be sure to follow Drew Wong and team, who are posting almost-daily updates from the annual sardine run / ocean safari in South Africa!

I popped up for a breather and then the skipper dropped me back onto the action… literally! I landed on a 2.5m bronze whaler which swam right between my legs (shrinkage and crapping are words that described my immediate reaction) and then I saw gannets and sharks chasing a football size baitball of mackerel from all sides. I’d never seen such incredible pandemonium before.

Related: Wetpixel’s photos from Sardine Run 2006.

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Happy Birthday to Matt Segal Photo

Happy Birthday to Matt Segal

Please join me and the rest of the Wetpixel team in wishing a happy birthday to Matt Segal! For those of you who don’t know Matt, he’s the young administrator (and underwater photographer) that keeps Wetpixel running behind the scenes. Anyone who has sent a support request into Wetpixel has probably (eventually) gotten a reply back from Matt, and he’s been an absolutely invaluable part of the Wetpixel team.

We’re glad that Matt has added another candle to his birthday cake. Maybe this year, he won’t get carded while trying to get into DEMA.

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Shooting with compact cameras Photo

Shooting with compact cameras

Professional underwater photographer and good friend Tony Wu has written a post on his personal blog about shooting underwater with compact cameras. Tony took a Sony W300 down for some dives and set it on underwater white-balance mode.  He managed to get some fantastic images!

... whatever the camera is doing, it clearly works. What this means in practical terms is that with just your compact digital camera and a normal housing, you can take nice, colourful photos. There’s no need to get fancy or invest in anything else.

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Join DivePhotoGuide, Humane Society at Montauk Shark Tournament Photo

Join DivePhotoGuide, Humane Society at Montauk Shark Tournament

Despite the recent passing of the Shark Conservation Act, sharks remain threatened. The Star Island Yacht Club Shark Tournament in Montauk, NY is currently in progress, running from June 12-14, with a prize pool of more than $1,000,000 for the catching and killing of the largest sharks.

DivePhotoGuide has issued a call to attend the event on Saturday, June 14 to “broadcast [the coverage] to the world in efforts to create more awareness and help save our sharks.” Also scheduled on Saturday from 4-5PM is a Humane Society rally protesting the killings. Visit DivePhotoGuide for more information about the event…

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Misool Eco Resort seeks help to protect MPA Photo

Misool Eco Resort seeks help to protect MPA

Misool Eco Resort is now raising funds to sponsor a team of local Rangers with their own speedboat to patrol and protect a 200 sq km Marine Protected Area (MPA) around Batbitim, their resort island.

Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy have offered to provide training to the Rangers so they can patrol as well as collect baseline data on turtle nesting beaches, reef health, and migration patterns. The Ranger’s base will be at Misool Eco Resort, and with plans to establish posts on Kalig and Gelu. These Rangers will be the vanguard of local conservation, enriching our understanding of this ecosystem while safeguarding their grandchildren’s inheritance.

Misool Eco Resort is holding a donation raffle to help reach their goal. If you’d like to help protect their MPA, please head on over to their news page, which has detailed information about the MPA.

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Shark Conservation Act of 2008 approved Photo

Shark Conservation Act of 2008 approved

The Shark Conservation Act of 2008 was approved yesterday by the House Natural Resources Committee. This is a step in the right direction for protecting sharks worldwide.

The Act would strengthen the U.S. finning ban by closing enforcement loopholes, encouraging other countries to adopt shark conservation programs, and establishing a process that would ultimately allow for sanctions against countries that do not. The prohibition on the removal of shark fins at sea, added through the amendment, is the most reliable means of ensuring a finning ban accomplishes the intended goal. A “fins-attached” strategy is also key to helping scientists and enforcement agents determine the species of sharks retained in fisheries, data that are essential for assessing populations and enforcing species-specific protections. - Ocean Conservancy

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Digital Shootout Bonaire 2008 Live Coverage Photo

Digital Shootout Bonaire 2008 Live Coverage

Wetpixel’s Eric Cheng reports as the participants of this year’s Digital Shootout Bonaire undergo an intense week of underwater photography & videography, classroom workshops, image critiques, and much more! This year’s staff includes Berkley White (Backscatter), David Fleetham, Eric Cheng (Wetpixel), Dan Baldocchi (Under Exposures), Daniel Brown, Mary Lynn Price (DiveFilm), Len Bucko, Jim Decker (Backscatter), and Russ Sanoian (Backscatter).

This year, we will be updating via up-to-date video feeds from the Divi Flamingo Resort in Bonaire. Continue reading for updates…

*UPDATE* Digital Shootout 2008 contest winners have been announced!

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DiveFilm releases new podcasts Photo

DiveFilm releases new podcasts

With the International Whaling Commission meeting just around the corner, DiveFilm HD Video Podcast has released as its latest episode, Shawn Heinrichs’s “Whale Wisdom - A Mother Humpback’s View.”  This short film evokes the world of a mother and calf as whaling resumes in much of the world’s ocean.

Other great episodes of DiveFilm Podcasts recently released include Irish filmmaker Vincent Hyland’s homage to the ocean life off the South West coast of Ireland, and more of the award-winning video entries from the 2008 Our-World Underwater / Wetpixel / DivePhotoGuide Competition, including Simon Spear’s “Porbeagles in Peril” and Shawn Heinrichs’ “The Sardine Run.”  The most recent episode released of the original standard definition DiveFilm Podcast Video is Wags & Kelly’s “A Call to Action” which garnered honors in the OWU Conservation Video Competition.

Both DiveFilm Podcasts, the original and the HD version, are Featured Podcasts at iTunes, and are produced in association with Wetpixel.

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Wetpixel Quarterly ships issue 3 Photo

Wetpixel Quarterly ships issue 3

Wetpixel LLC is proud to announce the immediate availability of issue #3 of Wetpixel Quarterly magazine. In its trademark landscape-oriented, high-resolution format, issue #3 celebrates the American underwater landscape by showcasing the work of Alex Kirkbride, who spent three years photographing the waters of America’s 50 states.

Also featured are the winners of 2008’s Our-World Underwater and DEEP Indonesia photo competitions, run annually by Wetpixel and DivePhotoGuide. This collection of diverse imagery is truly an international celebration of the underwater world, featuring the photography of artists from 18 different countries.

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Amphibico announces Phenom Z7LE housing for Sony HVR-Z7U Photo

Amphibico announces Phenom Z7LE housing for Sony HVR-Z7U

Amphibico is proud to announce the new Phenom Z7LE underwater video housing for the Sony HVR-Z7U HDV camcorder.  The stand-alone housing with no port will be introduced at a price of $4795CAN.  Three port options are available, including a standard dome, flat port, and 94° wide-angle port.

The Phenom Z7LE for the Sony HVR-Z7U is an electronic and mechanical combined housing which gives a complete control of your camcorder while filming your underwater scenes. Amphibico has also added a 2-year Amphibico warranty to the housing. The housing should be available in July 2008. Continue reading for full press release.

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