DEMA 2006: DivePhotoGuide Photo

DEMA 2006: DivePhotoGuide

I spent a lot of time with good friends Jason and Wendy Heller of DivePhotoGuide.com, whose booth I am using as both home base and a meeting point.  DivePhotoGuide is a database of over 4,000 dive destinations which can be searched by various underwater photographer-specific criteria (e.g. has camera tables, has rinse tanks, etc.).  In addition, DPG has a calendar of international photo competition deadlines and also hosts an ever-growing list of nearly 70 underwater fine-art galleries by well-known names.

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Wetpixel’s Todd Mintz wins SEA2006 competition Photo

Wetpixel’s Todd Mintz wins SEA2006 competition

Congratulations to Todd Mintz on winning Best In Show in the Open Category and Best Wide Angle (Open) in the SEA2006 photography competition organised by the Northern California Underwater Photographic Society. Todd’s winning image of “Another Sunny Day In Paradise” was taken in Indonesia at the beginning of 2006 with his Canon 20D in an Aquatica A20 housing (painted in Canadian Maple leaf red).

Other notable Wetpixel members amongst the award winners include Rand McMeins who placed third in the Wide Angle Open Category and got an Honorable Mention in the Open Macro Category.

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DEMA 2006: Wetpixel arrives Photo

DEMA 2006: Wetpixel arrives

After approximately 90 hours of travel from Papua New Guinea (including an 18-hour layover at “home” in California), I have finally arrived in Orlando for this year’s DEMA Show.  Wetpixel video moderator Drew Wong arrived and immediately began to harassing manufacturers on the floor, and Divester representative Willy Volk has already started posting coverage of the show.  Over the next three days we’ll be posting exhaustive coverage of all of the underwater imaging products being shown at DEMA this year.  Stay tuned!

Willy, Jason Heller (DivePhotoGuide) and I spent some time last night trying to find food and finally ended up at Denny’s. What’s up with having conventions in areas with no food?  My stomach is already pissed off.

Also, Divester/Wetpixel t-shirts will be available for $15 at the DivePhotoGuide booth (2449).

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Neil Hammerschlag’s shark conservation page Photo

Neil Hammerschlag’s shark conservation page

Marine biologist and conservationist Neil Hammerschlag has an informative page on his website about current threats to shark populations and what you can to help. 

Neil writes, “Shark populations are particularly vulnerable to this exploitation due to inherent life history characteristics which feature a pattern of slow growth, late maturity, long gestation, low fecundity (reproductive output) and long life, resulting in a slow intrinsic rate of population increase… In the Atlantic alone, shark populations have decreased between 60 and 90 percent depending on species, in just the last 15 years!

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Acceptable sharpness with wide-angle lenses Photo

Acceptable sharpness with wide-angle lenses

There is an excellent discussion in the forums on wide-angle image sharpness.

Paul Kay writes, “As you might have seen from other discussions, I contend that no wide-angle lens with a field of view exceeding 90 degrees will give really sharp frame corners unless substantially stopped down, and even then they may not be up to the frame centre. The key to optimising any wide-angle lens, is correct dome/lens placement, appropriate aperture, minimising important corner information being too close. But for ultra-wides this becomes difficult. Having looked through a lot of books with published underwater images I have realised that many exhibit softish corners unless a fisheye lens was used.

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DEMA 2006: Meet Wetpixel for drinks Photo

DEMA 2006: Meet Wetpixel for drinks

While you may run into Wetpixel staff and members walking around the convention center, the ‘official’ meeting for drinks is planned for 8PM on Friday (November 10th).  The location has been finalized!  We will be meeting at the lobby bar of the Rosen Centre Hotel across the street from the convention center.  Look for a sectioned-off area containing a bunch of folk who look like they might be underwater photographers…

This will be a great opportunity to put faces to all of those online acquaintances and to catch up with old friends. For an idea of who wlil be there, browse through the DEMA 2006 discussion in the forums…

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Inon X-2 housing for Canon 10D/20D/30D preview Photo

Inon X-2 housing for Canon 10D/20D/30D preview

Inon America has sent us the brochure of their soon to be released X-2 housing for the Canon 10D, 20D, and 30D.

The housing comes stock with a 45° viewfinder and optical strobe sync-ports which allow S-TTL compatibility with Inon Z-240 and D-2000 series strobes. The X-2 is a limited production housing, and while it should be available in November, Inon is planning to display the 20D and 30D models at DEMA.

Check out the Inon X-2 brochure inside…

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Single dive contact sheet Photo

Single dive contact sheet

I often get asked how many shots I take during a single dive.  Instead of fumbling around with words, I decided to thumbnail and present every image I captured during a dive last week at a site called Horshu II near Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.  On this particular dive, I snapped off 84 frames while using a Tokina 17mm lens on my Seacam-housed Canon 1Ds Mk II.

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“Humpback Whales of Tonga” by Mary Lynn Price Photo

“Humpback Whales of Tonga” by Mary Lynn Price

The latest DiveFilm Podcast Video, Episode 32 - “Humpback Whales of Tonga” by Wetpixel member and DiveFilm.com producer Mary Lynn Price is now live! The video features footage by Price, Chuck Nicklin, Roger Norman, and Steve Perez, and provides reflections on the current attitudes towards the Tonga whales.

In case you missed it, be sure to also check out DiveFilm Podcast Video Episode 31 - “Hawaiian Showers” by Bryce Groark, which captures a variety of cleaning behavior among Hawaiian reef animals and was an official selection at the 2006 San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition.

You can get to the podcast on iTunes directly by clicking here (if you have iTunes version 4.9 of higher on your computer), or by browsing to the Video Podcasts. DiveFilm Podcast Video is produced in association with Wetpixel.com.

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Underwater impressions of Tokina 10-17mm fisheye Photo

Underwater impressions of Tokina 10-17mm fisheye

Wetpixel member Raimundo Fernández (Rai) has started a discussion detailing the results from his Canon 400D and the new Tokina 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 DX zoom fisheye lens, which will soon be released in the US.

Raimundo includes both land-based and underwater examples, and the images are encouraging. This lens will be of most benefit to cropped-sensor Canon users, who until this point, had no suitable option to approach a 180° field of view.

Provide feedback for Raimundo’s efforts or discuss the advantages and disadvantages of zoom versus prime fisheye lenses in the forums...

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