Photographing models in a swimming pool Photo

Photographing models in a swimming pool

There is an interesting discussion in the Wetpixel forums about how to photograph a model in a swimming pool. Does one use topside studio lights or underwater strobes? What does one use for a backdrop? What lenses work best? How do you prevent bloodshot eyes in your model?

Check out the thread for advice from our experts and for photos from one member’s first and second shoots, including images of the lighting system and underwater backdrop.

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The history and impact of African shark nets Photo

The history and impact of African shark nets

Thomas Peschak, chief photographer of the Save Our Seas Foundation, has a 15-page article in Africa Geographic about shark nets at beaches at the subtropical waters off KwaZulu Natal (KZN), South Africa [PDF, 1.2MB]. The SOSF website features an informative 11-minute video about the history and impact of shark nets.

KZN is one of only a handful of places in the world where shark nets are still used. Many people wrongly believe that these nets are a continuous barrier that prevent sharks from approaching beaches. In reality they are gill nets designed to entangle, suffocate and kill sharks. In fact 40% of sharks are caught on the beach side of the nets on their way back out to sea… Between 1978 and 2008 the nets caught 33,684 large sharks and the present day haul is 600 sharks every year.

The web page also features a lot of historical images; if you’re curious about the environmental impact of shark nets off the southern cape of Africa, it’s definitely worth watching.

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Enter your video in the Sensational Seas Two DVD contest Photo

Enter your video in the Sensational Seas Two DVD contest

In March of 2009, we announced New World Publications’ call for entries for its upcoming DVD, Sensational Seas Two. Scheduled for release in March 2010, the DVD is another exciting collaboration between filmmakers, photographers and multi-media artists who have donated their work for the benefit of ocean-related non-profit organizations.

Wetpixel has a video slot reserved for the DVD, which means that our readers have two ways of competing for entry into Sensational Seas Two! Enter our free contest to be the Wetpixel feature in the DVD. The deadline for entry is June 15, 2009. Good luck! Continue reading for full contest details…

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Wetpixel.com speed increase, today! Photo

Wetpixel.com speed increase, today!

I’ve just swapped out part of the server infrastructure behind Wetpixel, and the new software is much, much faster. Everyone should see a tremendous speed increase all over the site. In particular, I’m told that the speed increase is particularly dramatic for those of you outside of the United States. Those of you who are part of Team Wetpixel shouldn’t see any change in the forum speed—you’re browsing ad-free, and that is where most of the slowdown came from.

Click around a bit and leave a message in the discussion thread if you have any comments about load times, or if you see anything strange.

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Photos from SDUPS Film Festival evening Photo

Photos from SDUPS Film Festival evening

SDUPS (and Wetpixel) member Allison Vitsky spent the evening of April 25th running around taking photos of people who attended the SDUPS Film Festival. There are quite a few household names in the list of honorees who attended. Luckily, all of the photos are captioned so we can associate faces with some of the names we’ve seen printed so many times—and, it’s an opportunity to see why Wetpixel admin Matt Segal was asked for his ID before being allowed to enter the DEMA show floor…

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Saltwater crocodile attack in Misool, Raja Ampat, Indonesia Photo

Saltwater crocodile attack in Misool, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

The facts around a saltwater crocodile attack at the “blue-water mangroves” in Misool, Raja Ampat, Indonesia have been divulged by the diver who was attacked and by witnesses who were on the M/V Ondina, the live-aboard dive vessel they were on.

we found out that croc came out of nowhere, and grabbed diver from side, damaging his hand and neck and trying to pull victim to the deep place - typical behaviour. Buddy tried to fight croc with his hands (he had no knife in his disposal) and said that he poked an eye of croc with finger, but did not succeed and surfaced to call for help. Apparently croc finally released his hold then victim was able to reach his knife and stab eye with it…

Click through to read the entire discussion. The Wetpixel Ultimate Indonesia expedition had been diving at that very site just the month before; many of our group were actively looking for a crocodile in the mangroves, but none of us saw one.

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Leandro Blanco wins SDUPS 40th Annual Film Festival Photo

Leandro Blanco wins SDUPS 40th Annual Film Festival

SDUPS has announced that Leandro Blanco has won the 40th Annual Film Festival with his film, “Voices We Shall Never Hear,” a powerful, emotional collage of underwater imagery—both concrete and abstract—interspersed with disturbing images of humans and their effect on the marine ecosystem (and each other). I was in the audience, and the short film was made even more powerful by its display on the enormous screen in the auditorium. I suspect that Leo’s film won by a landslide.

We’ve embedded the film in this entry, but you can also see it as a DiveFilm HD podcast [direct].

UPDATE: Allison Vitsky has posted photos from the evening’s event.

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New pilot video from Shark Angels on sharks and shark finning Photo

New pilot video from Shark Angels on sharks and shark finning

The Shark Angels have released a new pilot video about sharks and the threats they face today. It features Alison Kock, Kim McCoy and Julie Andersen, three women from three different conservation organizations: Save Our Seas, Sea Shepherd, and Shark Savers.

The Angels are leading a grassroots campaign - combining their respective organizations’ strengths in awareness, education, science, grassroots activism, and enforcement - to combat the myths about sharks, to expose the sad truth that many sharks are being chased towards extinction and to stop the global slaughter before it is too late. Simply put, we aim to save sharks… and we need your help.

Check it out—it features fantastic footage of sharks in the wild as well as footage of the threats that are decimating their population today…

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Steve Drogin, underwater adventurer, passes away on April 14, 2009 Photo

Steve Drogin, underwater adventurer, passes away on April 14, 2009

As many of you already know, underwater adventurer and philanthropist Steve Drogin passed away from a heart attack last week while vacationing in India with his wife, Hiro. Steve was a dear friend of many in the dive industry; we all will miss his booming, fun-loving presence. I have an old bumper sticker Steve gave me when I first met him. It simply reads, “The Ocean is my Playground.” The ocean certainly was Steve’s playground. His love of the oceans complemented his personality as a facilitator. Steve was well known for his generosity and ability to connect people with similar interests.

A memorial service has been scheduled for Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at the Robert Pain Scripps Forum in La Jolla, CA. Continue reading for full details, including a list of donation recipients in lieu of sending flowers (as requested by his family).

UPDATE: I’ve posted a few photos from the memorial service, which was beautiful.

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Wetpixel will be at the Northwest Dive and Travel Expo this weekend Photo

Wetpixel will be at the Northwest Dive and Travel Expo this weekend

Wetpixel and Wetpixel Quarterly will be attending the Northwest Dive and Travel Expo at the Tacoma Convention Center in Washington state this weekend, April 25-26, 2009. Matt Segal and I were up in Seattle last year to dive with six-gill sharks, and we found the local dive community to be some of the best hosts we’ve ever encountered. We’ve heard great things about this show, and are excited to be represented there.

Wetpixel will be in booth 925. If you’d like to go to the show and are interested in volunteering to help represent Wetpixel at our booth, we’d love to have you! Please contact Michaela Brockstedt at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you’re interested.

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