See great white sharks with Ron and Valerie Taylor Photo

See great white sharks with Ron and Valerie Taylor

Our friends at San Diego Shark Diving Expeditions are running a Guadalupe great white shark expedition with Ron & Valerie Taylor, stars of the first of the shark diving feature films, Blue Water White Death.  Two years ago, I accompanied Ron and Val on an extended trip to French Polynesia, which was a lot of fun. You’d be silly to miss this opportunity!

The trip runs from October 29 - November 5, 2007 and costs $3195 USD. As of writing this, there are still 9 spots open.

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First 25 RED cameras delivered Photo

First 25 RED cameras delivered

Yesterday, the first 25 RED cameras were delivered to new owners at the RED headquarters in Orange County, California.  The guys at fxguide have written up an informative article detailing their unboxing and first impressions of the formidable new camera, which at the moment, only shoots in a reduced feature set.

“What is working? The camera shoots beautiful 4K images in 24/25/30 fps… There is software to convert the files - but no full workflow yet (see below). The signal to noise ratio seems amazing. The cameras are producing very low noise images from the Standard 320 ASA to 1000 ASA, in full 4K.”

Particularly illuminating is the discussion about how the new camera handles timecode and ASA.  Several underwater folks I know have this camera on order, and Wetpixel-sponsor Gates Underwater Products is reported to be planning a signature underwater housing for the unit.

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Light & Motion Bluefin Pole Cam Mounting Kit field test and review Photo

Light & Motion Bluefin Pole Cam Mounting Kit field test and review

Wetpixel conservation moderator Shawn Heinrichs (shawnh) recently spent a week filming tiger, hammerhead, lemon, bull, and reef sharks on Jim Abernethy’s Shear Water. During the trip, he tested a pre-production version of the Light & Motion Bluefin Pole Cam Mounting kit with his Sony HDR-FX1 camcorder:

The pole cam provided a great means to extend my shooting time and capture shots either not possible or not safe if filmed on scuba…it was simple to assemble, light weight (until you attach the housing of course), and easy to operate.

Shawn’s full review includes photos of assembly and the pole cam in use, a discussion of areas for improvement, and sample footage from Tiger Beach…

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Review of Sharks: Stewards of the Reef DVD Photo

Review of Sharks: Stewards of the Reef DVD

In a response to the decimation of shark species worldwide by finning and human fishing, long-time California diver David McGuire produced the 25-minute film Sharks: Stewards of the Reef. Professional underwater photographer Eric Hanauer has reviewed the DVD version and writes:

The scenes of sharks caught on longlines, and especially of fins being cut off and the bleeding bodies thrown overboard provoked a strong gut reaction of revulsion in this viewer…this is a message film that everyone who loves the ocean will take to heart. The challenge will be to communicate that message to the rest of the world.

Twenty-five percent of film sales will be donated to the Ocean Conservancy Shark Campaign. Continue reading for all of Hanauer’s review…

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Sea & Sea’s underwater housings for Canon 40D and Nikon D300, D3 Photo

Sea & Sea’s underwater housings for Canon 40D and Nikon D300, D3

Sea & Sea has announced that they will be building housings for the new Canon 40D, Nikon D3, and Nikon D300 digital SLRs. A prototype housing for the Nikon D300 is on schedule to be shown at DEMA in early November, and will be available to ship by late January, 2008.  The 40D and D3 housings are scheduled to be released in Spring 2008.  No prices have been announced yet.

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Guide to diopters for shooting macro video Photo

Guide to diopters for shooting macro video

Finding the right diopter for your video rig is sometimes difficult with various port openings and depths, and a variety of lenses to match with. A thread has been started in the Wetpixel Video Gear and Technique forum listing the multi-element diopters of various dimensions to suit the requirements of your video housing.

Please join in the discussion and help build the database to find which diopter fits each housing and port combination…

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DivePhotoGuide reaches 100 pro galleries Photo

DivePhotoGuide reaches 100 pro galleries

DivePhotoGuide has reached a milestone of hosting over 100 galleries from underwater imaging professionals.  Nearly every big name in underwater photography is in the list, and it’s the only place you can go to see such a large collection at once.  Wetpixel congratulates DPG and Jason Heller for such an amazing achievement!

For future reference, DPG’s gallery is now linked from the Media menu in Wetpixel’s main navigation.

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Kona Honu Divers announces 2008 Kona Classic package Photo

Kona Honu Divers announces 2008 Kona Classic package

Kona Honu Divers has announced their package for the 2008 Kona Classic Underwater Photography/Videography Workshop and Contest, held in Kona, Hawaii from May 24-31, 2008. The package includes eleven dives (including the famous Manta Ray Night Dive), access to a photo pro on every charter, and covers event registration for the photo festival.

The event will be hosted by Sport Diver Magazine editor Ty Sawyer along with soon to be announced photo pros; in previous years, these have included Marty Snyderman, Jim Watt, David Fleetham, Eric Cheng, and Doug Perrine. Space is limited, so continue to the Kona Honu Divers website to view rates and booking information. If you’re interested in a different dive operator, Jack’s Diving Locker is another confirmed host of this year’s event.

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Santa Barbara Ocean Film Festival, October 20-21, 2007 Photo

Santa Barbara Ocean Film Festival, October 20-21, 2007

The Santa Barbara Ocean Film Festival, “a competitive filmmaking event developed to bring the finest ocean films from around the world to Santa Barbara,” will be held on October 20-21, 2007. Sponsors include the Ocean Channel, Brooks Institute of Photography, and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and the festival is currently accepting entries in ‘short form,’ ‘long form,’ and ‘feature’ categories.

The submission deadline of August 31, 2007 is quickly approaching, so be sure to send a preview copy of your entry on DVD. Accepted films will be screened at Arlington Theater and the Maritime Museum in Santa Barbara, CA, and tickets to attend can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

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National Geographic: David Doubilet in Indonesia Photo

National Geographic: David Doubilet in Indonesia

September’s issue of National Geographic features a celebration of Indonesia’s diverse marine life. Renowned underwater photographer David Doubilet shares both images and text about his time spent in both Raja Ampat and the Bird’s Head Seascape (Fakfak, etc.).  Much of the text and images are online at Geographic’s webpage, but as always, the experience is different when holding the actual magazine in your hands.

Norbert Wu and I ran an informal Wetpixel trip last February to the Bird’s Head Seascape with guide Graham Abbott, who led Doubilet to the same area the week before we went [see my photos].  We were fortunate and had fantastic sea conditions on our trip, but we definitely felt the potential for the low-visibility and strong currents Doubilet eloquently describes in his article and accompanying field notes.

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