Seaspace 2003 Show Report

Phew!  Well the stress and running around for Seaspace is over and it's time for a show report for Wetpixel.  I was asked to give two workshops at this year's show, entitled "Slideshows in the Digital Age."  Despite the busy schedule, giving the workshops, helping out at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary area, and helping get the film festival set up, I was able to visit all of the photo related booths and find out what is new for this summer.

This year's show had a LOT to offer digital photographers.  The workshops and seminars this year were literally centered around the emerging popularity of digital underwater photography.  What was offered:

Jack & Sue Drafahl - Digital Imaging for the Underwater Photographer

Barry Guimbellot - Advanced Digital Photography - Going Beyond Point & Shoot

James Wiseman - Slideshows in the Digital Age

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I have only been to 4 Seaspaces, but this year's show appeared to me to be the biggest ever.  I'll have to check with Ken Knezick to confirm this though.  The first two shots show the front exibit area, taken from the balcony leading to the workshop rooms.  As you can see, there was something for everyone: a pool for kids to try scuba, LOTS of vendor booths, a beautiful photo gallery, a climbing wall (???) and of course, the HUPS.org booth, complete with a digital slideshow running all the time.

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Paul Barnett from Light and Motion demonstrates the Titan D100 housing.  This housing had some nice features - my favorite was the way the camera tray slides into the housing on steel rods.  No chance for mis-alignment.  Behind the housing you can see one of the adapter rings - this one is for use with Subal ports.

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The Aquatica booth was a popular spot at Seaspace.  Blake and Mauricio were on hand to display their new housings for the Nikon D100 and the Fuji S2pro.  They got a LOT of questions.  The first shot shows the gold D100 housing with the port setup for the Nikkor 70-180 macro zoom.  Joyce Burek - a local photopro - poses with the silver S2pro housing.
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Jim Bullitt from Oceanbrite poses with the new Jonah housing for the Nikon D100.  I was very impressed with the size of this housing and features.  The photos show the craftsmanship, and ergonomics.  Deb Fugitt (well....her arm) demonstrates how one can actuate the focus lock (AE/AF Lock) and shutter at the same time using the right hand.  Nice! Photos below show the inside of the housing, and best yet, the price.

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The folks from Backscatter were here and they brought the biggest and smallest - oldest and newest  "toys" with them.  Tony Mertz demonstrates how the moisture alarm on the Subal D10 housing for the D100 works.  They also had the Subal strobecase for the Nikon SB80DX speedlite.  In the last shot of the Backscatter booth our Moderator Craig engages the folks in a 2-hour conversation about the use of filters for underwater still photography.  You can see the rapt attention.

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Woody Mahew of Nexus America brought along his Nexus housing setups and his Ansmann battery chargers.  Of course, the D100 housing got the most use.  Here Woody horses around while I take his photograph.  Next-door was Fred Dion from Underwater Photo-tech.  He has a Subal AND a Seacam housing at his booth.  Some other goodies included a super-fast 4x6 dye-sub printer and a digital picture frame to show off some of their shots.
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A HUPS member checks out the Ultralight Control Systems booth.  They brought their usual equipment, as well as their new pivot trays for the Tetra and Olympus housings.  I have to confess that I did buy something at Seaspace this year - 2 buoyancy arms from Ultralight.  And last but certainly not least in my tour around the floor was the Ikelite booth.  In this shot, "Stubby" talks to  Captain Phil of the MV fling about strobe use with his Sony P5 camera setup.
This year's Seaspace show was a tremendous success thanks to the help of many in the diving and underwater photography community.  I'd like to thank them on my behalf and on behalf of Wetpixel for bringing this all together.  Rember, Seaspace is a not for profit organization which exists for the purpose of education and the creation of scholarships. See you all next year at Seaspace!