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FAQs about Underwater Photography 1

Related Articles: Aquarium Photography: A Wonderful Offshoot By:  Adam Blundell and Shane Silcox, Underwater Photography,

FAQs on: UW Photography 2
FAQs on: Gear (will split up to cameras, housings, batteries, lenses... later), Technique/s, Selling, Photo Sites, Trips, UW Photography References,
Above-water Photography, Digital Photography, Aquatic Videography,

Keep shooting! Persistence pays.

D-rated lens? Was that the magic code word?  <Maybe... the letter "D" as in designation on Nikon lenses for infra-red autofocus capacity?> I'm looking at the lens I have which I do believe now must have come from the bargain bin. It was wishful thinking that the f-stop was 1.4 - try 4... oh well. <Oh... yes> It's a 35-80mm something-something [don't think it would qualify as a tele-macro] and has another set of numbers on it - 1:4-5.6 D - Is that the D I'm looking for. <Yep!> If not... what's a good second lens to get for this body that will work for the UW auto-focus. <The workhorse lenses I have, can share (at least on trips we're on together!), 60, 105... I have a 24 (and the port for it, yay) wide-angle... and the 70-180mm with the rest of the gear to go with it coming together... and a few other above water lenses. B> Cheers,
J --

incoming!! (Jason.C digital pix from last week, Cozumel) On the way to you via Priority Mail... a CDROM of the images, some 400 or so... everything that is actually in focus and the USB cable for the Olympus. <Thank you, but no rush... am not able to review, add for a week or so.> On the images... the only manipulation I've done is to orient/rotate the images, the rest is up to you. Sometime, about midweek, Lorenzo talked me into using the SHQ-JPEG mode which creates images at 2200-something by 1700-something. These images survive cropping very well as everyone of the four mega-pixels gets used. They can easily be converted to TIFF format if in fact they turn out well enough to go to print. <Again... you folks may know better... but the real world of editors want ORIGINAL TIFFs for print...> Otherwise, I'm sure there's a picture or two that would do just fine on the web... speaking of which, you/me/we should put up that Slippery Dick I sent you as the one image that is on that particular wrasse page certainly doesn't look like that. <No... may seem ridiculous... but have left out/off due to common name. Blue Nose Bob> Cheers,
J --
almost done with the ID, Would this be a Pudding Wife? <Nope, it's a member of the same genus though... a terminal phase Slippery Dick, Halichoeres bivittatus. Bob F>

Re: Looking for price, availability info. (More u/w camera gear) Hi Robert, Right now the N90 Master housings are on back order. Price is $1760.00 when available again (should be within a month). I sell Ultra Light photo arms - $250.00 each side complete (with two arm segments, three clamps, base adapter, and strobe adapter) I also sell Ocean Brite arms - $225.00 per side complete as above I can order Ikelite arms for approximately the same price as Ultra Light, depending on which Ike arm set you want. Ike 400 - retail is $950.00, your price is $800.00 Ike TTL single cord - $90.00 Dual cord - $150.00 I do not stock Ike 400 strobes so I would have to order them - a week or so to get them to me. Shipping to you is UPS Ground which takes a little over a week, unless you want faster. Let me know, Woody <Thanks much for the speedy and to-the-point response. I would like to order the housing, two strobes, the arm sets you suggest. A query re the dual or single strobe. I use two currently on my Nexus rigs... do you have a stance either way? Bob Fenner, WetWebMedia.com> >Hello there, >Am looking to buy another Nexus N90 hsg. (no ports, gears...) and two Ikelite 400 strobes, arms and sync cords for same. I have other Nexus gear >et al. Would you please send me a price, about how long it would take to ship all to California? >Thank you, Robert Fenner, WetWebMedia.com
Re: Looking for price, availability info.
Hi Robert, You can do nice macro with one strobe. <Yes... I have two Ikelite 100's I use on the 70-180 telemacro... Want the new 400's for the 20, 60, 105mm...> Wide angle pretty much needs two. I personally use two strobes for both macro and wide angle. <Me too... sometimes three...> The housing bodies will be available again in about a month, they tell me. As to arm sets, which were you wanting - Ultra Light? If so, which length for arm segments? I have 5,8,12, and 16" arm sections. I suggest 5x5 for macro and either 8x8 or 8x5 for all round photography. <The eight by five combo please> Woody Nexus America - Woody Mayhew Photography 7130 Royal Lane Dallas, Texas 75230 USA http://www.nexusamerica.com 214-368-3555 <Bob Fenner, WetWebMedia.com>

Underwater photography - awesome pictures - do you know Mark Strickland? http://www.oceanic-impressions.com/reef.htm << Underwaterphotography-AnimalBehaviour.url >> <Yes. Do know Mark. Bob F>

My Webshots Photos Hi, Check out these photos I uploaded to Webshots. Parvin's underwater photography http://cards.webshots.com/cp-29986625-zmJk-album/43575938PBGrEz <Very nice. Do like the website service as well. Bob Fenner> Cheers, Parvin

Repair Order # R 13337 Repair of 1 - 4046 Ai, Ser No 5607 Replacing water damaged as needed Cost $ 150.00 Please forward check, money order or Phone 317-923-4523 with a credit card number. Visa & Master Card accepted. Fax # 317-924-7988 PO Box 88100, Indianapolis, IN 46208 <Will do, thanks. Bob Fenner> Thank You Ikelite Repair Dept.

4040... first digital Bob, I'm getting the hang of the U/W housing and the 4040 camera and I noticed the lens on the housing has a couple of scratches on it. Is there any way to get those out? I can't wait to take pictures with this camera. <Think probably not... it's glass... does the port look like it's removable? Perhaps look over Olympus' website, or contact Marine Camera Distributors (.com) w/ this question. Bob Fenner> Mike

Tahiti trip....  Bob, <Howdy> Greetings, my name is Chris Rollison and I'm a member of SCMAS here in Orange County. I was at the Christmas party with the LA club and enjoyed your pictures from your recent Fiji trip. Since then I've been dreaming about making my first trip to the South Pacific. After looking around, the prices to Tahiti right now look killer so that's where the family is headed in early June. <Sounds good, very> The reason for my e-mail is several reasons. First, you jokingly (I think...) mentioned about helping an exporter collect specimens or perhaps that they would export stuff for you. Well Tahiti's not Fiji but I was wondering if you know any exporters in Tahiti that I could contact in case there is a chance I could use them to get coral back to the States.  <I don't... but will cc our msg. here to friends in the trade and ask if there are any. Unfortunately, though many of the islands that make up French Polynesia are not that far from U.S. markets, the costs of operating there are high, limiting> Tahiti could be a marine preserve for all I know as I've not done my homework yet but thought I would ask you first. Most likely I'll be on Moorea and not Tahiti, considering Rangiroa and Manihi also. Your experience with any "must do" dives in any of these locations would be great too. <Are you actually going over to Moorea? Have never dived on the neighboring Tahiti... got to go to the Gauguin house/museum, drink liquers made from pineapple... dive and snorkel as much as you can, for sure> Second, and more importantly, I'm in the market to replace my flooded Nikonos V and also recall your comments about your digital camera. I wanted to get your recommendation on a digital I should consider.  <I would definitely not replace the Nikonos (Nikon even stopped making them a few months back!). See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/digitalpixinput.htm re the Olympus 4040 rig and gear to make it a complete kit> The pictures are just for my own use, no submissions to National Geographic or anything, but would like to be able to make an 8 x 10 if something looks good. With my Nikonos it never fails that when I've got the macro set up on there's a great 35 mm shot and vice versa. Am I correct to assume that digitals can be adjusted underwater between the two settings? <Yes... and this get-up even has the Motomarine Sea & Sea capacity to stick on external lenses (macro, close-up) "wet" (while underwater)> What pixel count should I use to maximize the number of pictures?  <I use 2.15 mega... but the camera will do 4 mega pixels. I store as tiffs...> As I have no laptop, how do I take enough "digital film" with me to last the whole 7 days? <They have storage devices... but do encourage you to bring a laptop... to label, optimize (alter, better) pix topside... borrow one if need be> I know you can edit out the losers but with my Nikonos I'm shooting about 36 pictures per dive to be sure I'm getting something "good". Also, I'm hoping that I can save some money by not getting the latest generation of camera hardware but perhaps a previous generation camera that has what I need but not bleeding edge cost. Obviously the camera requires a housing, what do you use? Are the housings generic or customer specific? <The 3040 fits in the same housing, uses same batteries, storage media... only has a couple of features that I use different than the 4040... sells for a few hundred dollars less.> Sorry for all the questions but I've got a lot of ground to cover and my June departure is only weeks away. I know this isn't aquarium specific but I know you have a lot of good experience in this area and your experience will help me get up to speed faster. Thanks for your response.... <No worries. Let's chat up any "loose ends", questions, concerns you may have. Lots to enjoy here. Bob Fenner> Chris Rollison
Re: Tahiti trip.... (Now Fiji, photography) Bob, What a difference a week makes! After looking more closely at pricing of food, lodging, and diving we've shifted our plans from Moorea to Fiji.  <I understand> We've looked at all the options available and our choice is a small island resort called Treasure Island in the Ammoniac Islands to the West of Vita Levu, an hour north of Nadi by ferry.  <Have been there... a very small, but nice island> It looks like a great place for my non-divers to snorkel and for my freshly certified son to ease into the underwater world. Some of the strong current and deep water dives I read about in other parts of the islands seemed a bit too aggressive for a newbie diver. Have you spent any time in the Mamanuca Islands?  <Yes... some friends have businesses in Latouka (to the north of Nadi), and do stay often with them, dive and collect by day trips from there. Have visited most of the islands in the group, on out to the Yasawa chain> I'm sure the diving there is wonderful, and quite honestly with the new digital camera I'd need only 30' of water and an abundant thriving reef and I'll shoot macros all day. Where were the exporters you mention at the Christmas party located? I thought I recalled them being in "The North".  <Almost all are on the principal island in the south... to be near Air Pacific for air transport...> Anything in Nadi we should visit on our first or last day there? <Yes, "Jack's Souvenirs" in Nadi town, and "First Landing" (a hotel, restaurant in Latouka... Maybe Walt Smith's facility there as well...> Our flight leaves Fiji at 10 PM and the ferry drops us off in the morning I'm sure. Turning now to the digital photography, I'm zeroing in on either the Olympus 3040 or 4040, probably the former, but had a couple questions regarding these. Batteries, what type do you use and what are your techniques for keeping them fresh?  <Please see: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/uwpixfaqs.htm in an area where this rig is described. Both cameras and the Ikelite strobe use four AA batteries. I only utilize NiMH, Nickel Metal Hydrides... at least 1,600AH... rechargeables... get a "smart" fast recharger...> Meaning, some rechargeable have a memory and unless they're fully discharged they don't fully re-charge. <Not modern technology> Obviously the picture taking is done when batteries run out at 60 feet. Also, the media cards, you mentioned shooting at 2.15 mega pixels, assuming you use a 128 meg card, how many shots can you store? <54 per 128 meg card> I assume the camera tells you in some way how many shots are left on the memory card right?  <Yes... is counted down... you can preview and erase at depth if you get that far... 54 is a lot of images per dive> I've also stumbled across the housing from Olympus that is imported to the USA from Japan by a few sources, it's half the price of the Ikelite which was half the price of the Tetra. Heard anything regarding this housing? <Yes, it is the one I use... the newer "Purple" one is better than the older "Red"> Finally, in 25 words or less, which non-automatic features do you find yourself using most on your 4040 to improve the shots underwater. That's a big question I know but at the heart of it is my experience with my Nikonos over the years. Seems that whenever I took the camera out of auto-mode and tried to adjust for something or another the shot was not what I expected more times than not. Clearly with the digital image immediately available the feedback loop is infinitely shorter to help understand what the parameter changes did to the shot. <Mmm, yes... the zoom (just the 3X optical, not the 7X digital), the preview to compose the image, the Programmed settings to check against the Shutter Priority (which is generally what I use)... am out of my 25 words...> In any case, that's what I'd like to know from you, do you keep the camera on auto 95% of the time, but switch it manually when and how for what typically?  <Generally only switch to automatic to check against other options/results... typically shoot at the equivalent of 125th of a second...> Any tips on macros?  <A book full... for now, just practice, reflect on what you see...> Know any good underwater photo sites w/ tips for the new digital photographer?  <There are quite a few. Read the two hundred pages of the CD-ROM Camedia manual... and use your search engines to read about these cameras, models... For now, initial experience, familiarity is what you really need... walk, swim, before you run, dive...> Thanks for your responses, hope I'm not picking on your brain too much.... <A pleasure to share my friend. Bob Fenner> Chris
Re: Tahiti trip.... (U/W Photography)
Bob, thanks for the quick reply, Sundays must be a good day to e-mail you. <Mmm, actually, I treat myself (like eating your Lima Beans before pudding) most anytime by answering queries amongst other less-enjoyable tasks> I've checked out the links you gave me and looked around at the sites that sell the gear....OUCH, I thought Nikonos was expensive!! I'm considering an Ikelite housing instead as they're half the price of the Tetra. <Yes... a bit "clunky", but nice, mechanical controls, easy to see if flooding through the clear Plexi...> I think that a strobe might be out of the budget initially unless I can use my Nikonos strobe somehow, ideas? <Can be adapted to other makes, models... either with a slave or maybe a Nikonos fitting/adapter. Do check with Ikelite here. I've been a fan/customer of theirs for decades. They know their stuff> Couple of things I don't understand, first the filter. Apparently in order to get true colors underwater a red filter is used?  <Mmm, not with still cameras generally... you lose a part of all of an f-stop... and can be tricky to "get the pink out"... in white situations... I don't use red-filters except in video (and the old days of underwater movie filming... yikes, am ancient> This just screws onto the front of the housing? And the underwater lens changing thing is completely baffling, it's a Tetra feature, Olympus feature, what?? <Should only be offered by/for video... you can practice and convince yourself> Are these lenses essentially filters that magnify or curve the view for macro or wide angle shots? do you know a link where I can read more about the lens changing. thanks again for your help..... <Which lenses? The filters are selective optical density plastics. There are some cameras that have underwater capability to change lenses other than top-side... not the same thing. Sea and Sea is one of the former and has a site: http://www.seaandsea.com/ Bob Fenner> Chris

Re: sending pics? I wanted to send you a couple of pictures, but when I do, it comes back returned. <Mmm, strange... I/we get and send pix all day long. Are you attaching them by way of your ISP's instructions? Perhaps you can write their technical help and ask for direction. Bob Fenner> Fw: sending pics? <Beauty! Bob F><Eagle ray on the go, flamingo tongue egg cowry munchy, leggy Kim lazing... very nice. Bob F>

Camera information Dogfish, SpinalTap here. I' like to pick your brain, or at least the half of it that you use on a regular basis, instead of on Hashing. <It's about pickled this AM, but go ahead> After experimenting with a cheap ($50) housing that uses disposable cameras, I've decided that my diving 'skills' are adequate for doing some photography under the water. I.e., I can sort of control my buoyancy and hold a position, and other stuff you need to do to take pictures. <Great! More and more choices are now available... have recently invested in a new "cheap" digital rig... an Olympus 4040 and housing, Ikelite strobe/arm set... very nice pix, no film cost...> Unfortunately, I think I've outgrown the starter outfit I now have, plus it doesn't work all that well, i.e., shutter button doesn't line up, film advances sometimes (but not always), inadequate flash, etc. <Le boot... no one needs that frustration. Trips are costly enough> I want to move up a little, maybe up to a $150-200 unit. I realize that I'm still not going to be able to get a very fancy outfit for that kind of money, but maybe you could give me a hint or two. I'd like a reloadable camera, that has a decent flash and viewfinder. And being able to add a more powerful light (and possibly other goodies) at some time in the future would be nice. Can you give me any hints about what brand(s) I should consider?  <Likely either a pretty used Motomarine Sea and Sea unit (with as much still working on it (strobe, other lenses...) or Nikon (II, III rather than a IV... maybe a V if someone is giving away... for point and shoot types... But to heck with this. Go in for a digital set-up... for you and Suze's above and below water use... there are a few... You can get an Olympus (last model, but about the same features, functionality) as the 4040... for about five hundred dollars... and save up the big $250-300 or so for their housing (still need batteries... rechargeable NiMHs, memory (Costco)... but this is about it... Oh, this is about the same rig as the young fellow on last Black Beard cruise had... You can add the slave-activated strobe later. Here's a place on our sites that lists the gear: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/uwpixfaqs.htm and where you might get it (where I got mine)> Or what brand(s) to stay away from? And maybe the best source for information and/or purchasing? <Best source are actual users, hobbyists and pros... so the listservs, their posted input is golden... Prices vary, the etailers are sometimes my first choice for comestibles like batteries, film, used analog gear (Adorama, KEH, Helix...), but Marine Camera Distributors really has the stock on hand... Do check around your vicinity geographically for a "relationship" with a good dealer as well> I've done some research on the Internet, but so far it's been mostly promotional information, as opposed to Consumer Reports type evaluations. Got any used stuff lying around that you've been waiting to dump on to some unsuspecting Hasher? <My two cycles back video... Sony TR 700 and their housing... and even lights... the whole thing weighs about thirty some pounds... No, I can't dump that on anyone... Get new gear if you can, otherwise do have factory inspection, fixing before using any purchased used... Skip all this and get new... believe me> No rush on this, since we don't have any trips planned for the next few months, but any info you could pass along will be appreciated. Oh - please use XXXX for the reply. <Done my friend. Be seeing, hopefully diving with you soon. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Spinal Tap

Thank you (u/w photography, Goa trip, Hashing) I'm afraid if I show this to Suzy she's going to say, "Go ahead and do what he says. That way you don't have to upgrade in a year or two." (or something like that). And she's been sort of interested in a digital after watching other people use them at various Hashes. <Hmm, you wouldn't just happen to have her e-mail addy handy?> The digital thing sounds neat, and I remember the good times we had looking at all the stuff that (damn...can't remember his name) showed us each evening. Of course, that would mean a laptop, as well. I had planned on sticking with old-fashioned pictures that we can show family, and maybe stick on a wall, but I guess I can always get prints from digital if I really want one. <You can... and can view the pix, on the camera display while out in the field... and just plug the device into your desktop when home... or on the TV while out in the field...> I think your idea about talking with people is a good one. There are several divers in the White House H3, and they may have some good inputs. And of course the local dive shops know who has bought cameras from them, and could maybe give me some un-biased advice. And I suppose going through our back issues of diving magazines (of which we have about 50) would probably help, if I can ever force myself to do that. <This is what I do... when writing articles about, spiffing up to answer queries about, developing pitches on: underwater and above water photography> As for diving together, I think the trip to Goa interferes with the Scuba-Hash cruise this year, and from what we've seen of fares and schedules, going to the Maldives probably isn't going to work. Drat.  <Agreed. Due to cost and troubles there, we are opting out of Goa presently> We are booked into a resort on the east end of Grand Cayman for the week right after Thanksgiving, and have some flight coupons (from being bumped) that we need to use this year, so I'm sure we'll head someplace with warm water sometime during the summer. I can't remember if we filled you in on our trip to Antigua. Three two-tank dives, which were OK, but nothing to go back for And most of the negative things we read in Undercurrent were true. <I agree. We were in Antigua about two years back after a/the big storm... the bottom was a mess. The svc. at the Sandals was sub-par for their chain> See you sometime, and thanks again for the advice. Spinal (and Hasher Humper) <Anytime my friend. Be seeing you. Bob/Dog F>

More Q's (batteries on the run, copper-electrical removal) Reminded by recent queries: What do you use to recharge your American electronics (rechargeable pc, camera batteries, travel iron, etc) when overseas? <Almost always (nowadays), rechargeable Nickel Metal Hydrides (NiMH), and adaptors to the electrical outlets to fit with step-down transformers (for 220 v, 50 hz)... with small, light-weight "smart" rechargers that condition the batteries, shut themselves off... I rarely use gear with any "throw away" type, size batteries these days. Mainly AAs (all my Nikon gear), D's for u/w lights, strobes...> And do you recall the chemical cocktail (years since I can remember) for breaking the bond of copper with calcareous media? I'm thinking I read it in a Spotte book somewhere. I'll dig for it unless it is fresh in your memory. <Mmm, danger here, Will Robinson... I would not do this, definitely not relate same over the Net. Such cupric ions can be easily scavenged by commercial products like PolyFilter... Bob Fenner> Thanks...Antoine

Cameras HI - I came across your web page & was wondering if you can tell me where I can get a throw away underwater camera that goes to 20-25 ft? Thanks <Check on the net under underwater cameras... or a local dive shop of size. Bob Fenner>
Re: cameras
thanks for the suggestion, but I didn't find anything! only 17 ft for the throw-aways. <Really? Mmm, you can use even these down a good twenty five feet... at some point the lens actuator won't fire... but will when you get more shallow. Bob Fenner>
Re: cameras
Well if I can use it to 25 ft. then great. Good to know & once again thanks for the advice! <Hope to hear of, see some of your photographic efforts! Bob Fenner>

Repair Order # R 11565 Repair of 1 - 4104.5 General maintenance, broken wire. Cost $ 18.75 Please forward check, money order or Phone 317-923-4523 with a credit card number. Visa & Master Card accepted. Fax # 317-924-7988 PO Box 88100, Indianapolis, IN 46208 <Will call today with info. Bob Fenner> Thank You Ikelite Repair Dept.

Re: Daily Fish Email out WWM Wow, nice. Those clowns are a favorite subject. They are photogenic, they don't move too fast, not like some of the fish I've seen you chasing around. Hope you had a Mighty Christmas. <Yes Miguel, thank you. See you soon. Bob F> Mike

Olympus 4040 Digital U/W Photo Rig Jack et al. This is a list of components, options, prices... for the underwater photo rig Laura used in Fiji. Camera: Olympus 4040. I got from Camera Zone (.com) over the net for $759 plus shipping. Can be had from elsewhere on the web, maybe Fry's... Do make sure and get US Warranty model (not gray market import)... and I did not buy bait/switch other gear ploy... Ask if camera only is really in stock, will ship... Housing (Olympus PT-010), Strobe, slave switch, arm (Ikelite 50 DS Kit), tray Base Tray)... I got from Marine Camera Distributors: http://www.marinecamera.com/  Tom and Lee are friends. Call to make sure have in stock, have put together for pick up... check with them to make sure someone will be there (Sorrento Vly) for p/u. They also have the ext. thread-on lenses... I'm going to get the close-up... About $800 for all but the ext. lenses.  Storage Media (Smart): Get from Costco (or try Fry's)... 128 megs for about $60... get two or have Tom at MCD show you their spiffy small storage device... or both knowing you. Batteries: Time to get out all of the battery-operated gear you have, send away for NiMH rechargeables and a fast charger (or two). I get mine from SmallPower.com on the net... shoot for the larger milliamperehour rated AA's... at least 1,600 rated... Laptop computer... I'm a big fan of Sony's Vaio line as you know... Whatever model you get, do have at least 128 megs of RAM (I have 256), an extra battery (about $275 ouch!), and 20 gigs of HD... for editing video, manipulating all your stills... viewing DVD's when you want to... even playing music.  Questions, problems, suggestions, call, write/email me. Or, we'll go shopping as I said I would. Bob F
Re: Olympus 4040 Digital U/W Photo Rig
Thanks for the info. That sounds like a trick set-up. I will definitely have to get the good housing and light, thanks again and have a wonderful Christmas. <You as well my friend. Bob Fenner> Thank you, Todd Gabriel

Re: Daily Fish Email out WWM Good eye spotting that little guy. Must be shot from a predator's point of view. <That and a prey items! Bob Fenner> Todd Gabriel
Re: Daily Fish Email out WWM
Another winner. That camera is doing good for you it seems.  <Sometimes I drop it, or it gets banged along the reef, fires off and voila (!), you get a decent image!> I am having good luck taking product shots with the Olympus 3000 and a macro lens. <Go with the digital here. Bob Fenner> Todd Gabriel

The test is positive Bob, Got it. Nice shot. Can't wait to start taking some more underwater shots. <The thing is... amazing. Laura.L was able... though she says she's not a great diver... to make some very nice images... she says she has a strong backgd. in terrestrial SLR photography... I believe it> Would it be possible to borrow the digital underwater camera for some local dives?  <Absolutely. I'll gladly walk you through what little I know (quick before I forget) about "all those buttons"... according to the Net reviews, there is little diff. twixt the 3040 you have and the 4040 Olympus. The housing accesses almost all features.> I plan to start going out local again after the new year. I want to do some lobster hunting and picture taking on clear (not to many of those around here) visibility days. Time to break out the 7MM wetsuits and get diving. See you soon. <A very good idea... and I/we badly need MANY local images. Am making a turkey enchilada pie... are you up to Croce/Croaky/Karee/Scariokee this eve? Or just eating, chatting and drinking? Bob> Mike
Re: The test is positive
Bob, I am going to do the Harriettes run tonight, probably my last one for another week because they are all so far away. This run is in PB and Dork and Strap on tools promise us some good food and beer. Come on out (but wear your wooly knickers) brrrrrr. The trail should be dog friendly too.  <Hmm, will consider it for sure> I know how to use the camera, it's just a matter of memorizing the functions since they didn't put the icons on the case. <And you can't hope to see them underwater in any case> I look forward to talking with you some more on which particular organisms we need pictures of and I'll hunt them down and shoot them with a camera. <'Bout time! See you soon. Bob F> Mike

Re: Daily Email image from WWM (U/W photography) Hey Bob, Thanks for sending me all the images - they're great. I just paid $90.00 for what my wife calls a Ziploc bag to put my Kodak DC280 digital camera in when I go to Maui - its an EwaMarine "baggie" style housing. <I've used their products. They work> It's advertised for depths of up to 30 feet so I'll have to stay shallow, but I'll probably be doing mostly shore diving anyways. Leaving on the 19th, back on the 1st. Oh, and if I suddenly have enough cash for Bali, count me in if you think there will be scuba diving involved. -Dave <Will do so. Bob Fenner> http://www.ewamarine.de/English/e-start-photo.htm And by the way I hope you saw this: <Ah!>

Nikon housing I noticed you mentioned you have an N-90 in a housing you use as a standby rig. I also have an N-90... curious to know more about the underwater ramifications of that. <I REALLY like this Nikon model (have an -X foreign body as well, as a back up, dual rig... the same camera, but a different designation). Where to continue here... Unlike the F-5 (had a "F"... yes, no number... great action finder, autowinder... in a bicep-building Ocean Eye housing set-up for years...), which is a great camera body as well, the N-90 S/X fits in a carry-on case with a Nexus housing (http://www.marinecamera.com/nexmast.html) under ones seat, in the overhead bin on most aircraft... I prefer to keep my lenses, bodies, housings, strobes, cords, arms, batteries, chargers... altogether as such and within my reach (unfortunately, have had gear stolen while in process/enroute on planes...).  Possibly more to your point, the N-90 has almost all the features (wish the "night light" would just stay on till "turned off" purposely... and a few other requests sent to Nikon) I need/want/am looking for... Do shoot autofocus (and use "D" designated lenses, though the IR does not work u/w of course)... TTL very often (most of the time)... really use the change of exposure, auto-focus lock buttons a great deal and these are very "ergonomically placed... I don't use the "program modes" underwater at all... As with all Nikon analog cameras the interchangeability of lenses, strobes et al. is a tremendous asset. The fact that the cameras run on regular AA batteries (do get/use the rechargeable NiMH's) is a real plus... If you'd like we can chat re cameras.> Still looking for a learn-to-dive-somewhere-warm special. J -- <If you're not quite sure if you'll like diving... do consider a "resort course", perhaps somewhere in the Caribbean. Only a day or two, not much expense. If you're pretty sure you'll become a diver, do so, even come with us, learn while out for a week or so. Some trips very reasonable. Jack and I (Pete and Di et al. can't make it) are off to Taveuni (Fiji) 11/27-12/6, about 2k US total (air, accommodation, meals, seven days shore-based diving) from the west coast if you'd like to join us. Do "keep your health up", maybe have a physician give you a check-up for anything that might interfere with your being a scuba-type, and dreaming of warm, clear water. Ahh. Bob Fenner>

Batteries? For Cameras, various types, degrees of users http://home.att.net/~mikemelni1/battery.html Very worthwhile comparison of battery types, models and their utility for loads, including flash units on cameras.  Bob Fenner

Re: Question re Aquatica Aqualens for the Nikonos? Have you heard about any issues with the Aquatica Aqualens for the Nikonos? <Gosh, is this product still about? A bunch of years back there was the usual "scuttlebutt" (as with the RS-1) that they "flooded easily"...  I never encountered one that had. Aquatica is one of those companies that has had very consistent good engineering/products.  Now, my real statement re Nikonos, et al. point and shoot cameras. Mike, do check out the newer digital rigs. So much better than what has "come before". Have recently upgraded my Olympus kit to their 4040  model (4.1 megapixels if you want), 7.5X zoom, WSIWYG screen viewing of the images, instant downloads via very simple USB connection... and the use of some new "digital strobes" by Ikelite... and a very nice (even fashionable if that's important), relatively inexpensive plastic housing... There's more... and yes, am such an old fossil, am keeping my Nexus rigs, Nikon N90 rigs with analog film... But the digital...  no twelve dollars a roll for film/processing... many, many "keeper" shots per dive... good for macro... even, like Motomarine, interchangeable lenses underwater... Marine Camera Distributors (.com) have most all the u/w part of these for sale... the rest is easy to shop about (Costco has 128 meg smartmedia for under sixty dollars U.S.)... NiMH batteries are about two dollars for 1600-1800 mA varieties... For the cost of trips, film, making worthwhile images, it is past time to relegate your Nikonos gear to "a BC pocket with ISO400 film, a 15 up to 28 mm lens" or "close-up kit" for your dive buddies to make great macro shots", or "for the dive guide to tool around with for alls benefit while you're diving together"... this is what I've done. Be chatting. Bob Fenner> Regards. Mike Kirda
Re: Question
Thanks for the reply, Bob. While I'd love to go digital, I cannot afford it at this point. I can, however, afford the Aqualens (new) with all the parts for $200... Already have the 20mm Nikon lens... <A tough, costly decision to switch whole rigs... don't I know... and you do have the most expensive component (the lens...). Do keep in mind, time going forward, the "cost of the trips" to make pix, the film/processing savings (I spend a few thousand dollars a year here), and the opportunity costs of not having more, better images... Though the Nikonos lenses are excellent, it's too "chancy" getting sharp images with them... just a matter of point and shoot limitations. Bob Fenner.> Regards. Mike Kirda
Re: Question
Bob, I remember seeing before a couple of my questions posted to your web site. If you happen to post these, please remove this e-mail address from it. So far (knock on wood) it is unknown to spammers. <Yikes. Rest assured I take out all such addresses when moving contents to elsewhere... Am very concerned about these matters... and never give out others' (though will bcc notes to people trying to find people. Have added your addie to send you along pix that I think you might enjoy though. Let me know if these become bothersome. Bob Fenner>> Thanks. Mike Kirda
Question (UW photography)
Bob, Have you heard about any issues with the Aquatica Aqualens for the Nikonos? <Gosh, is this product still about? A bunch of years back there was the usual "scuttlebutt" (as with the RS-1) that they "flooded easily"... I never encountered one that had. Aquatica is one of those companies that has had very consistent good engineering/products.  Now, my real statement re Nikonos, et al. point and shoot cameras. Mike, do check out the newer digital rigs. So much better than what has "come before". Have recently upgraded my Olympus kit to their 4040 model (4.1 megapixels if you want), 7.5X zoom, WSIWYG screen viewing of the images, instant downloads via very simple USB connection... and the use of some new "digital strobes" by Ikelite... and a very nice (even fashionable if that's important), relatively inexpensive plastic housing... There's more... and yes, am such an old fossil, am keeping my Nexus rigs, Nikon N90 rigs with analog film... But the digital... no twelve dollars a roll for film/processing... many, many "keeper" shots per dive... good for macro... even, like Motomarine, interchangeable lenses underwater... Marine Camera Distributors (.com) have most all the u/w part of these for sale... the rest is easy to shop about (Costco has 128 meg smartmedia for under sixty dollars U.S.)... NiMH batteries are about two dollars for 1600-1800 mA varieties... For the cost of trips, film, making worthwhile images, it is past time to relegate your Nikonos gear to "a BC pocket with ISO400 film, a 15 up to 28 mm lens" or "close-up kit" for your dive buddies to make great macro shots", or "for the dive guide to tool around with for alls benefit while you're diving together"... this is what I've done. Be chatting. Bob Fenner> Regards. Mike Kirda

Photo Contest, good cause, big moolah Bob do you take part in Photo contests?  <Almost never... my sense is that it is unfair to "crowd" others that might benefit more from such exposure> there is one organized by the Singapore Environmental Council to "generate public awareness about environmental issues and encourage the public to develop a sense of beauty and appreciation for our natural environment. <A worthy goal, expression> The prize money for the professional category <Oh! A separate category, classification> is not that great. 1St US$2000 2nd US$1000 3rd US$500 <Not that much? This is considerably more than all the magazines in our fields pay for covers, articles...> Closing date -20th October. It was supposed to be 30 Sept but I guess they were unable to attract enough participants. Let me know if you are interested and I will send u more info. <Please do. Will post to WWM and send you/them a few images for their consideration/perusal. Bob Fenner> Perry
Re: Photo Contest/SG
Bob I hope I sent u the correct address to download your application form. www.aboutwe.com <Got it, thank you. Bob Fenner> good luck Perry
Re: Photo Contest/SG
Bob You can download the form at this website. www.aboutwe.com .As an international participant u are only allowed in the Pro category. I will try to submit some shots in the amateur category. Hope you win some money and get to fly down to Singapore for the prize money. We have to do it fast. only 11 days left. <Will do so. Bob Fenner> Perry

Re: STI News: Getting a bang for a buck Bob We might be doing a small project with the Nature Society of Singapore. I lost your address. So if you can give it to me again I will mail you some info on what exactly we are going to do if current negotiations are a success. Perry <Ah, and we have just moved: 8586 Menkar Road, San Diego, CA 92126>

Re: It's a beautiful day. A bio-sun Fungia danai in Fiji... w/ lips like what? (daily wallpaper email-out) Gorgeous - did you take this? Are you using the new Nikon....what was it? <Yes to all... a Fungiid, mushroom coral...> lens? <Prob. 60mm micro-Nikkor, F 2.8> No aux. lighting? <Likely too much... dos Ai400 Ikelites... TTL> A million question Monday morning. Dave <Chat with you soon. Bob Fenner>

Re: Entacmaea quadricolor CU, Red Sea rotica Nice close up. What kind on lens for that bad boy? Todd G. <VERY simple Nikonos V and cheapest 35mm... with a something to one close-up extension... You will soon be using the very set-up taking pix for us in the Red Sea and beyond.... I assure you. Bob Fenner>

Selling Pix, Travel/Adventure Stories hi , have sold my story to a travel magazine here along with some pix. <Ah! Congratulations! Can't wait for Pete to get going on his writing career... Of all folks, he has many great stories, a good mind for relating them...> what's jack's last name? <Melroy> and I remember you had once offered to try to sell some slides for me. how do we go about that? <Can send along your annotated "portfolio" electronically with my other work, post some of it as small representations on our sites...> and thanks for the endless stream of pictures, I've been loving them. You'll be getting my second lot of pictures soon. <Ah good. Hope to be diving, photographing with you soon... some place where the water is warm and clear. Bob Fenner> ciao Parvin

Re: A Euphyllia in Redang, glabrescens (daily image/wallpaper email outs) Bob, Where are you getting these pics? <Umm, from traveling and Nikon and Fuji... and moving my shutter-release finger... Are you making a funny Rob? Bob F> Rob. ERI International

Re: looking for photo > Dear Robert Fenner, > Thanks for your reply. We have checked the photos. They were nice but the > thing is that they are not in pair. Well, so if you have a chance (while > diving) see a pair of them, take some photo of them ok? > Thanks a lot anyway for your support. > <Will do so. Thank you for your interest. Have you contacted Scott Michael > for this pic? Bob Fenner> > Best regards, > Sarayut Klang.
Re: looking for photo
Dear Robert, Thanks for your reply. How can we contact Scott Michael? Best regards, Sarayut Klang. <Will send you to our publisher for his acting as a go-between. Good luck my friends. Bob Fenner>

Re: A Thorny close-up, Acanthaster planci, yep, the same as the institute. (re a daily image sent) Incredible detail! What kind on lens are you using? <Hmm either just the Nikonos 35mm F3.5 with a (I'm guessing here) 1-3 or 4 extension tube/kit (very easy to use... pre-set focus, lighting... you just cock it and place over subject and shoot) or the housed N90 Nikon body, a 60mm F2.8 lens pretty close. In either case this is Velvia 50 ISO film... Bob Fenner> Todd Gabriel

Re: Back to Nudi's.... It's Gymnodoris ceylonica in the Maldives! Wish we were. Bob, my man...I may have missed the memo, but are these photos ones that you have taken in your recent exploits? <Yes, David... am "practicing" (this is an exceedingly kind term) with trying the new scanner (a fab Nikon 4000 ED) and the veritable mountain of images "to be filed"... Big, huge sigh... And hoping to get going on sending one out daily for the new WWM feature, WWNews... You'll see> BTW.. I have finally made my list of "goals". Getting certified to dive is high on my list, not to mention steadily progressing on book. I will go with you one day...sooner than later I hope. <Yay! Press on my friend. Bob Fenner> Regards, from David A. Bell

Selling images, stories to the Dive Mags hey bob, I had written to sport diving magazine asking them whether they were interested in my pictures and an article. they replied in the affirmative and gave me an address to send the pix and article to but they wanted to see some examples of my work first. <Yes, typical> I'll send them some copies in a lower resolution once I get them back].  <Mmm, and examples of your writing against them...> but if they like them and ask me to mail the actual prints <The industry doesn't work with prints... hopefully you have slides/transparencies... Maybe the negatives of your prints if they're very sharp.> then should I expect to be paid for them and if so should I negotiate before sending the material of course]. <Always up front. Ask for their "Editorial Policy", this will likely include information on compensation> around how much should I expect for pics and an article? <As a "one shot"? A couple of hundred dollars (US)... do a few of these, keep shooting, and try selling "features" and covers...> or do diving magazines not pay at all? <They pay... though some unscrupulous types at times will try to slide... don't allow this. Bob Fenner> thanks Parvin

Hello (from Malaysia dive service/master) Hello Bob How are you? How are the Redang slides? <Many very nice... am wading through them as my "treat" of the day, after this and that "business of life" "work"... on to identifying, scanning best, setting good verticals aside for sending to photo bank, editors for cover submissions...> I hope you get the shots you want. <On returning, never seems like it, sigh> I went out checking many new places. It has been slow since you leave. Diving will be picking up again next month. Meanwhile I am planning to go to Pulau Weh again. Now that it is easy for me to get there from Penang. I will send you some pictures on what is happening there. Cheers, Anuar <Ah, great. Will share them with friends in the diving interest and if okay with you on the www.WetWebMedia.com site. See you soon. Bob Fenner>

More U/W photo questions... Hello again, Bob.  Have a couple more questions, these more related to business than technique.  <Okay>  I have an opportunity to sell some of my photos for a book. Having never really owned a business before, it is all new to me. I have done some computer consulting work where I got paid and had to deal with  a 1099, but this would be somewhat different...  <I understand... do this all the time>  So if I were to set up a photo business part-time and sell a few photos, any idea what the images would sell for? <Hmm, not to seem or be too cagey here... but "about what you can get for them". Some folks pay little (or nothing) if it/this is just a few images... all the way to paying handsomely, including ongoing royalties for use...  Rarely the latter in the pet-fish interest... Some real numbers: TFH pays a grand sum of ten dollars (! wow!) per image for "all time" though not universal rights use... They consider that they can (and do) run others work fee free for once having paid for it... this is of course absurd and not the copyright law... but they've gotten away with it for decades... Other people go by a few of the photo-biz groups guidelines and pay accordingly... you can find these (and join these associations) by way of the Net, photo mag.s... I  currently am not a member anywhere... At any length, cutting to a chase here, I would openly negotiate with the "producer" of this/these works and simply ask them what they consider reasonable, fair and consistent to pay for your (and others) work... > Next, I am assuming that I could purchase equipment and be able to write off the expenses. Do you end up doing the same thing for dive trips/film/processing as well?  <Absolutely! I sense a Schedule C in your ongoing future...>  Suddenly I'm thinking that, if I could write off a portion of this, I'd be a lot better off...  <Yes, my friend... I write off one of my vehicles even as part of "writing/photography: "content provision" as an occupation>  Thanks in advance for your reply.  Mike Kirda <Be chatting, Bob Fenner> 
Re: a More U/W photo questions... 
><Hmm, not to seem or be too cagey here... but "about what you can get for them". {snip} At any length, cutting to a chase here, I would openly negotiate with the "producer" of this/these works and simply ask them what they consider reasonable, fair and consistent to pay for your (and others) work... >  Fair enough of an answer. I sort of figured that there was no set 'hard and fast' answer...  <Yes, you are right>  >><Absolutely! I sense a Schedule C in your ongoing future...>  LOL. Me too, suddenly... Have to talk to my tax guy/accountant...  <Ah, good. Great to have intelligent, sensitive competition!>  Thanks for your candor, Bob.  I do appreciate it.  <Ahh, about all I do have FLOL>  Regards. Mike Kirda <Bob Fenner> 

Underwater photography  I just found the Sea & Sea MX-10 with strobe  ( reviewed at <" http://www.popularmechanics.com/popmech/elect/9809EFPHP.html"> http://www.popularmechanics.com/popmech/elect/9809EFPHP.html >  )  for $450 at Leisure Pro online, with the strobe. Something to consider? <Yes, an even better camera rig than the "Yellow" one...> The article also mentioned that while you can get a Nikonos V for $700 or so, <This is "just" the body... w/o even the 35mm lens... You will need, want astrobe, a tray, arm, sync cord....> costs a whole bunch more for the lenses and accessories. Maybe that's out of the question....... Again, look forward to hearing your response.  Aaron <Much more to discuss and enjoy my friend. Bob Fenner>

U/W camera question Are you using a Nikonos V for your u/w shots?  Do you mind if I ask you some questions about it, especially on close-up shots?  Regards. Mike Kirda <Do use Nikonos for macro (the shot of Turbinaria r not m on Eric's new cover e.g.) and in my BC pocket for ballast and the occasional 400 ISO big animal, landscape (with a 15mm TTL (replaced by ins. co.), 20, or 28 mm lenses... Mike, I have to admit to being a Nikon/os junkie... have a very large collection (from the fifties Fr. Calypso... to I think two functional Orange V bodies, and one, two IVA's.... So, yes... have written about, given many pitches on the use of Nikonos, and do like them (as far as range finders go)... and will gladly engage you in discussion of same. Bob Fenner>
Re: U/W camera questions 
Well, Bob, what I'd like to ask is relatively simple...  <Ah, good>  I have only the 35mm lens, which seems to be much maligned on various newsgroups/websites. I have used it three ways:  <This is a fabulous achievement of engineering... and as you know, the most useful focal length, range of f-stops for above, u/w use...>  1) Normal extension tubes/framers at 1:2 and 1:1 combos.  2) With a Creata system, which is essentially a shorter extension tube, with a 1:3 framer or 1:2 framer/lens combo. Nice because you can change the framers underwater... <yes>  3) Borrowed Eric's Nikon close-up kit, which gets to about roughly 1:4 I think...
<Yes, and/but tough to get those animals to stay inside the framer ;)>  Using the 35mm lens, I do see the sharpness fall off- If you imagine a 4 x 6 inch print, place a coffee mug over it dead center. The edges protruding from the mug suffer from visible distortion...  <You have good vision, and yes, not sharp at the corners...>  I think that this is unavoidable, but I am curious if you think any of the options above (1,2,3) contribute to this distortion or might minimize it...  <Yes, all contribute... btw, took your advice and bought/read the 2d ed. "Photographic Principals... text cited last week from Amazon (55$!), and read over during the long weekend (my father in law passed on, so was visiting in NJ)... very worthwhile... a real wake-up call for things I thought I knew...>  I am thinking rather seriously of renting a 28mm lens from Helix and testing it out too. The Creata option will not work with it- it is designed for the 35mm only.
<Yes, and a good plan... to rent... look into used ones if you like it... or a 20 or even a 15mm... through KEH, Adorama (.com)... or your local photo-pawn shops... Or, better (really, and I swear I don't own  stocks in the companies involved), look into a housed 35 SLR... or skip past "old Bob" and go digital... Check out Marine Camera Distributors and Light and Motion's websites... and hold onto your checkbook!>  However, I would like to see how it compares with extension tubes and the Nikon close-up kit.  I am also curious which lens would have a greater depth of field...  Might you know?  <The smaller the focal length, the greater D of F... the fifteen focuses out... I think from a foot to infinity with planar (really) 94 degrees angle of coverage... Amazing!>  Depending on what I hear/find, I might just go out and buy the 28mm lens, if it will be better for me.  Thoughts? <Plenty...>  Mike Kirda <Be chatting, and hopefully photographing! Bob Fenner>

More photo questions... Hi Bob, Thanks for the photo tips... believe it or not I actually went to your site and checked out the photo section before I asked all those questions and you suggested I go there! <Yes, and I must need hustle and write up a presentation/article on above water image making for pet-fish types... to give at the upcoming WMC in Monterey... Yikes, and will post on WWM> Now I'm thinking digital... maybe. I have an Olympus D-340R (1.3 megapixels) that takes great pictures of aquariums. If I buy one of those "Ewa-marine $100 zip-lock bags with a window" it seems to me it would work pretty good for very shallow snorkeling in bright sunlit water. <Yes... with a few personal impressions here... Thus far, with my limited (have a Sony PC-100 and Mako Video Housing) and second hand experience, I haven't been impressed with digital u/w stills at all... the mechanisms used for capturing light require too much anticipation of when to "depress the shutter" and the image quality (resolution, color-richness) has not "been there" compared with analog picture making> Wouldn't it be the same as taking a picture of a reef tank from the inside looking out? <Ideally, yes> Do you know anybody that has tried one of those Ewa-marine bag things as an enclosure? <Yes, have used them myself even... do work for shallow water use... and the price can't be beat>  Now for part 2... What do you know about doing a presentation (like for our club) with one of those overhead type projectors and a PC? <Wish I did know about such... we're about in the "same boat" here... Need to get into this millennium with Power Point presentations myself... Am determined to give my talks via this tool this year (tired of friends snickering about "ole Bob" and his slide projector...> Can you rent one somewhere? <Yes, most everywhere... and worth asking about at various groups, businesses to see if folks have one to borrow... lots of them about> Oh yeah... and one more thing... do you know if you need to shoot in the highest resolution (meaning larger file size and much fewer shots per memory card)... or would the lower res work fine as the pictures look great on my monitor. <The lower, less fine resolution works... Have 64meg card... can shoot on 1.3 meg but generally do 100kb... and most images on our site, 4,5 kb... But scans of 35mm slides I have default at 300dpi, 2.3 megs each, TIFF format... for sale, use to the print world> Thanks a bunch... Doug Nadasdy PS... I would love to tag along on one of your trips sometime!  <Do so.> How far in advance do you plan those excursions?  <Most a few months... some a few weeks... will add you to the local party/adventure  travel/underwater/photography list if you'd like. We get together informally about once a month, show slides, video, chat up upcoming trips... Here in San Diego.> Or do you just wake up one morning and say "Hey... it feels like a good day for the Red Sea" or something like that?? <There are occasional deals that work out like that... some local and not friends have dive, travel services with cancellations/fill-ins for cheap, people in the trade want/need my help schnell... but generally planned out in advance. Bob Fenner>
Re: More photo questions...
OK... only one more day and I'm outta here! Only one more question too. Is there any danger of the film (exposed or fresh) getting wrecked by going through airport x-ray machines? Thanks again, Doug Nadasdy <I am on the side of "some fogging" by x-rays of any ISO rather than the absolute stance of airlines, security that there is NONE by x-rays... so I use the following means: 1) Lead lined bags to move my film (mine hold about forty rolls in their canisters each... and fit in back-packs, luggage well... other sizes are available) 2) Put in one, two gallon zip-loc bags (genius who invented these... should get Nobel if not Heaven) on my person (large, light weight jackets). 3) Both the above and happily hand over to personnel, asking for hand inspection... generally no problem... Bob Fenner

U/W Photography, Photo Gear  Hi Bob,  I wanted to thank you for taking the time to come to our club meeting last night.  <A pleasure> I really enjoyed your slides and all your stories! You are a really funny guy. My wife, Jenny always brings a magazine to the meeting when we have a speaker but she never even opened it up last night. If that's not a true compliment, I don't know what is!  <Agreed> I wanted to talk a little more about cameras but didn't get the chance.  I'm so confused. I suppose I will take slides when we're in Tahiti to share with the club when we get back.  Here's a list of questions:  <Yes, this is best... transparencies can be easily made into prints (the transfer is almost the same as from a print-negative in terms of quality)... and much better for scanning, sharing...> 1. How difficult / expensive is it to make prints from slides to put in a photo album later?  <Oh, here's that question... easy. Your service/processor can do this for you> 2. What slide film do you recommend? We'll be in 2' to 20' water depth.  <Hmm, please take a look at the "photographing underwater" piece posted on the site: www.WetWebMedia.com ... these issues are surveyed there> 3. Is there a decent low price (200-300 clams) camera I should consider?  <Again, see the piece mentioned above... Really, some decent point and shoots, and housings for "throwaway cameras" do dip down into this range... and well worth it... Humans are visually oriented... having pix from travel... priceless...>  Already have a 10yr old Minolta Weathermatic and the picture quality is not too swell.  <Optics haven't changed that much... these are okay cameras> 4. Should I rent a good setup before we go?  <This is a tough question... if you're going to use such gear ten or more times in the next few years, better to purchase (renting is expensive and nerve-wracking)...> 5. Can I rent a housing and strobe for my Canon A1?  <Pretty sure, yes. Take a look on Light and Motion's site> 6. What did you use for those slides of the Cooks?  <A Nikon N-90 body, their lenses... mainly 60 and 100mm micro-Nikkor lenses... a Nexus housing, two Ikelite strobes with their cord/connectors... Chet Tussey's arms (he's here in San Diego), mainly Velvia 50 and Provia 100 film... Have a bunch of digital, but we had no projector...> 7. Do you have anything you could rent to me?  <Not really... use my camera, lenses about every week... Calling, visiting Maurice Bullock tomorrow and making images at his house for instance... But very willing to have you go on a trip with, accompany us (a host of friends, pet fish, diving, just travel adventurer types) on under and above water photo trips... go about every month... so let me know if, where you're interested... And we cart along enough total gear for you to have a go at u/w video, stills, macro... the whole gamut> Any suggestions you may have will be very much appreciated!  Thanks again,  Doug Nadasdy <Where to start? Also please see the two reviews of photo books by Norbert Wu on the WWM site, and order these works and read them if you have time ahead of this, next trip. Bob Fenner>

UW Photography Hi, I have just read your article on UW Photography on url http://www.wetwebmedia.com/uwfotography.htm  I have been diving for 9 years now and this year I bought Motomarine II Ex camera. Last weekend I was diving here in Adriatic Sea (13?C) and took my first pictures... BAD!!! <Don't be discouraged... This happens to almost everyone... for quite a few "trials"... persistence pays here as everywhere> Now I have decided to look on internet for some "how to"s. I found your article useful but it has no PICTURES beside ... those you write about in article. Could you PLEASE send me your article with sample pictures? Kind regards, Grega Verc Slovenia, EUROPE <Thank you for this... Just last night was giving a program to a hobby group in Southern California, and there was discussion of an upcoming Conference here in the U.S., the Western Marine, up in Monterey this year... and one of two talks I'm presenting is on... Photography! And yes, have been remiss in placing (I shudder here) thousands of images on the WWM site... But at your prompting, and because this talk is a mere ten weeks away (!), I will quickly get those images on... and include another article on "above water photography of fishes... WITH PHOTOS! Thanks again... Bob Fenner, who needs a little time, as he has (foolishly) upgraded to Windows 2000 and now is awaiting device drivers, install software for his slide scanner, printer...>strictly amateur, going to the islands in Feb. and just shopping for something to take some diving photos with. >> I see... well, though it would cost me a hundred such sales... I would encourage you to look into one of the new point and shoot cameras instead... and maybe Norbert Wu's latest book on underwater photography... These previously called "throw away" cameras actually take some nice pictures... Take a look at Ikelite's webpage... and others. http://www.ikelite.com/web_pages/1cat_index.html And feel free to contact me... am a "content provider" for the hobby, industry pub.s for the last three (yikes) decades... so do know a bunch about what not to do... unfortunately... not near enough on what to do! Be chatting, Bob Fenner

Looking for better pix On another note, we are currently developing a Web Site, actually it's virtually completed and paid for, but I want to get better images for our product gallery. At the moment I'm working on the corals. Do you have any images we could use? I can send a list of what we sell if you like, but I'm sure you can wing it. I'm also-so far unsuccessfully-trying to take photo's in our tanks here using my video 'Sunray HID' lights (metal halides). I've also tried shooting in the office aquariums (looked great through the lens, but shitty prints). The only lens I have available is a SMC Pentax-FA 28-200 Telephoto lens, and Konica 'Centuria' 100 film. I'll also try out a 'Sea & Sea Amphibious camera with a 35mm lens. My best results have been in one of the new fish cubes, with the lights immersed in the top of the tank-problem is, the corals look really pissed off because of the shift, and probably the copper, and I have to be so far back to get in focus.  Thanks Bob, all the best Tim.  >> Hey Tim! Great to hear from you.  And yes to having images of the corals and other animals you folks have available. The Camera you have might work... but not with the telephoto lens... these "all purpose" lenses are like street AND dirt motorcycles.... they're neither! Do use a warmer film (I mainly use Velvia (50) and Provia (100)... and get most all of it mail order from www.adorama.com). The housed 35mm (or even larger format! Yikes) and macro lenses (mostly a 60mm and 105) are the best for colony shots... IMO.  But can send you low resolution images to sort through or burn a CD or two of the better ones in CMYK mode for print and you can manipulate them through Photoshop... to RGBs for your site... Anyway, let me know how you want to proceed. Bob Fenner

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