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  • SOLA 600 Light from Light and Motion
    there s minimal flooding risk and no worrying about which batteries to buy replace before during your trip Just plug the charger into the back of the light and let the power grid do its thing Most importantly the lights are oh so simple to use Push the toggle on the top of the light forward to cycle through medium high and low power push forward or backward and hold for two seconds to turn the light off twist the toggle sideways to lock the power button And the best part pull the toggle backward for red light The built in red light means you don t have to wrap red plastic around your light for night dives and you can easily switch back and forth between white and red illumination How s that for convenience In case you couldn t tell I love these lights After diving with them for a couple of weeks I ve found three uses 1 As a torch Strap a lanyard onto the SOLA 600 and it s a lightweight versatile torch 2 As a focus light As I mentioned above I ve never used focus lights on my cameras because underwater lights tend to be bulky and or fiddly SOLA lights are small light decidedly non fiddly Also the red light function is invaluable for night dives Some of the critters I ve come across in Ambon still seem to be able to see the red light but this built in stealth mode works in most instances allowing you to sneak up on unwary photographic quarry SOLA 600 light as a focus light 3 As video lights Two to three SOLA 600s have been enough to light video footage which I ll post after I get back I shot during the Ambon Night Safari with my DSLR cameras I was able to use a decent ISO 160 to 640 range on my Canon cameras with exact settings depending upon lighting I wanted subject size colour and distance Note Light Motion has just released a new SOLA 1200 light which provides even more light for video in the same compact package It was probably no small coincidence that there were lots of SOLA lights on the Ambon Night Safari trip since all the participants were dedicated well informed divers We also had a couple of prototype SOLA 1200 units that Eric Cheng brought along In summary For travelling photographers who need to cut down on baggage standardise equipment and have maximum redundancy SOLA lights are a no brainer In fact if you have a dive addicted person in your life SOLA lights would make a perfect stocking stuffer for the coming holiday season how s that for a subtle hint No product is perfect of course so if you get the lights I d recommend going easy on the toggle switch that turns the lights on and off I ve had no issues but one person who was here snapped the toggle off by

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/sola-600-light-from-light-and-motion (2016-04-26)
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  • Totomega Insect Eye Lens for Underwater Photography
    What a hassle In recent months several of my friends have been using the insect eye lens manufactured by Inon and have been producing some really interesting images and video This of course made me really anxious to test the new lens pictured below The Totomega insect eye lens with my Canon 7D camera in a Zillion housing two SOLA 600 lights for lighting The lens is made by a photographer friend of mine in Japan who calls his creation the Totomega lens It s a self enclosed relay lens that fits on to a custom built port which houses a lens attached to an APS sensor camera in my case a Canon EOS 7D The main lens is a 28 80mm Sigma lens stacked on a 1 4x teleconverter When all is said and done the resulting field of view underwater is somewhere in the 160 degree range Shooting with this type of lens is unlike anything I ve tried before Given that it s my first experience with the lens and that there aren t exactly a lot of people I can ask for advice it took me a few dives to figure out how to use the Totomega Autofocus works like a charm with one significant catch The actual focus isn t where the camera s focus point locks on meaning I have to adjust the camera position to take into account the differential in what the camera thinks is in focus and what actually is in focus The method I ve developed to deal with this conundrum is to estimate the lens to subject distance for the point I want to be in focus estimate a distance of approximately 1 cm closer than my desired focus AF lock at that distance then reposition to my actual desired focus distance and shoot keeping in mind that my desired focus distance usually means lens to critter eye distance not simply lens to critter distance Sound complicated It is I m sure you can see why it took me a bit of trial and error over several dives accompanied by considerable muttering under my breath until I figured out a system that works At this point I can nail a significant proportion of the shots I try Two people on the Ambon Night Safari trip Eric Cheng and Julian Cohen had Inon lenses with them so we inevitably traded notes and compared images Here s what we concluded Eric Julian please correct me if I mis stated or forgot something 1 The Inon lens requires manual focus The Totomega uses AF but the AF position is not where it seems or at least I haven t yet been able to get the actual AF to be where the AF point locks 2 The Inon lens can focus right up to the lens surface The Totomega can focus to about 1cm away from the lens surface 3 The Inon lens can make really small things look big in the frame

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/totomega-insect-eye-lens-for-underwater-photography (2016-04-26)
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  • Going to Maluku Divers in Ambon
    Safari to give you an idea of some of the awesomely cool stuff we saw The basic idea behind the Night Safari concept is simple Instead of diving during the day we ll spend several days diving only after dark when lots of creepy crawlies come out Life doesn t get much better than that now does it Given the new resort s prime location next to the main muck sites access to Ambon s nightlife should be easy and I m hoping that we ll see lots of neat things like mating behaviour predation and of course a plethora of bizarre butt ugly critters I also have a lot of new equipment and crazy ideas to try out For example I have three SOLA 600 lights with me which I m planning to use both as focus lights and for video I ve never attached a focus light to my housing before mainly because underwater lights tend to be bulky unwieldy and clumsy not exactly conducive to sneaking up on wildlife The SOLA lights are unbelievably compact and easy to use so putting one on my housing is a no brainer The built in red light should also be quite handy for approaching shy animals at night I ve also downsized strobes and am only taking Inon S 2000s six to be precise Some people seem to think that you need strobes the size of VW beetles in order to take decent photos I relied almost entirely on YS 50s and YS 30s back in the day how many of you remember those so I m hoping that my small is beautiful gamble will pay off especially since I don t anticipate doing much wide angle work on this trip Finally I have a bunch of knick knacks I

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/heading-to-maluku-divers-resort-in-ambon-indonesia (2016-04-26)
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  • Interviewing Craig DeWit of MV Golden Dawn
    MKE 400 shotgun microphone which helped to reduce distraction from ambient noise engine aircon people yelling boat horns etc I mounted the camera on Golden Dawn s steering wheel using a Gorillapod certainly not the ideal configuration for the purpose But I didn t have a proper tripod so I had to make do with what was available and the steering wheel was the only platform with sufficient height to get the angle of view I wanted Balancing the camera and keeping it from flopping left and right was a bit of a challenge Doing the interview was probably the most difficult part of gathering material for the video I knew that I wanted to get footage of Craig describing his personal experiences and feelings about the Eastern Fields to use as the backbone of the storyline But Craig is incredibly camera shy and kept coming up with excuses to avoid being interviewed Finally when he ran out of excuses I had to wait a good 30 minutes while he showered shaved powdered his nose and otherwise tried in vain to pretty himself up In case you re interested I set exposure and focus manually striving for low depth of field I think the aperture was something like f5 0 or thereabouts Shutter would have been around 1 60 to 1 100 The frame rate was 30fps by default I think ISO was 400 and the biggest technical challenge I had was controlling the overblown areas behind Craig I recorded the interview prior to having manual control of audio gain a function which came with a later firmware upgrade so it was paramount to keep ambient sound levels constant Fortunately no one else was around and it was a quiet day in port so we did everything in a single

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/interviewing-craig-dewit-of-mv-golden-dawn (2016-04-26)
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  • Backing Up With Drobo
    Photos for Free Integrity Policy Contact Me Tony Wu Photo Naturalist ars gratia scientiae My Data Robot One of the less glamorous aspects of photography these days is making redundant copies of data I ve been generating up to 200GB of data for a typical project in recent months a figure that keeps escalating with increased RAW file sizes plus the addition of video and audio files It s in this context that I love my Drobo units They make the process of backing up data relatively painless and they provide a layer of built in redundancy meaning you have some protection against individual disk failure On the rare occasions when I have to replace one of the disks in a Drobo unit however it can take quite a while for the data rebuild and protection procedure to finish 44 hours seems like a long time but actually for the peace of mind of having multiple copies of all my files it s no big deal The copies I m making now are backups of backups from recent trips a dull but unavoidable task I have to complete before heading out again Monday May 24 2010 Life Musings Equipment Technique

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/backing-up-with-drobo (2016-04-26)
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  • Sperm Whale Photos Taken with Sony DSC-TX5
    over there to do a bit of work with Sony which means I really have to pay attention to what I m doing I can t really say much more than that at this point but I can post a couple of photos that I took earlier this year in Dominica with a Sony DSC TX5 which is a compact camera that s ok to take into the water as is i e no housing required rated to a depth of three metres Here s a bunch of sperm whales gathered just under the surface And here s a shot of a juvenile sperm whale swimming straight toward me The reason I m posting these pictures is to illustrate how far digital technology has come Sure given a choice I m always going to opt for a high end DSLR but one thing I constantly tell people who write to me asking for advice about which camera to buy is that just about every camera made these days is capable of producing fantastic results These photos are proof Of course there are differences between a 300 camera and a 3000 camera There have to be But it s more important

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/sperm-whale-photographs-taken-with-sony-compact-digital-camera (2016-04-26)
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  • Underwater Photography Blog | Tony Wu
    April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2007 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2006 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June Posts in Equipment Technique Sunday Dec 20 2015 Thoughts on Evolution Thoughts and musings on the evolution of photography particularly camera gear as 2015 comes to a close Continue Reading Photography Equipment Technique Life Musings Tuesday Dec 30 2014 Minions Not Elves Nauticam iPhone 6 waterproof housing Minion not supplied Continue Reading Photography Equipment Technique Life Musings Saturday Oct 26 2013 A Little About Light Two photographs of humpback whales engaged in cooperative bubble net feeding in Chatham Strait Alaska that illustrate the importance of light for photography Continue Reading Photography Marine Life Places Adventures Equipment Technique Tuesday Jul 2 2013 Equipment Note Nauticam D800 Housing New narrower handles for Nauticam housing for Nikon D800 DSLR Continue Reading Photography Equipment Technique Thursday May 23 2013 Using Nik Filters with Smart Objects for Underwater Photos It s no secret that of all the aspects of what I do photo editing is my least favourite I have images from 2005 still waiting to be edited because I d much rather be out in the field researching background information working out eating or even sleeping Lately though I ve had to spend more time editing in order to prepare presentations proposals and talks The following image is an example me holding a piece of sperm whale skin not a beauty Continue Reading Equipment Technique Tuesday Oct 23 2012 Editing with Nik Software I m giving a talk in Osaka this Friday about whales which means I have to edit and process a number of photos to flesh out

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/category/equipment-technique/P0 (2016-04-26)
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  • Underwater Photography Blog | Tony Wu
    September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2009 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2008 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2007 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2006 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June Posts in Equipment Technique Friday Apr 2 2010 Using Aperture 3 Part 3 This is the last of three blog posts about my initial experience using Aperture 3 Please read this in conjunction with Continue Reading Equipment Technique Wednesday Mar 31 2010 Using Aperture 3 Part 2 Note Please read this in conjunction with Continue Reading Equipment Technique Tuesday Mar 30 2010 Using Aperture 3 Part 1 As I mentioned at the end of my previous post I used Continue Reading Equipment Technique Thursday Mar 11 2010 Equipment Note Shooting with the 7D Edward from Continue Reading Equipment Technique Tuesday Jan 26 2010 Equipment Note Sweep Panorama I ve been using and really enjoying a relatively new function that s available in Sony compact cameras It s called Sweep Panorama and essentially this function automates the process of creating panorama shots like the shot below of Continue Reading Places Adventures Equipment Technique Monday Jan 11 2010 Fun in the Eastern Fields While preparing to head out to the Eastern Fields in November last year it occurred to me that the trip would be filled with lots of experienced and talented photographers armed with a plethora of fancy

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/category/equipment-technique/P20 (2016-04-26)
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