All posts tagged: ikelite

Christmas Diving at Cape Zanpa, Okinawa

A great couple of Christmas dives yesterday with my buddy Hiroshi at Cape Zanpa. Rinsed the gear and now sorting through images with a pile of reference books at my side. Identifying fish is often a challenge especially when some of them such as the bullethead parrotfish change their shape, color, and even sex over the course of their lives. Trying to identify corals is even trickier, but hopefully over the years I’ll be able to better differentiate between the various sponges, sea fans, soft corals, stony corals and anemones. The featured photo is I believe a Periclimenes psamathe ( seafan shrimp) on a Muricella sp. gogorian sea fan.

In search of the frogfish!

Shawn, Hiroshi and I went out for a dive at Cape Maeda, and for the first time in a while I set up the underwater camera rig. Our main goal was to find a frogfish Shawn had previously spotted. We found him sitting on the second reef at about 25 meters deep, his pelvic and pectoral fins acting like little feet. Other creatures I snapped on our dives were nudibranchs (sea slugs), anemonefish (Nemo), and trumpetfish (both silver and yellow species). As it was a Saturday, summer, glorious weather, and a famous spot, Maeda was packed with people.  By mid-morning there was a line all the way up the steps of people waiting to get in.  (A quick P.S.A. to a couple of snorkelers we saw: if you must ignore the line and push past all the people waiting, you might want to cover up your USMC tattoos so you’re not such poor ambassadors to your corps.) Maeda’s popularity, particularly with new divers, does have a negative impact on the reef.   Ideally, divers should …

Let there be underwater light (Part 1)

A you descend beneath the ocean’s surface things become darker and bluer. Light is absorbed by the water and it does this to a greater extent at the red end of the color spectrum. When shooting in the shallows you can capture the vibrant colors of the reef, but sink a little further and your images will look a little green and possibly blurry from slow shutter speeds (or noisy from high ISOs). The solution is to shed a little light on your subject. Send in the strobes. I bought two used Ikelite strobes on Ebay (thank you Vadim in Australia). One is a powerful DS-161 strobe that has a 3W modeling light, and the other is a far less powerful (and much cheaper) DS-51 strobe that I use as fill. The above image is a pre-dive test in the bath, which showed that both strobes worked, and that the light from the modeling light allows the camera to autofocus on the subject. The strobes are positioned in this image for macro shooting. The lens …

Underwater Leak Detector

One of the major issues with underwater photography is the possibility of flooding the housing with water and damaging the camera. I believe the majority of cases of flooding don’t occur due to some catastrophic failure of the housing (crumpling under the pressure) but rather an imperfect o ring seal due to a spec of dirt or a hair. In these cases water may trickle rather than surge inside the housing. If you’re busy checking your gauges, or you’re diving at night you may not notice the water until it’s too late. Some housings come with a built in leak detector, but for those that don’t, a quick visit to is a good idea. For 36 dollars you get a little bit of circuitry, velcro and some blue tack that may just save your equipment from a dunking. With regards to my housing I checked with Ikelite and it turns out that there is a control on the housing that allows you to press the lens release button. Now this has been pointed out …

Yonaguni Blue

On some dives when you are looking for hammerhead sharks all you find is Yonaguni Blue. You can’t see the bottom or distinguish anything else in the crystal clear waters. Your senses are filled with the sound of your breathing through the regulator and the big blue. Pentax K5 SMC Pentax DA Fish-eye 10-17mm Ikelite Housing