|Houston Underwater Photographic Society|
|Volume 21, Issue 10||October 2003|
Ned Shimizu, our October presenter, grew up in Japan and began diving the waters of Okinawa in 1985 while a dental student in Hiroshima. This may sound normal enough but the real story is very different. Like a lot of students around the world, money was more of an abstract concept than a reality to Ned and his fellow scuba diving friends. A trip to dive Okinawa normally started as a 3-day trip on a steamer with the whole group bunking down in a single room on the boat. Once on the island, they would live in tents and help operate the dive boats to save more money. The group that Ned dove with was a 15-20 member university dive club that he started with several of his friends. All things considered, you would have to conclude that for Ned, diving is very important and worth all the effort and sacrifices.
Almost from his first dive, Ned was taking underwater pictures. His first camera system was a Nikonos IVA with a 35 mm lens and a Nikonos SB101 strobe. Between 1985 and 1992, he added a 15mm lens for the Nikonos and obtained two housed camera systems. For macro work he used a Nikon S2 with a 55 mm macro lens inside an Ikelite housing with a Sea & Sea YS150 strobe. He also used a housing for a Canon EOS RT that is unusual in that the system has a built-in port for a Canon strobe.
After finishing his degree in Hiroshima, Ned came to southern California where he completed his education obtaining his DDS diploma. In 1997 he moved to Houston and started up his dental practice. He and his wife, Yuki, have one young son. He has been a member of HUPS for the past 3 years.
According to Ned, the diving in Okinawa is very good with a large variety of marine life on healthy coral gardens in clear waters. His first choice is wide-angle photography but his show will also contain a wide variety of fish shots and macro subjects. The show will be in two segments with the first part being a narrated topside portrait of Okinawa. The underwater show will be digitally scanned images, edited in Photoshop 6.0, all set to music. He uses a Nikon Super Coolscan 4000 to scan his slides, a system that guarantees very high-quality digital images. Accurate color is very important to Ned, especially as it relates to his work (i.e., matching the color or new crowns to the surrounding teeth). This attention to color will be evident in his show.
The October 6th program promises to be unique and entertaining. Don’t miss out on the experience.
As usual the meeting will be at the Bayland Community Center starting at 7:00 PM. A map and directions are at the end of this newsletter.
Photo by Ned Shimizu ©2003
October already? The cool air outside confirms that summer is over and autumn has arrived. That means the end of 2003 is on its way. HUPS has lots to do before the end of 2003. We have only two meetings before our annual Christmas Party at the December meeting.
During the October and November meetings we have to squeeze in all that end-of-year business. We will be accepting nominations for HUPS officers and board for 2004. If you are interested in getting involved, just say the word. You newer members are encouraged to participate. I think it is beneficial to have a mix of new and old members on the Board of Directors. This way we have better representation of the actual membership. We will have openings for President, Vice-President, Board positions, Membership Chairperson and others. Elections, if required, will be held at the November meeting. Getting involved is a great way to learn more about photography and fellow members. Just look at me . . . a couple years ago I couldn’t even spell undarwata kamera.
We will also be accepting nominations in writing for HUPS 2003 Member of the Year. This is an award given out to the HUPS member that has gone above and beyond the call of duty during 2003. Nominations should include the name of person being nominated and the reason(s) you feel this person deserves to be recognized as the Member of the Year. The names of those writing nomination letters will not be revealed. These nominations must be submitted in writing to Dennis Deavenport or myself. All members except the President and Vice-President are eligible. We will accept nomination up until the start of the December meeting.
One of the most important tasks we have ahead is to decide what food dish we are going to bring to the Christmas Party. John and Kathy Ringrose will again be our party coordinators. They will have a sign up sheet at the next couple meetings. As in the past, HUPS will provide ham and turkey and the members will provide the sides, drinks and dessert.
See Ya October 6th,
Monthly Contest Winners
Slide - Novice
|2nd Tie||John Ringrose, John Ringrose|
Slide - Advanced
|1st||Mary Lou Ried|
|2nd Tie||David Lenderman, Jackie Reid, Jackie Reid|
The 12-acre resort is located south of the Town Pier and very near the airport. It is a large, beautifully landscaped property with a lagoon running through the center. Toucan Divers’ shop and five boats are located at the end of the lagoon near the main lobby.
The resort has three restaurants and a drink/sandwich cabana on the beach. All served excellent food in very clean, elegant surroundings. The prices listed on their website are: Breakfast $13, lunch $18, dinner $26.50. Island Dreams’ fact sheet recommended taking $250 to $300 per person for a week and that was approximately what we spent.
The dive shop gives an informative and interesting lecture on the first day prior to your checkout dive. A locker and key are provided and scheduled dives are posted each day. Tanks are conveniently available at the resort’s beach entrance for shore diving. No dives were canceled when divers failed to show and as a result, I dived twice with only one or two other divers. Almost no current and excellent visibility made diving great.
The double reef system is interesting – swim out at 70 or 80 feet on one reef and swim back to the boat on a different reef at 40 or 50 feet. The reef continues to 18 or 20 feet! The dive master returns the group to an area within sight of the boat and the safety stop consists of continuing to explore until you are out of air. My favorite feature of the trip! On a night dive, we met Charlie, an eight-foot, green moray. His neck just behind his head looked about 1 1/2 feet in diameter. I took 3 humble shots and decided to leave him behind the coral. The Town Pier dive was just as exciting as I imagined it would be. Erika, our young but fantastic dive master from Venezuala, found every fish she promised: frogfish, sea horses, scorpion fish. Large drums were seen on every dive as well as trumpet fish of very usual colors. The fish were abundant and beautiful, and Bonaire lived up to its reputation for me.
Monthly Photo Contest Subjects for 2003
|October||Wide Angle *digital and slide*|
|November||Things that live in muck or sand|
|December||Best of HUPS Photo Contest|
UpComing Meetings and Events
October 6, 2003 – HUPS Meeting
Ned Shimizu - Southern Japan
November 3, 2003 – HUPS Meeting
November 22, 2003 – Lighting Workshop
December 8, 2003 – HUPS Meeting
HUPS Annual Christmas Party meeting
|Some items have been sold. The website link is up and running.|
|Nikonos V with 15mm, 28mm, 35mm lenses + framers set (camera and 15 just serviced and not wet since). Includes Nikon 28mm viewfinder, Ikelite 15mm viewfinder for use with all lenses. Cord for Ikelite strobes and another cord converting to EO connection. Also an AquaLens to use any Nikon-mount wide-angle lens inside with the NikV. $1,300|
|Sekonic MMII with bracket and UltraLight mount. Extra batteries. $175|
|Ikelite 50s strobe with UltraLight ball mount and standard mount, instructions. $100|
|Ikelite MS strobe with UltraLight ball mount, instructions. $75|
|Ikelite ports dome (5503) 2, one almost new, other good. Both for $30|
|Ikelite flat port for 50 Micro Nikkor (#5502 for lenses < 3.5" max extension). $25|
|Ikelite TTL strobe cord for Ikelite strobes. $15|
|These items plus assorted Ikelite housing parts, gears, cords, etc., viewable at http://www.seabelow.com/uwphoto4sale. All prices OR BEST OFFER. Contact Dave Van Rooy at email@example.com. Dave has been a member of HUPS for over 15 years and currently resides in Bali. All equipment is in good working order, and he will guarantee money back if not satisfied. Gear is in Bali but will be in Houston late September.
HUPS Shootout 2004
As most of you are aware, HUPS is planning to travel to Bonaire, in the Dutch Antilles, July 10-17 for our shootout. Our base of operations will be the Plaza Resort Bonaire. For further information, please visit their website: http://www.plazaresortbonaire.com
Cost of this trip will be approximately $877 for land, which includes: seven nights, six days of two, two-tank boat dives/day, unlimited shore dives and daily breakfast. Each 2-room villa will have access to a four-door pickup, for "tooling" around or diving the beautiful dive sites from the beach. Airfare is anticipated to come in somewhere around $550. Total cost for the basic package will be approximately $1427. All villas come complete with a kitchenette.
Upgrades to the package would be a meal plan (lunch and dinner, since breakfast is included) for $36/person per day. Upgrade to single room villa will be $316/person. Nitrox will be available for $63.50 for unlimited fills. On the final night, we plan to have a celebration dinner that will cost $26/person. Deposits are $200/person. At present, we have 10 participants signed up for the trip.
Island Dreams Travel will sponsor a one-day photo contest. Prizes will be a $300, $200, $100 certificate for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place respectively, to be used towards a travel package with Island Dreams.
I will be collecting deposits at our October meeting. I then plan to open this up to DUPS. . . and have a real Texas Shootout! Contact Leonard Cichowski.
I think this will be a wonderful time for diver and non-diver alike.
I would like to ask for volunteers to help plan evening festivities, help coordinate the trip, rules for contest and judging, and to organize some activities for the divers and non divers that are on the trip.
Sync-cords can be you best friend or most hated enemy. They are the weakest link on an underwater camera set up. Do a TTL test before every film load and always have a spare sync cord along on a big trip.
Lighting Workshop November 22nd
A brief reminder, Ken Knezick will conduct the extremely informative "LIGHTING" workshop on November 22, 2003 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM at ISLAND DREAMS, his place of business. The address is 1309 Antoine Drive. Ken, who for many years has tenaciously studied and practiced this subject, is now a master of lighting both film and digital images. If you are serious about improving your underwater photography, you should plan to attend. Although reservations are not necessary, in order to prepare, we ask that you contact Joe Nicklo (firstname.lastname@example.org) who has the attendees list.
The Big Picture
The topic for the October photo contest is "wide-angle." This contest will have both slide and digital categories. Remember, you can’t win if you don’t enter. Each member is allowed to enter three slides and/or digital images. Complete rules can be found here.
Photo by Mary Lou Reid ©2000
Seafood Lover's Guide from Audubon's Living Oceans
Reprinted without permission!
See http://seafood.audubon.org/: Living Oceans' Seafood Lovers Initiative helps you become more familiar with the fish and shellfish you buy so that you can make choices toward better managed selections. The buying power of consumers can create a market envirnment that encourages sustainable seafood and abundance in the seas.
Wetmate Lenses for Underwater Digital – Are They Worth It?
A wet-mate lens (sometimes called an add-on lens) is an optic that mounts to the outside of a camera housing port or lens, leaving water in between the front lens optic (or port glass) and the wet-mate lens. The add-on lens optic is specifically designed to have water on both sides. This design means that the lens can be changed underwater, however, it can’t usually be used on land to yield the same results.
So what’s involved? Firstly, realize that just because your digital camera focuses to 3 centimeters doesn’t mean that you will be able to get a cooperative well-lit subject at that distance. I think that 6 to 8 inches is probably a reasonable close focus distance to shoot macro with a consumer digicam. Further out may actually be better for some – if not most – subjects. At those distances, many of the popular strobes will be adequate for ISO 100 shooting at the highest f-stop on your camera. However, if you want to shoot 1:1 or greater, then you may need to add a wet-mate macro lens. In the examples that follow, the assumption is that the photographer is switching from 1:1 or greater, meaning a macro lens is involved:
Macro to Wide-angle:
Wide-angle to Macro:
The above steps can be reduced if your camera allows custom settings, or "My Modes", however, as these are on the camera only, this will only cut out two steps.
If all of this sounds complicated, it’s because it IS. Add to the above that not all add-on lenses are equal. Some vignette on various housings, some have unacceptably soft corners, and some require adapter rings to mount on your housing.
To many people, the ability to add or change lenses underwater is seen as a distinct advantage of consumer digital cameras. Beginners especially view this as a plus – the ability to switch between shooting macro and wide-angle on the same dive. What could be better? But one has to ask the question – if wet-mate lenses are so great, why don’t film shooters use them? The answer is a complicated one.
Of course, some underwater film shooters DO use wet-mate lenses. "Point and shoot" cameras such as the Sealife Reefmaster and the Motormarine II are geared toward beginners. They have a range of add-on lenses that will let the photographer go from 16mm wide-angle to 1:1 macro – simply by unscrewing an add-on lens, "docking" it, and then screwing on another.
Which finally brings me to the point of this article – wet-mate lenses are not for beginners. Frequently, novice digital photographers are inexperienced divers – with already enough to worry about. Add all of those complicated steps detailed above, and you have a novice diver on a run-away ascent, or drifting away from his/her dive buddy in high-current conditions, or worst of all – trampling the reef. If you decide to use a wet-mate lens, plan to stick with it for the whole dive – try to resist the urge to switch it out mid way though just because you see an interesting subject. If you are new to digital underwater photography, I would recommend you follow the "purchasing order" that I described in a previous article. Get your camera and housing first, then get a good strobe, arm, and tray setup, and finally, purchase a wide-angle lens.
Operation Photo Storm has been successful and has ousted HUPS President from power. This cruel, evil dictator will step down December 31st. Since appearing on the HUPS Most Wanted cards many other HUPS leaders including Jean Himes - Membership Chairperson have gone underground, er, um, underwater. This has created a serious power vacuum at the highest levels. Dennis Deavenport, HUPS VP, has been aiding the coalition forces and may be willing to step up to lead the new interim government. The coalition is seeking concerned HUPS citizens who are willing to make a difference. If you care about your photographic society now is the time to get involved. Only by member involvement can HUPS return to normalcy. We will accept nominations for officers and board members at the October meeting and then again at the beginning of the November meeting.
2003 HUPS Officers and Committee Directors
The Houston Underwater Photographic Society (HUPS) meets the first Monday of every month at 7:00PM at the Bayland Community Center, 6400 Bissonet, near Hillcroft.
Social time begins at 7:00PM for members and visitors to get acquainted. Visitors are always welcome to join us. So, stop by and see what we are all about!