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Wakatobi Redux
February 4th Meeting with Dwight Coles

Mola Mola by Anne Coles © 2008

Our February speaker is Dwight Coles.  Last September Dwight and a group of HUPS & HUC divers visited Wakatobi and did a little diving off Bali on the way.  Dwight has compiled the group's best photos from this trip into a slideshow for our next meeting.  This show has it all. . . from small pygmy seahorses to big Mola Molas with everything in between.  The other contributing photographers include Anne Coles, Tom Collier, Brian Cox, Rob & Gaynor Mellor and Bobby Straight.

And as a bonus, Dwight has an amazing underwater video that you have got to see!  While in Wakatobi, being the nice guy that he is, Dwight aided and befriended a videographer who was on assignment at the resort.  Dwight's new friend is Frazier Nivens, an Emmy award winning underwater videographer and owner of Ocean Imaging Videography in Key Largo, Florida.  Frazier has graciously sent Dwight a copy of his Wakatobi underwater video to share with us.

Dwight Coles is originally from Louisiana.  He started diving in 1996 while living in Saudi Arabia.  He started taking underwater photographs in 2000 with a Sea & Sea MX-10 and moved to digital in 2004.  He currently shoots with an Olympus 5050 with dual Fantasia Nano strobes.  Besides underwater photography, Dwight has a passion for creating digital slide shows for family and friends.  Dwight has presented many shows for HUC and this will be his first presentation for HUPS.

If you want to see a great slide show and a fantastic underwater video of Indonesian sea life, the February meeting will not be one to miss.

As usual our meeting will start at 7:00 PM - Bayland Community Center - 6400 Bissonnet.  A map can be found on the back of this newsletter.
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Double Your Pleasure

By Tom Collier

Last month David Lenderman promised us two slide shows but he gave us four! The first destination was Cozumel. He had a nice underwater show and something new. It was a time-lapse show of a 45 minutes period condensed down to 30 seconds. The photos were taken once every ten seconds of the dive dock during the morning loading process. They were then put together in a movie program to turn the pictures into a movie. Leave it to David to figure out a way to take photos while eating breakfast. His next show was from a family trip to Akumal. The cenote photos from Akumal were truly impressive. Finally, since the contest was cancelled David happily filled the time with a show on Lembeh Strait. Thanks David for the fun evening.

President's Message
Pulling the Wagon Together

The job of making money for HUPS came around a lot earlier this year.  The Texas Dive Show dropped anchor in Houston this last weekend.  As has been the recent tradition with SEASPACE, HUPS was asked to set up a photo display to be viewed by visitors to the show.  SEASPACE still lives but it is no longer the driving force for the dive show convention in Houston.  Instead, it is focusing on raising money to provide scholarships for deserving young students wishing to study marine-related programs such as marine biology, oceanography, ocean engineering, and aquaculture.  More than 304 graduate and undergraduate students have received financial assistance through the SEASPACE scholarship program.  HUPS has traditionally provided items for the silent auction and many of our members have dual HUC/HUPS memberships and participate actively in both organizations.  This year was no exception with a large number of photos and other items being donated by HUPS members to support the scholarship fund.

Getting HUPS jump-started and organized for the display was a bit of a shock when we realized that the event was literally on the immediate horizon and we were almost out of preparation time.  The Board of Directors met early in the month and came up with a plan that seemed like it might work Okay if we all got moving in the same direction.  Virtually everyone on the BOD volunteered to assist in one function or another with a few taking on major responsibilities.  Jan Baughman and I decided to share duties getting the prints located, collected, and labels printed.  Joe Nicklo did his usual Superman impression by not only providing transportation and brute strength getting the display boards moved to and from storage at Island Dreams' little house on the prairie but also agreeing to serve as “chief huckster” for the print raffle.

Once the boards were unloaded by the moving crew, the rest of the setup got started.  While one crew was putting the display boards together another group was trying to figure out how to put up the booth display provided by Jan's company.  Putting prints up on the boards presented a different problem.  We had way too many prints.  What a deal.  Earlier in the week I was worried we wouldn't have enough prints to fill the boards.  I should have known better.  One constant that I've learned to count on is that HUPS always comes through.  This was no exception.

Within a few hours, it was done.  Well, all but power for the lights, chairs, and a table.  That's when P.J. Roeder decided to take charge of procurement.  Going on the premise that it's better to ask for forgiveness than to beg for help, we ended up with everything we needed.  The end result was truly magnificent.  The display was awesome.  Not only did we have the photos on display in the entry to the show but we were asked to put up another display in the lobby of the hotel to help promote the show.

During the next 2 days, Joe and his sales crew hawked raffle tickets and sold prints.  Special mention goes to Conner Fields for his ability to outsell just about everyone but the master, himself.  I was in awe watching them work the crowd.  And we did have a constant crowd.  The booth people kept busy selling memberships and card packs, handling the money, and just generally schmoozing with the people coming by to talk underwater photography.  I can't say enough about how impressed I was with how well things went.  I really love how we all pull together to make things happen.  What a great group of people.

Sunday afternoon arrived and the last print in the raffle was given to the lucky winner.  The time had come to tear it all down and celebrate.  How it all happens so fast and seamlessly, I'll never figure out.  But it does.  Within an hour the show was all pulled apart, boxed up, and in the vehicles.  The boards were moved back to their home and we all went over to decompress at Paul and Mary McDonald's beautiful home for some delicious food and adult beverages.  Many thanks for the outstanding hospitality!

In the end, this is what I think HUPS is really all about.  It's not just the pictures, the presentations, the contests, and the teaching and learning.  It's much more than that.  It's about friendships, sharing, and pulling together for a common goal.  This is what we do best.  HUPS is an outstanding organization with outstanding members.  It's a true joy to be part of what we are building.  It's something that we should all feel very proud of.  I apologize for not mentioning everyone that helped this weekend.  If I did that, I'd be listing a healthy percentage of our membership.  You know who you are and you need to know how much we all appreciate your help and friendship.  Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

This brings us to the February 4th meeting.  As they say where I grew up, “Ya'll come.”  We're going to have another outstanding program and it's time to roll out the new photo contest category for Compact Digital Cameras.  Don't forget to send in images for both January and February.

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Important Photo Contest Announcements!

Please resubmit your January contest entries.  The topic is Nudibranchs.  We were unable to run the contest when the original files were deleted by mistake.

Starting with the January contest, HUPS is sponsoring a new contest category for images taken with Compact Digital cameras.  The rules are the same as for the Novice and Advanced categories with the exception that only images taken with cameras having fixed primary lenses will be accepted for judging. 
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It's Membership Time ...

Happy New Year!  In case you have been asleep for the last few months it's time to renew your HUPS membership.  If you attend the meeting, forms will be available at the information table.  If you can't make the meeting, this can be done by completing the membership form available on the internet at member.htm and mailing it and your check for $30 for an individual membership or $35 for a family membership to: Jean Himes.
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Important Dates
Put them on your calendar
February 4, 2008
HUPS meeting - Dwight Coles - Wakatobi
April 7, 2008
HUPS meeting - Scuba Bob Knapick - Intro to Underwater Video
June 2, 2008
HUPS meeting - Dennis Deavenport - PNG
March 3, 2008
HUPS meeting - Leonard Cichowski - Borneo
May 5, 2008
HUPS meeting - James & Kandace Heimer - Hawaii
July 7, 2008
HUPS meeting - Ken Knezick - topic TBA

Greg Grimes – New Workshop Coordinator

By Dennis Deavenport

We’d like to welcome Greg Grimes as our next Workshop Coordinator.  He will be assuming the responsibilities of organizing and coordinating our workshops this year.  Joe Nicklo is stepping down after several outstanding years of putting together a superb list of workshops that are free to all members.  This program has proven to be one of our most popular and valuable activities.  It’s just one more way that HUPS provides the maximum “bang for the buck.”

Greg has big shoes to fill but he has the capability to do just that.  As in the past, Greg will need everyone’s support as we move into the new year with a new schedule of workshops.  The first offering for the year will be a Nitrox Workshop given by Debbie and Jim Mensay at a date to be announced soon.
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Dive Trip News

By Tom Collier

May 14– 26, 2008 - Bali Dive Safari
Sold out – Waiting List Started

Land-based Dive Safari on the East and North coasts of Bali.  9 days of diving + 3 days of land touring.  $1,500.00 double-occupancy, excluding air. More info: tom@tpixs.com

Where do you want to go in 2009?  We are looking for suggestions for future HUPS trips.
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TSA Enacts New Battery Regulations

Thanks to both Paul Levy and Kandace Heimer for sharing this information.

The Transportation Security Administation (TSA) has enacted new regulations regarding lithium batteries in carry-on and checked baggage.  The TSA announcement can be found here on the TSA web site.  A nice interpretation and explanation of the regulations can be found here: here.

To sum it all up, it looks like you can’t carry spare lithium batteries in your checked bags.  Spare lithium batteries should be placed in carry-on bags.  Be careful to protect your batteries from short circuiting.  The fire danger with lithium batteries is greater than with other types of batteries.  If you travel with lithium batteries you should take a few minutes to learn about these new rules.
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Interva What?

by David Lenderman

Several members had a question regarding my time-lapse slide show so I decided to write a little article on the subject.

The feature in my Nikon D200 that I used is called an intervalometer.  It allows you to program the camera to automatically take pictures at a set interval for a set length of time.  For the dive dock show I shared, I had the camera take one photo every tens seconds over a 45 minute period.  I ended up with 270 images.  I then put these 270 images into the iMovie program on my Mac and specified to show each image for one tenth of a second.  I then added titles and music ending up with a 30-second show.  If you use a PC you can try Microsoft Movie Maker or some other simple video editing software.

Not all cameras have this feature.  I did notice that quite a few Canon compact digitals have an intervalometer.  If you do have it, try it out.  If you want to give it a go I suggest manually focusing the camera and setting the exposure manually.  I also suggest setting your camera’s quality to small JPEGs.  You don’t need full quality to do such a slide show.  Obviously you need a tripod or some way to hold the camera steady.  Try it, you’ll like it!
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Dive Show a Success for HUPS and SEASPACE

Hundreds of people got to see the incredible talents of HUPS members in the gallery at the Texas Dive Show.  We sold tons of raffle tickets and signed up 11 new members.  We even sold a few prints.  Thanks to everyone who contributed.

The SEASPACE silent auction was also a success.  Thanks to all the trip/merchandise donors, bidders and volunteers, the silent auction raised about $8,000.  This money will go straight to the scholarship fund.  This will allow SEASPACE to award more money to deserving college students in the marine sciences.  For more information on the scholarship program, check out http://www.seaspace.org.
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Upcoming Monthly Photo Topics
Each month we will have Advanced, Novice and Compact Digital Contests. See the complete contest rules. See contest winners.
February 2008 - Animal Interactions/Spawning & Courting May 2008 - Man-made/Wrecks
March 2008 - Coral Scenes June 2008 - Turtles
April 2008 - Banded/Stripes July 2008 - Camouflage

Contest Results

All the entries for the January contest were accidentally deleted.  Please resubmit your entries.  The January contest will be held at the February meeting along with the February contest.
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Double Contests
Nudibranchs and Animal Interactions/Spawning & Courting

In preparation for the January contest we had a minor problem.  Well I guess it was actually a major problem.  All the messages in the photo contest email inbox were accidentally deleted.  So if you sent in entries for the January “Nudibranch” contest, you need to re-submit them.  If you didn’t submit entries this is your second chance.

At the February meeting we will also have the February contest.  The topic is “Animal Interactions/Spawning & Courting.”  So if you have some pics of underwater animals interacting be sure to enter them in the contest.  You can’t win if you don’t enter.

Entries for the monthly contest should be emailed to photocontest@hups.org at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.  This mailbox is reserved for entries only.  If you have a question regarding the digital contest send your e-mail ddeavenport@houston.rr.com or underh2o@mac.com.  Complete contest rules can be found here.  If you do not follow the rules for digital entries your images will not be judged.
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Texas Gulf Coast Council Corner

By John Ringrose & Frank Burek

HUPS is a member of the Texas Gulf Coast Council of Diving Clubs (TGCC).  TGCC runs an annual river clean-up event – Trashfest and holds an annual Banquet & Awards Dinner for the clubs; and provides a college scholarship opportunity for its members and their children.

The TGCC also serves to coordinate information flow among members of the diving community.  John Ringrose, Frank Burek, David Lenderman and Debbie Mensay serve as HUPS Representatives to the TGCC.

TGCC’s 2008 Dive Club Awards Banquet is at Chabuca’s Restaurant on February 2, 2008.  Tickets are $30 and the social starts at 6PM, dinner at 7PM.  Tickets can still be obtained from John or Frank for this function.  HUPS will present its awards at this banquet.  The restaurant is on NASA Road, and while I-45 is under construction you probably need to get off the exit before (Bay Area Boulevard) and drive along the service road until you get to the NASA entrance feeder road.

The preliminary budget for TGCC indicates they will offer two $1,500 college scholarships this year.  More to come later.

An update on the status of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) proposed 5 year Management Plan was given at the TGCC January meeting.  The Sanctuary Advisory Council (SAC) is charged with putting together the “best” alternatives for the FGBNMS Management Plan.  These are based upon (1) the initial proposed Management Plan, (2) input received from the Scoping Meetings (meetings for public input done last year in League City, Corpus Christi and New Orleans) (3) e-mail and letters received about the Management Plan and (4) additional information collected and analyzed by the SAC since that time.  These will eventually be presented in a “Management Plan Review” as the “preferred alternatives.”

In addition to the “preferred alternatives” a number of additional alternatives will also be listed in that review.  The purpose of these additional alternatives and this additional opportunity to review the FGBNMS Proposed Management Plan is that they are looking for support of those ideas or compelling reasons or arguments in the responses, data and information that this final review of the “Management Plan” elicits to see if there should be changes from these “preferred alternatives” when the final rules are issued.  Right now, these “preferred alternatives” include (1) an on-line Visitor (Vessel) Self-Registrations system; (2) sanctuary expansion based upon Sensitive Habitat Zones to include Horseshoe Reef, McGrail Bank, Geyer Bank, Alderdice Bank, MacNiel Bank, Rankin Bank, Sonnier Bank and 28 Fathom Bank as well as modifying the existing boundaries of the East & West Flower Garden Banks and Stetson Bank; and (3) both Fishing and Diving impact studies.

Frank Burek has accepted an additional 3 year term to serve as the “Recreational Diving” Primary representative to the FGBNMS SAC.
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More Chips and Salsa Please

Everyone is welcome to join us for some Tex-Mex food following HUPS meetings.  A number of us meet at Don Carlo’s Mexican Restaurant after our monthly meetings.  This is a great opportunity to socialize with fellow HUPS members and eat some good Tex-Mex.  It is on the 59 Northbound feeder just North of Hillcroft.  When leaving Bayland Community Center go left on Bissonnett, left on Hillcroft and then right on the 59 feeder.  It’s about 100 yards on your right.  You can’t miss it.
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New Fish Named After the Bureks

Halichoeres burekae photo by Joyce & Frank Burek © 2008

Long time HUPS members Frank & Joyce Burek have received numerous awards; the latest is having a newly discovered fish named after them – the Mardi Gras Wrasse, Latin name Halichoeres burekae.

In the 2007 (4) Copeia scientific journal, pages 798-807 is a paper by Douglas C. Weaver and Luiz A. Rocha describing this new member of the Wrasse family.  The Mardi Gras Wrasse, Halichoeres burekae, has been found in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) and the reefs off Veracruz, Mexico, in the western Gulf of Mexico.

The Mardi Gras Wrasse is about 55 mm long (it’s small).  “The common name 'Mardi Gras Wrasse' refers to the vivid purple, yellow, and green colors of the Mardi Gras tradition displayed by terminal males of this species. . .&rdquou;  The females tend to mix with other schools of wrasse and are plankton eaters.  The males, if around, tend to dart quickly in and out of the schools, often heading to the deeper areas of the FGBNMS.

Halichoeres burekae photo by Joyce & Frank Burek © 2008

Joyce Burek provided the first pictures of the male and female Mardi Gras Wrasse, requesting help in identifying them, to the FGBNMS.  Once it was determined that it fit no known fish, the search began to locate and describe this unique fish.  For this reason (the key factor that started the search), and other scientific support work that Frank and Joyce have provided the FGBNMS for years, the new species was named in their honor.  This discovery, photographing, sampling, describing, publishing process took over 10 years.
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Music Tip

Are you looking for that perfect song for your slide show?  Don’t know where to look?  I suggest the iTunes online music store.  You can search by artist, title, genre, etc.  You can even sort your search by song length which can be handy.  You can play thirty-second clips of the songs before you buy them for 99 cents each.

Many of you may have purchased iTunes songs and had problems using these songs in slide shows that were burned to a CD or DVD for distribution to friends or family.  Most songs from iTunes have Digital Rights Management (DRM) embedded in the electronic music file.  This will usually forbid the purchased music being burned as part of a slide show.  To get around this, create a playlist in iTunes and then choose File - Burn playlist to disc.  When the music is burned onto a CD, then re-import the music into your iTunes library from the disc.  When the songs from the iTunes store are imported from the CD they will be stripped of DRM and you will be able to use them in your slide show and make CD or DVD copies for your dive buddies.
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Aquatica Housing for Nikon D70/D70S
Housing is in excellent condition, has only been used on one dive trip since full service by Marine Camera. Housing has two Nikonos style bulkheads, includes 8” dome port with shade and cover cover, optical glass flat port with cover, 1.2” port extension, spare o-rings and grease. $1,300. Contact George Berko.

Seacam Fuji S2Pro Housing
with two strobe connections, CSM switch, moisture alarm, $1,100. The ports and viewfinder are not included. If the housing is purchased will sell a S2Pro camera for $500. With the S2Pro you can shoot TTL. Contact Mary Lou Reid.

Oly C7070 and Strobe Underwater Package
consisting of the following: Olympus C-7070 camera (7.0mp), Oly Underwater Housing, Inon D-2000 Strobe with fiber optic cable, adapter, and diffuser, and Ultralight 8” double arm, tray and handle package for $672.00. All items purchased March, 2005, in excellent condition. Can be purchased separately. If interested, please contact K. Heimer.

SEA & SEA TTL Converter
TTL Converter for Nikon DSLR cameras. See details here. This unit is new in box and has never been used - $400. Contact Wendy McSwain.

As a HUPS member you can place a free “For Sale” ad in the newsletter for up to three months. To place an ad, e-mail it to David Lenderman at underh2o@mac.com.

2008 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!

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