Berkley White: Daniel Brown gave a great intro to Lightroom today. By the end of the session, first time digital shooters were tweaking raw files and batching out their own jpegs for the evening critique. We use Lightroom to organize the daily submissions from guests, display shooting data for the critiques, and batch out jpegs stamped with copyright info for the daily web updates. With a little guidance, the powerful tools in Lightroom are quick and easy to use.
We asked each shooter to submit 3 stills or a 1 minute video for the nightly critique. Today was our first critique and I was very impressed. With Mary Lynn's support, almost all of the video shooters submitted clean clips set to music. Ninety percent of the still shooters were able to submit images and all of the entries we very solid.
David and I reminded the guests not to take our critiques personally. Only by pointing out flaws (and most importantly the techniques to make improvements) can we help each individual get to the next level. Some of the images were simply perfect. The most common issues of the day were centered compositions due to reliance on the center auto focus zone. Also, the classic issue of not getting close enough to the subject was an area for improvement. We encouraged everyone to be background snobs and consider the background to be equally important as the subject. Over exposure on saturated colors was somewhat common and we reminded everyone to use the RGB histograms as a guide to perfect exposure.
I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. These guys are looking great and it's only day one of the critiques.
Daniel Brown: I forget how intense (in a good way) these weeks are. Up at 6:30 (staff meeting at 7:00 WITHOUT coffee, mind you), breakfast, camera prep, dive gear check, standing on the dock at 7:45 for an 8:00 departure. Quick boat runs to the dive sites, in the water, shoot shoot shoot, surface interval, in for the second dive, shoot shoot shoot, up, back for lunch by noon (usually). Class at 2:30 (for 2.5 hours or so), dinner, then the evening review. Dive, rinse, sleep, repeat.
Today’s only drama (which is unique to photo boats) was a camera that went into the water and, 30-seconds later, came back OUT. Other photographers still on the boat are on red alert, swooping in to ensure the dive guides are carrying the housing upright so that the water (if there isn’t quite enough to flood) is staying away from camera and lens. I rushed over, hovering over the housing checking for vital signs; the LCD display was displaying as usual, no moisture light was lit; the patient was stable until the diver can get out of the water to describe more symptoms. Turns out, his regulator was acting up. We resumed our normal dive schedule.
Dan Baldocchi:I'm so glad we brought the video section back to the Shootout. At the first
two Shootouts in 2001 & 2002 we had a video category but it was way too hard
back then with "turn of the century" technology. It was nearly impossible
to shoot and edit video on a remote Caribbean island. That kind of thing
had to be done at home on a clunky desktop computer with a zippy Pentium II
266 mhz processor. Remember those? I think we only had 3 people
participate so we ended up dropping video and we were pretty much photo only
But the world changed a few years ago with easy to shoot digital video
cameras and powerful laptops with great editing software. All of a sudden
video editors were free to travel and take the editing room with them,
wherever they wanted to go. And a bunch of them came to Bonaire this week
for the Digital Shootout. It's amazing really, everyone in the video track
can edit video on their laptops so we're getting these really cool "video
dailies" each night at the evening slide show. Check em out! The first
night we had 5 entries, I can't wait to see what we get tonight.
I'm really impressed with the effort. We're diving in the morning,
capturing and editing in the afternoon and watching some great edited videos
each night with titles and music and everything! And they look great!
Great job everyone!
David Fleetham: We did our second dive right under the end of the runway for the
airport here in Bonaire. Susan gave us the heads up on two sea horses
in 40 feet of water and sure enough there they were. I found a third
one on my own down at 80 feet and had him all to myself for a little
while. From the other boats I heard reports of more sea horses,
turtles and a striking orange frogfish. Bonaire rocks!
Lenny Bucko: Yeah!!!!!!!!!!
First two boat dives today with Capt.Pepito at the helm.
Our group of only 10 divers made the short 10 minute ride to Klein Bonaire and dove on two beautiful mini walls that were right under the boat.
I helped get the group into the water, handed out cameras and let the games begin.
Very easy, non current diving for 60 minutes with all types of subjects on both dives.
I spent 15 minutes at a safety stop shooting 40 images of a sea horse right under the boat when I realized that 12 minutes ago my stop was over.
Great images in class in the afternoon showed that everyone had a great day.
THESE GUYS ARE GOOD!!!!!!!!!! Looking forward to tomorrow.
Lenny (Uncle Buck)
Mary Lynn Price:What a fantastic group of filmmakers! We have people editing on Macs, people editing on PCs, some shooting standard definition, some shooting various forms of high definition. Some folks are using the new tapeless camcorders. Most of us, though, are still recording to tape. (But this will no doubt be changing as the video world continues to go tapeless!) Like last year, we have editors using at least five different video editing programs to produce their videos, which can make for pretty wild times when we're all scrambling to get the daily videos together for projection at the evening presentations!
Some of the filmmakers have been editing video for a while and are working to take their storytelling and editing skills to the next level. And some are creating their very first video productions, which is something I just love to see! It's a great mix. One of the best parts for me is seeing how the filmmakers are also helping each other when questions come up with the different editing programs. This kind of video buddy system is so important for those of us doing video editing!
Last night we had five different filmmakers submit short edited videos for the first of our series of "Video Dailies" presentations at the evening gathering. Some of those dailies will be put up on this special Bonaire Digital Shootout website as YouTube videos, which is very cool. (Thank you Joel and Jen for making this possible!) We're off to a great start, and I can't wait to see more of the short video creations from the filmmakers here!