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8:00 AM Group Photo on Dive Dock (dive boats depart after photo)
12:00 PM Lunch Buffet
2:30 PM Photo Seminars: Photoshop (White), Worksession (Fleetham / White)
Video Seminars: Color Correction & Video Magic (Brown)
5:00 PM Dinner Break
7:30 PM Free Evening (night dive, dinner in town, work on contest entries)


Alice H 1
Something Special
Nearest Point
Sea Gypsy 1
Pink Beach
Chez Hines
Sunshine 1
Sharon's Serenity
Corporal Meiss
Sunburst 1
Hilma Hooker

Jen said:"Today, Susan found us a baitball! And on our second dive we followed a Hawksbill turtle for 10 minutes!"

Lynette said:"I'm not drinking tonight because I'm going diving!"


©2009 The Digitial Shootout
Site by newmediasoup, LLC

Daniel Brown, formerly of Adobe, presented a workshop to the video group called Video Color-Correction-a-Go-Go. Giving an overview of Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro, Daniel covered color correction for underwater video, and shared some tips to make the editing process simple and easy. In the photo classroom, Berkley White wrapped up the weeks' seminars with an outline of Photoshop. Berkley shared which tools he favors for making those small adjustments to transform an already good photo into a great photo.

The slightly perceivable shift in mood around the Shootout that was reported yesterday has now escalated into a full-on race for the top prize! If not diving from the boat, attendees are diving the house reef to get as many images as possible before the deadline to build their library from which to choose their contest submissions. Although the competitive spirit is present, the atmosphere around the Shootout continues to be friendly, with divers sharing information and helping each other to improve their imaging skills. Be sure to check back tomorrow for the winning photos and video!

(full HD coming soon)

One part of the final presentation on Friday was a collage of video that Russ and I shot this week with the 5D mark II. With the firmware update from Canon last week, I was able to shoot in full manual exposure mode. With underwater wide angle photography, having control over your depth of field with aperture control is essential to get sharp corners when shooting through a dome port. With the large 35mm imaging sensor and the ability to use a high quality 180 degree prime fisheye lens on underwater video for the first time, it generated so much excitement from the staff here at the Digital Shootout. I was able to do video splits and close focus wide angle shots that you just can't do with traditional video cameras. Also, by being closer to your subject and eliminating as much water between the lens and subject as possible, the contrast improves greatly and the colors are much more saturated.

The video above is straight out of the camera, downsized for the web, with no color correction or other manipulation. I just put the clips together in iMovie and let the footage speak for itself.

I must thank our models Jen, Mickey, and Sean for putting up with us photographers for the afternoon, and also our divemaster Jenne for the orange trick. I'm sure he must have won a few bar bets with that one!

Enjoy the footage from the week!


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Berkley White:We managed to get everyone to the sun deck for our annual group shot this morning just before the morning dive boats threw their dock lines. Another reminder of what a great group of people we have. Some are trying underwater photography or video for the first time, while others are experienced salts that enjoy sharing their knowledge and competing in the contest.

After the morning boat dives, I shared my favorite uses of Photoshop. I'm thrilled to have an application as powerful as Photoshop, but I'd prefer to just shoot it right the first time. When rescue or optimization is required, Photoshop skills with layer masks, selective color, and a combination of the patch tool and stamp tool are essential skills for the underwater photographer. I also shared my favorite methods of converting images to black and white and other tips that are unique to underwater photography I never found in the books.

We've already seen a great selection of images and know the judging will be difficult. We introduced a surprise category just for point & shoot users and have a free evening to go into town or make the evening boat dive. Tomorrow morning we'll accept and judge the contest images and present the winners in the evening. Big day tomorrow.

Daniel Brown: Today, I did a session for the video group about color correcting video. With my mind focused on still photography all week, I had to recalibrate for video a bit. (And, frankly, it's been a while since I worked in digital video so I had to dust off some old skills.)

I was reminded (again) of how different stills and video are. Yes, framing is important, good exposure is important, and ideally you get good light on your subject, but video is very much about a story. Simply showing a fish swimming around or parked happily on a rock or the sandy bottom is nice, but isn't taking advantage of the medium. While an image is worth a thousand words, video creates its own narrative; you're inviting someone along on a journey you've taken, and you can carry them from room, to the dock, onto the boat, and into the water. Video, perhaps unlike still photography, can help you share the whole experience of being under water, not just 1/125th of a second of it.

Mary Lynn Price: After a great presentation by the one and only Daniel Brown on color correcting and 3D magic for videographers, we all got down to the business of making movies. Today is the final work day...and evening...and night...for the filmmakers to edit their videos for entry into the contest. The video work session is filled with a mix of quiet moments of concentration, elation when something works well, and occasional frustration when the work gets challenging. Many of the filmmakers are working late into the night tonight to finish their entries by tomorrow morning's deadline. To me, it's fantastic seeing so many filmmakers all editing away on their laptops the footage they've gathered over the past several days here in beautiful Bonaire!

Dan Baldocchi: Daniel Brown gave us a very informative seminar on color correction today. A lot of people were having "a-ha" moments and seeing for the first time how much better an UW video clip looks when you do some basic color correction. And the cool part is, it's not that hard and make a huge difference. Kim Frye turned to me and said " Why didn't you tell us this on Monday?! I'm going to do this to all my clips from now on!" Well, Monday we were talking about manual white balance, and the thing is, even with the best white balance setting in the water, you still need to do a bit of tweaking in post to get the best color and contrast. Daniel showed us an easy 1-2-3 that we're all going to do from now on.

Now that the seminars are over it's time to work on the contest entries. We've got some amazing prizes so most everyone spent the afternoon editing the best 3 minute movie they can make. I can't wait to see them. There's no slide show tonight so people are going to have to make the sick choice of either working hard all night, or heading out for a night on the town. Hmm, keep working and maybe win a new housing or LED lighting system, or have dinner and drinks and watch the sun go down in Bonaire. Man, life is full of hard decisions.

David Fleetham: I spent an excellent day on the Sea Gypsy with another fine load of Digital Shootout shooters. All the planets aligned and everyone was setup for macro images. Our first dive was the furthest away from our resort that I have gone so far and the longest dives I’ve made. I found some great tiny subjects and didn’t end up going too far on the reef with my macro mate. Since I have been jumping from boat to boat all week the next dive was a repeat for me…at least a location repeat…the critters I found were all new and included the wildest crimson hermit crab with bright yellow eye salks. Tomorrow is judging time for the contest…Berk says we should be done in time for me to jump in again with a Demo Canon 5D Mark2 setup. So Bonaire……keep those critters coming!

Lenny Bucko:Last Boats to Paradise... Last Chance to Star... Final Day of Taking Pictures

Hard to believe that the boat left the dock today after our team photo for the last chance for everyone to wrangle their critters into the frame for that award winning picture. Just as the anchor hit the bottom the divers followed and they all went off to their secret spot to find their star model hidden in the cracks of the reef. I wore a full face mask with communication from Ocean Technology Systems , and went around placing a receiver on several photographers heads so that they could hear the clarity of the transmissions. Maybe another toy that they need to be able to talk to their talent or communicate with a spouse underwater (I hope not). Great afternoon Photoshop class with Berkley and now we all head to the dock for a night dive to be followed by an adult beverage or two as we tell lies and stories about our skills and recap another wonderful day. See you on the bottom at the dock, the last one in will miss the frog fish yawning and eating. Uncle Buck


Jim Decker: Out of all the demo gear this week, the one that has received the most attention and is constantly in use is the Fisheye Canon G10. I think this has to do with the quality of the housing, camera, lens choices, and the overall ergonomics and control set. It has a broad appeal to both new shooters and also to digital SLR shooters for a second camera rig. I'll be staying in Bonaire another week after the Shootout guests have left, and the first rig I'll be taking out for my own pleasure will be the G10.

On another note, a few guests have suggested that I mention how fun the event is. I think it goes beyond just getting the shot and learning new techniques. We have a high repeat rate of attendees year after year, which I can only assume is because the event is an enjoyable one. When we are in the thick of getting demo gear out the door for the next person to use it, fixing a piece of gear for a guest, or helping them with new camera settings to get the most and best use of their camera, it is easy to lose sight of how much fun it is to work at the Digital Shootout. The reward at the end is the final slideshow presentation on Friday where we see how much improvement has been made since day 1 and how happy every one is at the end. For me that makes it all worth it. We have people come from all over the world for this event and many become lifelong friends who become dive buddies for trips in the future. I think this is the true spirit of the Shootout. Where else can I make a joke about my toast being underexposed at breakfast and have a group that gets it?

Russ Sanoian: Today we boarded the Sunburst with Captain Rufino and Divemaster Ruud and headed for the Hilma Hooker wreck. We had Charles and Monica Robinson on Dive-Xtra Sierra scooters zipping around the wreck and having a blast. The rest of the group settled on the photographic propeller and some swam over to the crows nest. I was shooting MKII 5D yet again and the 17-40 lens; I worked on correctly exposing the foreground while trying to keep the background properly exposed. The second divesite we dove is called Windsock. There is a small frogfish right at the mooring block and everyone flocked to him, so I headed for the shallows and stumbled onto a small hawksbill turtle that let me get nice and close. I was looking for squid in the shallows but never found any. I figured the frogfish had cooled down by now from the strobe assault and headed back towards the boat. The 17-40 lens is a great range for this new full frame camera. Lighting is a bit challenging with wide angle lenses like the 15 fisheye and the 17-40. The Sunray 2000 LED lights I am shooting with are some of the best in the industry and give a lot of punch for their size but I found this camera may need even more light than they are capable of producing.

We had an excellent day of diving and tomorrow night's final event is going to have some incredible videos and images from the week's dives. The demo gear at this years' event has been out every day from morning to night with the two most popular items being the Fisheye G10 housing for the Canon G10 camera and the Aquatica MKII 5D housing for the new Canon MKII 5D camera.


Jean Bruneau: Aaaah the check list... Who needs it? Everyone I say! I have seen just too many little forgotten things ruining a good dive. Wrong lens in the port, focus gear that is not properly mounted, and this morning, someone picking up a dead strobe battery instead of a fresh one, all little benign things in themselves and certainly not life threatening in their consequence. Nonetheless, a simple check list or procedure sequence written down will spare many from the frustration of missing a good dive, especially one inside a photo competition. I suggest making one of all the things that could be forgotten, mixed up or misplaced. Along with that is a simple trick. Mark a number or letter on your batteries and individual memory cards, it’s much easier to remember which is which if you give yourself a visual reference. For starters, I recommend the following:
Make the following list of all the lens combinations:
Type of lens______________
TTL converter needed yes____ No____
Charged batteries ______
Strobe arm configuration Short_____ Long_____
Focus light batteries are charged
Setting up:
For the camera:
Load with fresh battery
Load memory card
Mount camera in housing
Mount lens with focus gear
Test to confirm focusing is working
Hook up the strobes and test fire to confirm

If using TTL, shoot one Frame at your largest aperture, the strobe(s) should give you a small burst of light, then put the lens cap on and trigger again (you might need to switch to manual focus for this) the strobes should be giving you a full dump of light, noticeably brighter than the previous one. That will confirm that your TTL converter is adapting to various lighting situations. The strobe being out of the way, you mount your port, checking every sealing surface for debris, sand and what not, make sure your O-ring is lubricated and close everything up. Take a few frames with the system while looking through the viewfinder, confirm auto focus, strobes exposure and shutter and aperture controls are working smoothly, then what! Heck just go and hit the water but have someone hand you the housing, making sure they are handling your rig using the grips and not the port or that neat looking device on the back of your housing known as a viewfinder. Once in the water, pay attention to air bubbles. While it's normal to see some once you enter the water, theses should be quite temporary and stop in a second or two, check your port alignment and go. For exiting, always check your port before the rinse tank dunk, with all the hustle of getting out fully kitted, it is easy to forget that most important step.