© Tim Neumann

© Jennifer Penner

© David Gordon

© Becky Briggs

© Steve Cheng


TODAY'S BOAT DIVES
Today's Boat Dive
 BOAT      DIVE SITE
Alice H. 1
forest
2
captain don's reef
       
Sea Queen 1
witches hut
2
andrea 2
       
Sunsine 1
sharon's serenity
2
rockpile
       
Sunburst 1
invisibles
2
angel city
       
Sea Gysy 1
rappel
2
country garden

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The Digital Shootout 2009 - Bonaire

The Digital Shootout 2009 - Bonaire



VIDEOS OF THE DAY - On The Sea Gypsy
Joel Penner   |  GoPro Camera, ULCS Tripod Bracket, Joby SLR Tripod
 
Underwater Video at Rappel and Country Garden
Joel Penner   |  Canon 5DmkII
 
 
SCHEDULE
8:00 AM Dive Boats Depart
12:00 PM Lunch Break
2:30 PM Seminars: Underwater Video Techniques
5:00 PM Dinner Break
7:30 PM Slide Show Bar Party


VIDEO IS PHOTOGRAPHY

With the advent of DSLR cameras that have the capability of shooting 1080p video, a whole new world has opened up for video shooters and photographers. Dedicated videographers can now shoot a variety of lenses, giving their projects depth and more interest. Still shooters having an interest in video now have the ability to do both with one camera. Ain't technology grand?! Berkley White shared his methods for acquiring underwater video with both standard video cams and DSLRs, showing us that videography and photography share many of the same principles.

The Digital Shootout in Bonaire would not be possible without the dedication and support of Serge De Groote, Divi Dive Manager and the whole Divi Dive Team. Not only have they maintained a beautiful house reef, available 24/7 for diving with tanks just steps away from the water's edge, but they always bend-over-backwards to insure that our week flows smoothly. Knowledgable boat crews, dedicated camera rinse buckets and getting us to the dive sites for the critters we want to shoot all go a long way in making the Shootout experience great. Hats off to Serge and his whole crew!

Nightly image submissions are in full swing, with many incredible images bagged by the participants already. I guess those seminars are really paying off, and everyone has gotten over being shy about putting their images on the big screen! Berkley White and Sterling Zumbrunn critique each participant's set of images, offering praise and suggestions for improvement to be applied the following day. While the classroom content is a wealth of knowledge, the critiques prove to be an invaluable tool to improving your underwater imaging as the pros give you individual guidance.

DAILY UNDERWATER SLIDESHOW

© | | mm | ISO | sec at f /  

© Becky Briggs | NIKON D70 | 60mm | ISO 200 | 1/200 sec at f / 6.3 

© Becky Briggs | NIKON D70 | 60mm | ISO 200 | 1/125 sec at f / 11 

© Becky Briggs | NIKON D70 | 60mm | ISO 200 | 1/125 sec at f / 11 

© Bill Hunt | Canon EOS 7D | 100mm | ISO 160 | 1/125 sec at f / 22 

© Bill Hunt | Canon EOS 7D | 100mm | ISO 160 | 1/125 sec at f / 22 

© Bill Hunt | Canon EOS 7D | 100mm | ISO 160 | 1/125 sec at f / 22 

© Carl and Lyda Lindell | E-PL2 | 9mm | ISO 200 | 1/125 sec at f / 8 _6200773

© Carl and Lyda Lindell | E-PL2 | 32mm | ISO 200 | 1/100 sec at f / 8 P6200369

© Carl and Lyda Lindell | E-PL2 | 32mm | ISO 200 | 1/125 sec at f / 10 P6200385

© Cayce Harburg | NIKON D90 | 60mm | ISO 200 | 1/160 sec at f / 14 

© Cayce Harburg | NIKON D90 | 60mm | ISO 200 | 1/160 sec at f / 9 

© Cayce Harburg | NIKON D90 | 60mm | ISO 200 | 1/160 sec at f / 16 

© Steve Cheng | Canon PowerShot S95 | 6mm | ISO 400 | 1/125 sec at f / 8 

© Steve Cheng | Canon PowerShot S95 | 6mm | ISO 100 | 1/60 sec at f / 8 

© Steve Cheng | Canon PowerShot S95 | 6mm | ISO 100 | 1/60 sec at f / 8 

© Chris Parsons | Canon EOS 7D | 17mm | ISO 200 | 1/250 sec at f / 8 

© Chris Parsons | Canon EOS 7D | 17mm | ISO 200 | 1/250 sec at f / 13 

© Chris Parsons | Canon EOS 7D | 60mm | ISO 800 | 1/125 sec at f / 22 

© David Gordon | NIKON D7000 | 105mm | ISO 160 | 1/160 sec at f / 22 

© David Gordon | NIKON D7000 | 105mm | ISO 100 | 1/250 sec at f / 22 

© David Gordon | NIKON D7000 | 105mm | ISO 100 | 1/200 sec at f / 13 

© Ed Meyers | Canon EOS 5D Mark II | 35mm | ISO 160 | 1/100 sec at f / 11 

© JEAN BRUNEAU www.vizart.ca | NIKON D300S | 70mm | ISO 200 | 1/250 sec at f / 11 

© JEAN BRUNEAU www.vizart.ca | NIKON D300S | 17mm | ISO 200 | 1/250 sec at f / 9 

© JEAN BRUNEAU www.vizart.ca | NIKON D300S | 34mm | ISO 200 | 1/250 sec at f / 9 

© | Canon EOS 5D | 21mm | ISO 200 | 1/125 sec at f / 11 

© Jennifer Penner | Canon EOS 5D | 21mm | ISO 200 | 1/125 sec at f / 11 

© Jennifer Penner | Canon EOS 5D | 21mm | ISO 200 | 1/80 sec at f / 8 

© Jennifer Penner | Canon EOS 5D | 21mm | ISO 200 | 1/125 sec at f / 13 

© Jim Decker | Canon PowerShot G12 | 7.407mm | ISO 200 | 1/60 sec at f / 8 

© Jim Decker | Canon PowerShot G12 | 6.1mm | ISO 100 | 1/60 sec at f / 8 

© Jim Decker | Canon PowerShot G12 | 6.1mm | ISO 80 | 1/1250 sec at f / 8 

© Joel Penner | Canon EOS 5D Mark II | 15mm | ISO 320 | 1/60 sec at f / 8 

© Joel Penner | Canon EOS 5D Mark II | 15mm | ISO 320 | 1/160 sec at f / 7.1 

© Judy Bennett | NIKON D200 | 105mm | ISO 200 | 1/250 sec at f / 22 

© Judy Bennett | NIKON D200 | 105mm | ISO 200 | 1/250 sec at f / 13 

© Judy Bennett | NIKON D200 | 105mm | ISO 200 | 1/250 sec at f / 32 

© Kevin Ferrero & Erin Quigley | Canon EOS 5D Mark II | 100mm | ISO 200 | 1/125 sec at f / 11 

© Kevin Ferrero | Canon EOS 5D Mark II | 15mm | ISO 200 | 1/125 sec at f / 8 

© Kevin Ferrero | Canon EOS 5D Mark II | 15mm | ISO 200 | 1/125 sec at f / 8 

© Kevin Ferrero | Canon EOS 5D Mark II | 15mm | ISO 100 | 1/200 sec at f / 6.3 

© Kirsten Ballard | DMC-LX5 | 5.1mm | ISO 100 | 1/125 sec at f / 2.8 

© Kirsten Ballard | DMC-LX5 | 5.1mm | ISO 100 | 1/160 sec at f / 8 

© Kirsten Ballard | DMC-LX5 | 5.1mm | ISO 100 | 1/160 sec at f / 8 P1010039

© Marcie Bilinski | Canon EOS 5D | 100mm | ISO 100 | 1/100 sec at f / 32 

© Marcie Bilinski | Canon EOS 5D | 100mm | ISO 100 | 1/200 sec at f / 32 

© Marcie Bilinski | Canon EOS 5D | 100mm | ISO 100 | 1/200 sec at f / 32 

© Peter A. Riekstins | NIKON D2X | 105mm | ISO 125 | 1/200 sec at f / 11 

© Peter A. Riekstins | NIKON D2X | 105mm | ISO 250 | 1/250 sec at f / 18 

© Peter A. Riekstins | NIKON D2X | 105mm | ISO 250 | 1/250 sec at f / 18 

© Philip Seys | NIKON D700 | 105mm | ISO 200 | 1/80 sec at f / 18 

© Philip Seys | NIKON D700 | 105mm | ISO 200 | 1/250 sec at f / 22 

© Philip Seys | NIKON D700 | 105mm | ISO 200 | 1/160 sec at f / 18 

© Phylis Tyson | Canon EOS 5D Mark II | 100mm | ISO 125 | 1/200 sec at f / 22 

© Phylis Tyson | Canon EOS 5D Mark II | 100mm | ISO 125 | 1/200 sec at f / 18 

© Phylis Tyson | Canon EOS 5D Mark II | 100mm | ISO 125 | 1/200 sec at f / 20 

© Reggie Henkart | E-PL1 | 15mm | ISO 200 | 1/100 sec at f / 8 

© Reggie Henkart | E-PL1 | 37mm | ISO 200 | 1/60 sec at f / 8 

© Reggie Henkart | E-PL1 | 29mm | ISO 200 | 1/60 sec at f / 8 

© Rick Levesque | Canon EOS 5D Mark II | 100mm | ISO 100 | 1/160 sec at f / 22 

© Rick Levesque | Canon EOS 5D Mark II | 100mm | ISO 100 | 1/160 sec at f / 22 

© Rick Levesque | Canon EOS 5D Mark II | 100mm | ISO 100 | 1/160 sec at f / 20 

© Samantha Riekstins | Canon PowerShot G10 | 21.461mm | ISO 100 | 1/125 sec at f / 5.6 

© Samantha Riekstins | Canon PowerShot G10 | 30.5mm | ISO 100 | 1/125 sec at f / 5.6 

© Samantha Riekstins | Canon PowerShot G10 | 30.5mm | ISO 100 | 1/125 sec at f / 5.6 

© Stephanie Tuttle | Canon EOS 7D | 60mm | ISO 100 | 1/125 sec at f / 22 

© Stephanie Tuttle | Canon EOS 7D | 60mm | ISO 100 | 1/125 sec at f / 11 

© Stephanie Tuttle | Canon EOS 7D | 60mm | ISO 100 | 1/125 sec at f / 22 

© Sterling Zumbrunn | DMC-GH2 | 45mm | ISO 160 | 1/100 sec at f / 11 

© Sterling Zumbrunn | DMC-GH2 | 45mm | ISO 160 | 1/125 sec at f / 18 

© Sterling Zumbrunn | DMC-GH2 | 45mm | ISO 160 | 1/100 sec at f / 11 

© Steve Kopp | Canon EOS 7D | 17mm | ISO 100 | 1/250 sec at f / 8 

© Steve Kopp | Canon EOS 7D | 12mm | ISO 100 | 1/250 sec at f / 13 

© Steve Kopp | Canon EOS 7D | 13mm | ISO 100 | 1/250 sec at f / 8 

© Steve Tarara | Canon PowerShot SD990 IS | 16.293mm | ISO 100 | 1/125 sec at f / 11 

© Steve Tarara | Canon PowerShot SD990 IS | 11.454mm | ISO 100 | 1/125 sec at f / 10 

© Stevern Holtegaard | NIKON D300S | 60mm | ISO 200 | 1/125 sec at f / 22 

© Stevern Holtegaard | NIKON D300S | 60mm | ISO 200 | 1/125 sec at f / 22 

© Tim Neumann | NIKON D3X | 105mm | ISO 400 | 1/200 sec at f / 22 

© Tim Neumann | NIKON D3X | 105mm | ISO 400 | 1/200 sec at f / 22 

© Tim Neumann | NIKON D3X | 14mm | ISO 400 | 1/125 sec at f / 11 

© Tim White | NIKON D7000 | 105mm | ISO 100 | 1/250 sec at f / 18 

© Tim White | NIKON D7000 | 105mm | ISO 100 | 1/160 sec at f / 13 

© Tim White | NIKON D7000 | 105mm | ISO 100 | 1/250 sec at f / 14 

© Tom McDonald | NIKON D7000 | 60mm | ISO 125 | 1/60 sec at f / 14 

© Tom McDonald | NIKON D7000 | 60mm | ISO 125 | 1/60 sec at f / 22 

© William Stohler | Canon EOS 5D Mark II | 27mm | ISO 100 | 1/200 sec at f / 10 

© William Stohler | Canon EOS 5D Mark II | 17mm | ISO 160 | 1/250 sec at f / 7.1 

© William Stohler | Canon EOS 5D Mark II | 26mm | ISO 160 | 1/200 sec at f / 13 

© | | mm | ISO | sec at f /  



STAFF THOUGHTS
Berkley White: This afternoon I gave a seminar on shooting video with both handicam and DSLR cameras. I've recently become a huge fan of video and shared my favorite tips on focus, white balance, filters, and most importantly the mind set required to shoot good and stable video. I hope more photographers will apply their skills on video in the future.

We had a great turn out of images in the critique tonight. Guests were applying new techniques and showing great improvements. The majority of macro shooters were still struggling with auto modes and low shutter speeds that allowed too much ambient light in their exposures. Basically, their images had a wash of blue or green light and not enough color. Sterling and I discussed how higher shutter speeds and manual exposure modes will give them better color and let their strobes do the work.

Sterling Zumbrunn: The great dives just keep on coming! I can really see everyone hitting their stride. The questions I get asked on the boat are much more sophisticated than earlier in the week. I can see that folks have moved well beyond the basics and are now trying to take their technique to another level.

Today I switched gears, and borrowed a prototype of the Nauticam NA-GH2 housing from Chris to test out. This housing is made for the Panasonic GH2, one of the hottest cameras of 2011, and I have really been looking forward to taking it underwater. I paired it up with the Leica 45mm macro, which is an outstanding optic that focuses down to 1:1 for tiny subjects. The camera and lens did not disappoint; autofocus is quick, and the results are stunning. My only disappointment with the camera is that the shutter lag is a little longer than what I had hoped, but for a camera this small and light, there are bound to be compromises. Personally, I’m starting to get used to not having to lug a giant SLR housing around. I might need to get one of these.

During the nightly slide show critique session, I was impressed to see the staff’s shooting advice put into good use by many of the participants. The difference in image quality since earlier in the week is significant, and that’s very gratifying to see. I have a feeling the competition is going to be hard fought. Everyone’s just getting started!




Jennifer Penner: When diving and shooting, I'll often give myself an "assignment" for the day. It forces me to look at things a little differently and focus more intently on my intended subjects. Today, I decided to shoot images that would make compelling black & whites. Through a lot of trial and error, for me, simple scenes with contrast make the best choices for black & white conversion. Once the images are pulled into Lightroom, in the Develop mode, there are many presets for black & whites... just pick the one that suits you for that particular image, make some minor global adjustments with the sliders and you're all set. Here's one from today:







Jim Decker: We've been keeping busy in the demo gear department. We've had more demo gear than any previous Shootout, and people are taking full advantage. Usually we don't get slammed with requests until mid week. It's great to see people take advantage of the new gear we have. We've also lent out some wide angle and macro accessories and those users have come back with some excellent results with a little coaching.

Gear tested today
I spent some time shooting the Canon G12 in the Fisheye FIX housing with wide angle lens. The G series cameras of the past few years have been the top picks of our staff at Backscatter. The G12 this year is no exception. The highlight and shadow detail rival that of the Panasonic LX-5. The G12 doesn't have TTL in manual exposure like the LX-5, but it does in aperture priority. The background light can be controlled by using the exposure compensation dial. This trick can be used on any compact camera in aperture priority or in program auto. The wide angle lens is the same from a few years ago and offers a 165 degree field of view, which is the widest available for this camera.




Rusty Sanoian: Woke up to another beautiful day with sunny skies and blue water. We boarded the Sea Gypsy with Captain Jenne and Susan for a day of fun! The dive sites were great with lots of ledges and cracks. I was trying out the Fantasea P7000 housing for the Nikon P7000 camera. It’s an interesting setup and has a unique blue water filter for the Wetmate wide angle air lens. I only had a limited amount of time with the camera, since one of our guests flooded her strobe, so I let her borrow mine for the rest of the dive.

On the following dive, I tried out the color correction filter for the wide angle lens and shot the camera in HD video mode since I no longer had a strobe for stills. The P7000 camera has manual white balance control that works fairly well in shallow water but is still a step below the Canon cameras like the S95 and G12 for ease of use and being able to get a proper white balance below 20 feet or at all.






Charlie Mazel & Ross Kniffin: Another late night for the NIGHTSEA team! We had two more shifts of divers in the water shooting both stills and video. Several other Digital Shootout divers showed up for non- fluorescence night dives and we loaned them flashlights and mask filters so they could add some fluorescence exploration to their dive – they said they’d be back with their photo gear another night.

We concentrated in the area around the dock and out to the edge of the reef. With a new photo configuration like the NIGHTSEA fluorescence filters it is more valuable to experiment with camera settings and equipment handling in a relatively clear area than it is to launch right off into deep water. On the first dive a nicely fluorescent sharptail eel did us the favor of foraging out in the open in the rubble at the end of the Divi Flamingo pier. It hung around for about 15 minutes, ignoring our bright blue lights while we followed it collecting stills and video.


Image Prep

Dan Baldocchi: This week, I'm test diving 2 prototype Light & Motion Sola 4000 video lights. These little guys are the brightest lights LMI has ever made and each one puts out 4000 lumens of light! Why so bright? Well, you don’t really need 4000 lumens for a night dive, but during the day, you need a really bright light to over power the ambient sunlight. It sounds backwards but the darker it is, the less light you need. The brighter it is outside, the more light you need from your video lights. When it's bright out and the reef is lit up by the sun, if you turn on a small light you may not even notice it's on. It takes a pretty bright light to make a difference in the scene, and that exactly what the Sola 4000 is for. It's an amazing daytime fill light. But it's great at night too, with 7 power levels you can easily turn it down for those long night dives.


Mary Lynn Price: We're off and rolling with the seminars! Convergence is the approach this year as photo and video tracks have merged. Once again the Shootout is leading the way with all of us underwater imagers learning together how to take our work to the next level. We videographers can learn a lot from the photographers about image composition and framing. And the photo folks now have a whole new venue for sharing their work through video and multimedia production. Today is another great seminar session as the subject will be shooting video with all kinds of cameras and camcorders. It's an incredibly exciting time to be a digital imager!


Erin Quigley: Wow. It's obvious that this year's group isn't just here to enter the contest, they're here to LEARN! Lot's of folks are taking advantage of our one-on-one help desk, and I love being there for the Aha! moments, when they see the enormous change that good image editing can make in the quality of their pictures. I've got a lot of little Photoshop and Lightroom tricks that are specific to underwater shooters and fun to share. For instance, sliding the yellow luminance slider to the left (darker) in either Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw can work wonders restoring detail to turtle beaks and bellies. The same HSL panel is a one stop shop for dialing in the blue of the water.
Image Prep




Jean Bruneau: First boat dive, and same warm feeling of having been surrounded by people as equally enthusiastic about diving and underwater imaging as I am. One thing that strikes me every time is the way the attendees fuse as a group. On a dive boat, there are no Armani suits, no Channel dresses, no coveralls, no other uniforms but the wetsuits on our backs. You don’t have the social cleavage usually found elsewhere. Folks don’t really discuss what they do, but where they are from, where they have been and the sharing of that thing we do, and that so many don’t. There is camaraderie amongst this group which could be a case study in social behaviour. Oh, and yes, demo gear has been rolling since day one. So my guess is that there are quite a few out there looking for a new system. What! I am having fun, but hey, I’m also here for Aquatica, and like a faithful preacher, I will try to recruit you with my gospel, LOL!

Oh and that huge French Angel fish today made my week, I can only wish my cocker spaniel was that friendly. Wow, part of those moments that define a trip!





Chris Parsons: Demo gear use started in earnest today, and we handed out a nice assortment of Nauticam gear for people to try. The LX5 is probably the most popular so far and deservedly so - it's a really capable little camera. Jim Decker took one out along with an Inon UWL-H100 M67 Type2 wet lens, and got some excellent shots; shots that really were not even possible with compact cameras from just two years ago. Of course, he was helped greatly by using a great model underwater - yours truly. Ha! Kidding! I told him it wasn't the camera nor his skill that accounted for the excellent sunball in that shot - it was me eclipsing the sun for him.

We had another great group on the boat today, including two shooters who have brand new Nauticam gear. Sako is sporting a Nauticam NA-D7000 with 180º viewfinder. She's got some Inon Z-240 strobes and a never ending string of questions - which I am more than happy to try to answer - being here to answer questions is my excuse for being here, and I am sticking with that story. Mike is rocking a Canon Rebel T2i in a Nauticam NA-550D housing. He's also got the 180º viewfinder and the Z-240's. MIke was going to town with his rig today - shooting it in manual for the first time. After about an 1:20 minutes into our second dive, Mike was still banging away. Everyone else was out of the water, so I had to go back in and rap him over the head to get him to surface. Don't get between me and lunch!

We also got to see the as yet unreleased Light & Motion Sola 4000's in use. Dan from LMI was shooting some video with some prototype 4000's, and was kind enough to model for me above a great little yellow frogfish.








Marissa Wiganowske: I was supposed to head back to the States this morning, we all know that’s not happening. Neither myself nor the Shootout staff imagined that the Thrusters would be used for four or five dives a day, brilliant! Now on board for the rest of the Shootout, our boat made way for the Hilma Hooker, what better place for the Thruster. It was stellar to be able to maneuver oneself so close to the wreck, while others could get photo and video to show a new aspect and angle to the site. What proves nice of the Thruster is that when you are not using it, you just let go of the switch and continue what you're doing. The Thruster is on the back of your tank not going anywhere, so no worry or distraction. If you decide to fin instead, you remain streamlined. Being negative 5 Lbs. in the water, it becomes an extended trim pouch in the water putting the weight on your tank.



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