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8:00 AM Dive Boats Depart
12:00 PM Lunch Buffet
2:30 PM Optional Free Afternoon or Field Session with the Pros (house reef)
4:30 PM Drop Off Daily Images (photo classroom)
5:00 PM Dinner Break
7:30 PM Slide Show Bar Party


Alice H 1
Sea Gypsy 1
Hands Off
Sunshine 1
Punt Vierkant
Bachelor's Beach
Sunburst 1
Hilma Hooker
18th Palm

Deborah said:"I am using my beautiful, brand new SR12, my Blue Fin housing, and I usually have a wide angle lens, but today I'm using my close up lens. I'm going to swim, swim, swim and swim!"

Chuck and Monica said:"Being underwater, warm water, is the best part of the week so far!"

Harriette said: "The best thing I saw was a parrot fish with a trumpet fish riding on his back."

Kim said: "I just want to know where the squid are!"


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Site by newmediasoup, LLC

Today, both photo and video attendees got out of the classroom to work in the field (so to speak). The video group took a tour of the southern part of the island, visiting the Donkey Sanctuary, the Salt Flats and the Historical Slave Huts. Good video always needs additional contextual footage! After a brief session in the classroom, the photo group took to the water, the beach at our resort, Divi Flamingo. Some chose to test scooters, taking it to depths of 50' and trying to master barrel rolls and flips. Others practiced splits as models swam and snorkeled by.

There's been a slight shift in the mood of everyone involved with The Digital Shootout... amping up for Shootout Competition on Friday! Now that attendees have either learned or re-learned essentials of photo or video, they are definitely ready to apply what they've learned, with a competitive edge! And rightly so! There are spectacular prizes on the line from our generous sponsors: Backscatter, Aquatica, Sea & Sea and Light & Motion just to name a few. The judges will have their work cut out for them!
  featured VIDEO DAILIES - 1

  Featured VIDEO DAILIES - 2

  Featured VIDEO DAILIES - 3

  Video Group trip to the donkey sanctuary


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Berkley White:In place of our regular afternoon photo lectures, we mixed it up today and took the group back in the water to practice splits and test drive the Dive-X scooters. We started the session with a quick review on shooting techniques and passed around the dome polish to minimize the drips and drops. Russ from Backscatter demonstrated scooter technique and mounted cameras to the scooters for the more experienced riders. Special thanks go to Jen, Mickey, and Sean who did an amazing job modeling for everyone throughout the afternoon. What a fun way to spend the day and try out some new techniques!

The photos and video submitted for the evening critique showed serious improvement. All of the first time compact and SLR users were getting tighter compositions and dialed in the strobe exposures. Many guests dialed in their MacroMate lenses and achieved perfect focus on the smallest of subjects. A few of the shooters had only 6-8 photo dives under their belt, but produced fantastic images!

We prefer to keep the guests focused on education, but a little competition helps reward the hard workers. Tomorrow we're back in the water for the final shooting day before all contest entries are due. The crew here seems pumped up to dive a little longer and shoot a little harder. Click the sponsors link and you'll understand why these guys are motivated to pull out all the stops.

Daniel Brown:Knobs, gears, dials, switches, cords, strobes, ports, floats, extensions, diopters, Macro Mates, domes, arms, elbows, cases, adaptors, converters, lenses, filters; the options are overwhelming. In this environment, any (or all) of those items can be discussed (philosophically or factually) at great length at breakfast, on the dock, on the boat, less-so underwater, at the rinse tank, at the gear lockers, on the walk back to the rooms, at lunch or dinner, or at the evening slideshow presentation.

Apart from the classroom and in-water practice sessions, it’s also the social aspect that is very much a part of “The Shootout” culture. Strangers arrive, friends depart. There is a camaraderie that inevitably forms; some struggle with wide angle, others with a particular brand and model of camera. Others see a shiny new strobe and have a few days of “gear lust”, only to hear lukewarm reviews. Still others have the reverse experience; that gear they’ve witnessed from afar can be placed in their hands by another trusting attendee, and the lust is complete. A few positive words, and a mental sale has been made (or prevented), and a key piece of information is exchanged.

In short, there is much to learn from the staff here, but there is no substitute for the pool of experience a group this large and diverse brings.

Mary Lynn Price:Dan and I have now wrapped up our presentation portions of the video workshops. The filmmakers are continuing to work on their editing skills in the hands-on video workshop sessions where Dan and I are both there to help out, answer questions and give feedback. A couple of the newer filmmakers produced their first edited videos to much jubilant celebration (always one of my favorite parts of these shootouts!) And I know that all of the video folks are starting to think more and more about the final three minute piece they will create for the contest and film fest that takes place at our last evening gathering and award show Friday night.

Today is a free day where participants can choose to take part in a variety of activities, including just taking it easy! Many of the video group attendees are heading out on a special island topside excursion. Road Trip! One of the stops on our field trip is a particular favorite of mine: the Donkey Sanctuary. This is a place where some of the wild donkeys of Bonaire are cared for. Visitors help support the care of the animals through their entrance fee donations. Maybe we'll even make a short YouTube piece about our visit to the Donkey Sanctuary!


Dan Baldocchi:Field trip! We took a break from sitting in class today to get out and cruise around the island. If you want to make a good dive trip video you have to get more than just the underwater shots. You have to go out and get some topside stuff too; people gearing up, loading the boats, general shots around the resort, that kind of stuff. Well, Bonaire is a pretty cool island and has a lot to see, so we all got into a van and visited the donkey sanctuary, salt factory, slave huts, and just cruised along the cost to enjoy the scenery. We're now going to be able to tell a pretty good story about Bonaire, both above and below the water.

David Fleetham: Wow! The gang this year is blowing me away with their daily images. We are going to have our work cut out for us comparing all the splendid pictures we are getting. I have seen some impressive shots with the optically agonizing macro-mate. On a Canon 100 macro or Nikon 105 macro this thing gets you down to an image about the size of a dime with paper thin depth of field. Every night we have seen some great compositions with this very difficult to shoot piece of glass. My day started with a wonderful dive on the Hilma Hooker, Bonaire’s premier wreck dive. At over 200 feet in length this is an impressive sight and a fantastic photographic oppourtunity. Our second dive brought several barracuda, a very cooperative hawksbill turtle, and terrific schools of fish in the shallows. The afternoon was spent in front of the resort with a dozen shooters honing their skills on the difficult task of getting half above, half below (split) water shots with three fabulous models.

Lenny Bucko:Over-Under... Under-Over... Splits and Half and Halfs...
Call it what you want. We mastered it today in the beach side classroom right out the door from the main classroom. We did our two great morning dives with bait balls, turtles, frog fish (that we are seeing on every dive now), and lots of other subjects that are providing talent for all of us to photograph. The beach dive classroom found 12 of us in chest deep water working on balancing available light topside and strobe fill underwater as models swam by or zipped through the scene on the test drive underwater scooters. No traffic citations were issued, but I am sure that the fish were amused as we lit up the waters with all of our Transformer looking rigs. Everyone had a blast and the learning curve is spinning out of control as each night's pictures get better and better.

See you on the bottom tomorrow! “Uncle Buck”


Jim Decker: Again I shot the 5D Mark II in video mode with the 15mm fisheye lens. This lens was perfect for the wreck of the Hilma Hooker. I was able to have the entire ship in the frame.

In the afternoon, I shot split videos at our splits class at the beach. The color, clarity, and contrast you get from having your subject very close to the lens (about 1-2 feet) can't be beat when using the fisheye lens. Along with the large Aquatica dome ports, it was a much easier task to shot splits in video when compared to traditional video systems.

I'll post some more results from this camera either tomorrow or Friday. I'll be taking it in the water again tomorrow, and hopefully trying more shots that you can't get with a traditional video camera't make everything automatic. That wouldn't be any fun anyway.

Russ Sanoian: Our first dive today was an interesting reef with lots of sponges and corals. I was shooting the MKII 5D again with a 17-40 lens on it and the new Xit 404 tripod adaptor that lets you use LMI Sunray 2000 video lights and also doubles as a tripod using ultralight arms. I found a tube sponge with nice green coloring and setup for my shot to try and light the scene and have nice blue water in the background, as I started rolling a Spotted Moray peeked his head out of one of the tube sponges so I got a little tighter on the shot to show his teeth detail.

The second dive site (Bachelors Beach) had a large sandy area in the shallows and I worked on getting proper sunlight exposure in the shallows, after 10-15 minutes I swam out into deeper water and swam right up to a large baitball that was being chased around by barracuda and jacks. I got in close on my rebreather and was soon enveloped in the middle, then a large tarpon started moving around the outer edge picking off stragglers, it was really cool to say the least and I stayed with the baitball for a good 45 minutes! If we dont have all the sample MKII 5D video up on the Digital Shootout website this week it will be posted on our website at shortly after our return with a detailed article on our website.


Jean Bruneau: Went to a macro site today but pickings where scarce, the second dive was a site I did already yesterday, so I changed my approach and went down with a Magic Filter on my trusted Tokina 10-17mm behind my 6” dome port on my Aquatica D200. I dumped the strobes and attached two of our newest floats. That alone made my Aquatica D200 housing neutral, with an ever slight negative aspect to it, ever so refreshing a combination. The 6” dome got a lot of interest from some folks on the boat. Main comment was, it is not too small. The thing is with a full frame fisheye you can get away with these smaller domes, something the ultra wide rectilinear lenses will not do well. The curvature of the fisheye optics lends itself well to the smaller radius dome port. Our D90 demo housing is picking up some good mileage! It was out this morning with a chap coming from the compact camera housing crowd. This camera & housing is the perfect kit for stepping up to a DSLR, it’s got video and all the goodies in a really nice and small housing. The 5D Mk II housing was strapped to a scooter yesterday, and boy, were we treated to a visual feast! Russ from Backscatter was flying that thing like it was a fighter jet, pretty neat candy for the eyes. Bravo!