Monday, March 10, 2014


By no means is this a comprehensive list, but I have come across some doozies in my career.

1.  By far, the most common insult starts like this:  I LOVE YOUR WORK!  And I am publishing a book.  I would like to use your photo of...(XYZ) AND I will give you a photo credit. 

Last time I checked, photo credits cannot feed anyone or pay the rent or upgrade equipment, computers and software.

2.  Congratulate us! We are getting married!  Save the date.  You accept the invitation.  Then a week later you get the call... Oh, by the way, CAN YOU BRING YOUR CAMERA?

3.  "What a great photograph.  "WHAT CAMERA DO YOU USE?"  The last I heard, no one ever asked James Mitchener what word processor he used to write his novels.  

This insult is subtle because the implication is that using the same camera will confer talent of seeing, creativity and knowledge of light and composition to the possessor.

4.  "I have an opportunity to teach a college course on all the subjects that you have photographed.  Can I use the photos for free."  True story.


 We are now showcasing some of our work on IMAGEKIND.  Click here to check out the site.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

3D Printing Article

3D Printing Article

From PDN (Photo District News).  Good primer in relation to Photography.  Brave new world.

Here is what I would like to knock out in 3D printer: how about a 30' Whale Shark?  No, this was a lucky shot.  The diver is just 10 feet behind the shark.  No pun intended, shot with a fisheye.

Click here to see the rest of the whale shark gallery.

Friday, November 8, 2013

How to Copy Captions in Lightroom 5

The ability to copy captions in Adobe Lightroom is a great help to boost your SEO results.  Except there is no OBVIOUS method.  After multiple Google searches and false posts,  I just figured it out.

NOTE that doing an easy sync of the "Caption field" is not possible since it appears that Adobe left it off the list in SYNC, an oversight.

Here are the steps:

1. Enter the caption in the EXIF and IPTC Caption field in the Metadata section of the RIGHT pane using the LIBRARY module.

2. Enter GRID mode in the library module

3.  Select the photos you want to synchronize your captions.

4.  Click on the word Caption and a list will be presented.

5. Click on the caption you want to synchronize from the list presented.  The captions will be applied.

I just did this with over 100 Pelican pictures.  Click here to see the African Pelicans with the rest of the 81 shots in this first African gallery.

Saturday, July 20, 2013



Oslob is not one of those familiar names like Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Bonaire that resonates in the SCUBA diving community.

Oslob is a tiny town on the beach on the island of Cebu in the Philippines.  It is close to Dumaguete, a place that is very hot now in SCUBA diving circles.  Dumaguete will get even hotter once the word gets out about the Whale Sharks.

At the moment, in 2013, the chances are very good to see whale sharks on most every attempt, but this could change.  Not many places in the world can claim a record like that.  The reason is outright bribery.  The local fishermen are feeding the Whale Sharks plankton.

The sharks apparently like it and show up in the morning for a lazy dose of “shrimp soup.”  On our encounter, we saw a total of six Whale Sharks in 45 minutes of snorkeling.  One should consider themselves lucky if you have ever seen ONE Whale Shark, this was an embarrassment of riches.  A bucket list experience for sure.  Whale Sharks are the ocean's largest fish, completely harmless and get up to 45' long and weigh over 20 tons.  Photos are shown at the bottom.



Since the sharks are right at the surface, there is no need for strobes, indeed they are prohibited.


Since the Whale Sharks are BIG, we saw individuals from 15’ to 30’, use the widest lens you have.  I used a 10mm Tokina fisheye to get full fish pictures.


Being able to shoot over / under split shots of the fisherman feeding the Whale Sharks from their outriggers is a big part of telling the story of why everyone is here.

A DSLR housing is preferred since you can put an 8” Dome port on it.  The 8” dome port takes full advantage of the Wide Fisheye angle with edge to edge sharpness.  The second reason to use it is that it makes taking over / underwater split shots possible.


Under most circumstances, I am a fan of using ONE SHOT drive mode.  However, for this dive, it is best to put the camera in high speed burst mode.  When taking split shots, the ocean does not sit still while you calmly compose.

To shoot decent over/under split shots, you must take a lot of pictures and high speed mode will help your chances of getting the effect you intend.  Start with the camera held just above the waterline, press and hold the shutter down and slowly lower the camera until almost submerged.  

My camera has a buffer of nine RAW shots like this, so I can shoot this sequence in about two to three seconds.  The camera must “rest” in between to regain its computer buffer and "catch its breath."   During the 45 minutes, I shot about 350 photos.  Many were clearly poor, but I got enough to choose from using this technique.

Using SCUBA for most of the trip, I used 10 pounds on the weight belt with my 3mm wetsuit, 2/3mm neoprene gloves and 3mm neoprene beanie.  This being a snorkel only dive, I set up a weight belt with 3 pounds on each side to let me dive easily.  This was perfect to allow me to get to 15’ – 20’ which is near the sand bottom.

We left Atlantis Dumaguete about 7am.  It takes about two hours to get to Oslob.  After a bus ride, a ferry ride and another bus ride, the whale sharks are a relatively short distance from the beach, you can actually swim to them.  You will be in relatively small outrigger canoes, have your fins ready to pop on at a moment’s notice.  Sit at the front or the back of the canoe to make entry easier.  Turn on the camera on the surface and be prepared to enter the water quickly with minimal splashing. This is generally good behavior when diving period.

First one in the water in the area gives you immediate shooting advantage with fewer divers in the water.

General situational awareness of where the sharks are, is good to avoid surprises but also to avoid injury or scrapes to you or the sharks.  Bumping into a many-ton animal is not pleasant for either party.  Entering on top of a shark is considered bad form and will get you entered in the diver's book of dopes.

Generally, you can get good shots from about three to five feet from the side of the sharks.  You will want to be at least four feet away when swimming in front to the sharks to avoid hitting them with your fins.  You will not get scooped up by the sharks as you do not in any way look like a shrimp.  

The fish cruise slowly but can suddenly gain speed.  As the fish in Oslob are there to be fed, a great many of your pictures will show Whale Sharks at a 45 degree angle with their mouth near the surface and tails near the sandy bottom.  Try to get pictures of the sharks cruising between fish feeders for a more natural posture.

How much longer will the interaction be around?  Cannot say with any certainty.  As any place around the world, when people and animals interact, there will be strong opinions generated that do not necessarily approve of the interaction.  Google the controversy to see how soon you want to go see the sharks.

Apologies if the captions do not line up correctly below.  This is a Google Blogger special feature.  All look perfectly aligned when I view the post in editing in either Firefox or Chrome.  It is worth the price Google charges me.  $0.00  If you are thinking of a Blog Platform, I think Wordpress is the way to go.  It is just too painful for me to switch.

Establishing shot

Shooting upward

Circus shot (too many divers)

 Multiple Sharks - Five Whale Sharks
  Multiple Sharks - Four Whale Sharks
 Accidental Humor (no photoshop used)

Frontal shot with Remora below

Split shot

Top Shot w/ many remoras upside down on left pectoral fin

Monday, April 22, 2013


Just a comment on knock-off toner cartridges.  Around the studio, I have an HP printer and a Canon Copier.

I like to order spare cartridges ahead of time and have then ready when the toner runs out, as opposed to having to get them in a panic.

Twice in recent memory I had a bad experience with OEM knock-off cartridges.  I ordered a "Canon" from Amazon, and it turned out to be a knock-off.  It did not function at all.  When I returned it, Amazon gave only a partial refund because it was over 30 days out from when I ordered it.  I got punished by Amazon for thinking ahead.

A similar issue arose with an HP cartridge for the printer.

I went to B&H and found out that their brand name cartridges are competitively priced and they work.

Lesson learned: no more knock-offs.  Best to order manufacturere original as it saves return postage, aggravation and gets you functionality.  A small price to pay.  We may still be subject to the return policies but the odds are better that they will work with the original manufacturer.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

DPREVIEW on the Lightroom Catalog

DPREVIEW on the Lightroom Catalog.  Good stuff if you are not already up to speed.  Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Canon 6D DSLR - Wow!

Canon has introduced the 6D.  I held it in my hand the other day and it is the coolest thing since sliced bread.  Full Frame Sensor for less than $2100 at B&H.

It has 20MP resolution, GPS and WI FI.  Say goodbye to tethering via cable. Magnesium body, but unfortunately, it only has an SD card.  CF is going the way of the flood.  FYI, you cannot buy a CF EYE FI card and EYE FI does not support the adapters that physically accommodate the cards.