Last Day

Today was the last day of diving. My flight leaves tomorrow at 3:30, so I wanted to be out of the water by 3.

Most of us had not yet taken all of our boat dives, so Paul was able to reserve a boat for two tanks this morning. The first site was Country Garden, to the north of the resort. Country Garden has a number of large coral outcroppings. Under one of them, the guide pointed out a very large sea lobster that put most of our New England lobsters to shame.

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Karpata, Knife, and Oil Slick Leap

Fourteen years ago, near the end of my first trip here, we visited Karpata, a shore dive on the northern end of the island. You go down a number of concrete steps to the shoreline, and there’s an abandoned building up above. I remember liking the dive, and have been wanting to do it ever since, but for one reason or another, never have.

Today, I finally made it happen. We had an open morning, so after checking to see if anyone else was interested, I headed up there by myself. We were scheduled for boat dives at one, so I made sure to leave early enough to get up there, do a dive, and get back  by 11:30.

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Bonaire 2016 Pictures: Friday

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This gallery contains 9 photos.

Friday marked the last day of diving. In the morning, Ralph, the Quinnans, Debie and I revisited Aquarius, because of its easy sandy entry. Interestingly enough, possibly due to Barbara making me more aware of them, I saw a ton … Continue reading

Bonaire 2016 Pictures: Wednesday Afternoon

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This gallery contains 23 photos.

Wednesday was a full day. In the morning we did a shore dive at Weber’s Joy, and got banged around quite a bit coming out of the water. Instead of a second dive, Paul took us on a tour of … Continue reading

Bonaire 2016 Pictures: Tuesday

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This gallery contains 18 photos.

Tuesday morning we drove to the north to a site called “Oil Slick Leap”. The site is set on a cliff of about 8 feet, and you can either climb down a ladder, or jump off the cliff into the … Continue reading

Bonaire 2016 Pictures: Monday

Gallery

This gallery contains 18 photos.

Monday morning saw our first boat dives. We left the dock just past 8, and headed off for the far side of Kleine Bonaire. The first site was “Rockpile”; the second one I don’t remember the name of. Both were … Continue reading

Bonaire 2016 Pictures: Sunday

Gallery

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Sunday was the first day of diving for us, as we got in too late on Saturday to pick up our weights. Our first dive was off the dock at Buddy Dive. Generally, we’ve headed northwards here, as the current … Continue reading

Color Correcting

I’ve been spending a large chunk of my off time this past week color correcting my Bonaire pictures. I shot just over 1000 pictures over the six days of diving so it’s a lot of work, and I’ve really been struggling with some of them.

When I was shooting with the red filter, I was really excited about it, because what I was seeing in the viewfinder indicated that it was correcting the colors well, and it was giving me a very realistic feel because I was using natural light, at least at depth. In practice, some of these pictures have been very hard to color correct, because they don’t have a single overall cast – parts tend to be very yellow green, other parts kind of blueish. Other pictures are not so hard to correct, and do, in fact, give a good sense of what it’s like to actually be there.

I’m also having trouble with a lot of my strobe pictures, and today, I think I figured out why. I spent a lot of time this trip relatively shallow, around 30 – 40 feet, shallow enough that at the sync shutter speed of 1/60th second, and minimum aperture of f/8, I’m still getting a significant amount of exposure from the red deficient ambient light. This is leading to pictures that need to have a lot of red correction thrown at them, not to mention some with visible motion blur.

In addition, I was having trouble aiming the strobe sometimes, so I’m seeing a lot of pictures where one side is lit by strobe, and the other side lit by ambient light.

So what would I do differently next time? For one thing, go deeper. From a composition standpoint, working along the reef wall works better than the reef shelf anyway, and it reduces the amount of ambient light. The darker ambient light also makes it easier to see the strobe’s modeling light. The aperture can’t be set any smaller than f/8 *, but the camera does have a neutral density filter I could try.

For very shallow work – say, under 20 feet, I found the camera’s underwater white balance setting in program mode works decently.

Right now, I’ve gotten about two and a half days worth of pictures processed. I just replaced the sea horse picture from the first day of boat diving with a better adjusted version. Once I finish getting the pictures looking the way I want them, I’ll start figuring out what I was shooting, and get them online.

* The Canon G12 is a fairly advanced point ‘n’ shoot camera, but the lens focal length at the short end is only 6mm. Apertures smaller than f/8 would be small enough to introduce significant diffraction.