Off Folly Cove

I went diving with my friends Jack and Jane yesterday. When we left the dock, the fog was starting to burn off, but there was still a high overcast. Jack chose to anchor between Lanes Cove and Folly Cove, predicting correctly that we would be sheltered on the northern side of Cape Ann. The water was a smooth as glass.

Perhaps a better simile would be as smooth as a bowl of soup. Whether it was the overcast above, or simply an abundance of plankton below, the visibility was pretty crummy, at only about five feet or so.

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Bonaire 2016 Pictures: Friday

Gallery

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: Thursday

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This gallery contains 24 photos.

Thursday started with a pair of boat dives. For me, the first one was kind of embarrassing, as I burned through my air and was the first one back on the boat. The second one was actually pretty productive, as … 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

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.  

Last Dives

I did the last couple of dives of the trip today. I fly out tomorrow at 3; this means I had to be out of the water by 3 today.

I ended up doing two dives today. When we got up, it was raining and the sea looked kind of rough, but by the time we were done with breakfast, the waves had calmed somewhat. We had decided to do Aquarius again, mainly because of the easy entry.  Nice and sandy, we could just walk in and out. Or we could just walk out if we came up in the right place, but we ended up a little off course. Continue reading

Thursday Diving

It was really too early for a boat dive at 8:10 this morning, especially after last night. Everyone was kind of draggy, and in fact, Ralph skipped it. Paul was hoping to do Rappel this morning, but when we got there, there was clearly too much surge there for the boat to be safe, so we headed southward to the next mooring spot, “Bloodlet”. It gained its name when Captain Don, who surveyed and named most of the sites, cut himself up getting out of the water after his boat sank. Continue reading