Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pennekamp's 50th Anniversary Promotion

I was recently contacted by Andy Newman of Newman PR to shoot an illustration of a snorkeler reaching out the the Christ of the Abyss Statue in my home town of Key Largo, Florida. It was to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park this December. The Statue is iconic of Pennekamp, and we wanted to show it as a warm water destination, hence the girl in the bathing suit.

Actually, the shot was comped as a replication of one of my stock shots, a photo I'd taken of my daughter, Alexa, snorkeling around the Statue last summer. However, the shot Andy liked best was a horizontal, and we needed a vertical for the combination of rack brochure, poster, and cover of the Keys Traveler magazine that Newman PR also publishes.

In our hour at the Statue we shot models Corky Wagner and Katy Weiland individually and as couples around the Statue. Their only direction was to reach out to the Statue, but don't actually touch it. Touching coral, or in this case the brass of the Statue, is discouraged, ecologically, so we wanted the impression of connection without the actual physicality.

Leaving room for type was also encouraged, as can be seen here in the final execution.
Thanks Andy ... nicely done.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

SEACAM and Canon Do DEMA 2010

The DEMA (Dive Equipment Manufacturer's Association)trade show in Las Vegas was very productive this year. We premiered the new Alert Diver, Quarter 4 - 2010, to rave reviews, and had fantastic reception to various DAN initiatives and seminars presented throughout the show.

In addition, I was there wearing my hat as SEACAM distributor. I import these beautiful housings for the North and South American market, and I was joined on location by designer/manufacturer Harald Hordosch (from Austria) and my SEACAM sales manager, Liz Johnson and Scott Rodman.

SEACAM and Canon were exhibiting side-by-side again this year. As a Canon Explorer of Light, I am proud to be associated with the Canon camera line, and enjoyed the proximity so I could answer some of the technical or creative questions that emerged relative to shooting Canon products.

While no specifically new SEACAM products were introduced at this year’s DEMA, there are some innovative new offerings to be released in the very near future. At the show housings on display for Nikon included the D300 and D3s, and also for the popular Canon 5DMKII. In addition, other SEACAM products displayed included the remote monitor and polecam units, a minifisheye dome port, an underwater tripod, and of course the magnified S180 and S45 viewfinders. The Seaflash 150 garnered a lot of attention from booth visitors, not only for its TTL functionality with both Nikon and Canon, but also for its rear-curtain synch possibilities with both camera brands as well. The beam coverage from the Seaflash 150 is both very wide and even, with a native color temperature that makes it my personal favorite for wide angle photography.

At the Canon booth there was considerable interest in the new 8-15mm fisheye lens. Included here are photos shot on a 1.3 cropped sensor Canon 1DMKIV from the same vantage point at both 8mm and 15mm zoom range. (The lens renders a full circular image with full frame Canon cameras like the 5DMKII and 1DsMKIII) Other popular products were the new Canon G12, 7D, 70-200mm II lens, and of course the extraordinary Canon 5DMKII that has defined the new category of still and video convergence. Canon staff, including David Carlson, Chuckie Luzier, Ed Meyers, and Jim Rose were on hand to answer all technical questions; while a Canon printer churned out prints of my photos, given away free of charge as DEMA souvenirs.

8-15mm @ 15mm on Canon MKIV

8-15mm @ 8mm on Canon MKIV

Additionally, I gave a seminar in the Photo Resource Center on wide angle photography. As always, the SEACAM booth was a focal point for SEACAM shooters to get together and meet with Mr. Hordosch and share stories of their favorite UW imaging tools. Here Wyland, Stephen Frink, and David Doubilet pose in front of the SEACAM booth display.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

PhotoPlus Expo in NY for Canon

I just came home from a very quick trip to Manhattan, speaking at the PhotoPlus Expo at the Javits Center by invitation of my friends at Canon. Here are a couple of shots of the venue on the floor where I spoke to the topic of, no surprise, underwater photography. This is not me speaking though ... I didn't get that shot.

After the show I had a few hours to wander around the Times Square part of town, and since I had my Canon 1DMKIV with me to demo in my SEACAM housing at the show, this was a perfect opportunity to shoot some night images of the Bright Lights/Big City. These are just grab shots, no tripod, but the performance of this camera at ISO 1,000 is scary good. See the Actual Pixels detail of one of my shots, hand-held at 1/30th second. You probably can't tell much from a blog-size photo, but on a good monitor the absence of noise is amazing.

Here are a few other shots from Broadway. Great city, and a nice change of pace from the tropical destinations I normally visit.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

SUBGEAR catalog shoot, Key Largo

I love do commercial photo projects in my hometown of Key Largo, so was very happy when my friends at SUBGEAR suggested we shoot their catalog here over a long weekend in October. Unfortunately, when the winds blow there is no place to hide here, and blow they did, more than 20-knots on Saturday.

But, fortunately we had a good boat (thanks to friend Bob Coakley), gracious and willing models, and a passionate team of creatives ... so we persevered. Actually, we had a fair bit of topside to shoot for this catalog, mostly fashion shots showing SUBGEAR in use, so our in-water time was going to limited anyway. We dived the Aquarius Habitat, Molasses, and then another day headed north to dive the Civil War Wreck and the City of Washington. All great backgrounds for product shots with divers.

I wish we would have had the 100-foot vis we had on many days during my photo courses last summer, but the critters and elements of composition here made it a very productive three days. Here are some sample shots.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Christ of the Abyss Statue_video

I was shooting a series of stills this week for a magazine cover, promoting the Florida Keys, but it also seemed a likely set-up for video mode on my Canon 5D MKII. Models Cody Wagner and Katie Wieland were snorkeling for the project, and by getting there very early in the morning we had the rare good luck of having the Christ of the Abyss Statue all to ourselves.

By 10:00 in the morning there was a snorkel boat with 34 passengers about to descend on us, but for a while this morning, something as familiar as the Statue was a very special place to be.

Of course, my real job was to shoot stills for the cover of "Keys Traveler", an annual publication for the Monroe County Tourist Development Council through Newman PR. Here are a few samples of the still objectives.