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Posts Tagged ‘sony rx100’

Octopus Sony RX-100 @ 28mm ISO 200, f8 @ 1/320 sec

Octopus
Sony RX-100 @ 28mm
ISO 200, f8 @ 1/320 sec

The Cayman Islands is a well-known must go destination for scuba diving and snorkeling. During my two-week stay on the island of Cayman Brac, which is the most easterly of the three islands known as the Cayman Islands, I explored the world beneath the sea for several hours daily. I do not scuba dive, but do love snorkeling and often I am most interested in the aquatic wildlife that can easily, or not so easily discovered in the shallows. I will define the shallows as water to a depth of about 20 feet. Either way I find entering the ocean an exhilarating experience because there are fishes that can eat you 🙂 Essentially you are entering the food-chain, and even though such risks are minimal you should be aware of what fishes may be encountered.It is not only those fishes with large toothy mouths that you need to be concerned with, but often the smaller species of fish that can inflict painful stings if one is not careful. My choice of camera for my underwater photography to date has been the Sony RX-100. This amazing point and shoot camera is teeny-tiny and will easily fit into a shirt or pants pocket, as a zoom range of 28mm to 100mm (35mm equivalent), is capable of capturing image files in RAW and produces a 20MB file which translates to a native image size of 12.16  18.24 inches. Impressive! Note: I found RAW capture to be most beneficial as I was able to make adjustments to the White Balance in Adobe Camera RAW to realistically match the scenes as I saw them. Often the Auto White Balance setting on the Sony RX-100 produced image files with a strong green cast, which was easily correctable in ACR. My choice of underwater housing for the Sony RX-100 was a polycarbonate housing from Meikon, This housing is rated for a depth of 40M (131 feet) and allows me to operate all of the essential controls underwater. I initially purchased this housing as I began my interest in the underwater world. I would however, highly recommend getting one of the housing available from IkeLite. The housing from Meikon works great for snorkeling, but I am not sure I would dive to deeper depths with it. One of the biggest problems I encountered using a polycarbonate housing with the Sony RX-100 was viewing the LCD screen underwater due to the reflective properties of the polycarbonate material underwater. The Sony RX-100 has no viewfinder, so images are composed using the LCD screen. In the photo below an easy solution to this concern can be overcome by creating a bracket to hold a small section of plastic downspout over the area of the LCD screen to act as a shade.

Underwater Housing with Plastic Downspout to Shade the LCD Screen

Underwater Housing with Plastic Downspout to Shade the LCD Screen

To create many of the underwater images ISO 200 or ISO 400 was selected and the Aperture Priority mode too. Creating underwater images while snorkeling is a bit of a challenge to our buoyancy, however, for fishes that were resting on the ocean floor I found it easier if I exhaled while diving to the bottom, and with less air in my lungs I was able to stay at the bottom long enough for 2 or 3 images before the need to re-surface again. For some subjects I repeated this process numerous times to create various compositions, such as the photos below of the Stonefish – a true master of camouflage! Note: the spines on the dorsal fins of Stonefish, a member of the Scorpionfish family, can inflict a painful sting – exercise caution!

Stonefish Sony RX-100 @ 28mm ISO 200, f8 @ 1/100 sec.

Stonefish
Sony RX-100 @ 28mm
ISO 200, f8 @ 1/100 sec.

Stonefish Sony RX-100 @ 28mm ISO 200, f8 @ 1/100 sec.

Stonefish
Sony RX-100 @ 28mm
ISO 200, f8 @ 1/100 sec.

Stonefish Sony RX-100 @ 28mm ISO 400, f8 @ 1/1000 sec.

Stonefish
Sony RX-100 @ 28mm
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/1000 sec.

As you read the captions for the images in this post you will note that many of them were created at a focal length of 28mm. Often in underwater photography a wide-angle lens used in close will produce the best image. By reducing the distance between the camera and the subject the risk of particulate matter in the water column is reduced, producing a cleaner, sharper image. The Sony RX-100 will focus as close as 5cm at the 28mm setting. On rare occasions I would zoom the lens out if there was some interesting action occurring in deeper water that I would not have been able to dive down to capture.

Sand Diver Sony RX-100 @ 28mm ISO 400, f8 @ 1/800 sec.

Sand Diver
Sony RX-100 @ 28mm
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/800 sec.

Often repeated attempts to photograph some species was required, as was the case with the Sand Diver above. This specimen was roughly 2 feet in length and very skittish. After many repeat dives I was able to get this one close up that allows us to see its very toothy mouth. Below is a selection of Stingray images that were created at various reefs along the coast. Scott’s Dock and Radar Reef produced the best photographic opportunities for them.

Stingray Sony RX-100 @ 28mm ISO 400, f8 @ 1/500 sec.

Stingray
Sony RX-100 @ 28mm
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/500 sec.

Stingray Sony RX-100 @ 28mm ISO 400, f8 @ 1/640 sec.

Stingray
Sony RX-100 @ 28mm
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/640 sec.

Stingray Interaction Sony RX-100 @ 65mm ISO 400, f8 @ 1/500 sec.

Stingray Interaction
Sony RX-100 @ 65mm
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/500 sec.

Below is an image of a Sharp-tailed Eel. I was thrilled to see this specimen out in the open. In 2014 I had seen one of these very interesting snake-like fishes but it was in too difficult of a location to photograph. Fast-forward to March 2015 and I was presented a second opportunity whereby the specimen was most cooperative. This was photographed at the Buccaneer (Tibbett’s) dive site.

Sharp-tailed Eel Sony RX-100 @ 100mm ISO 400, f8 @ 1/640 sec.

Sharp-tailed Eel
Sony RX-100 @ 100mm
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/640 sec.

Other species that I was able to photograph along the coast of Cayman Brac were Caribbean Reef Squid, Octopus, Barracuda, and some underwater ocean-scapes. Below are my favorites of these. If you ever make your way to Cayman Brac be sure to snorkel the Scott’s Dock, Radar Reef, and the Buccaneer dive sites as these are equally productive for folks that prefer to snorkel.

Caribbean Reef Squid Sony RX-100 @ 100mm ISO 400, f8 @ 1/400 sec.

Caribbean Reef Squid
Sony RX-100 @ 100mm
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/400 sec.

Octopus Sony RX-100 @ 28mm ISO 400, f8 @ 1/640 sec.

Octopus
Sony RX-100 @ 28mm
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/640 sec.

Octopus Sony RX-100 @ 28mm ISO 200, f8 @ 1/160 sec.

Octopus
Sony RX-100 @ 28mm
ISO 200, f8 @ 1/160 sec.

Barracuda Sony RX-100 @ 100mm ISO 400, f8 @ 1/800 sec.

Barracuda
Sony RX-100 @ 100mm
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/800 sec.

Ocean-Scape in B&W Sony RX-100 @ 28mm ISO 400, f8 @ 1/100 sec.

Ocean-Scape in B&W
Sony RX-100 @ 28mm
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/100 sec.

Coral Details Sony RX-100 @ 28mm ISO 400, f8@ 1/100 sec.

Coral Details
Sony RX-100 @ 28mm
ISO 400, f8@ 1/100 sec.

Octopus Sony RX-100 @ 28mm ISO 400, f8 @ 1/1000 sec.

Octopus
Sony RX-100 @ 28mm
ISO 400, f8 @ 1/1000 sec.

Please remember to click on each of the photos to see the larger, sharper version.

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California Horned Shark

California Horned Shark

Over the last couple of weeks I have been very busy and just completed presentations for three camera clubs; GRIPS, Trillium Photographic Club and Orillia District Camera Club. I had a ton of fun presenting for these clubs and met lots of great folks at each of the presentations as well.

On this past Friday (November 14th) I decided to take a day off and visit Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto, Ontario. I have long been fascinated with the creature of the oceans and the Ripley Aquarium is a fantastic place to get a close-up view of some the strange fishes that inhabit the world’s oceans. I took along my Nikon D800 and my compact Sony RX100. Since the Sony RX100 will focus down to 5cm it easily became my preferred camera for creating photos of the fishes through the aquarium glass. Here is a collection of my favorite images created on this visit to the aquarium.

Please do click on each of the photos to see the larger, sharper version.

Stonefish

Stonefish

Lionfish

Lionfish

Jellyfish

Jellyfish

Wobbegone Shark

Wobbegone Shark

Alaskan King Crab

Alaskan King Crab

Swell Shark

Swell Shark

 

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Aerial View of Reef System in the Cayman Islands

Aerial View of Reef System in the Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands is most noted for its amazing snorkeling and scuba diving and when I was making arrangements for my recent trip to Cayman Brac I made certain that I would be prepared to photograph life in the deep blue sea. The above photo was created on my departure as I began the long journey home. I created this image through the window pane of a Twin Otter aircraft using my Sony RX100. This amazing, yet tiny camera that will fit in a shirt pocket was my go-to piece of photo gear for my underwater adventure. The camera captures a 20 mega-byte image file when set to its RAW image capture mode. To find out more about how I used the camera underwater and for a few tips on underwater photography please read my recent article Into The Deep Blue Sea in the Creative Photography eMini-Magazine, a completely free and very informative on-line magazine and resource published by Denise Ippolito.

In the seascape image below I have encountered a little backscatter within the water column. Backscatter is the result of debris in the water and since I was photographing facing the sun, the effect of the debris was exaggerated but I do love the sun’s rays of light penetrating the surface. I do wish that a shark could have been swimming out of the depths for this image though 🙂

Cayman Brac Seascape, Cayman Islands

Cayman Brac Seascape, Cayman Islands

On one particular afternoon I came across a couple of local fishermen that were cleaning their catch and throwing the blood and guts back into the ocean, which attracted a great number of Stingrays. I grabbed my camera and immediately jumped into the water with the rays to create numerous images of them.

Stingray on Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Stingray on Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Stingray at Rest, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Stingray at Rest, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Stingray, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Stingray, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Fishes that are found within the oceans have always amazed me with their superb camouflage skills and during my numerous snorkeling trips I came across a few Peacock Flounders. Check out the image below to see how well they blend into their surroundings.

Peacock Flounder on the Ocean Floor, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Peacock Flounder on the Ocean Floor, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

One of the most commonly encountered fishes were Parrotfish. Their colors were so intense, often resembling colors you would expect to see in neon signs.

Queen Parrotfish, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Queen Parrotfish, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Yellow-tailed Parrotfish, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Yellow-tailed Parrotfish, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

I found some of the corals and sponges to me most fascinating too, especially the tube sponges that were most often encountered in deeper water of about 30-40 feet. Upon taking a breath I would dive down to create images of them. I found this to be most difficult to do as I would be fighting the body’s natural tendency to float back up to the surface. Often it would take several attempts to create the image I was seeking.

Tube Sponge, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Tube Sponge, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

I was quite pleased with the Sony RX100’s performance below the sea in a dedicated housing and am looking forward to diving into Horseshoe Lake to experiment with some freshwater imagery.

Please click on the images to see the larger, sharper versions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Octopus, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

Octopus, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands

I returned home from the Caribbean island of Cayman Brac in the Cayman Islands. Cayman Brac is a small island, which is 12 miles long and averages 1.5 miles wide with a population of approximately 1200 very friendly people and fabulous Conch Chowder. Leaving the island to head back to the snow and cold was hard to do. Throughout my 12 day stay on the island I experienced numerous very special photographic opportunities on land and in the deep blue sea. One such opportunity took place when I reach forward, grabbing a rock to steady myself in a strong current when the rock moved and out shot a small Octopus. I was delighted that the Octopus only swam about 5 feet away before coming to rest on the sea floor in about 6 feet of water. I was using my Sony RX100 in an underwater housing with ambient light, so this shallow water setting was perfect for retaining color within the scene (more on this in a future post). I snorkeled around the octopus for about half an hour creating numerous compositions before it slowly moved to a less photogenic location. The Sony RX100 is a powerful point and shoot camera for underwater photographic applications and I shot with it in the RAW mode (which creates a 20Mb file) the entire time so that I would have full control while optimizing the images upon my return home.

In the coming weeks I will share many more images from this trip and my rookie adventures into the wonderful world of underwater photography.

Please remember to click on the image to see the larger, sharper version.

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Windswept Snowscape

Windswept Snowscape

Today was a day of wickedly, wild winds, snow and numerous road closures. As the daylight began to fade I could not resist grabbing my Sony RX100 for a troll down the rural road that I live on and play around with a few compositions of windswept snow patterns amid the blowing snow. Above is my favorite image that I captured. Operating the tiny controls on the Sony RX100 is just a tad difficult with gloves on so I had to work quickly with bare hands, tucking them into my jacket pockets to warm up when I had the chance. After about ten minutes my hands were thoroughly frozen and it was time to head back into the house to warm them up.

Please do remember to click on the images to see the larger, sharper version.

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Innisfil Creek In Winter - Sony RX100

Innisfil Creek In Winter – Sony RX100

The images in this post were all created today, handheld, with my new toy – a Sony RX100. This is an amazing 20 mega-pixel, point and shoot camera that will fit easily into my pocket. It is my intention to carry this little gem everywhere I go, so that I never miss another photo opportunity. I spent some time today playing around with it to familiarize myself with the controls and such because on February 3rd I depart for 10 days on the beautiful island of Cayman Brac in the Cayman Islands. I will be using the Sony RX100 in an underwater housing for my explorations in the Caribbean Sea. I can’t wait! Iguanas, crabs, parrots, wading birds, caves, ocean-scapes, and frogs await 🙂 If any folks have previously visited Cayman Brac please do share any tidbits of info that you may think will be beneficial upon my arrival on the island. I have been busy doing as much research as I can, including studying the island on Google Earth, which is a great way to see what to expect prior to being there.

Each of these images were created using the Sony RX100’s RAW file option, which produces a stunning image with a file size of roughly 20 megabytes, and images created at ISO 800 are astonishingly clean – noise free. In the last image the macro setting was used – the Sony RX100 can focus down to 5cm; how is that for a macro lens?

I will post several more images with this lovely little gem before departing for Cayman Brac. Hope you like the first images created with this new toy 🙂

 

Woodland Stream in Winter - Sony RX100

Woodland Stream in Winter – Sony RX100

Lichens on Tree Trunk - Sony RX100

Lichens on Tree Trunk – Sony RX100

 

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