Monday, March 8, 2010

Ice diving with the Canon T1i

This weekend was spent ice diving with my new camera.  I think I have a pretty cool understanding of the camera when it comes to what I needed to know on the still camera side.  I wanted to spend the weekend on a couple of dives working out the kinks on the video side of the camera.  I am at the very heart a videographer and when I bought the Canon I wanted to be able to do stellar photography and at least as good as what I had done with my sony.   I still have my sony system (its for sale if you are intereste) and I really like what it does.  It is what I am used to.  I am trying to get to the point where I am just as comfortable with my new camera.    I really enjoy the still photos my new camera produces but in the words of Peter Greenburg from the travel channel, "Send me a three minute video segment and I will try to broadcast it... send me a slide show and I will discard it for you."   Video is the way of the future, and so I am struggling... to make my camera do both.

Back to my ice dives.

I took a bit of video on day one... the conditions were amazing  it was sunny, warm  good ice and good visibility.  My dive was uneventful and I got about five minutes of video to see what I could make of it.  When I got home I uploaded it to my computer and it was good.... well ok... well at least as good as what I was shooting with my sony.  I wanted to see an amazing difference between the HD and DVD quality. There was a difference when I compared it to my older camera, the picture was sharper but there wasn't a big difference... frustrating to say the least.

So I did something out of character for me.... I picked up the manual and instead of just looking through it a and looking at the headers... I READ IT... I know, wow! You don't know how dissapointed I would be if it didn't work.

The day was another awesome one.  I did a dive with Randy and I took a few more videos doing my best to remember a bunch of the tricks that I learned in the manual.  The little viewscreen was showing me some pretty cool stuff and great images... hoping that it translates to my tv... when I got out of the water I was really excited to get home and check out what the camera captured.

All I can tell you was that I was really pleased about the results.  The video was boring since it was more for technical results instead of the actual story line and the music was a randomly picked royalty free song.   The colors were fantastic, the sharpness amazing and I am really happy with the results.

I was hoping that I could upload my video to this blog... no such luck  so here is a link to the youtube page.

I am now more excited about getting out and diving with my camera.  Come on Summer!

Monday, February 22, 2010

BeADiver Pool at the Detroit Boat Show

This past weekend was a Blast!  

At the Detroit Boat show one of the leading scuba marketing organizations DEMA, the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association sponsored the BeADiver pool so people could have an opportunity to try diving, FREE!  
We had a blast... a bunch of the Divers Incorporated Staff and some other pros from Bruno's Dive shop helped out and we had a chance to show a bunch of kids and thier parents that diving is super fun.

It was amazing to see some of the interactions between people... one little girl asked her Dad and when he said if you really want to... then they both went in the pool and he was ecstatic that there was something that they could do together.  Another girl in her twenties was litterally having to talk her boyfriend into it... they both got into the pool.. she loved it, he wasnt so sure but they were totally having fun.

The excitement is still there for diving... it was really good to see and it was a super fun time!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

February Ice Diving at White Star Quarry

So you know I like diving.

While it is not for most people, and it is a lot of work, I have to say that if it wasn't for ice diving I think that I would go crazy over the winter.   This type of diving takes the "going to another planet" part of diving to an extreme.   You are tethered to the hole, visibility is even better than in the summer time.  You have a support team helping you get in and get out of the water, and you are "boldly going where few have gone before." 

How fun is that?

I get a lot of people who look at me in disbelief when I ask them if they want to try ice diving.  They look at me with the "are you completely insane" look a lot of the time.  Funny thing is that the water temperature under the ice is just a few degrees either way from the bottom of the lakes in the summer time.   The only difference is that there is a layer of ice at the top and you need to create a place to warm up since the weather topside is more brutal than the weather under the water. Sometimes a difference of 40 degrees.

I hate being cold.   I love ice diving.  Its really not cold weather I hate but being cold.  Properly equipped you arent ever cold.  I learned this the hard way between the first weekend of the month and the second.  I had a pair of boots for the times when you are standing on the ice tending to the divers.   They leaked, I got cold.  I bought a new pair of boots, they stayed dry, I stayed really warm.  Proper equipment makes it better. 

Being a topside tender is probably the hard part.   Standing in the cold temperatures watching the tethered diver slip under the surface helps me to understand what Michael Collins felt when Aldrin and Armstrong walked on the moon.  You just cant wait to get there... in the water where  it is warm.  Where you don't have to think about navigation and you can just concentrate on taking pictures... the line is always there for you to return.

I know ice diving and winter diving isnt for everyone, but if you want to dive in the winter in Michigan and Ohio it is an option for some.    But  that I have had a bunch of successful ice dives and have had fun every time,  spring can come any time it wants.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Getting Caught up...

I cannot believe that it has been a couple of months since I have written anything here.

I was amazed when I realized it, and sorry. I have done a bunch of things since November and I cannot believe that I didn't find the time to write about it all. So this is my attempt at getting caught up.

First things first, Jill and I as you know volunteer at the Newport Aquarium. Well in the past two months we have gotten two different dive levels under our belt and have had an opportunity to not only dive in the Amazon tank, but have dived in the Coral Reef tank as well. The Amazon tank is amazing. There are a bunch of different animals there including freshwater stingrays, Pacus and some fish that you may be used to seeing at the aquarium stores. They are always hungry and a total riot to feed. We have been there twice since my last blog and going back in February. Not sure what we are going to do then but it will be awesome.

I have also had an opportunity to river dive a couple of times. The Artic weather has made it a bit of a challenge but the water has been clear and and the added visibility makes finding stuff a little easier. The last dive had us diving in a fog on the surface with HUGE Ice bergs that made it look like we were indeed diving above the artic circle.

If you didnt know from talking with me, I got a new camera for christmas. My old camera is still awesome and I will probably continue using it for some things but my new camera is amazing. I will have to post separately for that since there are a bunch of pictures that I took on the new years day dive and on an ice dive the following weekend. So far I have seven dives in for 2010... more to come for sure. I will do my best to keep from falling behind in my blogs.