GREAT NEW ThinkTank Products

Get the Turnstyle:

TurnStyle-10-Blue-Slate-1

CLICK HERE to BUY

TurnStyle-10-Blue-Slate-2

Carry your essential camera gear in the lightweight, body-conforming, medium TurnStyle 10. Designed for urbanite photographers, it’s ideal for a casual day of shooting. This body-conforming bag converts from a sling bag to a beltpack, enabling you to move and shoot freely while providing rapid access, flexibility and convenience.
The customizable interior enables you to configure the bag for each job, with designated pockets for a DSLR, one to three lenses, a small tablet and small accessories. Besides the tough, water-resistant fabric, a rain cover is included for heavy downpours.

Key Features:

Easy rotation for rapid access to gear and accessories
Converts from a sling bag to a beltpack for increased comfort and flexibility
Padded velour pocket fits a small tablet

Gear Profile:

Fits a standard DSLR with one to three lenses plus a small tablet. The front organizer pocket holds chargers, memory cards and other small accessories.

Examples:

Nikon D800 with 24-70 f/2.8 attached + 50mm f/1.4 hoods reversed
Canon 5DMIII with 50mm f/1.2 attached + 16 – 35mm f/2.8 hoods reversed

Technical Specifications:

Note that the product tapers significantly and dimensions are taken at largest point.

Interior Dimensions: 7.1” W x 12.6” H x 4.8” D (18 x 32 x 12.2 cm)
Exterior Dimensions: 8.3” W x 15.4” H x 5.2” D (21 x 39 x 13.2 cm)
Small tablet compartment: 6.3” x 8.7” x 0.4” (16 x 22 x 1 cm)
Maximum weight (with all accessories): 1.0lb (0.4kg)

Materials:
Exterior: All fabric exterior treated with a durable water resistant coating, plus fabric underside is coated with polyurethane for superior water resistance, YKK® RC Fuse (abrasion resistant) zippers, 420D velocity nylon, 250D shadow rip-stop nylon, 3D air mesh, Y-Buckle, double gate keeper, nylon webbing, 3-ply bonded nylon thread.

Interior: Removable high density closed cell foam dividers, 210D silver-toned nylon, polyurethane backed velex liner, Phthalate-free PVC (meets REACH standard) clear mesh pockets, 2x polyurethane coated 210T seam-sealed taffeta rain cover, Nylon binding tape, 3-ply bonded nylon thread.

No Rhetoric Warranty Policy

Posted in Airlines, Camera Travel Gear, Cameras, Conservation, DSLR Video, Indo-Pacific Destinations, Micronesia Destinations, Photography, Point and Shoot Cameras, Travel, Underwater Photography, Video, World Diving | Tagged , , | Comments Off on GREAT NEW ThinkTank Products

New Book Fundraiser

READ About Hidden Treasures… CLICK HERE!!guam_100mm_and_cu_ki_9aaf6a

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NEW!! Sunfish Identification Program

MolaPoster-lo-res

Pictured above: Asri the ocean sunfish

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I.D and Name Your Sunny
Asri the Sunfish

Story by James Michael
All photos copyright Tim Rock

In the mid-1990s, the phenomenon of ocean sunfish visiting the Indonesian islands of Bali and nearby Nusa Lembongan, Ceningan and Penida was largely a rumour. Occasionally spotted by surfers at Nusa Lembongan’s famous “Shipwreck Reef” break, they were thought to be were very large sharks. That is, until Aquaquest Micronesia TV Series producer Tim Rock, on his way back through Bali from filming in Komodo, tracked down an up-and-coming Bali-based dive operator from Western Australia, named Michael Cortenbach. Rock is also an author and having  authored Bali’s first diving guide book in the 1980s with TT Yan of Gloria Maris Dive Shop, already knew the quality and diversity of Bali’s diving better than most.  Rock expressed interest in doing a full TV show about Bali’s best dives and Cortenbach enthusiastically told Rock about Mola-mola (ocean sunfish).

lembongan_book044

Cortenbach also highlighted the recent discovery of  a world class Manta Ray Interaction by the now defunct Bali Dive Club in the same region and the fledgling reef restoration work of Biorock in Pemuteran North Bali (now recognised as the world’s most successful community managed Reef restoration project). Further enhanced by the draw of the USS Liberty submerged shipwreck in Tulamben, Bali, and Bali’s vibrant and colourful culture, it was not difficult for Rock to put a convincing case together to motivate Aquaquest to produce the first and, to this date only, TV segment that covered all of Bali’s best diving attractions. A crew of five travelled Bali for two weeks diving, shooting video and taking stills. This turned out to be the first time the Mola mola aggregation was captured for television. It lead to many other high profile presenters and productions seeking out Cortenbach and Bali Diving Academy to record this phenomena for Natural History and Adventure Travel segments.

This also lead to a collaboration and friendship that has spanned twenty years and countless editorial pieces by Rock that were pivotal in Bali’s ultimate recognition as a world class diving destination and cemented the Mola mola amongst the big 5 of charismatic megafauna, rocketing it to fame in the diving world.

Marine Biologist Tierney Thys

Marine Biologist Tierney Thys

Both Cortenbach and Rock fondly remember a week of diving culminating in an evening on one of Lembongan’s beaches surrounded by some of the world’s leading scientists such as Tierney Thys, on site to tag a Mola mola with a satellite tag,  film makers such as the BBC’s Peter Schoones shooting for Blue Planet and leaders of conservationist groups such as The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International, who were there to provide a platform for the protection of the area and unique opportunity to dive with these huge fish.

Marine Biologist Tierney Thys dives in Indonesian waters usinmg a special setup to satellite tag a molamola, or ocean sunfish, at Crystal Bay, Nusa Penida Island, Indonesia. This was the first time a deep water tag was deployed to monitor these rare fish

The energy, enthusiasm and excitement pouring from the lamp lit tables and infecting other visitors with the desire to listen to impromptu explanations and view ad-libbed slide shows from leaders in their fields, remains embedded in the memories of these mola pioneers. What transpired in the coming years with Cortenbach and Rock led to a series of television shows, books, magazine articles, scientific expeditions and exploratory trips mainly designed to find out more about seasonal visits to the reefs of Lembongan, Penida and Bali of Mola-molas.

sun0122

Another memorable moment in 2003 occurred when Rock was participating in creating a book about Bali’s beauty with a corps of international photographers. The book was to benefit the 2002 Bali bombing victims and reassure people that Bali was a safe and gentle place. On his last dive of a three-week shoot supported by Cortenbach and Bali Diving Academy, he was 30 meters down and nearing the end of his dive when he saw movement in the distance. He slowly approached and saw a host of fish including angelfish, wrasses and bannerfish all at a cleaning station preening a beautiful, large mola. He watched for a while and then captured our poster image. Rock has named that sunfish Asri for its beauty and harmony with nature. It is also the name of his granddaughter.

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Now, you too can name your Indonesian ocean sunfish through a new research project.

The photos will be used for scientific research, as part of a PhD project by marine biologist Marianne Nyegaard at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia. Identification of individuals from photos is well established for other marine mega fauna, such as whale sharks and manta rays, but has not previously been attempted for sunfish. Identifying individual Nusa Penida sunfish by their prominent skin patterns, Marianne hopes to estimate how many sunfish visit the island each season, how long they stay, and if the same individuals come back year after year.

Marianne will be based on Lembongan for the Molas some part of the 2013 Mola season. She will be hosted by the locally based Coral Triangle Center. She will employ various research methods in order to learn as much a possible about the Mola on Indonesia. In order to gather as much data as possible, Marianne is extending a photo appeal from new to old photos. Images, particularly those with digital data and time data, supported by a dive log that recognizes the location, depth and water temperature if recorded, can literally allow Marianne to research “back in time”. So if anyone has holiday shots of sunfish from previous years Marianne is very keen for a copy of these, along with any new photos to be taken in the upcoming sunfish season.

And of course Rock (see website) will be back in Bali sometime this season seeking to add to his already considerable collection of Mola mola images, ably supported by Cortenbach and Bali Diving Academy, who continue to bring this unique experience to divers and photographers alike.

For photo submission, please email your sunfish photos to:

MolaPhotos@outlook.com

Please send along with the date and time taken, approximate depth and dive site. And, if your Mola has not been spotted before, you get to name it so make sure you send along your favourite mola name!

All copyrights will be respected, and submitted photos will never be reproduced or circulated. They will be used for scientific research only. Nyegaard is hoping for worldwide submissions of sunfish taken anywhere in Indonesia, not only Bali. Hi resoluation images are preferred to make identifying the mola easier with the software she is using.

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Want to know more about Bali? Get this new e-book for IOS devices by Tim Rock & Simon Pridmore

Posted in Australia, Bali, Boats, Books, Cameras, Conservation, Guam, Indo-Pacific Destinations, Indonesia, Photography, Travel, Underwater Photography, Video, Western Australia, World Diving | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on NEW!! Sunfish Identification Program

NEW BALI Dive Guide E-Book

Here’s a preview of our new Bali Diving and Snorkeling Guide book. Available as an e-book:

Posted in Bali, Hotels, Indo-Pacific Destinations, Indonesia, Micronesia Destinations, Photography, Reviews, Travel, Underwater Housings, Underwater Photography, World Diving | Comments Off on NEW BALI Dive Guide E-Book

New Think Tank Deal

Free Laptop Bag:

Free Laptop Case

Posted in Belize, Bimini, Bahamas, Bonaire, Grand Cayman, Mozambique, South Africa, World Diving | Comments Off on New Think Tank Deal

Exploring Indo

We’re just back from West Papua on both Damai 1 and Damai 2. Here’s a look at what we found:

http://timrock.photoshelter.com/gallery/Indo-West-Papua/G00005IUPNsFitE0

We head back to Raja Ampat and Triton Bay next year. One space left!!!

http://www.guammicronesiadivetravel.com/travelblog1/?page_id=406″

Have a good read and let us know if you can come!!

TR

Posted in Aquatica, Conservation, Indo-Pacific Destinations, Indonesia, Photography, Travel, Underwater Photography, Video, World Diving | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Exploring Indo

ThinkTank Roller with Free Laptop Case

Just in time for summer travel, we are announcing a special offer for travelling photographers.  This one is a big deal!

When you order a ThinkTank Airport roller this month, you can add one of the Artificial Intelligence laptop sleeves ($59 value) to the order for FREE!!!!.

Click on this photo to get to ThinkTank’s DEAL!!!

Free Laptop Case

I love the ThinkTank equipment and I have used it for years. You can’t go wrong with these products.

Posted in Airlines, Camera Travel Gear, Cameras, DSLR Video, Photography, Point and Shoot Cameras, Travel, Underwater Housings, Underwater Photography, World Diving | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on ThinkTank Roller with Free Laptop Case

Using the Aquatica Close-up Kit with 100mm

OK, so now, as promised, I took the Aquatica Close-up Kit for a night dive. Armed with 2 Light and Motion Solas (one for the housing and one for the hand) that I got from Backscatter Photo, I proceeded to light up the reef. Using a Nikon D90 in an Aquatica Housing with Ikelite Strobes at 1/2 to 1/4 power, we scoured the area for critters.

First we found a marginated glossodoris of some sort (nudibranch) that had just finished laying eggs. In this series you can see the 100mm shots and then the details with the diopter. On Guam we don’t have nudis that have a lot of passengers although we do get ghost shrimp riding the bigger nudis sometimes. But I could see this CU +10 diopter really being handy in places like Indonesia where commensal shrimp ride the larger nudis.

Here are some more examples of the marine creature with the 100mm lens and then with the addition of the diopter. I had the +10 with me on this dive and the detail one can get is pretty amazing, especially for night when you can get close enough to shoot sleeping fish or get a nice, dark background to highlight detail. The depth-of-field, while limited at this magnification, can be used to create some nice visual effects as well. Here’s a selection:

And the highlight of the dive was when my friend Kim went to show me a small octopus. She couldn’t find it, but instead came up with three harlequinn shrimp, a rare sighting on Guam. One was actually so small I didn’t see it but it showed up in the background of shot of a larger juvenile. A beautiful sight on the reef. I did try a couple of shots of the mature shrimp with the clsoe-up +10 diopter and got an eyeball shot with a claw in the foreground. Crazy macro!

Read ABOUT THE AQUATICA CLOSE-UP KIT HERE.

Again, even at night, the kit was great to use. I had my Sola spotting light on 1 or 2 power, never full power, and was able to focus quickly on most subjects. A few flatworms with little in the way of a pattern dealt the focusing a fit at times, but that was more a function of the camera than the diopter set-up.

This kit is really making macro fun and easy. You can get close, closer, closest with ease.

To see more images from the entire 2 dives, an afternoon dive I did with the TOKINA 100MM MACRO LENS only and then this night dive, CLICK HERE.

Here’s a look at the Aquatica kit using a Sigma 50mm Macro:

CLICK HERE for the 50mm REVUE

CONTACT ME if you are interested in buying a kit.


Contact Tim:

[contact-form 3 “Tim Rock”]

Guam’s Amazing Mari…
By TIM ROCK

More about this new system:

This Close-Up kit is a new addition to the Aquatica system, which is arguably one of the most comprehensive in the industry, consisting of a macro port lens holder with +5 and +10 diopters lenses, these are water contact diopters and are made from high-quality achromatic dual elements BK-7 mineral glass, each lenses is treated with both a scratch resistant and anti reflection coating for maximum protection and brightness. Optical performance is maintained to the highest standard, providing a very flat plane of focus which is virtually free of color fringing. The Aquatica Close-Up lenses system is equipped with a quick mount, that method allows the mounting and removing of lenses underwater in just matters of seconds. Also found at the base of each of our underwater optics lenses is a 67mm thread mount, this popular thread size makes the Aquatica Close-Up lenses compatible with a wide variety of underwater housing system already on the market.

The dual elements (commonly known as doublets) are sealed inside an air space. This optical formula helps eliminate aberration and distortion, improving sharpness and maintaining the magnification of the original lens when submerged.

The Aquatica close lenses have true magnification value, when a close up lens is not air sealed, refraction will rob it of most of its magnification when immersed underwater. The Aquatica r +5 and +10 Close-Up lenses will retain their strength at all time. The doublet formula also guarantees improved performance over single element design.

Super macro is within your reach, with the +10 offering as much as 2.2:1 magnification using a standard 105mm Macro lens. At twice life size, imagine the possibility of having a radical point of view on your subject, showing details so small that the human eye cannot resolve normally!

This Close up lens holder will mount on any bayonet macro port ever made by Aquatica. It uses non aggressive fastener that will not scratch or damage the protective layer of anodizing on the port. Both the holder and lenses body are machined from the highest quality aluminum, every part is hand polished then anodized to military specifications, optic are assembled by hand and every single one critically inspected before leaving ours premises.

Mounting the close up lens is done via a unique press fit method, this makes for a quick and secure mounting. Both the +5 and +10 close-up lenses also have a standard 67mm thread incorporated in their design for added versatility.

Posted in Aquatica, Camera Travel Gear, Cameras, Guam, Indo-Pacific Destinations, Micronesia Destinations, Photography, Reviews, Travel, Underwater Housings, Underwater Photography, World Diving | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Using the Aquatica Close-up Kit with 100mm

Tokina 100mm for underwater photography

OK, I finally got everything together here. B&H sent me a new Tokina 100mm Macro lens, Backscatter sent me a mountable Sola light and a hand mount Sola light and the tides aligned.
Sooo, as promised, I set out for a favorite Guam dive site called GabGab Beach. On my first dive, I used the Aquatica D90 Housing with a couple of extension rings and the small flat port as this 100mm is reasonably priced but does not have internal focusing. I am pleased to report that the lens is quit fast and accurate to focus and images came out quite sharp.

Here is a selection shot with Ike 125 strobes in the late afternoon, so light wasn’t super bright. But shots came out well.

I also did a night dive shortly after and those shots can be seen with this lens and with the NEW Aquatica Close-up kit using the Plus 10 diopter.

To see a good number of the photos I took with both, CLICK HERE.

Here’s a look at the Aquatica kit using a Sigma 50mm Macro:

CLICK HERE for the 50mm REVUE

The super close and details stuff is obviously the +10 diopter.

In all, I am happy with the 100mm Tokina. It would be better if it had internal focusing but is a great lens at a price under $500.

Read about it in the next Blog entry.

Posted in Aquatica, Camera Travel Gear, Cameras, Guam, Indo-Pacific Destinations, Micronesia Destinations, Photography, Reviews, Travel, Underwater Housings, Underwater Photography, World Diving | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Tokina 100mm for underwater photography

New Guam & Palau in E-Book

Check out my BLURB site and see the new Guam and Palau e-book dive guides.

CLICK HERE for TIM’s BOOKSTORE

The Best of Micronesia
By TIM ROCK

Hard Coral Kingdoms
By Tim Rock

Truk Lagoon coming soon!

Posted in Airlines, Boats, Books, Guam, Hotels, Indo-Pacific Destinations, Micronesia Destinations, Palau, Photography, Rota, CNMI, Saipan, CNMI, Travel, World Diving, Yap | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Guam & Palau in E-Book