Monday, June 9, 2008

A Busy Axe Murderer Tours Weekend!

I'm going to have to start carrying a calendar with me to know when I have people going diving with me. It's been a bit crazy lately, especially considering I don't do this for a living. I'm a dive bum who loves sharing it with people and taking them along as a buddy, but it's not my day job, and frankly it's been keeping me pretty busy lately. Cherylynn Cabrera has some friends visiting and asked me if I could take Brian out diving while they were here. Of course I'm always happy to take someone out diving. I took Brian with Barry & Vaughan Wonenberg to Wing Beach Thursday afternoon to take advantage of the super low tide. Brian had brand new equipment to try out, and I had a brand new camera housing and strobe to play with, so it was party time underwater.This is Brian hovering above the top edge of the crevasse at Wing Beach. Barry & Vaughan were on this dive with us, they are up there as well. And they weren't the only ones on this dive. While I was in the bottom of the crevasse taking pictures of a couple lionfish that were down there, my old buddy George came up from behind me, swam right over the top of me, within a couple inches of me and then slithered into a hole right next to my head. I was blissfully unaware of the whole thing, but Barry was watching it all unfold from above. He thought it was pretty cool seeing George's whole body stretched out longer than I was. All the sudden I caught movement out of the corner of my eye, and this was what was waiting for me.I don't know if George was coming by to apologize for our last encounter, or if he was looking for another taste. But he did freak me out for about half a second, until all the sudden I realized I had my new camera housing and strobe, so then I just started snapping away again. I do realize that's how i got into trouble the last time, but I figured with the strobe on the camera now, I could always use it to keep some distance between George and I in the future. You have to admit, he is a good looking eel.So of course I had to do a little experimenting with my new strobe to see what kind of difference it would make. The bottom right hand corner is nicely lit up in this picture of the bubble coral, with no shadows from the lens housing. That is progress and is exactly what I was after. I've still got quite a bit to learn about when to use flash and the various settings for it, but all in all, I'd say it's a definite improvement.I was also happy with the way the new strobe brought out the blue of the water in this picture of a red lionfish in the cut. I've found that it's very easy to overpower the strobe and wash out the pictures, so I really need to have the settings right. There is going to be a definite learning curve with this camera, but I think I'm going to really like the end results. I suppose since I've talked so much about the new housing and strobe, that I should probably show you what they look like.Here is my new housing and strobe sitting on the ledge by my official chair at Oleai Beach Bar & Grill. And yes, just in case you didn't know, the corner table on the patio is officially my table on weekends for lunch, as I always go there between dives. It's even more regular than the Swallows returning to Capistrano. I've got a lot more Axe Murderer pictures and stories to post, but they'll have to wait for another day.