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Curioso 01-23-2004 12:32 AM

Whales in Dominican Republic
Well, next March, I expect to go to the Dominican Republic. And I intend to include a tour in the Samana Bay where one can see whales...

Any advice from experimented shooters ? I fear few things (water, sea droplets, maritim atmosphere...) in fact and would need your advices...



Curioso 01-23-2004 12:35 AM

Re: Whales in Dominican Republic
I'm also concerned about the settings to use to capture correctly the best picture or to avoid wasting the framing. Any tip about this ?

Luko 01-23-2004 01:19 AM

Re: Whales in Dominican Republic

I cannot reply with specific regards to DR -as I've never been there- but only to photo care in wet or sea surroundings, being a keen diver and practising underwater photo.

You're right to worry, salty atmosphere is very damaging to cameras even though some are totally plastic made ; the only one I've ruined was a plastic P&S (I've flooded a SLR too but it's another story, given that you won't go UW, I suppose).
I don't know how the boats are but there are chances that they'll take you on flat boats (zodiac style) to get close to the whales. Suppose the zodiac gets the next wave with a slightly wrong angle, you get a bucket a sea water onto you and bang, your camera's dead. For the record, I've dived with a photographer who flooded his digital UW housing with only one spoonful of water : the result was that his digicam zoom got stuck and refused to work anymore...there's no need to soak a camera completely into sea water to screw it up, a little does the job too. :-(

How to prevent that :
- the complete option is to buy a UW housing, If you owned an Olympus or a A80 Canon, that would have been a 200USD expense, shopping on the net. That's still manageable if you foresee any future use. For a Coolpix 5700 I'm afraid it will be very expensive, i don't even know if ther's a housing available.
- a lighter option, the soft housing. While previous housing were hard camera cases, allowing your camera to dive safely down to 40 meters. Ewa Marine brand makes a few soft plastic housings that are more "waterproof" than diving quality : ie. you could take your camera for white water rafting but I wouldn't advise diving even 3 meters deep with your camera inside. I'd suggest this solution, which is indeed less expensive. The problem is that I don't know whether they 're making housings for your type of camera. If you leave in Paris, you can call either "Photo Denfert" or "Plongespace", both specialists in UW photo, for an advice then shop on the web (you should find all your items half price).

Curioso 04-13-2004 02:34 PM

Re: Whales in Dominican Republic
Your answers were really useful. It gave me a wide panorama about the subject and allow me to decide what I was ready to do and what I wasn't. I opted for a secured option and used the services of an experimented company in Samana with a double deck boat so as to avoid any problem.

It was a great experience to discover whales but quite disappointing from a picture point of view. I face the severe buffer limitations of my Coolpix. In this case, I understood that Reflex camera are far more efficient than bridges camera with low speed...

But thanks for the valuable tip. I keep on learning thanks to guys like you !

Have a good day !


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