Optical Ocean Sales Trip Report - Dive into Lembeh Resort, Oct. 2016

We came, we saw, we took photos, and more and more photos of an amazing variety of small underwater critters at Lembeh Straits, Indonesia last October on the Optical Ocean Sales Photo Expedition there.
Lembeh is an area centered around the town of Bintung, at the north end of North Sulawesi Island. With 8,000’ deep drop-offs nearby, pumping huge amounts of plankton into the area, it harbors and fosters one of the highest bio-diversities of marine life found anywhere on the planet.

— By Margo Cavis

My first impression when seeing the Kraken 10,000 lumen Solar Flare Max underwater video light was how nicely crafted they are. The light is incredibly durable with metal construction and a strong glass dome for the LED lights that spreads the light underwater.

Divers and underwater photographers are being inundated with a dizzying array of new and different lights. Some of these have similar features like a single button for both mode and power, single lith-ion batteries instead of more reliable battery packs and chargers. Most less expensive LED arrays that have hotspots. In other words, buying lights strictly on the basis of lumens for dollars doesn’t always yield the best results.

When you're diving at 80’ and trying to remember how many pushes it takes to turn a light up, or if it’s double-press, or single-press-and-hold to switch it to red mode, it can be frustrating and time-consuming. A flooded light, or batteries and chargers that go bad can kill the light altogether.

Doug Taleski with many years of industry experience and founder of Kraken Sports, has seen them all. And decided to create his own line of high-quality Hydra Lights that are fully-featured and easy-to-use.

Over the years many customers have asked for some sort of combination of video light and strobe. With most new cameras also shooting excellent video, this need has increased. However mounting both types of lights at the same type is bulky and heavy.

Underwater photographers want to keep their rigs small and compact to swim with. It’s especially so in these days of limited baggage when traveling. When you add in extra batteries and chargers, lighting starts to take up significant space.

The Symbiosis Lighting System SS-2 and SS-1 are a well thought out implementation of the combination strobe/light idea. But they’ve taken it a long step farther by making the design modular with well-integrated controls and features.

Optical Ocean's Margo Cavis has finished up her Red Sea Aggressor Trip Video! We spent a week on this great liveaboard on the southern route to St. John's Reef.
We just received our first Nauticam NA-6300 housing for the Sony a6300 camera. We noticed quite a few refinements and small additions over their older NA-6000 housing that we thought we’d report on.
I recently had the opportunity to try out the Light & Motion Sola Video Pro 8000 Lights while diving in the Red Sea. These 8000 lumen video lights are very close in size to a good set of strobes – bigger than the other video lights I have used – but still fairly compact for an 8000 lumen light.
The last time I saw the Egyptian Pyramids was 18 years ago. A lot has changed, and a lot hasn’t, having already all ready lasted 5,000 years. One of the things that was new is the lack of tourists, mostly due to misplaced fear. Fear of different cultures, and fear of the unknown. Some is founded on media hype, and some is due to mistrust, but most of it is misplaced.

Olympus TG-4 Camera and Sea & Sea YS-03 Package Set Up

Congratulations on buying a great underwater compact camera package! We've written these instructions to help you get started.

We also have a review with photos that will show you some practical ideas for using it. Be sure to visit our Handbooks in the Resource Center as there are many free guides to help you get started with underwater photography, and understand techniques to improve your photos.

Ultra-wide fisheye lenses are the preferred wide angle lens underwater due to their close focusing ability, sharp corners and wide field of view. Divers can usually get very close to their subjects with them, filling the frame, eliminating water which makes their photos lack sharpness, color and definition.

But there is a drawback to fisheye lenses; when shooting the straight lines, commonly of a pier or wreck, or models or other similar subjects, optical distortion is introduced.