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Archive for November, 2011

Weekly Twitter Digest: 2011-11-28

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  • Crap. Had to check my uw camera backpack on SQ2, so I have a bare housing to lug around. #
  • New things: I was taught "Air Hair Lair" and "Whale Oil Beef Hooked" by Julian (a Brit). #
  • @ArneKuilman sound them out. :) #
  • "Welcome home, sir" at SFO is so much better than the "Whatchoo doin' here?" I have gotten at LAX. #
  • After re-activating my iPhone upon returning to the States, I had 85 app updates. Had to run overnight. #
  • Back (happily) to the grind… @ San Francisco Caltrain Station http://t.co/DiQXfW88 #
  • @Lytro wins PopSci's Innovation of the Year (again, featuring @schrep's cats) http://t.co/usMGoD7g #
  • Final Cut Pro X update is failing (so many problems, it's unbelievable). Solution: http://t.co/Vg75A6e7 #
  • I love little moments of beauty when I'm not expecting them. http://t.co/Kg6Mp0Mq #
  • @leyanlo Good idea! Will do, next time. #
  • @arnekuilman No way. Guides find them! #
  • Jetlag sucks. I passed out at around 9pm and then work up, wide-awake, at 11:30pm. #
  • I nearly missed the fall while I was gone @ Castro In MV http://t.co/vRUQfdVS #
  • Adobe is having a great sale for 1 week: 50% off Lightroom, Elements; big savings on Photoshop. http://t.co/vh6Tx2v3 #
  • This seems like it would be useful for us underwater photographers. Resist floods! :) http://t.co/8RLkpjej #
  • The TILT cooling stand for MBP. Would be a great thing to have in warm environments. http://t.co/OONACu1a #
  • Onmifocus will now retrieve iCloud reminders, which means Siri has just become much more useful for me! http://t.co/8HQZQtyk #
  • @Lytro makes TIME's Top 50 Best Inventions (and 5 Cool Inventions). Exciting!… #
  • "Brinicle" filmed in Antarctica. Incredible footage. http://t.co/7EQGFrrX #
  • The end of an era: The Yahoo! billboard comes down. – The San Francisco Egotist http://t.co/JY9WJWxY (via Instapaper) #
  • Two spaces after a period: Why you should never, ever do it. – Slate Magazine http://t.co/kPgBcdcB (via Instapaper) #
  • @blam Damn. that looks dangerous! Water is like concrete at those speeds. :) #
  • My buddy @andybiggs is running a big Black Friday sale at GuraGear. They are awesome camera bags. http://t.co/HVaWAGGq #
  • @Sonicnet DSL down and support unable to get it working. 1 of 2 Fusion lines dead & modem possibly dead. bad timing! #
  • @sonicnet Great support, though. David tried his best to get things working. #
  • @bizofdiving @indokerri Not surprising. Just search for #demashow and @dema_show and count number of tweets. No young people were there. #
  • @dane Nope. Machine plugged directly into modem (with manual ip settings) does not respond in bonded or non-bonded modes. #
  • @dane 1/2 speed worked for the last 11 days (2nd line has been down that long). Failed altogether starting yesterday. #
  • @dane Line 2 is down. Line 1 syncs (green light solid). But no connection through modem, at all. #
  • @dane AT&T dispatch scheduled for tomorrow. Sonic for Wed. Loaner modem ordered for $12 shipping. #
  • The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy | Naomi Wolf | Comment is free | http://t.co/KuhNAgyz http://t.co/dOp4YL5l (via Instapaper) #
  • At SF Ferry Building. There are festive musicians everywhere–two groups per block. #
  • The more you "were like," the more I want you to leave. #
  • FS: Motorola 9505a satellite phone with accessories and data kit. http://t.co/VVmrVMyj #
  • A Crash Course in Typography: The Basics of Type – Noupe http://t.co/cwPxSuyt (via Instapaper) #
  • FS: 2 x Fisheye FIX LED 1000 DX underwater video and focus lights http://t.co/7QazHfnB #
| link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 28, 2011 07:01:00

Spot the hairy shrimp (Phycocaris simulans)

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Photos taken at Sizzler off of Lembata, Indonesia. See the larger version here.

San Francisco | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Nov 23, 2011 02:49:52

Final Cut Pro X missing media problem

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I used Final Cut Pro X, Apple’s controversial new “professional” video editing program to cut the trip video during my latest Wetpixel expedition to Indonesia. These slideshows have become a tradition for guests and combine video, stills, and music into something people can take home to show their friends and family.

Using Final Cut Pro X was, for the most part, fantastic. It is really more like an “iMovie Pro” and includes one-click video stabilization, color balancing, and look filters, which were all features I used extensively. Aside from dealing with small bugs, I was able to produce a 30-minute video fairly easily, without being impeded by any critical issues. However, I am back home, and am now in the process of trying to migrate my slideshow project and event files to my main Mac Pro from my MacBook Pro. This is proving to be impossible. Two excellent threads provide work-arounds for reconnecting missing media, but upon following the instructions outlined within those threads, this is what happened:

  1. After copying events and projects to the Mac Pro, they showed up and opened in FCPx, but all of the media showed up as missing (red thumbnails).
  2. Per suggestions, I re-imported all of the media (annoying, since the files are spread out over many folders). The red missing media icons for videos and audio were all restored to color (no longer missing). This seemed like a good sign.
  3. Many JPGs in the media list were not successfully re-connected; instead, they were duplicated. I have hundreds of JPGs in the slideshow, which are now all “missing” and therefore, would need to be re-cut into the timeline.
  4. Soon after re-import, I noticed an import background task running. Upon closer inspection, I realized that FCPx was in the process of copying over all the newly imported media instead of honoring my request to leave the files in their original location (by leaving “Copy files to Final Cut Events folder” unchecked). The source media is hundreds of gigabytes. Duplicating them is not an option.
  5. Closing FCPx and re-opening it immediately causes the import process to re-spawn. If I cancel the process, the media simply does not show up in my events.

Put quite simply, there is no way to move a complicated project and its associated event media from one machine to another. The fragility of the media storage system in FCPx is shameful—it’s like the product was never tested in the real world.

I will, in this case, essentially lose this project and never be able to edit it again. I suppose I’ll archive the events and projects in case FCPx improves its media handling capabilities. One significant side effect: if I upgrade my machine or need to reinstall, I’ll effectively lose all of my FCPx projects. Until there is serious improvement in media management, I can’t see myself using Final Cut Pro X again.

San Francisco | link | trackb | 9 comments » | Nov 23, 2011 01:43:41

Weekly Twitter Digest: 2011-11-21

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  • Last night on the Damai II. Tomorrow, I'll have to wear shoes (well, flip flops) again after 25 days of being barefoot! #
  • Julie Edwards photographed about 95 species of nudibranchs on our trip to Indo(not counting the ones the rest of us got). #
  • Headed to the Labuanbajo airport for the 2-day trip home. Anyone in Bali want to meet up tonight? #
  • There is a carrier and several other warships off of Bali. Guess they're here for Obama? #
  • My Blackberry just crashed while I was trying to shut it down. I cannot wait to be back on iPhone! #
  • SQ staff in Bali sang La Bamba at the end of the jetway to send off passengers. #
| link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 21, 2011 07:01:00

Commensal Periclimenaeus storchi shrimp inside tunicate

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Commensal Periclimenaeus storchi shrimp inside tunicate, originally uploaded by echeng.

This bright green Periclimenaeus storchi shrimp lives inside a large Didemnum molle tunicate. I can’t find it any of the critter ID books I own, so maybe someone out there can help me get an ID. We did a night dive in Alor, and many of the Didemnum molle tunicates contained critters living inside of them (I saw 2 different shrimps and an amphipod). All of the critters fled from lights, and getting this picture took over half an hour of careful planning and execution. Photo by Eric Cheng, taken with Canon 7D, 100mm macro lens, Nauticam underwater housing, Light & Motion Sola 600 focus light, 2 x Ikelite DS-125 strobes.

Update: this shrimp has been identified as a Periclimenaeus storchi. It isn’t a true snapping shrimp.

More info on this shrimp:
- http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=612360
- http://www.chucksaddiction.com/car013.html

Indonesia | link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 15, 2011 14:57:57

Weekly Twitter Digest: 2011-11-07

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  • Headed to Beangabang in the morning. Read it and weep, @tonywu! :) #
  • @tonywu want to meet us there? :) #
  • Cor and I photographed cockatoo waspfish mating during the night dive tonight. It was awesome. #
  • I just finished the Steve Jobs biography–it's a fascinating look into the life of an incredible man. #
  • Wonder if any of the MacBook Pro designers tested on 240V AC. I get shocked constantly when plugged in (on all MBPs I've owned). #
  • Wishing a great #dema show to all my friends in attendance. #
  • Strong current and unstabilized SLR macro video do not mix well. #
  • 7 more Rhinopias in the last 2 dives. That makes 14 individuals in the past few days. Ridiculous! #
  • Saw 6 baby frogfish and a tiny ambon scorpionfish on the night dive tonight. This place is rockin'! #
  • I heard the @Wetpixel / DivePhotoGuide party at #dema was a lot of fun. I'm sad to have missed it! #
  • Ok, this is ridiculous. We've probably seen 20+ juvenile frogfish here at Wai Verang. They are feeding on shrimp. #
  • I'm posting pics from the Indonesia trip to my journal and Flickr: http://t.co/TwUUFNL7 and http://t.co/oevd4zhE #
  • Another dive, another 7 Rhinopias (4 of them, new). The count is now 18 in the last 7 days! #
  • Final Cut Pro X: import videos from Canon S95; crash. #fail #
  • En route to Komodo for the second half of the Wetpixel Indonesia 2011 expedition-25 hrs of travel… #
| link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 7, 2011 07:01:00

Tiny frogfish tries to eat an amphipod, Indonesia

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Tiny frogfish tries to eat an amphipod, Indonesia, originally uploaded by echeng.

A juvenile frogfish attempts to eat an amphipod and some unknown eggs. The amphipod survives the encounter after being rejected by the frogfish. See grains of sand, for scale. These animals are tiny! Photo taken with Canon 7D, Canon 100mm USM macro lens, INON macro diopter, Nauticam underwater housing, 2 x Ikelite DS-125 strobes. (Night dive at Sizzler; Wai Verang, Indonesia)

Wai Verang
November 4, 2011; 10:22pm

The known dive sites at Wai Verang ("wai" = water, and "verang" = crab"; known as "Wai Wowang" to Western dive folks) consist of a strip of muck along a fish processing plant with a fresh water outflow. The dive sites we’ve been doing are called Rhinorama and Sizzler; Rhinorama’s bottom is fully covered by new coral growth, and although it is most certainly full of Rhinopias (we found 3), it is difficult to spot anything in the chaotic backdrop. Sizzler is a slopey, sandy area with quite a few Rhinopias, but the real show was an army of juvenile frogfish (painted, clown, and Randall’s). During our two full days of diving at Wai Verang, we probably saw in excess of 20 juvenile frogfishes. Each frogfish claims a single rock or clump of Halimeda macro algae. The frogfishes here seem to be hunting and eating shrimp constantly; our group recorded single frogfishes consuming multiple shrimp during only a few minutes of observation. Jhoey and Agung, the dive guides aboard the Damai II, had never in their guiding careers seen anything like this.

Like the sandy slope at Beangabang, Wai Verang’s substrate is completely covered in crustacea at night. In addition, nearly every clump of rock and coral is home to a bunch of Caprella sp. skeleton shrimp. These skeleton shrimp are enormous, and completely fill the vertical frame of a Canon 100mm macro lens at close focus on a crop-sensor SLR.
Sent from mobile. Apologies for brevity/typos.

| link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 4, 2011 07:56:55

Rhinopias medley, Indonesia

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Rhinopias medley, Indonesia, originally uploaded by echeng.

It is difficult to upload pictures from our current anchorage just off of Wai Verang in Indonesia. Hopefully, this compilation of some of the Rhinopias scorpionfish I’ve photographed over the past few days will make it online. These pictures were taken between October 29 and November 3, 2011. We have seen about 14 different individual Rhinopias in the last 6 days. I have pictures of 10 individuals, and 9 are shown here. Pictures were taken with a Canon 7D in a Nauticam housing, and with a Lytro light field pre-release camera.
Sent from mobile. Apologies for brevity/typos.

| link | trackb | 1 comment » | Nov 4, 2011 07:55:58

Beangabang, Take 2

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Beangabang, Take 2, originally uploaded by echeng.

November 1, 2011: For critter diversity, there is a certain magic to the combination of a dark sand bottom and a fresh water outlet (in this case, a hot spring). I dove Beangabang for the first time in April of 2009, and after 2.5 years of planning, we’re back, diving its mucky waters again. The water is much colder this time around, and the village here looks completely different. Last time, the entire island was green; this time, the shore is devoid of green (we’re here exactly 6 months off from when we originally visited).

The night dive this evening was incredible. There were octopi *everywhere*. Each diver probably found a dozen octopi on their own; most were of the long-arm variety, but there were quite a few coconut octopi (Amphioctopus marginatus) and poison ocellate octopi (Amphioctopus siamensis) as well. Two coconut octopi were mating (shown in this post).

The octopi were the main subjects for the dive, but the sandy bottom was literally crawling with life. At all times, thousands of crustacean eyes reflected the light from our dive lights—a thousand pinpoints of light blanketing the dark slope. In addition to the sea of crustaceans blanketing the sand, tiny little dragonets and scorpionfish flitted about. The entire substrate was in motion!
Sent from mobile. Apologies for brevity/typos.

| link | trackb | no comments » | Nov 3, 2011 07:11:26

Insane fish fry upwelling, Alor, Indonesia

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Insane fish fry upwelling, Alor, Indonesia, originally uploaded by echeng.

October 31, 2011; 5:04pm – I’ve just surfaced from one of the most incredible dives of my life. We’ve been diving in the sound between Alor and Pura for the past few days, and the water has been rich with the critter life for which this area in Indonesia is well known. It has, however, been unusually cold—the coldest any of us have ever experienced while diving in Indonesia—and during one dive yesterday, our computers reported water temperatures of 15ºC (59ºF)! This is totally unheard of in this part of Indonesia.

Today’s diving started out rather typically, with two productive critter dives. During one dive, we saw and photographed five different Rhinopias sp. scorpionfish. Three of them were new individuals, which means that the dive site, named "Mucky Mosque" for the mosque it is located in front of, is home to at least seven individual rhinopias (rather extraordinary for a single site). We decided to go back to a site called "Slugfest" for the third dive of the day. At the site are two pregnant xeno crabs (Xenocarcinus tuberculatus) and dozens of species of nudibranchs and other pretty sea slugs. About 45 minutes into the dive, photographer Julian Cohen and I were at around 85′ engrossed in photographing one of the xeno crabs. Cold water had seeped up from the depths earlier in the dive, and there was a noticeable thermocline. Suddenly, we noticed a huge, milky, white cloud ascending from the deep. In no time at all, the white cloud enveloped us, and we saw that the gigantic formation was comprised of million—if not billions—of tiny fish fry. The fish cloud completely covered the reef, and vertically-blessed corals (like long wire corals) jutted outed of the milky mass like tall trees emerging from fog. As the giant school of fry hit the shallow reef, it changed formation, branching out into hundreds of rivulets, each snaking organically around any coral formations in the way. Tentacle movements were not unlike the water creature from the movie, "Abyss." With so much food in the water, reef denizens went berserk. Fish by the hundreds shot out into the water column, gulping down the little fry in a frenzy of feeding. But there were nowhere near enough predators to affect the overall population.

Photographer Julie Edwards was confused. "Nothing was eating them! I was expecting a whale shark to show up."

Indeed, the bulk of the huge mass of fry simply blanketed the reef in a virtual atmosphere of baby fish bodies. Unfortunately, all of us photographers had entered the water expecting to photograph tiny (individual) marine critters, and had configured our cameras as macro rigs. Since we couldn’t take any pictures, we just sort of floated around, gawking in disbelief at the strange marine spectacle. A guide was carrying my 3D GoPro setup. I tracked him down in order to retrieve the camera, and captured some basic footage of the scene. The footage I captured pales in comparison with what we actually saw, but I was glad that I was at least able to capture some of it. I’ll upload it when I return from Indonesia.

| link | trackb | 1 comment » | Nov 2, 2011 05:36:45
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