DEMA 2002 (Las Vegas) - Thursday, October 24, 2002
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What an amazing trip! A full digital equipment report is up as a feature. This page only follows my movements over the two days I attended the conference (which basically involved following Jim Watt, Jim Abernethy, and and Anna Abernethy around and having them introduce me to people).

Within the first two hours after walking into the Las Vegas Convention Center, I had met almost everyone in the Who's Who of underwater photographers and videographers. I took photographs of nearly everyone I met (of course).

Leave me a comment here, if you have something to say!

Notable memories (in no particular order):

  • Nobu crowd (Douglas Seifert, Mike McDowell, David Concannon, Dezso Molnar, Lonnie Hammargren, Peter Diamandis, Doug Seifert, and a gambler named Michael), referring to "subs" and "ships," where "ships" referred to space ships. They talked about working with James Cameron (getting him to the Titanic), visiting the Bismarck wreck, and visiting hydrothermal vents along the atlantic ridge. It was quite surreal. Guess who didn't belong? That's right! ME! :)
  • Photos of Anna Abernethy, in all of the Wakatobi literature -- everyone knows her!
  • David Fleetham's dolphin shot (there's a photo of it, below) -- I have a photo of the same mixed pod!
  • Andy Sallmon, in Sport Diver, page 3
  • Jim Abernethy and Jim Abernathy, meeting up (both in the dive business in Florida)
  • Rumors of a giant squid having been photographed
  • Meeting Ike Brigham, of Ikelite
  • Behind-the-scenes video of Howard Hall's new IMAX movie, on Fiji coral
  • Howard Hall and Brian Skerry book signing, at the Gates booth
  • Bouncing swimsuit models in the bizarre exhibit with the big tank
  • Bob Talbot - talk of new IMAX movies, story of famous "La Petite Baleine" whale photo (which was taken off of the back of Jim Watt's boat -- Jim was out of film)
  • Monique Fallows, who looks like Natalie Portman (both she and Chris were very, very nice)
  • Running into Eli Woolery, at the Light & Motion booth
  • Douglas Seifert, being himself (he is one funny guy)

People I met up with, and their web presences:

Jim and Anna Abernethy - Jim Abernethy's Scuba Adventures (go on their shark and dolphin trips! they're the best. :) I went to the bahamas with them in July).

Jim Watt - (the man who got me into all of this. I was on the Aggressor with him in Kona, and went to visit him last March).

Andy Sallmon - (Sea & Sea rep. and photographer)

Douglas Seifert (just won a big "Nature's Best" photo contest)

Steve Drogin - (big spread in "Nature's Best" not too long ago)

Brian Skerry - (big National Geographic photographer, co-authored latest book -- a re-release -- with Howard Hall)

Mark Conlin - (worked extensively with Howard Hall)

Mike McDowell - Deep Ocean Expeditions (runs trips to the Titanic, to Antarctica, into space, etc.)

Stuart Westmoreland

Paul "Doc" Ames - San Diego Shark Diving (blues + makos, and great white trips out of San Diego)

Howard and Michelle Hall - (IMAX film makers)

Bob Talbot - (everyone's seen his work!)

Jean-Pierre Botha - Marine Dynamics (Great Whites in South Africa)

Chris and Monique Fallows - African Shark Eco-Charters (Air Jaws! -- breaching Great White sharks)

Rob Lawrence - African Shark Eco-Charters (Air Jaws!)

Ike Brigham - Ikelite (the man, the myth)

Rod Klein -

John Ellerbrock - Gates Housings

Clay Wiseman -

Mauricio Handler -

David Haas

Merlin Phillips, Jr. - Chief Engineer, Advanced Design Engineering

Eli Woolery - Light & Motion (college buddy)

Peter Diamandis - President and CEO, Zero-G, and runs the X prize

Dr. Lonnie Hammargren - Neurosurgeon and Lieutenant Governor for State of Nevada (currently running for assemblyman. didn't get to talk to him, but he was at Nobu)

Dezso Molnar - Land speed record race team leader

David Concannon - deep sea and space exploration legal counsel (went to the Titanic 3 times)

Roger Roth - underwater videographer, founded and directs the underwater images photo/video competition

Jim Watt, Mike McDowell, Jim and Anna Abernethy, Douglas Seifert

Jim Watt, Steve Drogin, Julie Johnson, Mark Conlin, Jim Abernethy

Eating at DEMA: Jim Watt, Anna and Jim Abernethy, Douglas Seifert, Mike McDowell

Eric Cheng, with John Ellerbrock (owner of Gates Underwater Housings)

Anna Abernethy poses with David Fleetham's dolphin image, which was taken in the Bahamas off of the back of her boat. I took virtually the same image (was right next to Dave).

Jim Watt and Anna Abernethy pose in the abandoned Skin Diver Magazine booth.

Monique and Chris Fallows (African Shark Eco-Charters), with Anna Abernethy

Eric Cheng, with Merlin Phillips, Kr., Chief Engineer of Advanced Design Engineering (we were on the Kona Aggressor II, with Jim Watt)

Anna Abernethy and two Wakatobi boys

The Wakatobi boys wanted me to take a photo of their booth.

Anna Abernethy, checking out the photos of her (taken by Jim Watt) in the Wakatobi literature.

Mark Conlin, two people I didn't get to meet, and Michelle and Howard Hall

Douglas Seifert, Jim/Anna Abernethy, and Jean-Pierre Botha (who runs Marine Dynamics)

Jim Abernethy with Chris Fallows (of Air Jaws fame)

Jim Abernethy, with Monique and Chris Fallows

Rob Lawrence and Chris Fallows (of African Shark Eco-Charters), with Jim Abernethy (Bahamas Shark Diving) and Paul (Doc) Ames (of San Diego Shark Diving).

Rob Lawrence and Chris Fallows (of African Shark Eco-Charters), with Jim Abernethy (Bahamas Shark Diving) and Paul (Doc) Ames (of San Diego Shark Diving).

David Haas, Jim and Anna Abernethy, at dinner at the Chinese restaurant in the Hilton, where they ripped us off.

Jim Watt, Eric Cheng, Douglas Seifert

At dinner at the Chinese restaurant in the Hilton, where they ripped us off.

The Abernethys, showing that Vegas is all about money.

Roger Roth, David Haas, Jim Abernethy

Jim Abernethy and Brian Skerry, at the Benihana Lounge

Jim Watt, Anna and Jim Abernethy, at the Benihana Lounge

Douglas Seifert, Mauricio Handler, Jim Watt, Jim and Anna Abernethy, Brian Skerry

Douglas Seifert, Mike McDowell, Peter Diamandis, David Concannon, Dezso Molnar, at the Hard Rock Casino.

Anna Abernethy and Brenda Atkison, at the Brenda's Walker's Cay booth

The DEMA 2002 show floor

The Walker's Cay booth

Larry, Ikelite technical guru, with new wireless strobe power controller

Me, with an anonymous Ikelite employee (and their new Nikon D-100 housing prototype)

Eli Woolery (of Light and Motion), and Eric Cheng. We went to school together.

Andy Sallmon, at the Sea & Sea booth (with Nikon D-100 housing)

Andy Sallmon, Page 3 Boy, in the November/December 2002 Sport Diver issue

Jim Abernathy and Jim Abernethy!

Howard Hall and Brian Skerry, signing their book at the Gates Underwater Housings booth

Michelle Hall and Anna Abernethy

Brian Skerry, Howard Hall, Anna Abernethy, Michelle Hall, Douglas Seifert, Jim Abernethy, and someone I didn't meet

Brian Skerry, Howard and Michelle Hall, Anna Abernethy

Douglas Seifert, Brian Skerry, Eric Cheng, Howard Hall

Bob Talbot (signing posters at the PADI booth) and Jim Watt

Eric Cheng (that's me!)

The Talbots and Abernethys

In November of 2001, I was fortunate enough to be selected to provide live web coverage of a photo trip on the Kona Aggressor II, with Jim Watt and David Breitigam.

David and I decided to join forces, relaunching, as it exists in its current form. Wetpixel provides up-to-date news, reviews, features, and an 800 member strong community forum for underwater digital photographers. Join our community!