olsob, whale sharks


last week, i went to cebu and stayed at yoshi hirata’s resort in cebu (mactan) club paraiso / pcom dream. yoshi is a marine biologist who moved from tokyo to the philippines to start up his own dive operation. he is the #1 world premiere whale shark photographer (published by the likes of national geographic and BBC) and not only is he among the world’s best marine photographers, he is also a fantastic chef!  he arranged for us to dive with the resident whale sharks that frequent the shallow waters of oslob, 3 hours south of cebu. the following are some shots i got of these gentle giants. we encountered around 6 of them on 2 dives with the largest being around 10m (over 30 feet) long. i took these shots with the 5d mark iii in natural light with a nauticam NA-5DMIII underwater housing and ultra wide angle canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM lens. click the image for full size.







Ahoy! U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard in Hong Kong

U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard 1 U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard 2 U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard 3 U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard 4 U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard 5 U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard 6 U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard 7 U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard 8

The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) sailed into Victoria Harbor this week. Welcome Marines. An impressive array of rotor wing and V-TOL (vertical takeoff/landing) aircraft on board. The U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard was commissioned in 1998 and is based in Sasebo, Japan – not far from home.

Some interesting things to note:
– The U.S. flag flying at half mast because of the tragic Navy shipyard shooting that happened this past week in the United States.

– The colored “E”‘s painted on the port side of the bulwark – they are Command Excellence Awards.
Black “E” = Maritime Warfare Excellence Award
Red “E” = Engineering/Survivability Excellence Award
Green “E” = Command & Control Excellence Award
Green “H” = Health and Wellness (Medical) Excellence Award
Blue “E” = Logistics Management Excellence Award
Yellow “E” = Commander, Naval Surface Forces (CNSF) Ship Safety Award
Purple “E” = Efficiency Excellence Award
The hash marks underneath the award means they’ve won the same award multiple times over consecutive years.

– The folding wings of the V-22 Osprey’s sitting on the forward deck and one sitting on the ship’s aircraft elevator.

– The Marine Corp Harriers (4 of them) – the only vertical takeoff-landing fixed-wing aircraft – sitting on the stern deck.

Photos taken by myself from my flat in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Canon 5DMKIII. 19 Sept. 2013.

Fun with Fisheye

FISHEYE1 image Got my hands on Canon’s 8-15mm f/4 L fisheye lens and this was my first shot outside my window on a spectacularly clear Hong Kong afternoon. Pardon the reflection from my rooms’ mirrored windows. Another shot from my office over the North Pole. – Looking forward to taking this lens underwater on my next dives. Click the image for full resolution file. Canon 5D Mark III.

get a grip!

breaking out my kit for an upcoming trip to south africa for safari to shoot some wildlife! installed a new ‘vertical grip’ on the 5D mark II and it works great. the grip houses two battery packs which extends my already long battery life by double.  the camera body is much more comfortable to hold when shooting in vertical, ‘portrait’ mode. great build quality, strong, sturdy, no flex and integrates all the necessary controls for shooting on the go (AE  lock, dedicated AF button, exposure compensation control, etc.) it even has a dedicated power on/off switch to prevent accidentally pushing buttons on landscape shots.  it’s not as heavy as you think, but balances the camera out quite nicely esp. when using a longer zoom lens. if you’re serious about your 5DmkII…get a grip! (canon model #: BG-E6).