Armina cf. semperi

Photographed by Ricky Argonza
Sabang Beach, Puerto Galera, Mindoro, Philippines
March 2009
Photo taken with Olympus M1030 SW Digital Camera

Armina cf. semperi (Berg, 1861)

We are going to wander off the beaten path a bit with this week's presentation, but hopefully the reader will find the piece informational from a photography point of view!

After a intense nine (9) days of nudibranch diving at Club Ocellaris, Anilao, Batangas in May of this year, Jerry Allen and I decided to hop the Batangas City Ferry and go over to Sabang Beach and reconnoiter the diving opportunities there. We actually didn't plan to do any diving there, just see what kind of deals might be available for our group after the May 2010 branching expedition to Batangas!

Upon arrival, we looked around for a room and found two in short time! As with the world economy, the business has slowed down even in the Puerto Galera area which depends on European divers to maintain the local economy. If you try to book online, most of the Puerto Galera resorts are asking for a hefty deposit up front. During the off season, I would just go over there and see what is available. What the heck, if you can't find anything, you can always catch the ferry back!

While walking around we ran into Ricky Argonza and Lito Viana at the Garden of Eden Dive Resort . Ricky is a manager for the Resort and Lito is it's chief U/W guide. BTW, having Lito as a guide might be reason alone to stay at Garden of Eden but that's the reader's decision. After discussing the comeback of the sand/sea grass area in front of the resort, we started talking about photography. Ricky who has just taken up u/w photography showed us some arminid shots he had recently taken out front of the resort! Having been wrapped in High Definition (HD) Video for the past three years, I've kind of lost track of developments in the point and shoot class of digital cameras. The Olympus M103 SW is "old" technology now but offers features that I never would have dreamed of, such as the inclusion of four preset underwater scene modes makes the Stylus 1030 SW perfect for taking photos while snorkeling or scuba diving. Although advertised as "water proof", Rick was shooting it in a housing supplied by Olympus as an added precaution. Ricky does not seem to need a slave strobe as the onboard strobe provides sufficient unshadowed light! Pretty amazing!

Speaking about what's happening in the field of digital photography, there is a new kid on the block and his name is Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR . This camera in addition to taking high resolution images also takes some pretty amazing high defintion video! I mean really amazing! Thanks to Mary Lynn Price, a preview of the video capability can be seen at podcasts . Select the top option, Episode 31. You will be truly amazed!

As fellow club member Pete Fowler of SDUPS observed some time ago, the technical specs of digital cameras and camcorders is really greying. With the introduction of the Canon camera, myself with several other videographers are really pondering the next move up! Digital SLR with HD capability or tradional camcorder with disk based or flash card HD capability?

I tell you folks, our technical options in the water just keep getting better and better!

Mike Miller
San Diego, Calif
July, 2009

Ricky, Jerry,and Lito

Picture taken in the restaurant area of the Garden of Eden Resort after a relaxing two hour confab talking about everything from photography, dive resort business, typhoon damage to Puerto Galera area, and when we were coming back!

Drop in sometime, I am sure they will have a deal for you!

From left to right, Terry Gosliner, Angle Valdes, Dave Behrens La Jolla, Calif.

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