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Belated Destin/Panama City Report w. pics

Discussion in 'Deep Dixie Divers' started by Dave C, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. Dave C

    Dave C Manta Ray

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    Thanks for your comments!

    My camera is a Canon PowerShot A630 in a Canon housing. It's three years old, and was a middle-of-road point & shoot when I bought it. I've been quite happy with it, although I suppose it's time to consider an upgrade. Only problem is an upgrade means a bigger camera and bigger housing, which may not be a convenient size for the off-the-beach snorkeling that I typically do.

    The grass flats appear to occupy a continuous band along the north shore (bay side) of Shell Island. They peter out at depth of about 8 ft where the bottom of the bay slopes into deeper water. We anchored for most of the day off Spanish Shanty Pt., which is marked on NOAA charts, although I don't know if there is anything particularly special about this spot. Spanish Shanty Pt. is maybe 2 miles east of the Pass. I also rented a pontoon boat in PCB last year, and initially went much farther east based on the recommendation of the rental company. The water there turned out to have a murky 6 ft of visibility, which is unacceptable to me. We ended up moving to near Spanish Shanty Pt. and the vis. was much better, so that is where I went this year. In retrospect, it only makes sense that the closer you are to the pass, the better the visibility will be. Most of the time I was snorkeling in about 4 ft. of water.
     
  2. chris_b

    chris_b Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Pensacola, FL
    295
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    I have similar-age Canon point-and-shoot (I think it's an A510 or A610) and never seem to get mine to focus well underwater. Do you use the autofocus or set it manually and have a good awareness of your distance from the subject? I'd love to get pictures with the clarity of focus you have, but I'm pretty much a dummy when it comes to anything photographic. Any hints?

    Thanks!
     
  3. jviehe

    jviehe Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tallahassee, FL
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    Ok, i know that area. Always just dive the jetties, but will have to check that out.
     
  4. Dave C

    Dave C Manta Ray

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    Not sure how much help I can be since I only take snorkeling pics and you (presumably) are using the camera while scuba diving. I set the camera to AV mode and then set ISO to 100 to be sure I do not get noisy (i.e., grainy) photos. That is pretty much all I do when I am snorkeling. If you use strictly auto mode the camera may choose a high ISO and then the pics will be grainy. I have never used manual mode, so all my pics are autofocus. I have found that if you are taking macro photos (with the camera set to macro, i.e., the flower symbol on your screen), the camera has a very difficult time focusing unless both you and your subject are absolutley still. Macro photos of moving fish almost always turn out out-of-focus because the camera can't lock on to something to focus on. Even when the camera is not in macro mode, it is very important to be as still as you can be when you are taking a photo.

    Although I mostly use available light for my photos because I am in shallow water, I have gotton some reasonably good photos of fish in crevices with the camera's built-in flash. I have found macro photos with camera's flash to be difficult because usually none of the camera's 3 levels of flash output are appropriate. The lowest level of flash turns out too dark, the mid-level is too bright, and of course the high level just blows everything away.
     
  5. chris_b

    chris_b Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Pensacola, FL
    295
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    Actually that does help. My pictures are equally sucky when diving or snorkeling--they only seem to come out nice by chance. I often snorkel at the Destin Jetties after diving and, while the light conditions are obviously better shallower, my pics only rarely turn out as nice as yours. Next time I'm out with my camera I'll mess with the ISO setting. Thanks!
     
  6. fab50diver

    fab50diver Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: North Central Louisiana
    140
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    People have NO idea how much you can see while snorkeling. We've snorkeled all over Destin and St. Joe Bay and have seen things that many divers have never found on their own...seahorses, very curious manta rays (@ St. Andrews SP) and love to scallop in July. Love your pics!! Especially the one of the scallop! It's so hard to describe their blue "eyes" to anyone who hasn't seen one but you captured it perfectly!
     
  7. Puffer Fish

    Puffer Fish Captain Happy ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: Knoxville, TN
    8,072
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    Nice pictures... great to see some images from there...
     
  8. Puffer Fish

    Puffer Fish Captain Happy ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: Knoxville, TN
    8,072
    141
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    Also check if you have focus settings.. most allow for everything from spot to general area... general area is bad. If that is all you have, then see if you have half depress focus lock, and just lock on the bottom and then move back a bit till the object is in focus..

    Dave has made great use of his camera.
     

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