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Dive Photo Guide


Digital Underwater Photographer’s To-Do List, 2009
By Jason Heller, May 1, 2009 @ 02:00 PM (EST)

by John Ares

Our newest contributor, John Ares, illustrates the life of an underwater photographer these days. Divers are familiar with the term "task loading". Well, Underwater photographers (and videographers) put that to the test! The following was inspired by an e-mail from the Stock Artists Alliance...
  • Read emails
  • Answer top priority emails
  • Delete e-mails from last year to keep from reaching Mailbox capacity
  • Update email mailing list
  • Prioritize Social Networking e-mails:  Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter
  • Network on Facebook, LinkedIn,  and Twitter
  • Empty Spam folder
  • Read web forums
  • Post on web forums
  • Research the next vacation
  • Plan the next vacation
  • Research implications of importing in DNG format
  • Format images for the Web
  • Add new images to web site
  • Write new opinions on blog
  • Upload images to blog  
  • Keyword images
  • Caption images
  • Retouch photographs
  • Tried to determine why Metadata wasn’t uploaded properly
  • Retransmit
  • Retransmit again
  • Keyword on the website directly since the two transmissions still stripped your keywords (used Save-for-Web mode in Photoshop since default mode is “strip out the Metadata”)
  • Delete links to old Service
  • Write e-mail to old Service prohibiting deletion
  • Add new links to New website
  • Look up scientific name of animals in images
  • Update Dive log with Scientific names
  • Archive photographs
  • Find image that you promised to someone
  • Retouch image that you promised to someone 
  • Make prints people requested
  • Post images on ftp for download that you promised to someone
  • Try to Compress image to a PDF but the Utility wasn’t included in the Operating System Upgrade
  • Research File Compression
  • Research new available equipment
  • Find out why camera is not working properly
  • Order new spare strobe modeling lamp bulbs
  • Test new camera that just arrived
  • Learn how to use the new camera that just arrived
  • Load Software for New Camera
  • Use New Software for image editing, since Lightroom was just disabled because new Manufacturers proprietary format is incompatible with Lightroom.
  • Wait for Abode Programmers to re-engineer Photoshop and Lightroom to handle new Proprietary format conversions
  • Load Lightroom and Photoshop upgrades when available. 
  • Upgrade Operating System
  • Load fix for Photoshop Software to accommodate new Operating System
  • Load fix for Lightroom Software to accommodate new Operating System
  • Load fix for printer driver software to accommodate new Operating System
  • Load fix forpPlug-in Software to accommodate new Operating System
  • Load fix for new Operating system
  • Check sharpness of wide angle lens with new larger dome port
  • Check on status of housing sent for maintenance
  • Charge Strobe batteries
  • Update packing checklist with new batteries and equipment
  • Repair cameras and equipment
  • Sell old cameras and equipment on ebay
  • Buy second backup body on ebay for $500 for your now obsolete SLR used in the $2000 housing
  • Research latest airline regulations for carrying camera equipment
  • Buy lightweight bags to distribute load better in luggage
  • Buy Backpackers scale to balance luggage at airport ticket counter
  • Update new software on computer
  • Update new software on laptop
  • Learn new Photoshop techniques
  • Learn new web display gallery techniques
  • Learn new Lightroom functionality
  • Read about new computers you should buy
  • Read about new software you should buy
  • Fix broken computer
  • Buy more data storage
  • Rotate backup hard drive from safe deposit box
  • Update digital asset management system and backup software
  • Check diving equipment
  • Maintenance diving equipment
  • Fill tanks
  • Lube o-rings on camera housing 
  • Go diving
  • Relax and think creative thoughts
  • Take photographs



Fantasea FG7X II
Ikelite Housing for Nikon D500
I-DiveSite Venom 35s
SeaLife DC2000
Jackie Stone
May 2, 2009 11:50 AM
Jackie Stone wrote:
wow! There is more on this list than what I do, and I guess I need to start doing some of it!

I'll add one for us old film people - "Scan old slides"
john ares
May 2, 2009 10:22 PM
john ares wrote:
Hi jackiescuba,
I should add this. I spend three hours scanning old stuff this afternoon!
Karen Doody
May 3, 2009 5:50 PM
Karen Doody wrote:
A-Ha! Now that explains why I can never get anything accomplished!
Ellen Bedrosian
May 3, 2009 7:04 PM
Ellen Bedrosian wrote:
the last 3 are the most important...and the only ones I really like doing.
john ares
May 3, 2009 10:40 PM
john ares wrote:
This was the reason for the post. We pay a significant price for not having to pay for film and get the bonus of immediate feedback. "If you want Pictures, shoot film. If you want Work, shoot digital." I haven't shot film since 2003. Only sometimes do I miss the "good old days."
Thomas Ozanne
May 3, 2009 11:34 PM
Thomas Ozanne wrote:
Well, I work on a liveaboard for 6 months of the year. Here is a list from my perspective.

Dive. Another bloody dive. I want to stay in bed...
Take Photographs.
Take Photographs.
Take Photographs.
etc etc etc...
Edit Photographs.
Edit Photographs.
Edit Photographs.
etc etc etc...
Sell Photographs knowing you edited them too quickly. It's not like you'll ever see the customers again right?
Get back to land.
Research all the cool new software that has come out while you have been on the boat that would let you edit even faster with less attention for detail.
Realise you probably shouldn't mess with your set up because it works and if you mess it up you can't work.
Realise even if you wanted to you couldn't afford the new software anyway.
Read Dive Photo Guide and Wetpixel.
Be confused by CA and Corner softness in pool tests and why people care so very much.
Wish that you had time to take your set up in a pool and check if everything is "technically correct".
Think Sod it.
Get back on the boat.
Head 100's of km out to sea.
Set up your gear and realise that everything is slowly but surely corroding and melting and buttons are sticking and turning green.
Try to take picture with your pride and joy slowly dying in your arms.
Sell more pictures regardless of technical problems.
Scratch your head.
Watch the sunset.
Enjoy a beer.
Love your job.

Repeat and rinse...
Jason Heller
May 3, 2009 11:42 PM
Jason Heller wrote:
Nice one :)
Wendy McIlroy
May 15, 2009 9:02 PM
Wendy McIlroy wrote:
I agree with Reefdancer--not that the rest isn't in the picture, but when it comes down to it, the last 3-the dives and the memories of them-should rise to the top of the list when possible!
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