Mostly Everything

Underwater with the Samsung Galaxy Note (by Jun Lao)

As water geeks, we tend to want to find creative ways of bringing our gadgets underwater. Take for instance the iPod nano underwater solution with H20 Audio. Yesterday, dive buddy (and awesome UW photographer) Jun Lao tagged me in a Facebook photo he took in Anilao of a submerged Samsung Galaxy Note made waterproof with an underwater bag from Jovic.

And I quote,

“galaxy note gone diving, no signal after 2 ft, touch screen doesnt work after 5ft, max 32ft using a php100 uw bag”

Thanks, Jun!


Underwater Prenup Photo Shoot

My friend and dive instructor, Jan Acosta, recently got married to his long time dive buddy + girlfriend Jules. And what better way to prepare for taking the plunge into marriage than actually taking a real plunge into an underwater prenup shoot for their wedding!

The bride and the groom are seasoned divers but we had to take double the precautions to make sure nothing went wrong. The shoot took weeks to prepare and a whole weekend to shoot:

Jan & Jules Take the Plunge from Jan Acosta on Vimeo.

  • Jan and Jules had two safety divers each from our regular dive group, who made sure that there was always a tank of air nearby. Underwater, the bride and the groom would take deep breaths from the regulator, remove the mask and hand these over to the safety divers and pose for the camera.
  • The shoot was done in the house reef of Dive and Trek Resort in Bauan, Batangas. For those unfamiliar, this dive site is known to most divers as “The Classroom” as it is usually the first point of entry of most divers into the world of SCUBA diving. We wanted to do the shoot in a place that was very familiar to all of us but had to be deep enough (around 30 feet) so that Wowie and Marie (the photographers) could play around more, especially with the props. I was one of the videographers.
  • As you’re more buoyant in salt water, (yes this was done in open water and not in a pool as you can see from the reef fish and corals) we had to weigh them both down with weights fastened into their clothes so that they sink.
  • I have no idea how Jules’ make up and hair were done but it took her hours to get everything fastened into place so that her hair behaved when she jumped into the water. I think there’s some sort of art to putting on make up for saltwater but I didn’t really try to understand how that’s done. EDIT: From Jules — My hair was actually done by Chie Clemente-Fernandez who braided some parts of my hair for the first and second shoots I think. The other shoots, I tried wearing a a headband, but there’s really no taming the waters–once you’re down there, you just have to position your face and body for the camera in such a way that the hair does not get in the way. Now, for make-up, Marie Lat was the expert! She brought her water proof sets, but I still got to retouch every dive. It was hardwork all around for every one, and the result was one heck of a great job, thanks guys!
  • The reef fish definitely played a part in the whole shoot as you can see from some of the shots. But it was funny how they would partake in the whole production as these fish are so used to being with people already.


If you’re interested in getting an important milestone done in this wet and wild fashion, check out STUDIO H20 on Facebook, a different kind of photography service for the water freaks.

Mostly Everything

There is signal underwater! Hands on with the Patima iPhone 4s UW Housing

UPDATE For a more affordable iPhone 4/4s casing, check out the iDive Site case for only PHP 5,999.00

Photo above: That’s me, doing extreme camwhoring! Shot by Boogs Rosales.

EDIT 3: Have a look at the new Patima housing for the GoPro HERO / HERO2

EDIT 2: Instead of hardware, iOS 5.1 users can download the i-Patima app that lets you use the camera underwater. DOWNLOAD IT HERE.

EDIT: Since the new iOS 5.1 update that changes the way users access the camera from the lock screen, Patima is releasing an adapter that will allow you to continue using the iPhone4s as intended underwater.

Some time ago I got word of a pretty little item that would amaze SCUBA divers and iPhone users. Made in Korea, the Patima underwater housing could withstand pressures up to 300 meters deep. That’s almost 1,000 feet and way way beyond recreational depths. Well I finally got the chance to try it out thanks to Jovic of Splash UW Imaging. Before I continue, note that I am not affiliated with Splash UW Imaging in any way nor do I get anything from the sales of this product.

Let’s begin!

Mostly Everything

Take your iPhone 4s underwater (up to 300 meters!!!) with Patima

Ed’s Note: Want to see the Samsung Galaxy Note underwater? Check it out!

As a guys who likes to take photos underwater, I tend to keep my choice of camera brands within the confines of the “1-Way Test” … which simply begs the question “Can I take it underwater?” So I’m more inclined to invest in photography equipment which you can wet. The geeky appeal of it all is trying to figure out how to keep electronics from staying dry at 100 ft below the surface and the concept is challenging. Well, we did it for an iPod, so what’s stopping us from taking the iPhone down?!

So when I got an iPhone 4s from SMART, I really had no intention to take it down. Well, I knew it could be technically done with a special consumer-rated case from Lifeproof (Howard did a review on it on Technoodling recently) and Gabe Mercado did give me a demonstration at 5ft deep in salt water.

But the question is, can you take the iPhone 4s down to recreational SCUBA depths of 60-120ft? Well, Patima’s new casing exclusively for the iPhone 4s allows you to do so. Not just into recreational depths … but up to 300 meters folks.

Exclusive for camera or video functions of the iPhone 4S
– Rated to 300meters, anti-moisture and anti-dust purposes
– Simple operation with 4 buttons
– Compact Size and light weight
– Material – CNC milled Aluminium Acetal, Stainless Steel
– Finishing – Anodized after Barrel, Sanding and coating
– Color – Silver
– Size: 185 x 70 x 40mm
– Weight – 400g on land
– Available controls: Rec Button, STOP button, Program Confirm Button, Camera/Camcorder mode Button and Power Button

PRICE: PHP 15,000.00 via Splash UW Imaging located at the 2nd Floor Greenhills Shopping Mall (across Krispy Kreme)

OK looking at the shots, I’m really wondering how exactly will you unlock the iPhone with the three buttons? The three buttons + home is obviously used for the camera, gallery and photo / video switch (again not sure how you’re going to switch). I’ll probably get an explanation how it works and hopefully a run-through. I don’t see any slots for strobes or video lights so you pretty much have to do a DIY config to get this thing working 100%. Nonetheless, I don’t think Patima designed this to be your primary underwater camera, but still. It delivers.

This Patima case doesn’t seem to be compatible with other iPhone models.

Mostly Everything

A Primer on Biodiversity — Please Come!

On Wednesdays, we dive with Manta Rays (Taken in Tubbataha, 2011)

“I was born a century too early. I’ll never travel to outer space.”

My greatest regret was something I had no control over. And that’s why I decided to take up SCUBA. In essence, it’s pretty much follows the same principle: you float around space and discover strange, new things that man wasn’t meant to see. Being underwater is the ultimate rebellion. Man isn’t supposed to be there. But we’re there. Swimming around. Nonchalantly.

With over 120 logged dives over the past two years I slowly got sucked into that deep underwater goldmine that most of us Filipinos have ignored for decades. If any hope for the country exists, it’s down there. It’s too rich to ignore and the sad part is, our by-products from the faraway cities are destroying it.

For those interested, there will be a huge symposium this August on the Philippines and biodiversity. Dr. Kent Carpenter director of the Marine Biodiversity Unit of the International Union for Conservation of Nature will be talking about the Philippines as the epicenter of biodiversity, and thus follows our country being potentially one of the biggest hotspots for adventure tourism in the world.

The title of the talk is rather long, but not long enough to beat a Carlos J. Caparas film title. “Scientific Discovery and the Urgent Need for Conservation at the Philippine Epicenter of Marine Biodiversity” will be held on Wednesday August 24 2011 at 6:00PM at the Intercontinental Hotel Grand Ballroom, Makati. Everyone is invited!

August 24 2011
6:00 PM
Intercontinental Hotel Grand Ballroom
RSVP Penelope Uy 0918.915.5045 / events (at) jewelmer (dot) com

Our NUDI group will be there as well as we’re installing an underwater photo exhibit to complement the theme of the symposium. If you want to learn more about biodiversity and economics, this is the rare chance to see it!

This event is sponsored by Jewelmer.