Last month’s macro haul on the Sony RX-100 Mark II

As much as I prefer shooting video on the ‘ol RX-100, macro photography has become a default posit in my dive schedule as of late. This is mostly because the dive sites I’ve been frequenting with Steve Tan are considered playgrounds for all things small. And really, there’s nothing more challenging than finding a shrimp that’s 1/10 the size of a needle in a haystack of anemone.

My current setup involves the RX-100 Mark II (no reason to upgrade to the Mark III) on the Nauticam housing. But this time, I left my +10 diopter at shore because Tim Ho lent me his +15 prototype. Speaking of Tim, Anilao Photo Hotel is the place to be if you want to improve your photography (Not a sponsored post!! I pay for my dives!). This was the first time my spotter actually gave me an actual tutorial underwater, showing me how to stabilize my shots and adjusting my strobe positions. This was exactly what I was looking for in a guide and Tim’s dive masters are also trained photographers, so they know how to operate a camera as much as — and even more as — you do.

Here are some of my shots:


This underwater video is really good. But there’s something this photographer isn’t telling you..

Like my click-bait title? I swear these types of headlines are annoying. So yeah the video is awesome. But what “I didn’t tell you” is that I didn’t use any artificial light for this. My only light source was the sun!

See what I did there? LOL.

Anyway, over the weekend, we got the Sony RX-100 Mark II wet! Yep, we bought a new camera system for underwater photography. Not that I’m totally ditching my old Canon 350D — but a circa 2006 camera w/ 5MP in it can be a bit frustrating to use. They say that the best camera is the camera you currently have, so I currently have a Sony DSC RX-100 Mark II, a follow up to 2012’s RX-100. I will do a full review of the camera out of water in a separate post.

Let’s watch!

UPDATE: Check out my RX-100 Mark II camera review

Mostly Everything

i-DiveSite Waterproof Case for iPhone 4/4s only PHP 5,999


Back up to a year ago and I reviewed the Patima iPhone 4/4s housing which set a diver back by around PHP 15,000.00. Today, LMK Commercial has brought in iDiveSite’s own SCUBA case for the iPhone and it is only a third of the cost and highly justifiable.

What’s comforting is that iDiveSite has provided a downloadable app that bypasses the ever-changing lock screen of the housing. Underwater, you can’t swipe to unlock.

Depth Rating: 50 meters
Controls: 3 Buttons and home button
Software: Dedicated App for housing
Functions: Switch between video and stills, activate sleep mode, activate any button
Lens Mount: M32 – ready for wide angle and macro wet lenses
Colors: White, black, green, orange, magenta and blue

In terms of build quality I really am not sure how the material holds up with all the pressure but since the iPhone case itself is small, it should be leak proof. I hope!


Address: Unit 11 2nd Floor Maga Centre, Paseo de Magallanes, San Antonio St., Brgy. Magallanes, 1232 Makati

From MRT EDSA Taft Station, take any jeepney and get off at Paseo de Magallanes. LMK is the white building with Dayrits and Union Bank on the ground floor. It is near Koi Village.

Mostly Everything

For my birthday, wifey got me a Light & Motion SOLA 500 Focus Light

For my 32nd birthday my wife gifted me a Light and Motion SOLA 500 SCUBA light. You really can’t go wrong with having more than enough lights underwater especially when the sun sets. Well that’s one use: in my current UW photography setup I have two YS-110a strobes that also have limited use asa real underwater flashlight. However, I was advised that keeping it on for long periods (i.e. more 5 minutes) might destroy the bulb as its main purpose is really a strobe / flash.


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.