Housing - The SLR's way Beneath the Waves
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Pictures copyright ©1998.Michael Patrick Wong ®
in collaboration with leofoo®. MIR WEB Development Team;
Text & stories by: Jack on behalf of leofoo.
It was ten years ago, when Michael had his first taste at scuba diving in Queensland, Australia. Ever since then, he got glued onto the hobby. I always wonder what sort of equipments he was using to capture those stunning images underwater in his highly successful new book, "Malaysia, Beneath the Waves". In fact, that was how I got to know this dental surgeon from London.
I am not promoting his work here, as I have already done so in the Portfolio section in PIM. But rather interestingly are the equipments used by the underwater master for his assignments. And from here onwards the"wife, girlfriend and mistress" story begins.
First and strangely, I thought Michael uses Nikonos. No. He has only a Nikonos III but instead he prefers the more flexible 35mm SLRs with underwater housing. He uses mostly * Pentax LX and * Nikon F4. 6 Nikons and 5 Pentaxes in total and a wide array of Nikkors and SMC lenses ranging from 15mm ultrawides, Fisheyes to exotic 1000mm reflex. However, for some strange reasons, he has only one Nikonos III underwater camera. I initially thought that he must has been using the more convenient AF Nikonos RS. That is why I have been haunting him to tell me the 'trade secret' on what kind of housing he used for documenting the beauty of the underwater kingdom.
I managed to pin him down and had a good evening outing two weeks back while he was back to arrange for some promotion works with the local Malaysian Tourism Board. (Michael was born in Sarawak, Malaysia, migrated to UK ten years back, sometime in 1988, but his family is still living in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. This is why he has chosen the Malaysian waters around the Sabah for most of his dive trips). He told me (I could not tell whether he was serious or joking) that his wife thinks that he is keeping a mistress in Malaysia, because of the frequent trips back to Malaysia.
A mistress ? Indeed it was true. Hmmm.... let me start the mistress story from the housing.
Michael started underwater photography with the Pentax LX. Reputedly famed for its superb O-Ring technologies around the body construction. But since there wasn't any dedicated underwater housing available for the LX, some of his buddies introduced him to a group of underwater enthusiasts from Switzerland. These 'underwater fanatics' put their heads together "underwater" and custom made a raw prototype housing for the LX. Michael & I called the prototype - the wife.
The wife......no kidding.
She's the sworn lifetime companion. First love, dependable, ready to serve, un-offensive, tough and very forgiving(especially during rough waters). She is no super model with long legs and pretty face. But she has the inner beauty and strength. You can recondition and make custom changes of how she should be dressed when circumstances demand. Best of all, she never complains.
Michael could not find any fault with the third upgrade. And she was a sure companion when the going gets tough and the ocean gets rough. He will always prefer the 'Lady' to any other hardwares he owned.
When his first publication, "The Sipadan Island" went on sales, fame and fortune came crashing in. (Well, he said no because he owes me money, RM17-00 to be exact, for the roadside meal). Other offers came flowing in. That is why he was led to the convenience of AF technologies in SLRs. He was hooked by the Nikon F4...the other woman.
Michael's first extra-marital activity, the girlfriend (Didn't I told you his wife was right.)
Wow..the sexy looking one. This babe has enough legs to spare and charm to kill. Hi-tech and with all the enhanced technology. She also has a pair of custom made extended limbs to satisfy Michael's teenage fantasy. When fame gets to the head..... the man is always weak!
The man is weak indeed. Less than few months later, then came the mistress. The plutonium blonde with all the enhanced features (espesially the front portion which a lot more aerodynamic than the girlfriend) and a extremely curvy body to die for. Somehow, I really do suspect Michael is the No. 1 fan of the Baywatch series. And the best of all, the babe is custom tailor made for fisheye lens. The one that can do the 180 degrees position, underwater as well as on the shore! What can I say..... Michael drinks sometimes to keep his blood stream active for extended dives. But sometimes, totally drunk from fame and sexy looking objects, Errrr...
But at the end of the day, thank god that my good friend regain his senses. Somehow, after the alcohol and salt water drained out from his brain, Michael relishes that the first love is always the best. There is no replacement for the wife. The sworn love.
"My wife is the only, truly, everlasting love. Now and forever." Michael said. I am so glad that he's okay now. But that is excusable, after all he is a very man physically, earning Sterling Pound instead of the weaker Asian currency ..no wonder Sea and Sea offered him to test "dive" their equipment lately... Hope he has a stronger mental strength to resist these temptation at those remote islands in the South China Seas.
Whatever, to complete this episode, we "officially" introduce his formal & informal love affairs one at a time.
First, his wife...
* Hugyphot hasn't got any homepage yet (Michael told me, not a bad idea at all for my team to contact them, I think..). But if anyone of you manage to find any URL of theirs, mail me.
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Copyright ©1998 Michael Patrick Wong; Fun around by: leofoo®. MIR WEB Development Team * Credit: Edited text & stories by: Jack