Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dispatches from Djibouti #5: Separators week 1

What are the separators I can here you ask, and well you might, but for those involved with whale shark photo ID they are the key to making life simple! They are a photograph of anything non-whale shark that separates one sequence of images of a single individual shark from those of another... as whale sharks are in-water they tend to be of things that aren’t and so often provide an amusing (and often unflattering!) review of the activities during the week.

What better way to review the expedition... here’s week one:

Which all started out with a briefing on the schedule by David and to which Laetitia and Virginie listened with some degree of apparent apprehension, photo by Hussain.

Key to making everything work was synchronising everyone’s watch AND camera to the same time which turned out to be ‘Ciara time’ as she set up the lasers first of all, photo Hussain.

On the boats the weeks started calmly enough with people composing themselves somewhat for the between encounter separator shots, Virginie by Laetitia.

But as the sharks kept coming so things hotted up and between encounter sessions became somewhat more frenetic as people scrambled to give the recorders photo details before the next encounter started: Laetitia, Jeanette and Martin captured here by Hussain.

However, on both the boats the team leaders managed to maintain a certain degree of composure throughout the whole proceedings.... Ciara by Hussain and Abi by Michel.

And of course we got a fair few top-side shots of the photographers, as here ‘Mr. Gadget ‘Hussain is captured complete with his spy video camera mounted to the top of his SLR dome port, photo by Michel.

The first few evenings were leisurely affairs for some with picturesque sunsets at anchor of Arta, ideal for a between day separator of Virginie and Jeanette, by Hussain.

The evenings and nights were a time to get the data sorted and properly recorded and Abi, Ciara and David spent many a long hour in the ‘office’...

For others, as night fell the lights of the boat attracted visitors to feed on the plankton cloud that aggregated there on many evenings and gave hours of amusement to those prepared to stay and watch... crabs evading surface gulping whale sharks being a top attraction....

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