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Ellen Muller06-Feb-2018 05:20
That’s hard to answer. You would have to let me know a couple weeks before you arrive so I can hunt for some.
David 05-Feb-2018 07:14
Hi Ellen:

If we came to Bonair and hired you, what is the liklihood that we could find a Gaudy to photograph?

We've been looking for the little guys for years and only found one so far.

Ellen Muller02-Feb-2018 16:57
You can see Hamlets spawning at almost any dive site just before sunset.
Cathy lewis 02-Feb-2018 13:55
Hi Ellen, love your photos, and great to see so many excellent animal behaviour shots. This is our first visit to Bonaire - can you recommend a good site/time to see hamlets spawning? Thanks!
Ellen Muller23-Jan-2018 16:38
Tessa, I sent you an email.
Ellen Muller27-May-2017 18:14
Thank you Kate! It was nice to meet you, as well!
Kate Bond 27-May-2017 16:17
It was so nice to meet you at the Carib Inn and get a calendar. I've spent many hours just scrolling through your awesome photos and it is the next best thing to being there myself.
Kate Bond
Norbert Uhlhaas05-Oct-2015 06:37
Hi Ellen,
thanks for your fantastic underwater photos. Perhaps you like to visit my website with birds:
Ellen Muller22-Apr-2014 16:42
Gail, I sent you an email.
Thanks, Claire and Carlos.
Gail Currie 21-Apr-2014 12:25
I was directed to you by a member of Bonaire Talk when I asked for opinions on the Canon G15 or G16. I am upgrading from my G10 which has provided me a lot of beautiful u/w shots. I see you use the G15, are you aware of any differences between the G15 & G16? With my G10 I had 2 custom settings one for wide angle and one for macro so I could easily switch back and forth. Do both of these cameras still provide custom settings? I did that the G15 does not provide the different shooting modes. I believe that I used the u/w mode as part of my custom setting for at least macro. Any help you can give me is definitely appreciated. My email address is We will be returning to Bonaire on 5/23 for what is, I believe, our 13th year in a row!
Claire 15-Apr-2014 04:10
Hi Ellen,
I snorkel around Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne, Australia, and know how hard is to get a great underwater shot. Your images are the best I have ever seen! Thank you for sharing them :)
Carlos Estape 27-Nov-2013 23:40
I found your site through Anna DeLoach and I'm wowed and inspired by your images Ellen. Looks like I'm going to have to go back to Bonaire in the hopes of finding many of the species you captured in your images like the Broadband Moray and Brotula to name a few.
Ellen Muller18-Oct-2013 16:02
Hi Laura, I use the Canon housing although I am now using a G15. My first Canon housing for the G12 was fine and I used it for over 300 dives but when I replaced it with a new one the housing leaked on the very first dive. Also tried a second new one that leaked, as well. :-(
Laura Kushner 18-Oct-2013 10:21
Fabulous stuff. I am a frequent visitor to Bonaire and your work has inspired me to go slower and look smaller. I too use a G12. I would be curios to know what housing you use?
Guest 29-Sep-2013 03:54
Hi Ellen,

I got to go out diving in Bonaire last week. You were out diving and photographing and we had to look you up just for how long you were out there... We were gonna come looking for you when we heard there was a diver in the water for so long til we were casually told, "she's like a fish." The next day we talked to someone who knows you and they told us who you are, so we googled you. Imagine the surprise when we saw your work. These photos are absolutely incredible!!! Your love for sharing marine life and appreciation for these critters is even better. I have 6 kids who just spent hours combing through your galleries, and they are now quite intrigued with diving as well. You have a gift, and we love that you share it!
Denise Sanders 29-Apr-2013 03:06
These images are spectacular! I find myself intrigued with the idea of playing around with them as a painter. Would you mind if I used some of these as painting reference in the future?
Ellen Muller21-Jan-2013 19:08
Hi Georges,
I don’t use an external strobe. I dive in the late afternoon and at night so not much ambient light to deal with. It looks like you are doing a great job with your G12. I checked some of your underwater photos on Facebook ;-)
Guest 08-Jan-2013 15:05
Ellen Muller07-Jan-2013 14:17
Hi Vladimir,
There don't seem to be a lot of Frogfish around right now so that makes it even harder to find them. I would recommend hiring a guide for at least one dive and explain that you want to see a Frogfish. My favorite guide is Ebby Jules. His telephone number is 526-7974. Good luck!
Vladimir Dinets 07-Jan-2013 02:42
Dear Ellen,
My wife and I have been admiring your work for a long time. I am a zoologist and she is an amateur underwater photographer. We are on Bonaire now for the second time, but I guess it would take a lot more trips before our best photos get anywhere near your level :-) We've been trying hard to find frogfishes, but haven't so far (I know they are difficult to spot, but we already found a lot of other well-camoughlaged stuff). Could you perhaps share some tips?
Thank you!
Ellen Muller22-Jul-2012 20:33
Hi Giancarlo, I used the internal flash.
mntlblok05-Sep-2011 21:11 A Black Brotula was just posted in a photo contest, so my quick research turned up your photo. Holy smokes. Considering that it is supposed to be rarely seen out in the open, that is just an awesome shot! :-)
Guest 17-Aug-2011 17:02
I meant to tell you I especially appreciate the way most of your subjects are identified. I not only get to enjoy the picture, but learn the creatures as well. It's a great help. I didn't know there so many types, for example, of blennies, or anenome, etc. Amazing. Will be in Bonaire for a week soon. It's been 2 years since I've been, and I can't wait. I'll be looking a lot more carefully this time, thanks to you!
Ellen Muller17-Aug-2011 15:21
Hi Tina, thanks for the compliments! I use close-up lenses which means I have to get fairly close to my subjects. I dive the same dive site multiple times so I get to know the reef residents very well. I also use a magnifying glass to spot the tinier creatures.
Tina Oberle 16-Aug-2011 14:09
Ellen, YOur photos keep me in awe. I visit frequently. You are especially creative with your photo compositions. Amazing contrasts, and colors and textures. They are truly works of art, using living subject matter. I love diving in Bonaire, for the underwater beauty. You allow me to see things I can not see on my own. Do you rely on zoom lenses to keep from having to get too close and spook your subjects? How in the world to you spot creatures like you do? YOu certainly are gifted. Thank you for sharing your talents with us.
Ellen Muller15-Jul-2011 16:09
Hi Heidi,
Of the thirteen times I have witnessed frogfish spawning, only six were close to the date of the full moon (within one week) and none spawned on the actual date of the full moon.
Heidi Thoricht 15-Jul-2011 00:32
Hi Ellen,

Great photos! Love the frogfish especially. You mention that you have witnessed them spawning 13 times and it was always at night. Do you know if it was also around the time of full moon?

Ellen Muller07-Jun-2011 02:41
Hi Rob,
Check here for some settings...
Rob Morgan 06-Jun-2011 00:22
Great galleries! I'm heading to Bonaire once again with my 5050zoom that I've had for long time. I'm just an amature so I'm looking for any tips on settings, I usually get over exposure on the sand.
Ellen Muller12-Apr-2011 15:55
Thanks, Dörte!
Dorte 12-Apr-2011 05:08
I am still in awe after looking at the most amazing uw pictures ever...!! Thank you for sharing them.
John Roach 21-Mar-2011 00:40
I have photos of the SAID shrimp if you have an Email I will send you a copy if it would help to see it.
Thanks again
John Roach
John Roach 21-Mar-2011 00:36
Hi Ellen, Your UW photos are wonderful but your fish / creature knowledge is first rate, too. I am looking to identify a small corkscrew anemone shrimp. Not a pederson, and not a snapping, it is about 1/2 inch long max, white body with a solid red stripe down it's length, a bulbous white head with a darker red or deep brown strip on the head? Would you know what this is?

Thanks John Roach
Luc Poppelaars 26-Aug-2010 19:17
Ellen super great photo's that you have !! Congrats !
Specialy the gallerie on zenfolio is TOP girl !!
Ellen Muller17-May-2010 16:25
Hi Eduard,
I have used an Inon UCL-165, an Inon UCL-330 and a UN PCU-01 with the G10. The PCU-01 is no longer available and I don't recommend the newer PCU-02. You might also try the ReefNet Subsees made in both +5 and +10 versions, very high quality lenses. I have never tried the Epoque lenses, so can't comment on them.
Eduard 17-May-2010 13:11
Dear Ellen, you have great images on web.. specially I found some macro images in I would like to ask you some detail because you are experienced: what type of macro lenses is best for set canon G10 + ikelite housing (2xflash inon).. I use already WD-40 wide angle lense, but when I tried to do some macro without lense, the result was not satisfying me.. so I plan to buy the new ikelite adapter and then macro lenses epogue or inon ....pls advise what kind is most usefull ..thank you ..with best regards Eduard
Ron and Nancy 15-Mar-2010 01:26
What a brilliant gallery. We met you several years ago and we call you Ms. Pennsylvania. Came across your gallery last week and we are sharing it with several friends. We are coming to Bonaire in April and hope to see you out diving or on the shore. Thanks !
Cydney 09-Feb-2010 16:12
WOW, What beautiful galleries, Thanks for sharing. Luckily I came across your site trying to find out if Salt Pier or Town Pier is open for diving. Our family is going in March. My husband and I have not been in 7 years! Way too long. We took a brief hiatus- 5 children! The youngest just got certified last weekend so we are off. It was wonderful to show your fantastic pictures to the boys so they have an idea how gorgeous it is going to be. We have several books, including the fish, creature, and coral id books, but your photos blow them away!! Thank-you.
Guest 07-Feb-2010 09:13
It's a great pleasure to dive with you Ellen.There's too much beautiful pictures in your galleries to write each time a comment.Great work.
Stuart Wynne 02-Nov-2009 20:00
Hi Ellen,

I have been wanting to email you about using a couple of your images in a local publication here in Anguilla, but have been unable to locate an email address for you. Please email me if this is of interest to you and we can discuss the matter further.
Gini 25-Oct-2009 18:17
Congratulations Ellen on your discovery and subsequent namesake nudibranch! Very exciting for you. I love to come and browse through your photos.
Antoine 17-Oct-2009 09:24
Hi Ellen, I would like to register the new Trapania species on and would like permission to use the photographs in the listing. MyDiveAlbum is a site where you can log your dives, register species and dive sites onlline. You can also create events and clubs , dive albums and more
Ellen Muller30-Sep-2009 17:23
Hi Zsolt,
If you are staying at one of the many waterfront hotels, all of their house reefs are easy access and very good for night diving.
Zolt Orban 30-Sep-2009 01:47
Congratulations to the very nice gallery.
I would like to ask a question regarding night dives on Bonaire: which dive sites on do you find diver-friendly and most prolific for critters?
Ellen Muller22-Aug-2009 15:11
Hi Anne,

If I had to buy a camera now, I think the new Canon S90 looks like a good choice for underwater. I am not totally thrilled with either of the cameras I have now.
Anne DuPont, Delray Beach, FL 21-Aug-2009 14:41
Hi Ellen,
So glad you are back in the water. You continue to blow me away with your outstanding photography. Which camera do you like best? How do you get such awesome photos without an external strobe? Maybe next year we will be able to come back. Anne
TomC 19-Aug-2009 17:46

Great - thanks for the info.

Ellen Muller19-Aug-2009 13:50
Hi Tom,

What camera do you use?
Canon G10, Olympus SP 320
Close Up Lenses
Inon UCL-165, UN PCU-01
What strobe(s)
Raw or Jpeg?
Auto or Manual camera settings?
Post processing software?
Adobe Photoshop Elements 4

Also, check out Brian Mayes' photos taken with a Canon G9 and no external strobe.
TomC 18-Aug-2009 21:39
Hi Ellen,
A friend suggested that I visit your galleries - they are quite impressive. I am associated with an u/w photography club; our members range from those with DSLR systems + all the works to members with Compact Digital systems without all the extras. From looking through your galleries, I am concluding that you are using a compact digital camera. If you don't mind, please respond to the following inquiries:
What camera do you use?
What strobe(s)
Raw or Jpeg?
Auto or Manual camera settings?
Post processing software?

If you are indeed using a compact digital (canon g-9?)camera, I intend to list a link to your galleries in an upcoming newsletter as examples of fantastic u/w photos that can be taken with a CD camera. My topic would be something like "It's the photographer, not the Equipment".

Thanks for sharing your photos - they are truly great (how in the world did you happen to get the Christmas Tree Worm spawning?).

Tom - HUPS
Betty Pierce 20-Jul-2009 17:07
Incredible! Absolutely stunning! You are an inspiration to us all. Imagination unbounded.
richie 08-Jul-2009 03:49
Hello Ellen,

I had the honor of meeting Benny a couple of weeks ago who talks very highly of you and your photography.. As an amature photographer he put me on your website and have truly enjoyed it.. I am still using a point and shoot but after this last trip I have already ordered a Nikon D90 with all the extras.. I left a disc with Benny and he said he was going to show it to you .. Maybe on my next visit we can meet up . When you see Benny let him know Richie left you a message and tell him HI..
Kay Patin 13-Jan-2009 02:09
Hi Ellen:
It's been a long time since we chatted. Hope all is well with you and the family. Your photos as always are stunning.
I am waiting for you to publish a book with all of them. Hope to be back on Bonaire sometime in the future.
Take care and tell Erwin hello.
Janine 26-Nov-2008 18:43
Hi Ellen:

I cam across your site while doing an adoption search for my husbands biologial mother, a "Ms. Muller" who enjoyed art. She was born in New York in 1929-1930 and gave him up for adoption in Los Angeles, CA in 1961. Your work is absolutely breathtaking. Your site and the guestbook comments are a testiment to your talent.
Ellen Muller12-Aug-2008 19:49
Hi Denise,

It was great to meet you and Teddy! I was supposed to send you an e-mail with the story...did you find it?;action=display;threadid=24659;start=0

Best wishes,
Denise Kacavas 10-Aug-2008 20:39
Hi Ellen, I really enjoy coming back again and again to look at your amazing photos. It was very nice, and such a surprise, to meet you recently after our night dive at Something Special, and to talk wbout your tiny frog fish finds. Enjoy every bubble! Denise
Ellen Muller13-Jul-2008 19:21
Hi Vedran,

Which Triton's Trumpet image are you interested in using?

Penny 20-Feb-2008 12:03
Simply amazing photos! I doubt I've ever seen any that remind me how much marine creatures are truly alive and that what we see as divers are just a mere glimpse of their existence. All that expression in just static images! Bravo!
Peter Oliveira 05-Feb-2008 02:13
Hi Ellen,
Your photos are excellent, thank you so much for posting them. I trully enjoyed viewing them.

Thank you
Ellen Muller14-Oct-2007 19:28
Hi Ms. Cotter,

Yes, you have my permission to let your student use my squid photos for in-school projects. The more students that are fascinated by marine life, the better!

Guest 20-Jun-2007 19:06
Your photos have left an impression on me that can't be described by words.
Ellen Muller06-Jun-2007 17:43
Hi Attaya, Here is a homemade solution for the Canon G7, WP-DC11 that should work for the WP-DC8, as well.
Mine was made with the port ring from an old PT-015 housing.
There are also two commercial products available..I haven't tried either of them..
I e-mailed to ask if the diffuser can still be attached to the WP-DC8 when using the Dyron adapter but never received an answer.
Guest 06-Jun-2007 08:09
Hi Ellen,
Your pictures were took by Canon A640 are very nice. But I wonder how you connect close up lens to WP-DC8 housing? I also have A640 with housing too. Please recommend me. Thanks.
J Ponces02-Jun-2007 19:26
Dear Ellen,
Your pictures are getting better and better....
How I miss Bonaire.....
Guest 17-May-2007 21:32
awesome pics Ellen
your images are always a highlight of DDN postings as well

Guest 08-Mar-2007 13:58
Your photos are good. I'll be back.
Guest 07-Mar-2007 15:23
I have great respect for your work.
Ellen Muller02-Jan-2007 19:46
Marco, great job on your website! I see that your primary interest is invertebrates. I would recommend that you use a dive light with a red filter on your night dives (along with a regular dive light). I will e-mail you via your website with details. Thank you for the compliments. Happy New Year to you, as well!
Guest 01-Jan-2007 16:23
Thanks a lot Ellen, for your detailed information. Before our trip in Febrary I will contact you again. Some of my cold-water photos are at They are just pictures to show what the critters look like. Your photos are real pieces of art. I wish you a happy new year with lots of amazing encounters under water. Marco Faasse.
Ellen Muller29-Dec-2006 19:39
Hi uwcrittter, you can find the orange ball corallimorphs and club tipped anemones at most of the dive sites in Bonaire but they are only out at night. The Florida Corallimorph photo was taken off the back yard of a private (rental) home in Belnem and I haven't seen them anywhere else. The white ball corallimorphs are uncommon. The wire coral shrimp that has the bluish color is very common on wire corals at night. They are tiny, so look very closely. The salmon & yellow colored wire coral shrimp are usually found deeper than 45 feet (60-70 feet is usually the best depth to search for them). There is also a striped variety of the wire coral shrimp. You can contact me just before your trip if you need more information.

Guest 28-Dec-2006 20:32
Hi Ellen,

I've been looking on the internet for uw-photos of small creatures like nudibranchs on Bonaire, finding only a few. Next year we'll go to Bonaire to hunt for small critters (with an Olympus C5050), so I was very glad to find your pictures. Could you suggest dive sites to find the corallimorphs (Florida, white ball, orange ball), the club tipped anemone and the two species of wire coral shrimp? They are magnificent. Thanks.
Marian Litvaitis 21-Nov-2006 17:04
Dear Ellen,

We saw your picture of Pseudoceros sp. on the Marine Flatworm's page.We have found this flatworm in other localities throughout the Caribbean. We are in the process of describing it formally and would like to know if you happend to have additional pictures of it, especially from the ventral side?

Also, we would greatly appreciate any additional info about the habitat where you found this Pseudoceros.

You can reach us at:

Thank you for any help you can provide.
Marian Litvaitis
Guest 12-Nov-2006 18:00
Hi Stark, Elsie and I think you should go into business with your beautiful pictures.Share them with the world!!!!! Love you , MOm
gdfg 28-Oct-2006 14:25
Cool site!2
Mary 09-Oct-2006 01:32
Awesome new pics!!! You amaze me! I would be afraid of the fish!!! Great job sis! Love you! Mary
Kidney 22-Sep-2006 15:17
Cool site.
Aidy 20-Sep-2006 01:29
Hi Ellen, your pictures are verry nice your're doing a great job.
fountain 17-Sep-2006 07:36
Respect to webmaster!
Bill 06-Sep-2006 12:41
Very interesting website. Keep up the outstanding work and thank you...
Juan 17-Jul-2006 11:32
Sorry, the user manual was found at:
Juan 17-Jul-2006 11:31
Nevermind, I found an online user manual at:

and the part numbers are:
O-ring: 307136401 $22.31
Grease: 307137001 $28.95
which can be ordered at
Juan 16-Jul-2006 18:32

I am thinking about buying a used MPK-P9 housing. Since this product is discontinued, I wonder how I could buy replacement parts, especially the O-rings. Any other parts that need routine replacement? Gasket? Do you know if the Replacement O-ring Part below for the P1 works for the P9?

>>>>>>>>>Below from Ellen's post on 26-Dec-2002 20:16<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Rodrigo, Go to... .Under Service Information click on Parts and Accessories and you will get a page where you can fill in the part #

The part # is 306503301...this is what you should see when you type in the #. The replacement part # is good . I have ordered 2 of them and had friends bring them down for me.
O-ring for MPK-P1

Item Requested : 306503301

Replacement Item : 306503302*

Description : O RING AS568 156

Currently In Stock : Yes

Price(in USD) : $ 28.11 23-May-2006 15:40
Brilliant. Freaking brilliant. Ian Schwartz.
Jan Kocian aka Honza 24-Mar-2006 05:48
Ellen, I don't know why I did not click on your site before, well better late then never. Wonderful stuff. You certainly have the eye and the skill to capture what you see.. The critters in your waters are so different, I sure enjoy looking at all the tropical beauty. And dream... Maybe some day I will make it to Bonaire too. Take care..
Jan Kocian aka Honza 24-Mar-2006 05:48
Ellen, I don't know why I did not click on your site before, well better late then never. Wonderful stuff. You certainly have the eye and the skill to capture what you see.. The critters in your waters are so different, I sure enjoy looking at all the tropical beauty. And dream... Maybe some day I will make it to Bonaire too. Take care..
Ellen Muller28-Jan-2006 17:16
Hi Lisa, thanks!

Debbi, we're looking forward to seeing you in March!
debbi wetzel aka diver debbi 03-Jan-2006 04:10
Enjoyed looking at your photos tonight...while it's snowing outside and we are to get several inches, nice to know you are probably underwater tonight and shooting somemore of your friends....thanks for sharing...wish you the best in 2006, and hope we get to see you again ,, trying to work out a plan for return to Bonaire this year, we'll have to see...
take care and dive safe
Michael Shope 26-Oct-2005 20:03
Ellen, Yes please email me the info @ or go to my websight and send it Two weeks from this Saturday I am so excited I can barley stand it.

Ellen Muller16-Oct-2005 18:38
Hi Michael,

Try to get to the town pier for a night dive. I will e-mail you with details if you like :-)

Mike Shope 13-Oct-2005 13:43
Hey Ellen, Great stuff I will be in Bonaire November 12th, 2005. Staying at Buddy Dive. I look forward to taking some pictures. Any suggestions of places I need to dive for sure.
Michael D Shope
cheryl 29-Sep-2005 01:23
Guest 24-Jun-2005 03:35
Great galleries. I've been coming back showing people your galleries as an example of how good a 5050 can shoot in the right hands. I'll be in Bonaire next month for the Bonaire Shootout.
Guest 23-Apr-2005 18:03
Great gallery.

I am satrting in underwater photography and I am surprised of th equality of your photos.

Ellen Muller11-Apr-2005 17:15
Hi Abril,

I sent you an e-mail :-)

Abril Torres 08-Apr-2005 18:38

Hi Ellen,

First of all, let me congratulate you for such a wonderful set of images.
They are really cool.
I'm a graduate student at McGill University, in Montreal, Canada.
One of my research interests is in color correction of underwater images.
I need some underwater images to test my method and I kindly ask for
your permission for using some of your pictures. I'm planning also to
submit a paper with the images to a conference paper if you agree.

Thanks in advance,
Ellen Muller25-Mar-2005 18:10

Thank you to everyone for your comments. I am sorry that I haven't been very good this past year at responding and updating my galleries. My internet service was horrible last year and it wasn't any fun to work with photos with the slow speeds and constant disconnections I was experiencing. I now have remedied the situation and look forward to revising and updating my galleries and sharing with you the underwater creatures that I love so much.

Thanks, Bill and Donna. I will get in touch with you closer to your trip date :-)
Bill and Donna Goodwin 24-Mar-2005 14:14
Ms Muller ... We LOVE you! What an eye, such a vision, so meticulous, patient and talented. In our 5 trips in the last 2 years to Bonaire we have nothing from our Nikonos or Sony that comes close to your work. We will be there again May 28 to June 8 - is there any way we can talk you into letting us take you (and yours) to dinner one evening? We are physical therapists - need any free therapy? Seriously, your work is world quality (will stand up to anything anyone anywhere has produced in these genres).
J Ponces11-Mar-2005 11:05
Very nice underwater photos.
I've been many times in Bonaire, did a 50' underwater film there, and have 100's of photos...
A pity most has been destroyed by the hurricanes...
Brussels Sprout03-Mar-2005 21:42
Hi Ellen,
Nice pictures.
I was in Bonaire last month and also took some pics.
Would appreciate your comments
Noemi 03-Aug-2004 10:38
Hi Ellen,

After looking at your photos and reading the guestbook, felt the urge to write!
I think your photos are beautiful! I am really amazed at the talent of the photographer and the quality of the camera. I saw another site taken by a Sony camera with also excellent pictures. However, I just bought a Canon A80 with underwater casing and I was wondering if you have any experience (yourself or through friends) with this camera and the performance underwater. Obviously the talent of the photographer is more important, but good hardware also helps.


Mauricio Andrade22-Jun-2004 16:27
Hi, Ellen congratulations. You have a great shots. I like very much frogfishes shots and you have some greats. I was in Bonaire a few weeks and I took some pictures of frogfishes too. I think that one or more frogies are the same that yours. If you want to see this pictures visit
Bill Allbritten 16-Jun-2004 20:27
I remember meeting you at the Divi in 2002, unfortunately, we've not been able to make it back to Bonaire since then. The big Nashville group is going back this coming Christmas but the dates (leaving day after Christmas) don't work for us.

To the point, I've referred folks using internal flash to your galleries for some time, I've not seen a better collection and wish I could do half as well with the external flash.

Hope all is well, sounds like whole basin is very wet this year.


Bill Allbritten
Murray, KY
Brian Scholes 02-Jun-2004 08:49

Just came across your site....great photos...

...I did some Red Sea diving off Jeddah a few years ago...

Anyhow...just wanted to mention that since Sony screwed up the battery upgrade on my P1 they have offered me a replacement, as I have an unused MPK-P1 MARINE PACK, still in the box, I could let it go at a reasonable price...if anybody is interested...

Regards from Canada...

Brian Scholes
diver debbi 02-Apr-2004 02:22 was great to meet you in Bonaire. My husband Adam found a piece of red plastic the other day to use as a filter for the flashlight at night...great idea thanks for the tip..too bad we have to wait another year before we can try it. Enjoyed viewing your photos on the site..May you have many safe dives and opportunities to shoot .
Patti DeLong 18-Mar-2004 21:12
Ellen, your photos are beautiful. We see you under our boat or with Stuart frequently. Would like to dive with you, you have the eyes. All the best, your neighbors, sailing vessel Galadriel, Mike and Patti
Connie 15-Jan-2004 02:52
I am a friend of your sister Mary. I was completely blown away by the pictures she sent me. You are very talented. I especially like the angel fish. I have been to Aruba and done a little snorkling. Never had the nerve to do scuba, but maybe I will soon. Mary & I have talked about visiting you sometime. I hope that we can visit in the very near future. I know she would like to see you. Look forward to seeing more photos and meeting you.
Take care.
Guest 04-Dec-2003 22:29
I think your pics are some of the best I have seen for underwater with this kind of equipment.i am also a diver and you gave me the feeling to nvest in this kind of equipment
Don Northup24-Nov-2003 19:29
Nice work on your salty stuff. I have shot thousands of African Cichlid pics but have never tried any of this. Looks like great fun and wonderful sense of accomplishment. Thanks for sharing.
FastUno 15-Nov-2003 22:50
I am in love with your shots!!! I take similar type of shots, but only of my tank & of pet shop tanks. Take a look at some of my shots....

Thanks for the inspiration
Ellen Muller07-Nov-2003 04:44

Hi Jeremy,

You can try eBay for the MPK-P9.

Thanks, David. I enjoyed your photos, too.
Guest 01-Nov-2003 20:15
Wonderful pictures Ellen. Quite encouraging for someone new to the hobby. I noticed you sed the DSC-p9. I am trying to find the housing Mpk-p9 for that camera. Seems to be discontinued. Any thoughts?

Guest 02-Oct-2003 11:48
Hi Ellen, I really enjoyed your photos. Your frogfish pictures are wonderful. I was doing a search on the word 'moray' and of the more than 100 results I picked one of yours to view, and was drawn in to the rest. If you'd like to view my own underwater galleries, go to Take care, David.
Ellen Muller14-May-2003 19:27
Hi Rob,

You have some wonderful photos with a great variety of creatures. Isn't the underwater world just an amazing place? I am enthralled and enchanted on every dive I do and feel so privileged to be able to visit such a special, magical and fragile world and also to be able to share the wonder and beauty of some of the fascinating creatures that inhabit this world with others.

I've never used an external strobe with the P9 so I can't help you there. You can check on the wetpixel forums. There may be a couple of people there that use a similar set up... .....or try the digital diver forum.....

Rob Swanson 09-May-2003 08:00
Ellen beautiful photos. I do beieve you and I have the same objective in mind underwater. I thought my p-1 and p-9 photos were good but yours simply take the cake and assist us in rubbing our great photos in the face of the SLR film camera lovers. I have a nice setup with the p-9 and am getting ready to buy the sea and sea ys90dx. Do you have this setup or know of anyone who does? If so, any tips or problems getting it to sinc properly or on settings?
Regards Rob Swanson
Kevin 23-Apr-2003 15:43

your photos have inspired me a great deal! i enjoy taking land shots...but why stop there? i have never tested my mettle in the water. sure i've used those disposable waterproof ones, but once you go digital, one can't go back! especially when you can auto adjust for color! the colors in your photos are simply brilliant!

i will scan your site for tips and such. i really look forward to trying my skills during my vacation to bermuda in august. i presume you were on auto setting on your P1? (i also have the cybershot S75, but could not justify buying the ikelite housing for $700 when i can buy the P8 with it's marine pack.) maybe a bad move as i would lose manual control. but seems to me you didn't really need manual control from what i see in your pics.

hopefully i'll find some cool things to shoot while bell helmet diving.

Ellen Muller22-Apr-2003 03:57
Hi Seb,

I posted some photos of Bonaire birds a while back on Bonaire Talk under the topic Bonaire Nature & Nature Organizations: Flamingos, Parrots, and other birds of Bonaire. Here is the link...

Starting from Egrets down to Yellow Warbler is where some of the picures that I have posted are. Your bird certainly sounds like a Troupial but if you think it was not you could stop by the dive shop at Sand Dollar and ask for Jerry Ligon. He is the local expert on Bonaire's birds.
Seb 20-Apr-2003 14:35
Hi Ellen, I think I have seen a site somewhere with your pictures of local Bonaire birds, but I can't seem to find it. We saw a brilliant orange bird wiht black wings this AM that left me breathlesws. Not a troupial, unless they come in a very different color configuration than the orange and yellow ones I have seen here., the same color as the orange in the tree with the orange trumpet like flowers.Brilliant, beautiful, and mysterious!
Seb 20-Apr-2003 14:33
Hi Ellen, I think I have seen a site somewhere with your pictures of local Bonaire birds, but I can't seem to find it. We saw a brilliant orange bird wiht black wings this AM that left me breathlesws. Not a troupial, unless they come in a very different color configuration than the orange and yellow ones I have seen here., the same color as the orange in the tree with the orange trumpet like flowers.Brilliant, beautiful, and mysterious!
Seb 20-Apr-2003 14:31
Hi Ellen, I think I have seen a site somewhere with your pictures of local Bonaire birds, but I can't seem to find it. We saw a brilliant orange bird wiht black wings this AM that left me breathlesws. Not a troupial, unless they come in a very different color configuration than the orange and yellow ones I have seen here., the same color as the orange in the tree with the orange trumpet like flowers.Brilliant, beautiful, and mysterious!
Ellen Muller28-Mar-2003 06:31
Hi milonas,

I have no idea what happened on that shot. Was it taken at night? I never experienced a problem like that in macro mode with the P9. Do you have the lens zoomed out to the wide position when you are in macro mode?
Guest 23-Mar-2003 22:17
Hey Ellen,
I like your advice, can you tell me what is wrong on this pic.
DSC-P9 in a MPK-P9 the problem only appears in macromode.
Is this " vignetering" or somethings else ?
Other and better pics ( with same set ) can be seen at
Michele Rodgers12-Mar-2003 17:46
Well worth the time to look at each picture. These are super. Can't say enough. Our world truly is an amazing place.
Ellen Muller09-Mar-2003 18:46
You're welcome, Rich. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Rich 08-Mar-2003 02:56
Hi Ellen,
Thanks again for the Marine Pack for the P-1. I've run through all the very helpful comments here & have done a dry run. I can't wait to get back into the water!! Your pictures are stunning. I hope some of your talent rubbed off onto the housing!!
Guest 01-Mar-2003 06:27
wow, amazing galleries. all the pictures are so interesting to look at
Ellen Muller27-Feb-2003 16:56
Hi Fabricio,

I did not experiment very much with different exposure settings with the P1. I used macro mode and forced flash with the flash on the high setting on my later photos and everything else on automatic.
Guest 23-Feb-2003 21:00
Really enjoyed your photos. I have been diving for many years but just started playing with an Olympus 3030 underwater recently. So I appreciate your photographs very much, thanks for sharing. Chet
Fabricio Ribeiro 19-Feb-2003 14:09
Hi, my name is Fabricio, i live in Brazil and have just discovered your fabulous shots with digicams.
Sorry to bother but i own a Sony DSC-p1 and Marine Pack and like to know if you do some different settings on P1s exposure to take uw photos. Thank you very much for your patience in teaching.
Ellen Muller11-Feb-2003 22:06
Chris, I've gotten a lot of out of focus shots of the Flamingo tongue, too. They are usually nestled among the branches of soft corals so try to find one that stands out from it's surroundings. Both of my shots of the Flamingo Tongues were taken in macro mode with forced flash. With the Sony cameras I got numerous shots of the Flamingo Tongues that were out of focus, I am now using an Olympus 5050Z and a PT-015 housing and all of the photos of Flamingo Tongues that I have taken with it are in perfect focus!

Gary, I am glad that the tips here helped you. You got some nice shots in the Maldives.
Chris 09-Feb-2003 02:12
I was wondering how you focused in on the Flamingo Tongue. What settings did you use. I've tried several times but it is always out of focus. You have great pictures.
Gary Hawkins02-Feb-2003 13:45
Hi Ellen,
I simply love your pictures. On the strength of seeing them and reading your comments I purchased a P9 and housing before Christmas and used it on my annual holiday to the Maldives, where I have just learn to dive. Before I have only taken a couple of snaps with a Sea & Sea Motormarine which have been failures. I took my laptop which is handy as you can see the shot straightaway and learn by your mistakes. Thank you for all the excellent tips in your guestbook. My first few pictures are at

Ellen Muller31-Dec-2002 20:32
Hi Nacho,

I can't help you with any suggestions for taking photos at night if you will be using an external strobe. I have no experience with them. You might try doing a search on the wetpixel forums... I know this topic has been discussed there. You could also try the digital diver forums for suggestions....


On my night dives I use a UK D4 divelight.
The settings that I use for the P1 are macro mode, forced flash with the flash on the HIGH setting.
For the P9...macro mode, forced flash on the LOW setting, -0.7EV and +1 in camera sharpening.
Nacho 29-Dec-2002 21:45
How do yo do to take night pictures? I have a strobe but I'm worried to overexpose the pictures? Should I use a video light?
Ellen Muller26-Dec-2002 20:16

As I have mentioned before, I turn the camera off between shots to prevent fogging. On the few occasions when I have experienced fogging with the MPK-P9 it has cleared up much faster than the housing for the P1. I have never used an external strobe with these cameras so I can't comment on which one would be the best.

Rodrigo, Go to... .Under Service Information click on Parts and Accessories and you will get a page where you can fill in the part #

The part # is 306503301...this is what you should see when you type in the #. The replacement part # is good . I have ordered 2 of them and had friends bring them down for me.
O-ring for MPK-P1

Item Requested : 306503301

Replacement Item : 306503302*

Description : O RING AS568 156

Currently In Stock : Yes

Price(in USD) : $ 28.11
Rodrigo Ramos 26-Dec-2002 11:02
Where can I find replacement O-Ring for Marine Pack MPK-P1?


Ivan 04-Dec-2002 16:53
Hi Ellen,

Congratulations for your pictures!!! I have done a few using a simple Sea&Sea MX5
( ) and I was quite happy but now I am thinking about buying a Sony DSC P9 with its Marine Housing. However, a few people told me about the fog problem. As far as I understood you are now using the P9. Have you already experienced that kind of problems with the P9 Marine Housing? What's your favourite external strobe (even if you are using the built-in one) for that equipment?

Best Regards,

Ellen Muller02-Nov-2002 03:13
Hi Heather,

I have sent you an e mail :-)

Heather Coleman 01-Nov-2002 00:39
Dear Ms. Muller,
May I please use a balloonfish image in my talk next week?
Thank you,
Heather Coleman
Phil 21-Oct-2002 17:55
Hello again Ellen!

Photoshop is a wonderful tool but with so many options it can be confusing to use. Thanks once again for your very helpful advice.
Ellen Muller21-Oct-2002 16:24
Hi Phil,

I use Adobe Photoshop Elements for editing photos and for the past several months I have been using the sharpening tool when needed instead of the unsharp mask. That way I can sharpen just a portion of the photo. When I was using the unsharp mask the Amount would vary with each photo, there is a sliding rule in Elements where you can see the effect on the photo before it is applied. The Radius 2.0 ( you can experiment with the radius even lower) and Threshold 0.

Phil 19-Oct-2002 19:54
Hi Ellen,
Just as well as the MPK-P1 filter kit seems just about impossible to get hold of now! Your shots have inspired me to try to improve the pics I have taken with post processing. I'm using Photoshop 4.0 LE that came bundled with my scanner. The Auto Levels facility seems to work quite well in most cases to balance the colours and get rid of the greenish/blue hue. You also mention that you use the Unsharp Mask. Typically, what values do you use for Amount, Radius and Threshold?
Thanks - Phil
Ellen Muller19-Oct-2002 04:38

Hi Xavi, you have some nice photos. Phil, I don't have any experience with the Sony filters but a friend of mine used one with her P1 and the results were unsatisfactory.
Phil 12-Oct-2002 14:31
May I be the latest person to congratulate you on some fantastic shots. I have the same DSC-P1/MPK-P1 setup but my attempts so far have not been a patch on yours. When I first saw your pictures I was convinced that you must be using an external strobe but after reading through the comments here I see you are not. Next time I dive I will be using your advice regarding the white balance and macro settings. If I can get some shots half as good as yours I will be a happy man! I understand that Sony do a filter kit for the MPK-P1. Do you know anything about it or is it best just to use post editing to get rid of any strange hues and tinges?
Guest 01-Oct-2002 21:38
Hi Ellen,

I know that everybody says the same, but there are the best photos that i've seen with a digital camera. I have a sony DSC-P9 as well since 4 months. I've used the photoshop to improve the colors of the photos and the results are not so bad. I have located my photos in:

I hope that some day I'll do photos like yours.

Best regards,

Guest 11-Sep-2002 08:18
Very nice pictures... every-one.
Hope to see more of these within short time.

Meanwhile I've just started,
(not so colorfull as yours)
Ellen Muller11-Sep-2002 00:26
Very nice work, Eli. I am happy to see some underwater images taken with the Canon S40. When I was looking around for an underwater set up to replace my P1 because of problems with the batteries I couldn't find any good u/w examples from the S40. The fogging problem that many have reported with the Canon housings steered me away from them. I met someone here in Bonaire a few weeks ago and he was using the Canon S40 with an Ikelite DS50 strobe and he was also getting some fabulous shots!

Thanks for the compliment and the tip on the image stealer!
Eli Finkelstein10-Sep-2002 03:08
Ellen, I love your images, and comments in I love the way you manage to take better photos with your simple outfit compared to the guys with the $10,000 setups. Someday I too want to move to Bonaire. I just posted my first pictures at:

By the way someone is posting your images under their name. For example see:
I suppose imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.
Chris Smith 04-Sep-2002 14:00
Congratulations on "Photo of the Day" at Steve's!! That's great. Keep up the good work & thanks again for your help with the housing.

Ellen Muller28-Aug-2002 17:41
Hi Hans,

I use auto white balance.

One note here...My eyesight is not good enough to be able to see the different settings on the LCD screen underwater. I can turn the macro and flash settings on and off but that is about it! So for those of you with good eyesight, feel free to experiment with other settings, you might find something that works better than what I do. I usually adjust the settings before going in the water and leave them alone unless I see something that I know the macro mode and forced flash won't work with ie...a large school of fish, pelagics etc.

Here is the link to Jeff Farris's article.....
hans 26-Aug-2002 08:15

like to see you doing great things with the sony-digitalcam. I own a P5 and did my first pictures on Bonaire.. I think I met your orange seahorse at mi dushi.
I must thank you for the tip of using only macro-mode and flash on low. How about the whitebalance, do you keep it on auto or not?
Hope to hear from you before my next trip (to Bonaire again).
By the way, can you update the link to jeff's review again because I can't find it.

hans 26-Aug-2002 08:13

like to see you doing great things with the sony-digitalcam. I own a P5 and did my first pictures on Bonaire.. I think I met your orange seahorse at mi dushi.
I must thank you for the tip of using only macro-mode and flash on low. How about the whitebalance, do you keep it on auto or not?
Hope to hear from you before my next trip (to Bonaire again).
By the way, can you update the link to steve's review again because I can't find it.

Ellen Muller13-Aug-2002 17:08
Very, very nice photos for your first try at u/w photography, Shwen. The shutter lag does take a while to get used to and of course bouyancy control is imperative for good underwater photography. I will half press the shutter button to lock in the focus and then wait and try to time it just right to get the fish in the perfect position. This will reduce the shutter lag considerably. It is even worse with the P9. I will sometimes think that I have the focus locked in and wait until I have it timed just right to catch the fish in the perfect position and the camera won't shoot. Very frustrating. The auto focus on the P1 works better than the P9 underwater.

Was there a lot of current where you were diving? That can also make it more difficult for photography.

I hope you had a lot of good dives and you have certainly captured some nice memories of your trip with your photographs.

Guest 11-Aug-2002 22:51
Hi Ellen,

Thanks again for all your advice, etc. I'm back from my trip and finally had some time to get the pics up. You can view them at:

Despite all that I read before going out there, I realise that there's still a lot for me to learn about Digital U/W Photography (DUP). For one thing, the combination of the shutter lag and controlling your bouyancy are two factors that can really kill your framing of the subject. Also, one BIG lesson I learned is that most fish won't wait for you to take the pic - of course I knew this already, but boy don't they seem so much faster when you're trying to take their pic (camera shy?).

Anyway, I'd I appreciate your feedback/comments on what you think. I ended turning my flash up to HIGH as I found that the NORMAL mode just wasn't lighting the subject enough. Also,I think I had left the setting on SPOT metering rather than the NORMAL. Not sure if that affected it as well. I'm still a far way from achieving your standard of photography, but hopefully, with practice, I'll get better...

PS> I'll let you know about the website if I get some time to start it.
Ellen Muller25-Jul-2002 04:30

I don't have the time to start a website but if you start one I would be glad to contribute when I can.


Guest 24-Jul-2002 00:17
Hi Ellen,

Thanks for that reply - it was really helpful reading through this entire guestbook area, and also inspirational to look at your galleries as well. I hope I get at least some pics like yours. Anyway, I did read Jeff Farris's primer and it was also a great help. I'll let you know when I get back from Sharm how it turns out - hopefully I'll have a few good pics to post.

By the way, judging by the response you're getting, have you thought about starting a website dedicated to U/W digital P&S photography (in particular the Sony Px + MPK series)? I was toying with an idea along those lines, but haven't got around to it yet, so if you're intersted - let me know.

Thanks again for the well-wishes.

PS> Good to see you posting on the DPR Sony forum, too!
Ellen Muller23-Jul-2002 18:35
Hi Shwen

1. I use the normal flash setting. Lately all my shots have been in macro mode with forced flash because the only time I go diving is very late in the afternoon or at night so there is not much ambient light for any other kind of shots without an external strobe. I experimented with the flash on high for the first time last week on a night dive to see if it would work better for dark colored subjects and it does but definitely not for subjects that are light colored or shots with sand etc.

**By the way, this does not hold true for the P5 (according to Ralf) and the P9. The best results with these cameras is with the flash on low.

2. I haven't tried the spot metering or fixed focus modes.

3. The first three months that I used the camera and housing I didn't use the flash or macro mode at all and if I was above 45ft and with plenty of natural light (mid day) some of the shots turned out quite well. For pelagics as well I would think the best results would be without the flash.

I'll post the link again to Jeff Farris's primer "Shooting an Olympus Digital in an Olympus Housing with No External Strobe" if you didn't see it in my earlier post. Although he is referring to Olympus digital cameras he has some good advice that will hold true for other digital cameras as well.

Have a good time in Sharm El Sheikh and I hope you get a lot of nice photos.
Guest 23-Jul-2002 01:11
Hi Ellen,

Great Pictures! I'm now even more excited at my upcoming trip to the Red Sea, where I'll get to test my P1+MPK for the first time under SCUBA conditions. So, I was just wondering if you had any tips...for instance:

1. What flash setting do you use for most pics - just normal or high?
2. I understand you mostly use the MACRO setting for pretty close shots, but what do you use for all your other shots? Spot metering, etc? Ever try the fixed-focus mode?
3. For non-macro pics (e.g. for pelagics, etc), what would you reccommend?

Thanks. Hope to show you some great U/W pics from Sharm El Sheikh soon...

Shwen 19-Jul-2002 06:04
Ellen, i can't find your email address, i have a question.
Can you email me:

Chris Smith 12-Jul-2002 19:24
Thanks so much for your advice. I will take it and order a tube today. I just returned from a trip to the Bahamas and although I didn't do any diving, I did test the housing out. I also used 100% silicone grease in a little pot purchased from my local dive store. It did not leak but I was only a few feet u/w.
Keep posting these great pics and thanks again for the advice. You may have saved my cam!
Ellen Muller09-Jul-2002 18:38
Hi Stephane

You should buy the MPK-P1 Marine Pack. The MPK-P5 will not work with the P1 camera.
STEPHANE 08-Jul-2002 17:57

I am just wondering if the new MPK P5 is ok for my SONY DSC P1? Or should i buy the MPK P1? My dad come to see me in POLYNESIA and he stop in TOKIO (in sony country) what should he buy me? The marine pack of course and what else?
And of course which MARINE PACK is the best for my DSCP1 (mpk p1 or the last MPK P5)

Thanks a lot,


NB/ pleasse reply me both on my email and website
Ellen Muller27-Jun-2002 21:54
Hi Chris

When I ran out of the silicone grease that came with the camera I went to a couple of local dive shops here to see what was available. The first one that I went to was selling something that was a lot thinner in consistancy than the original grease so I kept looking. The second one had a grease that was very similar in consistancy to the original so I bought that and have been using it ever since (over 100 dives). The only problem is that I can't tell you what kind it is! It comes in a small plastic pot and has the name of the dive shop on it and is 100% pure silicone grease. When I called them this afternoon to try to get the brand name for you the photo pro there said not to use that kind of grease for camera o-rings! Although I have had good luck with the other I would recommend and the photo pro also recommends that you buy the Sea and Sea o-ring grease. The Sony marine pack MPK P1 is manufactured for Sony by Sea and Sea so I would imagine that their o-ring grease would be ok for you to use. You can find it at do a search for silicone grease and you will see the Sea and Sea product.
Chris Smith 26-Jun-2002 14:38
I just purchased the marine pack for my DSC-P1. I could not find a new one so I was forced to get one from Ebay. It is in great condition & it tested ok without the cam in the pool. However, I do not have the grease for the o-ring. I called Sony & was told it is a silicone based grease & they no longer sell it and there is no replacement.
What type do you use?
I only hope my pics turn out half as good as yours (and my cam stays dry).
Pat Thode' 06-Jun-2002 03:54
Hi Ellen,
I love looking at your gallery. I can feel like I am really there again. What a gift you have for spotting creatures at the most delicious moments! Love that conch!
What's next? underwater documentary?
It is so wonderful to show these photos to my three girls and let them really see the wonders of Bonaire.
Love, Pat
art kleimer 11-May-2002 16:22
fantastic. i live at sanddollar e 2 and am a friend of Jerry Ligon. Anytime you need a helper on a dive let me know. i also meet Dara at a program Jerry did a few days ago.
Guest 10-May-2002 14:53
Hey Ellen,

changed the UNKNOWN on your behalf, thanks much. Night dive was awesome, just got spooked by two giant tarpons breathing down my neck. I just saw my buddies waving frantically with the lights pointing in my direction, when i turned around, I had a tarpon in my face, close enough to kiss him. Kinda spooked me, they followed us around all the way into the shalllows, not even 5 feet of water. Was a lot of fun.
...time to upload your pictures now...I want to see more :)

Bill Sardi 09-May-2002 19:42
Need to know how to get permission to use photos of sea horses.
To be used for a commercial purpose (natural history poster)

Bill Sardi
Ellen Muller09-May-2002 18:09
Hi Ralf,

Thanks for taking the time to show me your P5 setup. How was your night dive? Wow! You have posted a lot of photos! I need to find the time to add some more photos to my galleries. The fish that you labeled as "unidentified at night" is a Greater Soapfish. I love your shots of the grouper being cleaned and you got some great shots of a Green Moray!

Justin, nice story. I will send you an e-mail. Did you see Ralf's great shots of a Green Moray?
Justin Tindel 06-May-2002 17:36
Hello Ellen, Wonderful pictures!!

I was wondering if I could use one of your pictures on my web site which I am working on, I would of course link your gallery to the picture. The picture I want to use specifically is:

It will go on my about me page to illustrate a story about when I was bitten by one of these buggers in Florida when I was younger. You can see my current about me page here:

That URL will probably change soon because I want to move my site over to a faster server. The Moray picture I have on there now isn't that great, and I lost the larger image so all I have is the thumbnail, also your picture is probably one of the best moray pictures I have found on the net. It shows off how beautiful they are, and how dangerous they can be, LOOK at those teeth!! Here is the story that will be on my new site:

When I was about 9 years old I was swimming off our dock on Solider Key. It was a hot sunny day, typical for summer time in Florida. The tide had just come in and the water was a beautiful clear emerald green. I had been lazily snorkeling around the dock for hours exploring every nook and cranny of the large rocks that made up the jetty style cement dock; there were so many fish and so many strange little creatures to look at.

I knew the six foot long green moray eel that lived in the dock very well. He and I swam together often, I was never afraid of him, and he never seemed to mind my presence. Often times I would sit motionless breathing through my snorkel and watch with extreme fascination as he had his teeth cleaned by the little neon blue and black cleaner fish.

After spending most of the afternoon snorkeling my hands were wrinkled beyond mere prunes and I was quite hungry and thirsty, so I swam up to the naturally formed rock steps leading up onto the dock, slipped my fins off and began my climb out of the water. That's when it happened, a misunderstanding really. For when I stepped up onto the second large flat stone I saw a dead snapper float out from under the overhanging rock just above it, he had a nasty bite mark in him. Before I could move, a large green head shot out from under the overhanging rock and grabbed my foot. The eel let go almost as soon as he had bit down realizing his mistake.

But for me it was too late, the water around my foot turned crimson with blood and I looked down in silent fascination at what had just happened. It didn't hurt at all, so I climbed out of the water and onto the dock. It was bleeding pretty badly and I started to cry, not because it hurt but because I thought crying was appropriate to the situation. My dad was out on Eryngo, our boat, with his friends and she was anchored about 100 yards off shore. I climbed into my dingy and began to row out to Eryngo, blood gushing from the wounds on my foot turning the little bit of water in the dingy bright red.

When I pulled up alongside Eryngo I halfheartedly whimpered to my dad. "Dad, I got bit by a Eel." He chuckled in disbelief, we were always bullshitting each other and playing some sort of prank. "Yeah right son" he said, and then he looked into the dingy and saw all the blood. My dad and his friends rushed me back to the island, and into the cook house where they heated up some water and two of my dads friends held me down while my dad submerged my foot in a tub of rubbing alcohol. That's when it really started to hurt, before that it had been just a dull throbbing. They cleaned my wounds thoroughly and bound my foot in gauze and tape. It took a whole month to heal and the worst part of the whole ordeal was that I couldn't go swimming until it healed. That was the most miserable month I can remember, as 90% of my time on that island was spent in the water.
Guest 05-May-2002 18:32
Hi Ellen,

really nice meeting you in Bonaire, I finally got to upload some images to pbase.
it's available at

Thanks again for your invaluable advice, I am really starting to like this camera.

all the best

miky 24-Apr-2002 20:13
Stimata Doamna Ellen Muller,
Va felicitam pentru fotografiile care ne-au incintat ochii cit si sufletul.
Va multumim ,ca am reusit prin munca dumneavoastra ,sa cunoastem o lume noua pentru noi.
Va dorim multa sanatate si succes .
Cu stima Mioara si Puiu.
Ralf Jacob 08-Apr-2002 14:12
Sure thing Ellen, we are staying at the Flamingo Beach resort April 20 - 27th. You can't miss us, 3 crazy germans and one american.
Ellen Muller08-Apr-2002 06:39

I am glad to hear that you had fun with your camera and got some good shots. I would love to see some of them. I am sorry to hear that you had such a problem with the housing fogging up. The housing for the P1 is different than the P5 and I don't have a severe problem with fogging as long as I turn the camera off between shots. I would be very unhappy if I could only use the camera for 20 minutes underwater! I can use the viewfinder with the housing for the P1 but there is a big chunk of the housing that is visible when using it and it obscures about one third of the view which is disconcerting so I do not use the optical viewfinder. My eyesight, like yours, is not great and I sometimes have to shoot blind, as you said, especially with really small subjects although for me the LCD screen is much easier to view underwater with the magnification than on land where I need glassses to use it.

Rolf, I haven't used the spot metering function. I would like to meet with you sometime while you are here in Bonaire and check out the setup for the P5 if you have the time? I will send you an e mail.

Guest 07-Apr-2002 02:39
Hi Ellen,
Like everyone else, I think your pix are exquisit. Like them so much that I got the same setup with new P5. Gonna be in Bonaire April 20 for a week so i am anxious to test the setup. Was wondering if you ever used the Spot Meter and AF functions. I read in the manual to turn it off, have you tried those settings ? I am also curious about the fogging, I got some 1x2 inch silicon bags that seem to fit, at least 2 i can stuff in :).
Guess we'll have to see.
Again, thanks for sharing your pix. They serve as my screensaver now :) hope that's ok.
TC 02-Apr-2002 21:47
Oh Ellen, I forgot to mention the other problem we had with this marine housing. Its impossible to see the LCD screen on sunny days - at least if you're snorkeling. The housing is made of highly reflective plastic and the glare makes it quite impossible to see anything. I am also disappointed in the design of the housing for the way it completely obscures the eye viewfinder. There is a warning sticker (which refuses to come off) plastered right over the viewfinder glass. Even if it weren't there, the housing has ridges in the design making it useless to try the viewfinder. Have you experienced this problem as well? We also found that without our close-up correction in our dive masks it was quite difficult to see whatever the LCD screen offered. I marvel at how you are able to focus so perfectly in the light of this. You must have excellent vision. We felt that most of our photos were shot blind, just guess and point and shot, hoping to catch an image. What is your secret? Again, even in the face of all this frustration, we love the camera and the images we got. Its a great way for the casual vacationer to enter the digital underwater photo world with minimal cost.
TC 02-Apr-2002 21:24
Hello Ellen; We're back from Roatan and Cozumel with photos taken with our new Sony P5. Even with constant frustration with the housing fogging, we were able to get tons of great underwater shots. We found that the housing is only good for about 20 minutes - whether or not you turn it off and on - before it fogs over. We tried every kind of anti-fogging agent, tried inserting a small pack of silicon beads inside the housing, tried cooling the camera and housing in frig before diving, tried not using the flash - nothing helped. Finally we just took what photos we could on each dive and let it go. I have used Microsoft Picture It Publishing 2001 and MGI PhotoSuite 8.1 for enhancements upon returning and found the quality greatly improved by using the auto correction for color and contrast. We are complete amatuers, but are sold on the merits of digital after this trip. One word of caution - don't bother with the red filter sold by Sony for this camera. It ruined the photos when we used it, making them look like the were all shot in the depths of hell with its garish orange red coloring. We stopped using it altogether and now are trying to get Sony to take it back. The $80 cost is just too much for something we're going to throw away. Disappointingly Sony is not cooperating. I have a few of my photos in an album to share if anyone is interested. Just drop me an email with your email address. Thanks for all your advice. We love the camera.
Ellen Muller07-Mar-2002 07:06
Thank you for the compliments, Red Creek Rattlers! I am glad that you enjoyed the pictures. Mrs. Scharosch and Travis, I hope it really won't be 3,000+ days before you make it back to Bonaire!

Sherry, I don't give photography lessons, I could probably use a few myself! I will look forward to seeing you and Barry again in May.
sherry 06-Mar-2002 20:03
ellen, you have wonderful photos. you are so very talented. do you give photography lessons? i bet you would be very good at it if you did classes. barry and i enjoyed meeting you at dinner last feb. we will be back in May and if we can arrange another get together dinner, it would be fun to see you again. sherry baker
Red Creek School 06-Mar-2002 18:52
Dear Ellen,

Lauren, grade 1 says, "We looked at your pictures and we really liked them." Katlyn, grade 2 says, "I loved the juvenile spotted drum." John, grade 3 says, "Your pictures are really stunning." Tyler, grade 3 says, "GOOD JOB!" Travis, grade 4 says, "Great pictures! I especially liked the cowfish and the trunk fish." Mrs. Bentley, classroom assistant says, "Awesome photography! Love the seahorses." Mrs. Scharosch says, "Thanks, Ellen. A+ Job! Your pictures bring back fond memories of Bonaire. I hope we meet again sometime." THANK YOU FROM RED CREEK RATTLERS!
Ellen Muller25-Jan-2002 04:33
Sure, Tommy. Go ahead and use one or two of the photos for your slide show.
Tommy 24-Jan-2002 18:59
Hi Ellen

Could i use one or two of your fotos for a slideshow (non commercial) for some of my students, to show them what you could do with an digitalcammera under water? would be very nice of you.
Ellen Muller22-Jan-2002 18:05
Yes, Tommy, I use the automatic exposure program. Most of the photos were shot at depths between 10-18meters. Three of the photos, Goldentail Moray, Balloonfish 2, Orangespotted Filefish, were shot in only 3-4meters.
Tommy 21-Jan-2002 09:18
Hi Ellen

Thx for that suggestion with the fogging lens, what I would like to know is if you are using the auto exposure program or did you use one of the other programs, like the mountain program. And how deep you was during shooting, my deepest with the original case was around 45 meters, but my best pictures I have made was around 10 to 15 meters.

Ellen Muller15-Jan-2002 17:57
The housing came with an anti fogging solution but I used it all up quite a while ago! It helped but if the camera is left on for long periods it heats up and even with the anti fogging solution the glass will eventually fog up.
TC 15-Jan-2002 14:04
Ellen; Have you tried using an anti-fogging liquid on your camera and/or housing to correct this problem? Wondering if that would work just like on a mask lens.
Ellen Muller12-Jan-2002 18:10
Hi Tommy, I'm not sure what you mean by auto program. What problem are you having? I also have a problem with the glass fogging up if I leave the camera on for more than five-ten minutes so I always turn the camera off between shots.

Are the photos on your website taken with the P1? You have some nice shots.
Tommy 10-Jan-2002 13:31
I own also an P1, but i got problems with the auto program, so with which program you shot this pictures? i also have a prob when i have switched on for long time my camera, i get fog on my glass, you got an solution for that?
Sorry for that bad English
Ellen Muller06-Jan-2002 05:22
TC, yes, you can use the autofocus feature underwater. For the reasons that I prefer to use the macro mode, check the link to the Jeff Farris article that I posted on Dec 19th, 20:31.
TC 04-Jan-2002 17:04
Hello Ellen; Amazing photos! You've convinced us to purchase the P5 with housing for our dive trips. Wondering if you use the autofocus feature while underwater? I noted that your preference is macro mode. Is that because the autofocus doesn't work underwater? My eyesight isn't so good, so the autofocus is a big help on land. Will I not have the use of this feature underwater? Does the camera lean toward focusing on particals in the water rather than the fish? Will are still buying the camera no matter your response, but would just like to know what to expect.

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your photos and your expertise with all of us.
Ellen Muller04-Jan-2002 04:33
Hi Mom! You wouldn't be biased would you?? Can't wait to see you in November!
Gigi 27-Dec-2001 23:36
Ellen, I am in awe of your pictures!!! What talent!! I'll be down in Nov. to see you in action! Mom
Ellen Muller20-Dec-2001 16:55
Tim, from what I understand Sony has made some improvements over the P1 with the P5 but the battery life is shorter with the P5. Definitely could be a bummer while diving. The first 3 months I used the camera I did not use the flash underwater at all and now that I use it for most shots I don't notice all that much difference in the battery consumption. One strange thing is that when I used a 64MB memory stick I would get about 47 highest resolution images and the battery would usually run out about the same time as the memory stick filled up. Now that I have a 128MB memory stick I can take 94 highest resolution shots and the battery still has plenty of power left to play and review the shots when I am finished diving. Weird!
Tim 20-Dec-2001 00:09
Ellen, I agree with everyone else. I am amazed with the sharpness and lighting you were able to achieve with the internal flash. I am interested in the P5 because it is slightly smaller than the P1. Would I be giving up any technical versatility with the P5 ? By using the flash on every shot and, I assume the LCD at all times, did you have any problems getting a lot of pictures out of the battery pack on a dive ?
Ellen Muller19-Dec-2001 20:31
Jeff Farris has posted a great primer on shooting with a housed Olympus digital camera with no external strobe. Though he is referring to Olympus cameras the first 7 paragraphs will hold true for the Sony P1 and many other housed digital cameras too.
Ellen Muller19-Dec-2001 19:34
Thanks, Bryan. If you will be using only the Marine Pack and camera without any extra lighting, as I do, then I would recommend taking closeup shots. I put the camera on macro mode with forced flash and try to get as close as possible to the subject, anywhere from 6in to 3ft. away depending on the size of the subject. This mode works well at most depths. For wide angle shots this setup works best in fairly shallow depths, above 35-45ft, with lots of sunlight.
Bryan 18-Dec-2001 19:17
Well done Ellen! These are the nicest underwater images I have seen from a P1. They are great images period. I am an avid above water photographer and would love to start taking some pictures when diving. I already own a DSC-S70 but decided against a housing for it. I could get Sony's newer P5 and Marine Pack for less than the cost of say an Ikelite housing. I was wondering if you had any tips for a new underwater photographer using the Sony camera & Marine Pack?

Thanks again for sharing the great pictures!

Bryan Mordt
Cynde Lee 15-Dec-2001 00:49
Ellen, fabulous pictures. I showed your frogfish pictures and they are gorgeous!
Ellen Muller14-Dec-2001 19:28
Terri, I have done 80+ dives with the Marine Pack and never had any problems. Check my post to Connie re:strobe. The deepest I have gone with the Marine Pack is 27m.
Terri 14-Dec-2001 09:10
Hi Ellen
Great shots. I am considering getting a P3 or P5. What do you think of the Marine Pack? Can you add an external strobe? How deep have you dived with it? I believe it is rated to 40m. Have you ever dived to 40m with it?
Terri (Melbourne, Australia)
Ellen Muller13-Dec-2001 06:07
Thank you, Jo Jo. Congatulations on the purchase of your camera. I hope you have fun with it. Did you purchase an underwater housing for it?
Jo Jo 11-Dec-2001 06:13
Your photos are excellent ! I really liked the seahorse one. I've just purchased the Canon Powershot A20 so I hope the photos turn out well too!
Jo Jo 11-Dec-2001 06:13
Your photos are excellent ! I really liked the seahorse one. I've just purchased the Canon Powershot A20 so I hope the photos turn out well too!
George Moses 10-Dec-2001 07:51
Hi Ellen, since my last post here, I noticed a lot of international visitors. I'll add an English section to the site. - - For now you can select a link from the top section (frame) to see the pictures and movies I shot in the Red Sea.
Ellen Muller10-Dec-2001 04:46
Hi Connie, Sony sells a video light and arm kit to use with the P1 and P5. For other solutions you can check here:
Connie 09-Dec-2001 19:48
Hi Ellen. I loved your images, and I'm considering purchasing the Sony DSC P5. Do you know if there is an external strobe you can use with this?
Ellen Muller09-Dec-2001 05:32
Jonas, most of the unedited photos have too much of a greenish cast to them. The auto levels in Elements does a fairly good job of bringing out the colors in most of the shots but not all. I think an external strobe would help more than a red filter.
Jonas Lüttichau 08-Dec-2001 16:12
How does you pictures look without running them through photoshop? Have you considered using the red color filter thats available for the DSC-P1?
Ellen Muller07-Dec-2001 08:54
George, I finally found your pictures. Very nice! The Red Sea looks like a fabulous place to dive and take underwater photographs.
Ellen Muller07-Dec-2001 03:19
Redkev, for post processing I use Adobe Photoshop Elements, auto levels, adjust brightness, contrast and unsharpen mask and on some of them I use the red variations command.

George, which of your samples did you want me to have a look at? You have a lot of links on your site and I can't read Dutch!
George Moses 06-Dec-2001 07:50
Hi, great pictures! Beautiful colors, nice subjects. Have a look at my samples from a Red Sea Diving Safari in Egypt at - George
redkev 05-Dec-2001 20:11
dear ellen,
your images are wonderful. i am amazed at the quality of the lighting with the built in strobe. how much post processing was done on the photographs? anything that you would be willing to share about using this realitively cheap digital camera and housing would be greatly appreciated.
Ellen Muller05-Dec-2001 05:07
Hi Ivy, I only used the internal flash.
Ivy 03-Dec-2001 18:50
Nice photos. Did you use an external strobe or internal flash?