Full press release:Underwater Photography Stage Opens At Underwater Movie Studio
Underwater photography equipment specialists Ocean Optics and The Underwater Studio, operators of the filming tank used for motion picture blockbusters including “The Bourne Supremacy”, and “Bond”, “Harry Potter” and “Star Wars” franchises have opened what is believed to be the world’s first purpose designed set for teaching and practicing underwater photography. The set was developed in consultation with leading underwater photography educator Martin Edge and London Aquarium marine biologist and underwater photographer Jamie Oliver. Ocean Optic’s Mark Koekemoer created the final design. It was opened underwater by Colin Doeg, eighty two, co -founder of the British Society of Underwater Photographers and one of the UK’s great underwater imaging pioneers.
The set revolves around workstations, which help underwater photographers learn and hone specific techniques. An artificial Caribbean coral reef was commissioned from a props company. It includes table corals, staghorns and tube sponges. The stage is heavily populated with fish and invertebrates and lets divers experiment with close up, macro and super macro photography. Even at very high magnification, the reefs realism is exceptional. For wide-angle photography, a cruiser has been sunk. Combined with subjects placed in mid water, including a hammerhead shark, and a boat on the surface, and the six-metre depth of the tank itself, it is even possible to shoot close focus wide-angle images. A 4K cinema lamp replicates daylight, essential for mastering skills like freezing sunbeams or shooting silhouettes. The water is a balmy 30˚C (86˚F).
The Ocean Optics Underwater Photography Stage will be the base for Ocean Optics underwater digital compact photography courses. There will also be regular sessions for individual divers to use the set for personal practice. Dive centres and clubs will also be able to hire the facility for teaching their own underwater photography programs.
Among the first to try the Ocean Optics Underwater Photography Stage was legendary ” Planet Earth” and “Blue Planet” underwater cameraman, Peter Scoones. He comments “An excellent facility. In a few moments I checked out a new system more thoroughly than I could achieve in a swimming pool. The simulated reef provides subjects that give a better check on results than the test targets one would otherwise need to use. I shall certainly use the facility for equipment checking before overseas trips in the future”.