Posted 16 June 2006 - 01:18 PM
Well my fX1 set up was too much of beast to handle in the raft so we rented an A1 set up from gates with a wide lens from Fathoms. The set up was decent but all manual (i have been using electronic for years now). That being said, it held up. One of the best decisions was getting the ext monitor...saved my face from serious abuse and allowed me to frame shots while stablizing the housing with my body.
The challenges were so many it is hard to name but here are a few:
-snow run off bitter cold water (42 deg f)
-warm, moist humid air
-sun changing to overcast to rain
-cam tape switching out doors
-water and spray everywhere
-crowded little boat
-everything moving (water, boat, people)
-no control over any environment or position
-going from 40 deg water to 80 deg air back and forth for hours and days
My biggest challenge was drops on the lens follow but fogging. The fogging issue was always unavoidable at the beginning of the day. Day 1, the warm housing hit the cold water and everything fogged for 2 mins. Once the housing hit a mid temp, all was good. Day two I tried pre-cooling the housing in the river. Well, it was humid and the housing just misted up on the outside b/c it was too cold! So, I determined that dunking over and over got it to the right time.
The droplets issue was incredibly hard. I tried Rainex...no good. I brought a shammy...no good. I brought lens cleaner no good. Finally i settled on good old fashion saliva....and lots of it! I had to spit on the lens every 1 min, lather it and dunk once to form a clear layer of liquid on the surface. This would last less than a minute. This ultimately enabled me to get some good clear shots.
The shooting was wild. Leaning over the side in shooting at water level, tucked in the back shooting down the line, huddled in the front shooting the folks paddling and leaning off the front of the raft as 2-3 meter waves crashed over me. The biggest thrill was when the raft hit a huge wave as it crested, went verticle and then threw us out, with me catapulted from the top at the front. All this while the camera was rolling. First massive wave lurking, then crashing over, then water, then sky, then updside horizon, then froth and bubbles, then surface, culminating with the cam climbing back in the raft...now that is unique stuff.
Safety was big concern. Aside from almost losing my front teeth several times from a metal housing crashing into me, drowning was concern. To address this i taped life vest foam to the housing. The leash was a bigger concern. No leash, lost housing, leash and maybe underwater entrapment and death I finally used my dive lanyard with a quick release plast buckle that was very accessible and would break under force...seemed like a good compromise.
All said and done, mission was accomplished and some of the footage was suprisingly usable! So, if anyone needs tips for shooting in raging waters with a housing, drop me a note...i have plenty of training now:)
Posted 16 June 2006 - 03:44 PM
Couple of questions. How did you handle "splits" (part of the frame above water and part below) when it came to exposure/iris setting? Did you ever have to deal with getting thrown into the water not-by-choice? If so, what happened?
I've heard that defog can work to help droplets sheet off for splits, any luck with that? Baby shampoo? Sounds like saliva will turn out to be the best bet, though.
Thank you for sharing, it's a thrilling story!
Posted 16 June 2006 - 05:41 PM
Question on fog - outside or inside? I always load up with silica gel packets inside housing (re-usable packs, home-made from the tips of gardening gloves and filled with pellets - re-dry in the microwave before each trip). This has reduced my fogging to zero.
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Posted 16 June 2006 - 05:50 PM
Spit seems to be the best as you always have it but you have to keep doing it. The more the better. It also helps in stopping air bubbles sticking to the lens.
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Posted 16 June 2006 - 06:58 PM
All - After trying all kinds of stuff to keep the lens clear, Wags is right. Spit is always there and it works. YOu can even control its consistency if you are good:) I would spit on the lens couple times, gently coat it and do one plung to rinse it.
Thanks for the support gang and to be honest, i was definitely intimidated at times.
Nick - The fog was actually in the lens (between the elements at the front of the dome. No silica would have helped...we are talking extreme temperature fluctuations.
Posted 17 June 2006 - 08:02 AM
The whole story sounds like you had a blast.
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Posted 17 June 2006 - 09:25 PM
Posted 18 June 2006 - 04:16 AM
I'm in Australia, so networks and titles prob aren't really relevant.
Can't wait to hear the details anyway. Would love to seek it out.
"It's much better down there... It's a better place..." Enzo, Le Grand Bleu.