Blue Shark Clips
Posted 12 August 2006 - 03:27 AM
Last weekend I shot some footage of a Blue Shark while in Cornwall, UK. There's nothing particularly astounding about Blue shark footage as there is already plenty of it out there, but it could possibly be a first for filming this species underwater in the UK. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of Blue sharks around our shores in summer months, but they are difficult to find and no one as far as I'm aware has ever attempted this before.
The footage was shot while on a pilot project to try to ascertain if it could be viable to operate a shark eco-tourist business in future years. Visibility was ok(ish) at around 5-7m. It was the first time that I'd ever attempted to film from a cage though and I never realised how difficult it could be! We used a 1 man cage which was bobbing around at the surface in the swell and bashing into the side of the boat. I managed to 'wedge' my head through the cage which kept me from being thrown about too much, but overall it felt what it must be like to be inside a washing machine!
My problem (and believe me I'm really kicking myself over this) is that my housing lens had a couple of salt crystals on it from earlier in the day that were not noticed before I started filming (inexcusable I know arrrrrggggghhhhh!). Please take a look if you can and if anyone knows a way to clean this up a bit without fixing every frame in photoshop then I'd be more than grateful.
Posted 12 August 2006 - 07:42 AM
You may get BETTER RESULT ( Less Bounce ) bu drifting thee cage out of the stern of the boat. Shock cord works well for taking that jerk out . My 2 cents
Posted 12 August 2006 - 10:22 AM
I'm sure I read fairly recently of an easy way to fix this, but I've searched the forums and can't seem to find it. Does anyone else remember seeing that thread?
Posted 12 August 2006 - 10:48 AM
My advice? Stay outside the cage. You get a more stable shot and much closer to the talent...=)
I'm 150% in support of this business venture succeeding. The more ecotourism, the more legitimate pressure put on the (over)fishing industry.
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Posted 13 August 2006 - 03:33 AM
Dean - the project is being run by Richard Peirce, who's chairman of the Shark Trust, although it's not directly associated with the Trust itself. Full details can be found at www.peirceshark.com
Last weekend we were out of Padstow and our next trip will be out of Looe. So far only 1 weekend has been able to get out due to the weather, but on that weekend over two days the following was spotted: 7 Blue Sharks, around 10 Basking Sharks at the surface (people were able to snorkel with them), 2 breaching Basking Sharks (no I didn't imagine it!), 2 Ocean Sunfish and litterally hundreds of Common Dolphins. One dolphin pod was estimated to be around 200 strong.
Anyway back to the film...... anyone got any ideas before I open up photoshop for 1 frame at a time fixing?
Posted 13 August 2006 - 08:40 PM
Never seen a blue shark...boy would I love to. I agree, lose the cage and get in the action. Maybe a chainmail set of gloves if you want some precautions.
You can do a lot to repair that spot if you use final cut pro. There is a plug in which lets you clone any area on the screen, and blend/cover the spot. you can key frame to your hearts content to get it just right. great for saving great footage when lint or spots are there. it is very easy to use and i would be happy to share tips with you on how to use it effectively. for pc users, last I checked you are stuck with frame by frame:(
best of luck
Posted 13 August 2006 - 10:10 PM
Those spots might take abit of work to get rid of.
And if you are using Premiere Pro you can export the clip as a Filmstrip then open up that file in Photoshop and clone the problems away on every every single frame, then export out of Photoshop and back into Premiere Pro.
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Posted 14 August 2006 - 01:21 PM
Dean no broadband? I thought it was only MikeV that was so technologically disabled! At least he has an excuse though!
Shawn I'm a Premier user so I guess it's a photoshop fix for me. I hadn't come across the filmstrip export though so I'll check that out. It should make things a bit easier.
P.S. The footage should be going out on ITV and possibly BBC over the next few weeks and all proceeds will go back into shark conservation in one form or another. It's not going to be huge - at the moment it looks like 5-10 secs max, but every little helps
Posted 15 August 2006 - 11:54 AM
One way to correct specs is to make a little hole in the footage using a mask (I use a bezier spline mask in Vegas) with blended edges. Then place the same footage on the track below and move it a few pixels to the left or right (or up or down) allowing the footage next to the spec to show through. This works great for small clearly defined specs on footage of blue water. As soon as the action starts moving across the spec then this doesn't really work.
This wouldn't be the ideal technique in the case of this footage but it's worth bearing in mind as it might work for a few parts of the sequence and save you some labour.
Posted 16 August 2006 - 12:21 PM
Nick, just wanted to say that I loved the DVD - great work! When are you making another?? Thanks for the tips
Posted 17 August 2006 - 02:22 AM
Posted 18 August 2006 - 02:26 PM
If you really want to try to clean them up, Nick's suggestion is the one I also use. If you can mask out a second layer of the same clip on the video track above, except for a small spot with a feathered edge, and shift the position of the top clip so that the opening that shows through the mask covers the specs below you can cover them. You can even key-frame the masked portion to move with the image somewhat, but it is a lot of work. My guess is that Premiere Pro can handle that kind of masking and key-framing? (I use Final Cut Pro.)
It also does my heart good to see your images of Beautiful Blues! They're one of my favorite sharks. Did a bit of diving with them over the past few years here as the onboard videographer for San Diego Shark Diving Expeditions. Dived outside the cage, and didn't worry too much about getting bit so long as my back wasn't turned to the chum line. And, of course, I wasn't handling bait at all. Did have to push Blues (and Makos, but that's a different matter!) away on occasion with the dome of my housing, and fortunately those shots were usually in focus. Got real used to constantly brushing the bubbles off my housing dome between shots, too.
The tragedy here in San Diego is that the population of Blues has been so decimated by overfishing that for the first time in nearly three decades, San Diego Shark Diving Expeditions has ceased the Blue Shark diving because there are so few left here that often times we'd chum all day and see nothing, when several years back a couple of hours chumming could bring in 10 to 40 or more Beautiful Blues. It is no longer commercially viable to take divers out from San Diego for one-day trips to see Blues. It's a sad end to a long history of Blue Shark Diving here.
So my very best wishes to you for a successful Blue Shark Diving operation there in the Atlantic! And hopefully you can help raise awareness about those beautiful animals with the dives and the imaging! Keep up the great work!
Posted 19 August 2006 - 05:33 AM
I'm using FCP and would go about that task as stated. It will be tedious work but worth it. Did you have a green water filter on the camera? Did Alex say the magic Filters also could work for Video? May wanna ask him on that.
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Posted 19 August 2006 - 01:34 PM
Mary I'd heard about the Blue diving coming to an end out of San Diego and that's a really sad, sad reflection on what is happening to the shark populations in our oceans. San Diego Shark Diving Expeditions were one of the pioneers of this type of tourism which has since spread to many other parts of the world. I know of one operator in particular who's running out of Rhode Island area and having problems with shark depletions and we've also got big problems over our side of the pond. To give you some idea of shark numbers in the Atlantic in the 60's the Shark Angling Club of Great Britain used to catch around 6000 Blue Sharks a year. Nowadays they are lucky if they catch 200 a year (all tagged and released).
I don't think anyone that participated in the pilot project over here would ever expect to see 40 or even 10 Blue sharks on a single trip. To be honest we were all ecstatic to see just one! It was a great day out and I feel really privileged to have been in the water with such an amazing animal. My wife Zoe is 8 months pregnant and even she wanted to get into the cage, but it was vetoed when it was decided that we probably wouldn't be able to get her back out again!
Mark I didn't use a green water filter as we were so shallow (1m max). I don't think that the magic filters are designed for green water use, although I could be wrong there. Perhaps Alex can put us straight!
I'm using Premier so I'm gradually going through frame by frame. It's a slow process, but it's my punishment for not being more careful in the first place!!