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Thar be Mola Mola!


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#1 NickJ

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 12:02 AM

So here are a couple of minutes of Mola Mola action from Crystal Bay off Nusa Penida, off Bali, videoed last Sunday and Monday 3/4 September - the start dates of a semi-predictable Mola season in these parts. The Molas come up from deep cold water to be cleaned by banner fish and others as the cold water currents rise higher up the reef at this time of year.

A lot of these shots were taken quite deep, 25-35m, but we were blessed with great viz. Nevertheless I think one can see that the FX1 is coping pretty well with the restricted light at these depths. I shot rays at 40+m and still had no issue with white balance etc.

Let me know your comments.

This is a 25meg MP4 encoded with MPEG Streamclip from a FCP 'export to QuickTime Movie' (without the 'make movie self contained' box checked) This is a 16:9 aspect ratio clip.

Crystal Molas

Edited by NickJ, 19 September 2006 - 12:52 AM.

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#2 Nick Hope

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 12:51 AM

Nice work Nick, especially for your first weekend with a new setup. And a very nice file conversion too.

If anything could be improved it would be to get even more steady with the camera. It's a bit wobbly in parts but of course that will improve as you get more familiar with the housing.

Did you have the flip filter in or out and were you in manual or auto exposure? It's very blue and a bit dark, but that's not necessarily a complaint.

Is that Dean with the other Bluefin? It really is quite a different posture to shoot with those top-view housings.

Got to see those mola molas. Maybe I'll go next year.

By the way who did you dive with over there?

#3 Drew

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 01:01 AM

If you change your filename to .mov, you can embed it.
Pretty good stuff except there were a lot of divers in the water.
Also sometimes it's better to approach the mola head on. That tends to be a blindspot when they are getting cleaned.
And who's the other diving hogging the mola? Must be some cowboy.

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#4 NickJ

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 01:26 AM

Thanks for the comments Nick. Red filter on at all times, which should account for the contrast and deeper blue. And yes, auto exposure. As mentioned some of the shots are quite deep and the really blue shot of the Mola turning with his (her?) mouth to you was around 40m. Same rig and settings in 10m later in the dive produced stunning reef colours.

That's Shawn with his Bluefin - he likes to be in all my shots <_< :P

I'll be working on less shake - I think I was swimming after Shawn too hard in the later shots. When I do a proper edit I'll chop of course.

Diving was with Wolfgang at WaterWorXX in Padang Bai - www.WaterWorxBali.com highly recommended - mention Shawn/Justin/Nick and he'll (drown you?) .....

Thanks Drew for trying to embed - seems like somehow the clip converted itself to 4:3 - the MP4 downloads and plays as 16:9. Hmm don't you love encoders?

Nick - did you download and play this clip as 16:9 widescreen?

Edited by NickJ, 09 September 2006 - 01:27 AM.

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#5 Nick Hope

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 01:33 AM

Sorry, Shawn, not Dean. It gets confusing round here sometimes with all these Shawns, Steves, Dans, Deans, Nicks...

Yeah, I downloaded it and it played beautifully in VLC media player at 16:9. Looks good even when I fill one of my 17" monitors with it.

#6 NickJ

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 02:10 AM

Glad the MP4 encoding seems to work OK.

And yes Nick (!) now I look at the clips I posted again I can see what you mean about the shakes. It seems to be me trying to frame and get used to the top down LCD viewer. It think it's just a matter of practice - I'm used to shooting with a monitor at the back of the housing, i.e. at right angles to the BlueFin. I'm sure I'll be smoother once I find my comfort zone - nearly there already I think ... :P

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#7 Nick Hope

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 02:37 AM

Also maybe you haven't got the trim spot on yet. If you can get the camera neutral and trimmed perfectly then it's just a case of gently "steering" it and the shakes will reduce.

#8 Starbuck

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 02:49 AM

WOW! that is a cool video of Mola Mola's..thanks for posting...really enjoyed watching them..

does anyone know why they hang vertical like that? resting, cleaning station?

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#9 PeterCatchpole

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 05:40 AM

Nice video, plays very well on a 19" monitor, nice blues, etc. its a location I know well, any more please, to share?

Edited by PeterCatchpole, 09 September 2006 - 05:47 AM.

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#10 PeterCatchpole

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 05:56 AM

WOW! that is a cool video of Mola Mola's..thanks for posting...really enjoyed watching them..

does anyone know why they hang vertical like that? resting, cleaning station?

M.


Crystal Bay, where this footage was shot is a well known Mola Mola location in Bali. They come up from the depths to be cleaned by the resident Banner fish, its a great spot, not necessarily an easy dive but interesting. It can get quite crowded with divers sometimes and they do tend to drive the Mola's away.

If you look at the begining of the footage you can see the Banner fish working away on the Mola.

Edited by PeterCatchpole, 09 September 2006 - 05:58 AM.

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#11 shawnh

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 11:29 AM

Nick,
Nice mola mola material material! Who is that handsome fellow in some of your shots. What that star, you really have "A" class material now:)
Shawn
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#12 wagsy

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 06:11 PM

Hey Nick...must of missed this post..

Found the file on my server first....that's great...well done...Kelly's saying that's what I want do do....please take me there.. ;)

Played it at full screen on my 17 inch LCD with Media Player Classic and it looked wonderfull.

I can see you are one happy chappy now, congrats and well done....it's ashame there was that other video hog getting into ya shots... :) :P
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#13 Wolfgang Water Worx Bali

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 07:43 PM

WOW! that is a cool video of Mola Mola's..thanks for posting...really enjoyed watching them..

does anyone know why they hang vertical like that? resting, cleaning station?

M.


They hang like that to indicate that they wish to be cleaned...

They can be seen like that on many of Bali's dive sites from june to november.

Edited by Wolfgang Water Worx Bali, 10 September 2006 - 07:45 PM.

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#14 NickJ

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 10:19 PM

Haha Wags - I was going to title this short clip "Shawn's wonderful Mola Mola encounter - as captured by NickJ" .... everytime I started panning in on another solitary Mola, there's this great explosion of bubbles under me and this guy comes into the finder and sticks his camera down the Mola's ear!! :)

To be fair I'm in a good number of Shawn's shots too ;)

Thanks for the comments on quality - I'm really happy about this material. Not bad for the housing's christening in salt water huh? Lot's to learn of course but getting there.

I have been reading the FX7 posts with interest, but not regretting my purchase one bit. Too many unknowns on that other rig and no tested housings yet etc.

My main fear vs the A1 was the size of the beast, but actually in the water the housing is just as easy to handle as a smaller one IMHO. We got sucked into strong down currents at 35-40m at the open sea end of Crystal Bay a few times. We were riding the currents down with the Molas once we'd got the hang of them, and the housing was no real issue - an easily accessible BC inflate button helped at times tho! :P

Tell Kelly to book you both with Wolfgang now! This is a great site and there is still time. According to http://www.balisunfi...s.balisunfish#2 the best dates to see the Mola Mola in 2006 are as follows:

August 19th - August 27th
September 3rd - September 11th
September 18th - September 26th
October 3rd - October 11th
October 18th - October 26th

bali_sunfish_map.jpg

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#15 SimonSpear

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 11:48 AM

Nice vid Nick. After looking at the quality of the footage, I'm a bit green with envy at your new set up!! :lol:

Cheers, Simon

#16 NickJ

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 11:23 PM

Thanks for the kind words Simon - I'm pleased too. Actually any mug who is prepared to sign a second mortgage and submit a justification plan to the wife can achieve similar results :lol:

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#17 wagsy

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 03:03 AM

Hey Nick.
Yep we will put it on our list of places to check out.

Abit busy right now to go anywhere as we are the proud owners of 1000 feet of prime commercial realestate in downtown Exmouth with two shops on it...watch this space....... :lol: :lol:
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#18 SimonSpear

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 05:46 AM

Thanks for the kind words Simon - I'm pleased too. Actually any mug who is prepared to sign a second mortgage and submit a justification plan to the wife can achieve similar results :lol:



LOL it's the 'justification plan to the wife' that always stumps me. Well having said that I've been getting a LOT of practise lately - I think that I'm gradually wearing her down! :lol:

Cheers, Simon