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Diving with two full-gear


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#1 Autopsea

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 02:57 AM

Hi everyone,

 

I'm starting to think having two set-up. One for macro, one for wideangle shots.

 

I know this is done by many of you. But how do you handle two housings and strobes and everything underwater ?

 

Is there any specific tips ?  what are the most challenging things ?

 

It is easy to have them both in your hand if you are doing a shallow sandy dives because you can just drop the camera you don't use on the ground, when you do a shot.

 

But what when it comes to diving over depth ? floating device ?

 

 

p.s. I'm not accepting the answer " that's what other divers are for " : )

 

Thanks !

 



#2 errbrr

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 03:17 PM

I don't know about two set ups, but I often stow my rig while on a long swim through a cave. I fold up the strobes, put the dome port cover on, and used a double ender clip on each handle to clip the housing behind me. When clipped around the back, both of my hands are free for something else.

With practise I imagine you'd be able to swap cameras like this, but it's not going to be fast.

#3 matt215

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 04:27 PM

I've been considering the same thing. My thinking is that unless you have a really good friend to carry one of the set ups, you're gonna be paying a dive guide... very well. I've actually done this a few times. I had slr macro set up, and dive guide had a housed canon s110.
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#4 Aussiebyron

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 07:19 PM

I havn't seen many people carry two complete setups by themselves, mostly have a guide or an assistant who is carrying the spare setup.  I think the whole idea is that you want to carry two complete rigs underwater to maximise your time spent underwater and to get be more flexible in which way you shoot especially if your in an area where it might be hit and miss for certain subjects.  I think this might be more important when your diving in a remote or far away location as you want maxium exposure to the subjects with the limited time you have.  So if you paid good money to travel to these locations it makes more sense to have a dedicated guide showing you around and to hold your spare camera than to load yourself and clip off two complete rigs, which is more like an accident waiting to happen either to yourself or to your expensive camera gear.

 

I did see one guy with two complete DSLR's and also a large video camera. He had one DSLR setup in his hands the other DSLR clipped off to his BPW with . The video camera has chained off and kind of dragged behind........it looked very awkward and his gear was covered in battle scars.

 

Regards Mark


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#5 r4e

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 10:00 PM

How about one proper camera plus one Gopro 3?


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#6 Autopsea

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 10:38 PM

Thanks for all the ideas. Unfortunately, I will often be diving alone (this is another debate), potentially from my boat in remote locations. So, in these cases, paying someone to carry the second camera isn't an option.

 

The whole idea is to have a 'main' camera during the dive (i.e. shark dive, wide angle will be the main, macro would stay behind but will be here in case I meet a crazy critter).

 

I guess the option with 2 clips on the side, under the left arm, could be the good one. (i.e. like when you take some extra tank with you :

 

 

)

 

Did anyone tried a solution with a floating device 1-2 metters over the head? you can just grab it down and change in one clip. First you need to make sure your housings are balanced and will not be too heavy underwater. And to make sure you'll not cave or go under anything, unless you can drop the whole setup at the entrance and get it back later.

 

?



#7 E_viking

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 10:54 PM

I have very rarely seen people dive with 2 full DSLR rigs. It has basically only been in Lembeh. It looked very awkward when diving.

From my short viewing it seemed like they would put the unused setup in the sand when using the other.

This would  of course only work when there is a sandy bottom and no current.

 

You will surely have to clip in the 2nd rig somehow into your Jacket. In order to have 1 hand free. You would have to make sure that the Rig in your Hand does

not hit the other  rig, killing the Domeports etc.

In my opinion the only real possibility would be that the 2nd rig is a "small" rig without Strobes. So, that you can clip it in and almost "forget" about it.

 

I assume that we are all different. Well, I learned that I need to concentrate on one thing macro, portrait or Wideangle.  Otherwise I screw up :aggressive:


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#8 NWDiver

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 05:57 AM

Not two DSLRs, but this is a rig I just dove in Raja.  Don't you hate it when the Dive Guide says "on this dive we can see mantas and pygmy seahorses".... and yes I did get photos of both, on one dive.  Bottom camera is the Oly EM5 with the Oly 60mm Macro Lens.  Top is the Sony RX100 with the Inon H100 and Dome.

">http://8553753139_fc6961bbeb_b.jpg

This set up has the Oly with the Lumix 8mm Fish Eye.  I did have to take the sun shade off the Sony RX100 or it showed in the Oly shots.  In this line up I used the Sony more to shoot Video while taking photos with the Olympus OMD.

">8553750179_930606553f_b.jpg


Edited by NWDiver, 13 March 2013 - 06:02 AM.


#9 FanchGadjo

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 06:36 AM

:clapping: Nice rig !

Optical fiber triggering of the flashes reallly comes in handy in this situation.



#10 I-Torch

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 09:38 AM

Nice rig Martin!



#11 Aussiebyron

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 04:24 PM

Autopsea where are you planning to doing this solo diving with two camera rigs from your own boat? Will there be someone else in a tender following you on your dive or on your boat that knows how to navigate it? Starting to sound really dodgey. 

 

Regards Mark


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#12 errbrr

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 09:50 PM

Floating could work, and is safer than sinking - if you're carrying two negative housings and ditch both, you might be underweighted for your deco or safety stop. Maybe tow a small float/lift bag and clip the camera to it just above you, rather than a floating camera. Two further things to consider - two clips/lines, for redundancy, and not getting tangled in your lines (two line cutters are also a good investment).

I wouldn't put a rig down unless it was attached to something, like a shot line. Putting it on the bottom is risky, and not so great for the bottom either.

#13 Autopsea

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 02:25 AM

Mark, I'll make sure I either go with someone when they are standard / hard dives. I'll keep diving alone for very easy non-risky dives in shallow waters, such as macro-under-the-boat. Always someone on the boat to check on me if I surface / don't come back. I've been diving alone a lot already, and have been formed to work underwater with specific training etc... also cave diving, nitrox and more : not to say "I'm good" or anything, but to say I am sensibilized enough to what the risk is, and to decide not to take it if I have any doubt. But, you're never safe...

I'll be in different part of the world, potentially anywhere from cold to warm. Norway, BC, alaska, hawaii, french polynesia, australia, new caledonia, indonesia, africa... who knows !  but then it will be just 'sometimes', joining a sailboat roaming around the world. I'm waiting for all this and hope it will work good ! : )

 

 

Thanks for your photos NWDiver !  interesting... especially the strobes. I'll have to take that into account for my next housing !

 

I agree with you Liz. Also when I can, I'll throw lines deep down from the boat so I can always clip the housing(s) on it when I'm close from the boat.

another idea : having small colored marker you can put around during the dive so you can find back critters : do a first dive wideangle, and come back for macro then !

 

Thanks for all your ideas, and still open for more ! : )



#14 ChrigelKarrer

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 04:49 AM

I use sometimes my G12 in a Patima housing as secondary camera and clip her with to snap hooks in front of my chest.
For dives with 2 DSLR rigs it and not in a overhead environment you may have a detachable float to switch between the cameras

to make the unused one very positive buoyant and clip her with a at least 3 ft long rope to your bcd in order that she float above you.

The best d-ring for attaching the floating camera is the one on your lower back of your bcd as the rope will not entangle with you and 

you should use enough lift that the camera float always above and get not pulled down when you swim or if there is current.

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#15 tdpriest

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 05:45 AM

Several years ago I learned something very, very valuable (from Alex Mustard, in fact): the best images are carefully planned, and the dive is constructed around that plan.

 

The lens, the port, the lighting, the time of day, the position of the subject - they all matter.

 

"General purpose" kit yields snapshots: zoom lenses, multi-purpose domes and infinitely flexible strobe arms may let us photograph a multiplicity of subjects, but how many would we photograph well?

 

Carrying two set-ups just increases the tendency to jump from subject to subject, without giving each one the consideration it deserves, and without committing the dive to the aim of that one, perfect, image. My best photographs have been taken when I've carried a very specific camera set-up, and worked creatively to match its characteristics to the potential of the subject.

 

I think that flexibility is a blind alley!



#16 Autopsea

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 06:38 AM

Thanks Tim for this reminder. I'll keep it in mind. I believe it too, and have experienced it myself sometimes too.

 

However, I do have a personnal vision of, let say, one week on the same spot, with two dives a day.

My last 3 days will be aiming specifics like you describes. But if you want, for example, to write an article about the spot, you might want to use 2-3 days to just be 'productive' in number of good shots. No awesome shots, just technically good, describing the area or subjects. When you have that, you have the skelekon, the scene. And now is the time for your final pieces, your jewels, you personnal touch.

 

this is generally what happens when you get in a new sea/country you don't really knows. The first dives you'll just come out of the water with 150 technically good shots of everything around.

Then you learn what is common / boring, and to ID the special critters, or to ID the common critter that have the potential for special shots without too much effort.

Then you want to do the effort, you just jump strait under the boat for some macro shots, sit on the sand on the first rocky area you meet, and spend your next 2 hours here :D

Or go at the same nice seascape location freediving again and again waiting for a shark or a ray to pass by, having set your scene.

 

Anyway, I need to learn this 'Aim' thing by myself better. It's never enough to just 'know' something, you need to experience it yourself again and again to fully realize it and apply. for now I'm just being productive because I don't dive much (what an irony !?). I'll get serious at doing less when I'll have more time ! :crazy:

 

Having potentially two set-up doesn't mean you'll do all your dive with. Maybe 1/4 of them will be already a lot !

 

 

But Thanks again, I know I will remember all this soon enough ; )



#17 Aussiebyron

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 07:14 PM

Autopsea, I see more in your post than just diving solo with two complete rigs. It should be more like "how do people you sail around the world and take photo's while they dive"

 

I have a couple of good friends who are currently sailing around the South Pacific. They are mad keen Scuba Divers, Freedivers, and Spearfishermen.  I have talked often about how they set themselves up as its just the two of them.  Their biggest priority is safety as if something goes wrong in a remote location you simply can't call 000 or 911 and help can often be days away. Most of their diving is carried out by using their small inflatable tender as it is more maneuverable and also cheaper on fuel.  Most of the time the yacht is moored in areas with very little or no worth while diving under the boat (They did have some moorings in the Marshall islands which where attached to WW2 wrecks which makes an interesting dive).  But most of the time the tender is loaded up and dive sites are then searched for or a local is asked and or traded for information.  More often the case the locals who dive are happy to help out but it goes further when you offer them something for their help. You have to think about time, money and effort. Its easier to give/trade a local for something to get information which can put you in prime locations instead of trying to find everything yourself. Plus you meet interesting characters and form friendships with people of different backgrounds which I think is more important than just going to a location by yourself.

 

Looking for great wide angle shots and subjects like sharks and pelagics one needs current of some sort and what they do is find passages in the reef systems and dive them on the in coming tide. One diving solo and one in the tender (which folows the diver) when they are just the two of them or have two groups if they are diving with others off other yachts (2 diving and 2 in the tender and swap over). The reason why they dive incoming tide is if something goes pear shaped you drift into the lagoon and not drift out to sea if you dived the out going tide. The more harder dives are left to when there are more than two of them. Honestly I strongly suggest that you not consider carrying two complete rigs when diving any areas with the possibility of current especially when you have no experience in the area in which your diving.  I have seen bodies of water which have been calm and still for a whole week but all of a sudden you get a 3-4 knot current come through.  Not good when your diving solo and the the current is taking you one way and the yacht is moored in the other.  Now think what would happen if you had another complete housing on a float above your head with 3-4 feet of rope/line in a 3-4 knot current getting blasted out of a lagoon and into the big Pacific.

 

Another good tool to have is one of those divers EPIRB just in case.

 

Another thing to consider is the safety of the yacht and the person onboard while your off diving solo and does that person know how to handle a yacht if required? I have seen a fair few new yacht owners who buy a large ocean going yachts and have their partner/wife not knowing how to do anything on it.  What happens if something minor happens and the other person can't bring the pick up and know how to turn on the motor or worse still know how to use a EPIRB or send a Distress. A small thing can easierly turn into a big thing and again your could be a week away from any help.

 

Personally what I would do if I was travelling around the world by Yacht and looking at taking great photos is to plan ahead.  Research each and every location you looking at going to.  Find people and places that offer diving and make contact with them. Its great just to have a contact name somewhere new and it helps to know where you can get equipment or spare parts if you need.  There isnt a one stop boat shop in the middle of the Pacific.  Follow fellow yachties bloggs and get information off anyone and everyone, take everything with a grain of salt until you know who reliable and who's not.  Try and prebook guides when you can as they can put you in the right spot straight away and not have you searching all over trying to find everything for yourself.  Travel with other yachties and stay in contact with others you meet along the way as then you dont have to worry about hows watching the boat while your diving and you have that extra safety when diving those harder more exciting dive sites which you would not consider diving solo. Ocean going yachties are a small but very friendly community and it pays to keep an eye and ear out for others and in doing so they are hopefully doing the same for you.

 

I agree with tdpriest. If your in an area for a few days take your time and hopefully your research has provided you with information to start looking at potential dive sites. If you have booked a guide you can do a couple of dives with them to get an idea of the place and see the potential for certain subjects.  Maybe even dive the first two without a camera so your having a good look at the area instead of concentrating on getting a good shot.  Then concentrate on diving with one setup for each dive. It sounds like you dont have time frame so if you missed that macro shot well go tomorrow or the next day or the day after........take your time and enjoy and not worry about missing that one shot which as you said yourself might just be a technically good ID shot instead of something special.

 

At the end of the day common sense and safety are paramount.

 

Regards Mark


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#18 Autopsea

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 02:53 AM

Nice post Mark !  I agree with everything, I spent over 3 years of my life sailing around and I can confirm all this for the boat-related stuff (at that time I didn't have a housing).

 

Contact with locals is probably the issue I miss most of the time. I tend to want to 'escape' from the human world, and even if I like getting in touch with small tribes and native in remote area, we always try to avoid areas with cities / hotel / crowded beach or crowded with other boats-bays.

 

You're probably right for you double-gear thing. It will not stop me to have everything in double if I can (at least as a back-up if anything flood/break) and potentially to try using both from time to time, when the dive condition fit; i.e. under the boat on shallow sandy area.

 

Your point with current is very important. I'll double it, and add that the water will be much clearer when the current come in.

sharks will be there anyway, just not facing the same direction : )

 



#19 tdpriest

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 05:49 AM

 

 

Nice sharks!

 

Good luck!


Edited by tdpriest, 15 March 2013 - 05:50 AM.