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Steve Douglas

Member Since 20 Mar 2002
Offline Last Active Dec 04 2017 01:14 PM

#331857 First Place Video - Classic - SEA International 2013

Posted by Steve Douglas on 25 May 2013 - 09:10 AM

Rack Focus is a very commonly used technique in both TV and movies.   In a layman's explanation, you have something or someone in the foreground and something or someone else in the background.   Rack Focus will occur when the subject in the foreground is sharply in focus but then the cameraman adjusts the focus to sharply focus the background bringing the foreground subject out of focus.  It can go either way and is fairly easy to do.  Productions houses will often have a focus puller do the job while the cameraman simply works the camera.  Try it a few times for yourself and you will find that you can pick it up pretty quick.  Know how far you have to go to focus on the background when switching from the foreground so that you don't go too far with it.  All techniques and tricks are good when you don't use them too often.

#331509 First Place Video - Classic - SEA International 2013

Posted by Steve Douglas on 17 May 2013 - 09:14 AM

All that in 3 minutes, really well done.  No matter how great a film is, 3 years down the road you will see things that you will want to change but, by then, the time to move on has come.  Very nice music and, you're right, it does set the ambience.  Agree with all of Nick's suggestions.  Never the less, loved it and it is rare that I like music videos.


#329268 An incredible little Clip...warms the heart.

Posted by Steve Douglas on 06 April 2013 - 01:29 PM



This was sent to me by an old friend and client and I knew I had to share this one around the community.


#324201 My first underwater video, feedback would be great!

Posted by Steve Douglas on 10 January 2013 - 03:00 PM

I agree, darn good for a first time film maker but I also agree that 20 minutes is far too long. Usually, and as much as it hurts to do so, you produce a better and more interesting film when you cut a project down in duration. Try not to fall in love with your own footage. You definitely need some good video lights so bring your girlfriend to the Salvation Army and let her pick out three pairs of shoes.
Okay, at 3:37 and another at 3:45 you have jump cuts so pick two of the three clips and cut them. Prior to those shots you have a good downward facing establishing shot of the divers on the wreck but then you jump to the upward shot. Why? The establishing shot should lead to a further shot of the exploration of the wreck imho.
At 3:56 you have two, nicely focused shots of a ray. The 2nd is moving away from you and that would be the one I'd cut.
First frogfish clip could be shortened a touch if not cut completely since you have a moving behavior shot of it following which is the better of the two.
4:19 moving through the wreck all the way to 4:31, cut in half.
4:37 moving through the wreck again....I'd cut the whole clip

Okay, I am at 5 min and I can see that you have some great clips, steady hands, no lights but great potential. I know it hurts to do so but start cutting with 5 min 15 seconds as your goal. Keep clips
no longer than 5/6 seconds unless they are fantastic behavior shots. When possible always attempt to shoot up at the subject rather than down at them which will flatten out the image.

Get her those slippers and you get the lights; a fair trade.

#321001 need some expert recommendations

Posted by Steve Douglas on 20 November 2012 - 01:52 PM


#319253 Posta Fibreno lake

Posted by Steve Douglas on 27 October 2012 - 02:34 PM

Really liked the duplicate reflections at shallow depth. A moving island? You definitely should take some time lapse video of that and include it in your next film. A captivating subject.

#318396 GoPro Hero2 Protune Firmware

Posted by Steve Douglas on 14 October 2012 - 05:09 PM

What are your suggested settings using Pro Tools in the Hero2?
In the Cineform Studio itself, vers. 1.3, once I import a clip with step 1, should I hit the step 2 edit tab, the canvas goes black so any of the editing tools cannot be used. What am I doing wrong? I'm stumped.

#316982 Back into the wet stuff....

Posted by Steve Douglas on 23 September 2012 - 09:19 AM

Hey Mark,
Great to hear you're doing well and congrats on the upcoming addition to your family.
There has been much talk about Black Magics new cam. I have spoken to John E over at Gates and there are no plans for a housing and I doubt that L & M or Amphibico will be coming out with one so you might have a corner on the market for it. You have my email so stay in touch and keep me up to date and in the loop as your R & D for it develop.

#315685 A Minute Beneath UK Waves

Posted by Steve Douglas on 01 September 2012 - 03:02 PM

Hey Jo,
You can find plenty of good tutorials for FCPX here and their discussion forum can be very helpful. http://www.kenstone....page_index.html
Don't feel bad for Simon, he'll be diving in the Cocos Islands, Costa Rica very soon. I'm jealous.

#315622 Black Magic Cinema Camera

Posted by Steve Douglas on 31 August 2012 - 10:24 AM

It is widely known that a companies advertised specs for most anything including camera gear, stereo equipment and a wide variety of other devices do not always, and frequently do not, meet the actual performance of said equipment. That is why reviewers review a product. In some cases, the performance actually does better than advertised specs, but often it is the other way around.

We always tell beginners to do their research and learn, learn, learn before they actually buy anything. This means learning from a variety of sources and yes, sometimes a reviewer can misinterpret something.
When I write reviews, I always send a preview URL of the article to the company before publication to be sure there are no errors of this kind. Sometimes I do get a correction which I am always happy to make as it only makes the article more accurate and helpful.
Unfortunately, most print reviews are not to be taken too seriously as they rarely point out deficiencies and usually only praise the product. I believe this is because these same companies take out expensive magazine advertisements and the mags do not want to lose this financial source. Fortunately, for me, I can be critical but, even then, I try to do so diplomatically. It is rare, but it has happened that I have been sent a product for review that was so bad that I refused to write it up. Rather than trash the company, I just don't provide that gear or software the publicity.
There is no 1 expert. Everyone can bring something to the table which the individual can sort out for themselves. In fact, this brings to mind a discussion I had back in 92 with Wayne Hanson on the Okeanos Aggressor. Wayne was then the sole owner of the Aggressor Fleet. They hand out applications to all divers and ask them to check whether they are beginners, intermediates, advanced or experts. He said that anyone who checks themselves as an 'Expert' is the one who they watch most closely as they are the most likely to get themselves in trouble. Glad I just listed myself as an 'advanced' diver, but what he said stuck with me and I believe it applies to a great many other situations and people.

#313511 Anyone have contact infor for DEPP?

Posted by Steve Douglas on 25 July 2012 - 08:14 AM

Dear All,
I hate to say it, or admit it, but this weekend I had a major flood of my Nauticam housing for the 7D. The fault was not really mine, but a new connector in the bulkhead for testing of an external monitor that was not installed by me. A knot the size of an elephant has been in my stomach since Sat. I brought the gear up to C & H Photo in La Jolla, Dave Hinkel, the owner evaluated the damage and immediately sent an estimate to DAN's insurance company. To show you all how good I think DAN is, they have already sent out a check. I called them with a question or two this morning, got the proper rep on the first ring and she answered me clearly and very much to my satisfaction. I can't express how pleased I am with DAN's service.

#313193 Offensive imagery

Posted by Steve Douglas on 20 July 2012 - 09:32 AM

What a shame that the shark attack video was so out of focus. It could have been a real money shot. Notice the shark never opened its mouth...it was just investigating and having fun making the diver s**t his pants.


#312959 Newbie needs advise

Posted by Steve Douglas on 17 July 2012 - 02:32 PM

It might be helpful if you gave a rough estimate of your budget. Remember, that for the photography end of things you will need strobes as well. For video, video lights. For the DSLR, Nikon or otherwise, a good housing. Welcome to Wetpixel and to the crazy and expensive frustrating but possibly rewarding world of photo and video.

#312616 New video about Spearfishing

Posted by Steve Douglas on 11 July 2012 - 10:30 AM

Agreed, I heard no one call any one a psychopathic killer. My very first post certification dive was with a spear in hand because that is what my more experienced dive buddies were in to at the time in 1983. We ate everything we caught as well but when I saw the decline in marine life in the late 80's I just stopped the activity and put the stalking skills I learned when hunting to use in taking video instead. At the time, white sea bass was practically extinct tho in all that time, when hunting, I never shot a single one. There weren't any to shoot. Currently, the white sea bass is only now coming back from the brink, thus my objection.

Dean B.- good point but let's look at the larger scale. The Asian and other countries who catch and kill whales, shark fins and other marine life also eat what they catch. Go to any food market over there and you will see a ton. Yes, the fishermen make money off their catch, but, if I follow your point, at least the catch is being eaten and not killed for sport. Doesn't make it right, does it?

At any rate, at least HookBuzz has begun a healthy discussion of the issue.

#312369 New video about Spearfishing

Posted by Steve Douglas on 07 July 2012 - 05:50 PM

The white sea bass has only, in the last few years, bounced back from almost extinction on the LA & San Diego coast. It breaks my heart to see you spearing and killing them now that they are on the road to recovery, I stopped spearing fish back in the late 80's as I once looked around and bemoaned the lack of game. I made the decision then that I would no longer contribute to the decline. Haven't eaten sea food since and ask for chicken on liveaboards though I will be a hypocrite once in a while with a Tuna sandwich.
You also mention the blue sharks. I used to be one of the wranglers for a Blue/Mako shark operation where divers would be in a cage while, we, in our metal shark suits, would tease them in and hand feed them mackeral while the photographers and videographers would film. That industry is long dead as the shark population also declined to the point of bringing people out and never seeing a single one. While your film is a well produced advertisement for your business, I hate to see this activity grow.