I can only speak to a couple of items on your list. As I haven't been to PG. Anilao is one of my favorite places. However September is still a risky time there for weather...normally October/November to May is the safe time.
As for club O. Been there twice. It is a great place, with great guides. Although, getting a hold of them can be tough. I recommend trying through their Facebook account. They have enough repeat business, they aren't too focused on gaining new clients. If that doesn't work out. There are other places that are good as well, like crystal blue.
As a side, I have done Atlantis resort in dumaguete and it was great. I am sure pg will be similar.
I wanted to share a short film I have put together. Those that know me and my filming style, know that I don't personally like to narrate, nor have divers in my shots....well with this film this was all unavoidable.
Ever since I have been diving, I have wanted to have an up close and personal interaction with Manta Rays. I have been all of the world waiting for this magical opportunity. Thousands of miles traveled and dollars spent, I went to some of the best places in the world to pursue this dream of mine. Whether it be weather, bad luck, or illness, something always seemed to get in the way. It was very frustrating.
This film is about how the manta curse eventually got broken. I figured this is my story, and I needed to tell it. So outsourcing the narration didn't make sense. Hence the poor narration...:-).
Anyhow, Please let me know things you like and don't like about it. Always willing to try to improve and get pointers from others.
Thanks Dustin. Yeah I was puzzling about the length of each clip. I decided to keep the Pikachu nudibranch and the white one long because it show the interesting way of the pikachu crawl and flop (so cute!), and the white glass one eating. I suppose I could have cut the juvenile dragon shorter.
The mating part was tricky, I didn't even know they're doing it until when they split up. While I was shooting them, I just saw a blob of black nudibranch stick together, so focus was hard (dealing with diopter and try not to shake/move camera much). Watching them crawl closer kind of set up the scene, but I agree it's very sloooooowwww....... Do you think 15 seconds max per clip is too long? I'm slowly learning the editing portion, so any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.
I have another big master reel in the progress, so I think I will try to keep each clip around 10 seconds.
Also, I saw your Nudi clip, will try snoot light the next time, if I get to do more night dive!
Timing is tricky and there isn't ever a correct answer. When I was first learning, I would keep clips too long. And videos too long. Even now, I am thinking 5 minutes is too long for a full video, but I get dragged into it because I have more footage I want show. Lol. And even now, of course, then you will get people that say the clips aren't long enough. I have found that in general, if someone is very interested in the subject matter, longer clips are fine. But those casual viewers not so much, they need more action and variety. So I suppose it depnds on who you want as your audience. Unless you are nudi freak, you probably won't watch this all the way thru. you are better off making 2 shorter videos.
Having said that, the video is really good, and I am a nudi freak so I watched the whole thing...
As for the mating....I had the same type of nudis in Lembeh, but they were doing a 3 way...pretty funny. They were positioned well so you could definitely tell what they were doing. any black subject looks bad in video or pictures. Really hard to get that stuff to look good.
Would like to get an opinion in regards of underwater tripod. I'm thinking to purchase one for video both for WA shoot and macro.
I do have gorilla pod that can be used underwater but adjusting them is such a pain!
Considering the price - the proper one is expensive! - I do want to be sure it will help in getting a stable clip.
Thanks in advance!
Adjustin them is always a pain. You have to ask yourself, if it's important to you...? For me and macro, it's essential. For others, not so much. Keep in mind I also shoot a dslr, so that pretty requires a tripod. If you are satisfied with footage you get without one, then you are fine. If not, get one.
Here is another DIY solution for Macro. I doubt tripod is useful for wide angle, especially on wall dive.
I disagree. I use a tripod for wide angle, can get some great shots when the camera is staying still. Sometimes nice to leave the camera and let the fish surround it.
I also use the legs as a wider handle to help with more stable shots. Better than the housing handles imo.
It also makes my housing more stable above water, so it is more stable on sometimes rocky boats.
The whole video is excellent, I like the color grading and smooth shots.
I really love the first shot of the wreck appearing behind the corals !
The (double) splashscreen at the beginning is too long for me : 30s.
If I had not been for the preview, I would have left.
Thanks for watching it. I agree...the first part is too long. There is always a balance of trying to get your name out there and boring people. This is too long to get to the good stuff......but I will tell you my thinking. This might just be me...but, I feel there is a place in every song where it makes sense to start the good stuff...So with this particular song, that was where I thought it was, so I was trying to fill in the gap...Not great I know...but choosing music is hard for me, so if I find something that for the most part I like, I go with it.
Nice work, as usual. I liked the "tilted font" effect that you got on your name in the title sequence at the beginning. I was also very impressed with the water clarity, and how much of the plane was still intact after all this time.
I know it's your style but I would not crush black that much because it will look too much black on uncalibrated screen like tv or projector.
But maybe it just me.
As for the blacks...yes it is my style. Is there anything technically wrong with doing it this way? This might be a false observation, but I have noticed you used to do more of this than you currently do. Are you finding you don't like black in the picture just as a personal taste? Or is it for a technical reason? I definitely like having blacks especially in my macro, as I shoot it that way on purpose. On this trip I was actually exposing to the right on purpose with the mindset of crushing the blacks in post. I have viewed on both calibrated and uncalibrated monitors and TV's and it looks pretty good. I haven't put it up on my projector however. I have often pondered why we are so concerned with calibrating our monitors, when 99% of the monitors/tv's are not calibrated...lol. I always watch it on an uncalibrated monitor to make sure it looks good first. Interesting discussion....
I remember diving it and the water being quite milky then.
Can you say about what you did in post with this.
- and it's amazingly stable footage too!
Thanks! As for post I essentially crushed the blacks and tweaked the WB in very small amounts.
Nice video, Dustin
Yeah, divers in shot can be a mixed blessing. I shoot stills and with a fisheye lens on my camera, "bike riders" or those who dive with their legs bent constantly at 90 degrees from the knee are a real pain! Stop it, you people!
My partner has become an excellent model: hanging-in the water-column, legs elegantly elongated, lovely green eyes looking at the subject, gently exhaling a stream of perfectly rounded bubbles... and bingo, into view hoves Mr or Ms Bike Rider. ARGH.
We have thought about putting together a PADI Specialty Course: Underwater Modelling. It's tempting to make it compulsory. At least then we can get perfectly poised divers in shot.
(Sorry, not trying to hijack your post)
Thank you for watching it and commenting. Yeah, the divers can be a challenge especially with a fisheye. My instruction to my friends consisted of, "If you are in the shot, look like you know what you are doing, and never look at the camera!"...lol.
Looks like I need to stop filming or just switch to a Go Pro.....
I am sure Jonathan Bird is a well respected underwater filmmaker. But for him to dump on an entire group of videographers is a bit juvenile. I will first off state, that I am very self critical of my own footage, and realize some of the short comings it has. But having said that, I think the quality DSLR's put out are excellent. And to be honest, I think 99% of the world would be hard pressed to tell the difference between a RED and Canon DSLR. Looking at Mr. Birds shots on his website, I believe I could get 95% of them with a DSLR. And on top of that, I could get some shots he couldn't....Not only that, but looking at his footage, I would have to say that I prefer the look of a DSLR compared to his. I am sure with his type of shooting, he has picked the right tool for the job he needs to do. But I don't get slamming everyone else who love to shoot with DSLR's.
Some of these are my opinion, but a few things stuck out to me....
- SLRs typically have lousy audio interfaces, minimal audio controls and substandard audio quality. Audio needs to be handled separately. - Last I checked you don't really need great Audio underwater. Sure topside interviews might miss it, but I don't think the majority of people do that. An Zoom H4N can do the trick....
The DSLR has awkward ergonomics for video. Again, you can work around it, but it’s a pain. - This is true....But guess what, ever think you need a smaller housing to fit into tight spots? I do all the time. A huge camera wouldn't work in a bunch of shots I've. To me this is a wash....And you can get a DSLR housing ergonomic...it just takes being creative.
SLRs have sensors designed for still photos, with 16+ megapixels. - Again, what he says is true....but today's technology is so good, that it is hard for anyone to tell the difference. Sure if you want to get technical, he may be right. But is this really noticeable in the end product? Again 99% of people won't know. Just go film!
Amateurs are now happy to shoot video with a GoPro or the video mode on their point and shoot because it’s small and convenient. Sure, the video is awful, but as they aren’t working for National Geographic, who cares? This statement kind of pisses me off. I don't shoot for NG, and I am not satisfied with a GoPro...He is demeaning anyone who doesn't shoot for NG, should be shooting a GoPro.
A large sensor on an underwater camera is great for light gathering but extremely hard to get in focus. Depth of field is working against you here. When you see your work on a large monitor, you will be shocked how much of it is totally out of focus. - Actually, with a Wide Angle lens its really easy to focus. My guess is some of his stuff if out of focus too....Macro is where is gets a little harder. I agree macro on a traditional video camera is easier...but I will stack my macro up against anyones. OF course his is more documentary, and mine is more artsy...again what are you going for?
One of the greatest gifts of underwater video cameras is the URPRO “flip filter” to selectively add or remove filtration for natural light white balancing. Again, this is my opinion against his, but personally I hate red filters. They don't seem natural at all to me. You can pick it out on any shot that uses them. I prefer a good ole' Manual White Balance with a DSLR. The picture in my opinion is much better.
Dedicated video cameras have par-focal zooms with macro. You can shoot everything from a nudibranch to a whale shark with the same rig on the same dive. The real question is how often do you do that? I tend to go on dives and have a plan with specific things I want to shoot. If I am in Lembeh, and a Manta swims by...oh well...I am there to shoot something specific. If I am socorro, I am not there to shoot nudibranchs..I can't even think of a specific dive, where I have really regretted a lens choice....Do you homework and you will have the right lens on.
Can you get decent underwater video from a DSLR? Sure, sometimes. If you are shooting video where color isn’t that important (or you have some big lights on the rig), there isn’t a lot of fine detail that will suffer from aliasing and moiré, and you get it in focus, it will look fine. But in the vast majority of situations, a video camera in a proper video housing will produce a superior image. - Naaa...color isn't important. This is a ridiculous statement. I have had Howard Hall compliment my films saying that he thought that the color I was getting out of my Canon was better than his RED EPIC...certainly you get other advantages out of the RED, but I thought that was a great compliment. Even if it didn't, for him to say that, to me tells me that the color is pretty good.
If you really want to shoot decent video, think seriously about a dedicated video camera in a dedicated video housing. - How about everyone just go out and shoot some video of some awesome stuff underwater!! Pick the right camera for you, and don't listen to people pigeon hole you into their opinions.
Video Cameras have a lot to offer, but so do DSLR's. DSLR's are cheaper for similar quality video, backup cameras are easy, smaller, easier to travel with, great optics, and certainly more flexible. Me personally, I am waiting to upgrade my Canon 5d Mark II, which by the way still produces awesome video!, with hopefully a new Canon DSLR that can shoot 4k at 30 fps. I think Canon WB's is fantastic, and their lens selection is second to none. Heck, if the sony a7s did internal 4k and could WB, I would buy that today.
To be honest, I read this article a few days ago, and it kind of made me angry. Stop telling people what they are doing is wrong, and just encourage people to pick up any camera they can get a hold of and start being creative! If thats a go pro, or a photographer with a dslr that might try video and end up loving it...great! But don't make people feel like they can't get great video unless you shoot what the "pros" do. BTW, there's more than a few pro's who shoot dslrs..
I guess you have to define "isn't good" . If you mean consistancy then no. If you mean the the Sony sensor is not providing good colour then that is not true. This is one sensor from Sony that is good for UW. The low light ability and full sensor readout definitely played a part. On the other hand It is difficult to get consistent UW back ground colour. Any UW video camera for that matter. Especially when combined with video lights.
I have used the A7s for two trips now. For ambient light at the shallows with out video light AWB works. MWB also works well.
If you follow Peter's thread he did a sterling job with some UW light filters and the MBW will at least be more consistant with back ground colour:
I am hoping to get a prototype or full production housing for the Shogun. From top side tests this combo is really nice. You could practically shoot in total darkness with a lit match and the scene is still looked okay. Not many Camcorder or DSLR can do that like A7s yet.
Thanks David. I will be curious to see how the WB compares specifically to Canon. Which imo is pretty good at the MWB. It really is a shame. The Sony A7s looks to be a good camera, and with the shogun, eliminates the issue of internal 4k recording. I could live with the metabones adaptor to use the Canon glass I have. But the MWB is kind of a show stopper, as I am not a fan of wide angle with lights (if not needed).
How is the blue water banding on it?
I would like to stick with Canon, but they are not moving at the speed that I would like. A 1DC like dslr should have been released by now, and if there was one in the $3k range, I would buy one tomorrow. Rumors for a 4k from canon are out there....but you never know with them trying to protect their cinema line. I also like the full frame sensor. Which is why the sony is disappointing.
Which brings me to the GH4. Which looks like a capable camera, but I am still not sold on it. The video I have seen has been nice, but I wouldn't say it is better than what my old 5dII produces....I still prefer the looks of the canon. Heck, I think some canon footage looks better than RED footage. Of course alot has to do with post color grading etc...