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Member Since 05 Dec 2012
Offline Last Active May 19 2015 09:40 AM

Topics I've Started

GoPro video post-processing - recommendations?

09 April 2015 - 10:09 PM

Coming from still photography using raw file format and Lightroom post-processing, I'm quite comfortable with having to post-process.


The amount of light available at depth up here makes me want to avoid any use of filters. Right now I'm shooting in 2.7k (to allow for cropping in post), protune on, low sharpening and native color balance. I sometimes use a SOLA 1200 as my (only) light, sometimes only ambient lighting. 


For video editing/processing, I'm using Adobe Premiere Elements 13. I briefly tried out the GoPro video editor, but the lack of adjustment layers turned me off that program and got me to buy a license for Premiere Elements. 


I'm still at the start of my learning curve here, so any tips on alternative/better editing programs, and/or recommended adjustment settings would be appreciated.


Should i get a fisheye?

08 April 2015 - 11:56 AM

I got my UW rig about two years ago. I've been shooting topside for more than a couple of decades, and I had a half-decent idea about my weak and strong sides there. So, since macro basically was out of the question due to buddy obligations and I was more of a tele perspective person than a WA perspective person, I opted for a rectilinear WA zoom (Olympus 9-18mm/4-5.6). It had a fairly moderate WA perspective which I felt fairly confident I'd be able to use properly without too much trouble, and the zoom function gave me some flexibility WRT shooting the slightly more skittish critters.

Now, the 9-18 has its limitations. Rectilinear WAs give weird corner distortions on some closeup shots, and the close focus limit isn't the best for CFWA. And I have to use a dry diopter to avoid mushy corners. So, I've started thinking about a fisheye. Problem is, I'm not sure if it's a real need, of if I'm just feeling another onset of GAS (gear acquisition syndrome). So, I'm sort of trying to do a pro/con analysis here. Pro: More FOV enabling me to get closer with less debris causing backscatter, better CF limit for CFWA. Con: Co$t, less flexibility. I think using a FE will basically deny myself the possiblity of snapping the odd semi-closeup or two of smallish and/or skittish critters. There's also the question of whether I should just go for the Panasonic 8mm/3.5, or if I ought to wait for the Olympus 8mm/1.8 and hope that Nauticam has (or designs) a suitable port for it, and that I won't have to sell a kidney to afford it.

I guess that what I'm basically asking is: What would you guys do? And why?

Spring is here...

07 April 2015 - 09:57 AM

..., spring is here
Life is skittles and life is beer
I think the loveliest time of the year
Is the spring, I do, don't you? Course you do
But there's one thing that makes spring complete for me


... and that's the annual phytoplankton bloom. Current vis in the top layer is some 3 meters, making photography a bit of a challenge:



But get deep enough and close enough, and even pea soup vis can be handled with reasonable success. Just remember to bring a light and a couple of strobes:


16873255459_c2dc458e46_t.jpg 17058015422_fe1c9a78cb_t.jpg 16871686778_e226c9b6ce_t.jpg


Geotagging and depth in pictures' EXIF data

17 March 2015 - 12:10 AM

I like to geotag my photos. For geotagging of topside photos, I've been using Geosetter for a few years now. It's a simple program that reads a GPS tracklog (in GPX format), compares the time stamp of the picture with the trackpoints' time stamps, grabs the GPS coordinates from the trackpoint with the closest match to the picture's timestamp and inserts those data into the picture's EXIF field. The program uses Phil Harvey's EXIFTool to manipulate the EXIF data. For raw files, it can write the location data to an XMP file.


This works great as long as your camera's clock is reasonably accurate. You can also geotag the pictures manually. 


For UW pics, I'm also using Geosetter, but getting the depth is a bit of a pain in the nether part of the back. I can get the depth profile from my PDC, but there's always an offset between my camera's clock and my PDC's log. Apparently, there's enough variation that just a direct comparison of the pictures' timestamp with the times of the depth log isn't feasible. So I'm going the long way: A couple of times during the dive, I take a picture of my PDC and hit the bookmark button on the PDC. This gives me a calibration, so I can offset the depth log time to fit my camera's clock. After that, it's manual comparison of picture timestamps with the depth log, and manual insertion of the depth as a negative number in the Altitude field.


This is pretty work-intensive, so I'm thinking there must be some way to take a simple two-column ASCII file with the time/depth data , feed it to e.g. EXIFTool or the Geosetter front-end, and make the process go automatically. Are there anyone else who have tried this?

Feedback on my rig setup appreciated

31 January 2015 - 07:55 AM

So, I just went and bought myself a GoPro and a ball mount for my torch since the hand mount for the SOLA makes for some erratic "signaling" when I adjust my strobe arms, particularly on night dives. I've been tweaking my setup almost on every dive, but now I was thinking I could ask for some opinons on the way I've set up my rig.
  • Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M5 with M Zuiko 9-18mm f/4-5.6 and a +2 achromatic dry diopter to improve corner sharpness.
  • Housing: Nauticam NA-EM5 with 4" WA semidome, Flexitray and M10 ball.
  • Strobes: Inon Z240 Mk4 with diffusers on 5"+7" arms. The arms are usually extended to the max when I'm underwater.
  • GopPro Hero4 Silver on top of housing
  • SOLA 1200 diving torch on a tri-clamp on the left hand strobe arm.
  • Lanyard on MP clamps on tray handles.
  • Spiral lanyard on tray, suicide clip on lanyard exchanged with bolt snap. Clipped to my left hip D-ring or my right shoulder D-ring when I'm diving.
  • Bolt snap tied to right hand MP clamp. Clipped to the right shoulder D-ring on ascent from the safety stop and on shore diving exit and entry. Doubles as a place to clip the neoprene port cover during the dive if I'm shore diving.
Unfortunately, I had to remove the hand strap from the housing when I got my 2nd strobe and the right hand tray handle. Although I like to have my housing sort of "hanging" from my right hand using the hand strap, there just wasn't room for both my hand and the strap between the housing and the tray handle. Maybe it could have worked if I didn't have to wear thick gloves, but around here thick neoprene 3-fingers or drygloves are necessary large parts of the year. I still don't hold the right hand tray handle, though, since the controls on the NA-EM5 are laid out for a hand position on the housing, not on the tray handle.

Any feedback or tips about how to tweak the setup further would be appreciated.