Following with interest as this lighting technique is what we are experimenting with on glass sponge reefs.
Let's see if a mod can split this thread
On WA shots I used to place my light arms more or less at the same height of my camera. Now I try to place them higher than my camera trying to have a light angle coming from above. I like the shadows I get. Of course every reef is different so your mileage may vary.
Now I have 4 lights. Two old Keldan Luna 8 CRI (5K lumen each I guess). Two prototypes built by a friend of mine (12K lumen each). I never mounted them together. IMHO I would get a correctly exposed flat image, nothing more.
When a keen buddy is available I give him the most powerful set. I fill the subject in front of me with my Keldan and my buddy "flies" 1,5 meters above my head trying to light up the scene/subject from above. Then we play with different angles.
I find that in this way you get amazing shadows. Sometime we get a sense of depth impossible to get in other ways.
Sometime we try a different approach: I light up part of the scene in front of me filming my buddy which in turn light up further far away. Sometimes we get clips we like a lot, sometimes just trash.
This video was made from two dives we experimented a lot this technique. I made a lot of mistakes (i.e. I left my lights on while being well far away from the subject getting only a lot of backscatter. The Gerardia Savaglia was completely burnt on the highlights cause I haven't zebra on my GH3) nevertheless you can see several examples of what I'm trying to explain.
The amphora at 1:12 and 1:24 is light up from my lights and from my buddy above. The same scene at 1:30 is light up only by me and as you can see it's not simply a matter of exposure. The clip at 1:12 has a completely different depth of field.
We used the same "tricks" on most of the clips of this video:
You can see what you can get on a big sponge light up from the opposite at 2:13.
Again the small gerardia savaglia from 2:40 is light up from above even in the close up clip.
At 3:22 you can see my buddy moving upwards while I film the small dendrophyllia and you can see how the reef appears under this kind of light.
At 4:29 an example of me lighting up part of the scene in front of me while my buddy, in turn, lights up further far away. We gently move together giving a great "sense of depth" IMHO.
I understand that I have very particular tastes for UW imaging. I do not pretend to be mainstream and sometime I'm very contentious here
Once you have several lights and some collaborative buddy you can be very creative.
In conclusion... we never get bored underwater.
My local waters are often dark & murky near the surface, and clear up somewhat at depth. There are a handful of reefs just within recreation diving limits, but even at +/- 100 feet it is often like twilight down there.
There are larger, and even darker reefs in the 250-300 foot range but I leave those for a technical dive team depth and when lucky a submersible.
Filming another diver lighting up the reef with no lights on camera has reduced backscatter and created a dark, moody scene where the diver is basically a bubble of light travelling through and alien landscape.
3200 ISO gets grainy and 6400 looks terrible. Any suggestions for cleaning up noise appreciated as I am new to video editing.
As was suggested in this thread positioning the camera with lights to illuminate foreground, while dive buddy with second set of lights adds depth additional illumination swimming the reef in the background.
My dream shot is to have multiple divers turn on lights in sequence creating pools of light illuminating the reef off into the distance.
Unfortunately given live boat deployment and site conditions it is difficult to get more than 2-3 divers down in the excact same place.
Will try to upload some sample video later tonight
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