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Member Since 30 Aug 2013
Offline Last Active Feb 08 2018 03:33 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Lighting the scene

25 January 2018 - 09:17 AM

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.

Following with interest as this lighting technique is what we are experimenting with on glass sponge reefs.

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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In Topic: IS IT WORTH IT? GH5s - No Stabilization

09 January 2018 - 09:31 AM

I agree with almost everything everyone is saying.
The lack of IBIS is a major bummer for me, wasn't expecting them to remove that. But it seems its not due to the sensor size or aspect - it seems the target audience for this camera where screaming for the removal of IBIS, as it was ruining in-car, on-gimbal shots - so Panasonic listened.
Pajjen raised a valid point for deep / dark ambient shooting where a clean high ISO would be really useful and where lights wouldn't reach.
If the visibility is right, I really enjoy videoing wreck exteriors, where even super powerful lights wouldn't reach, so potentially having a super high iso - and clean would be cool.
Will find out when the body arrives.

I am also looking forward to any deep & dark dive footage. Deep wreck exteriors would be similar low-light conditions to what I am trying to shoot, and I find the GH5 sorely lacking.

Off-camera lighting helps (filming a diver from a distance) but the dark areas have terrible grain at higher ISO

Still on the fence regarding GH5s



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In Topic: GH5S Rumours...

08 January 2018 - 11:34 AM

Here it is

It has 4k 60p only at 8bit and no IBIS. Makes it (not such) a tough call whether its worth the upgrade.

I was cautiously optimistic that this camera would be a good replacement / companion to my GH5 for use filming deep, dark glass sponge reefs....

Would love to see some real-world footage showing low-light performance.


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In Topic: Underwater Monitor for Panasonic GH5

08 January 2018 - 08:57 AM

Oh that I understand. I genuinely thought ud switch the position of the ball mount and literally turn the monitor upside down haha

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Ha, not even worth considering.

One thing I discovered and am very happy about is the monitor senses when it is inverted and flips both the image AND the button functions. Sometimes you need to jiggle or move it so it is right side up, but the button function change is great as you don't have to remember which button to press when zooming or changing settings.

Overall I am very happy with the new set up



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In Topic: Underwater Monitor for Panasonic GH5

07 January 2018 - 04:16 PM

Curious why u would flip it upside down..

I have tried a few different orientations.

For macro, flipping the monitor down towards you leaves your sightline to the lens open which helps in finding smaller subjects.

It also helps the balance of the rig as I found when pulling light arms far forward with stix floatation added it unbalances the tripod somewhat.

For certain wide-angle shots it is nice to look down on the monitor. For example if you want to shoot up at the surface you don't have to get under your camera to frame the shot.

Same with swimming through / above a reef. You can hold camera below you to get a better angle, without worrying about disturbing the bottom or sensitive life.



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