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Member Since 25 May 2005
Offline Last Active Jun 30 2015 10:20 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: It's not about the equipments, Komodo National Park Dive Trip June 2015

16 June 2015 - 07:12 PM


1. My footage is less stable. Bear in mind we both shoot the same GH4, without IS. Yet almost 80% I say mine was shaky. I considered my buoyancy control is ok, but not in the current filled water of Komodo.


2. We shoot WA most of the time, and Nu's clip can get up close and personal with the object. I used hook most of the time but I observed that Nu were free and somehow can manage the current to his advantage. Case in point was where we shooting Manta at Karang Makasar (Manta on the Moon), the current were about 3-4 knots, while I was fighting with one hand on the hook and the other on the camera Nu was free roaming and get close and personal with the Manta. My footage was just side view of the manta swimming in the current 



Two points:


Stability takes time to develop.  Let me compare it to a racing car driver.  Most people, with a bit of guidance, can get a car around an empty race track.  Why can racing drivers do it multiple times faster alongside other fast-moving cars.  After years of practice and experience, the race car driver's perception of the world expands to include the car.  Yes, his brain builds a map of the outer edges of the car as if it was an extension of his own body - just like his fingers but further away.  He can't "think" or "calculate" his way through a narrow gap at 300kmh, his brain just "feels" that the car will clear the gap.       After shooting video for long enough, the camera becomes an extension of the body.  Your hands, wrists and arms "mentally fuse" with the camera and you instinctually feel where it needs to be pointed and how it needs to be adjusted for small movements of current.  Of course, large unexpected buffets by the the current will overcome the muscles ability to adjust.  But you get the point.  Spend every chance you can handling the camera underwater.  Eventually your perception will expand to include the camera.  Your muscles will do the work without you needing to think about it.


Secondly, in most currents, shooting video with a reef hook is challenging.  Instead of flowing with the water, you are being bounced around on the end of a short string.  Every eddy in the current is getting transmitted straight into your body and through you into the camera.  So, it's preferable not to use a reef hook when shooting video.  Get down low and use the natural topography to avoid being blown away e.g. behind a bommie.  Of course, don't risk yourself and don't damage marine life.  If the currents are too strong, and you must use a reef hook for safety, a springy one connected near your belly is better, find a place where the current is somewhat slowed and smoothed by the bottom topography, then establish an aerodynamic profile so you are flying "hands-free".  But, it's not easy.


I know that a lot of "tourist divers" love the flying currents of Komodo but the strong currents are not the more conducive to good video.  When I was there last, I specifically planned the trip around half-moon when the currents are milder.  Then, for dives in the Straits, I worked with the Dive Manager to plan many of the current-prone dives around slack water.  Of course, they have to cater for all customers so you will find yourself flying through Shotgun wondering how to avoid crashing your camera into something...




In Topic: Blue Island

14 June 2015 - 11:17 PM


In Topic: Snoot for under $5

13 June 2015 - 05:48 PM

When you have shot some underwater footage with it, please post some sample results.

I'll try and do the same.


In Topic: 3-Point Lighting, Spotlights, Snoots for Video Lights

13 June 2015 - 12:45 AM

I finally made a new snoot.






In Topic: World Ocean Day

09 June 2015 - 06:17 PM

Hi Steve,

One minor correction, the video was made in 2013, not 2003.

In the last six months of 2013, we made 1,000 DVDs and had them delivered directly to key individuals in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. I picked those countries because they include a lot of the South-east Asian ocean and I already had contacts who were prepared to help distribute the DVDs to the target audience. The key individuals were Ministers for Environment, Tourism, Fisheries and Finance, Marine park organizations, dive resort / boat owners and other people (e.g. some university professors) who we thought might be able to influence leaders.

I have no idea if it has had any influence at all but it's one of those things that you just have to try.