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Member Since 25 May 2005
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 06:34 PM

#343708 Creating a black background on your videoshots

Posted by peterbkk on 23 February 2014 - 06:45 AM

1. Shoot at night or either end of the day when it's relatively dark.
2. Make sure that the lights cover only the subject.
3. Manual control of the iris / aperture so that the auto exposure doesn't try to make the whole frame brighter.
4. Increase the contrast / lower the blacks when editing.

#342816 Palau: Mating Humphead Parrotfish Aggregation Video

Posted by peterbkk on 04 February 2014 - 03:10 AM

I just posted the a video from a recent Palau trip:
It is a HD online video (hosted from Vimeo) so you will need a fast internet connection or wait patiently for it to buffer.
I do have a couple of other online videos in the pipeline (Caves, Jellyfish Lake) but this is the "mating aggregation" video so I focused on uploading this one first.
Thanks to David Cheung of ScubaCam for putting this trip together.
Camera: Canon XF100
Housing: BS Kinetics Makla Takan
Editing: Final Cut Pro X 10.1

#342609 Final Cut Pro 10.1

Posted by peterbkk on 30 January 2014 - 02:51 AM

I guess we better balance the view with a video on using FCP X.





#342414 Final Cut Pro 10.1

Posted by peterbkk on 26 January 2014 - 07:11 PM

I think that the main strength of FCPX is the paradigm shift from traditional NLEs around the "magnetic storyline" concept. Yesterday I went from hours of footage to a 30 minute first-cut storyline in a couple of hours. The ability to skim, select, insert real fast makes what used to be drudgery, now a pleasure. Add-on features like the intuitive "auditioning" concept to quickly compare the impact of alternative clips without having to play with timeline patch panels is also great. Everything just seems easier and faster in FCPX...

#339208 Sony FS100 white balance at depth

Posted by peterbkk on 09 November 2013 - 06:03 PM

Underwater housing manufacturers must know this is a popular camera.

But we should question the ethics (or intelligence) of a housing manufacturer that is NOW releasing an underwater housing for a camera that will never perform well underwater.

You can sort of forgive the early-adopter housing manufacturers as they could not have known about the problem. And, you really can't expect them to fix something that's unfixable. Nor are the housing manufacturers financially robust enough to give a refund.

And, we should not be surprised that Sony is not interested in a problem that only effects a small part of their user base and is probably not fixable in firmware. They can't even express sympathy because that might attract class-action. At best, you can hope that they are listening and have told the engineers to make sure that it is not a problem in the next model. Any large electronics engineering company would behave the same.

Symptomatic of our times...

  • r4e likes this

#339060 GoPro 2 fogging remedy?

Posted by peterbkk on 05 November 2013 - 04:41 PM

If you must open it on the boat deck, you could try to put it in a clear bag to close it and blow some air from your second stage into the bag just before you close the housing.   Scuba air is less than 10% humidity, so the dew point will be very low.   Just be very careful not to blow any water that may be on the reg into the housing or bag. 

No offense, but I can't see any situation where it would be a good idea to blow air from a regulator into a bag containing an open camera housing. The possibility of blowing sea water into that open housing is going to outweigh any benefit of getting dry air into the housing. Even a "dry" regulator can have pockets of water in its nooks and crannies. Maybe if the dive boat / shop has one of those blower attachments but, even then, compressed air can do other damage, like pushing an o-ring out of its groove or pushing a sand grain down behind an o-ring. David's toilet paper or my silica gel sachets is going to be a much safer more reliable solution.

#338798 GoPro 2 fogging remedy?

Posted by peterbkk on 29 October 2013 - 08:39 PM


Sure that is why it must be folded to fit. Practice Origami .....


Will you be running toilet paper origami classes in your shop anytime soon?

#337071 Whale Shark on the Seven Skies

Posted by peterbkk on 16 September 2013 - 05:30 AM

This past weekend I had another amazing encounter with a whale shark, this time on the wreck of the Seven Skies. 

This whale shark was a relatively young female, cruising around the wreck of a supertanker, the Seven Skies, with an huge entourage of fish.  Hard to tell but I guess that she's about 3 to 4 meters long.

Enjoy the 5 minute video: http://www.peterwalk...sevenskies.html



#336753 Marine Parks Make Economic Sense

Posted by peterbkk on 06 September 2013 - 06:39 PM

A new underwater video, entitled "Marine Parks Make Economic Sense" is the 15-minute, English-language cut of an environmental video, aimed at governments across Southeast Asia.  Based on new scientific research, it makes the case that marine parks improve the economy of the region and the livelihood of local fishing communities.  The next step is to get versions made in all the major ASEAN languages then distribute it directly to government departments and leaders.  I have no idea if this will achieve anything, but we have to try to educate those that have the power to do something to better protect the oceans.



#336612 sxs cards v tape

Posted by peterbkk on 03 September 2013 - 03:23 PM

If I am doing some editing on the trip, I bring my Apple laptop with small external Firewire hard-drive and back up daily to that.


If not doing editing on the trip, I bring one of these things from HyperDrive: http://www.hypershop...e/HDU2-1TB.html and back up daily to that.


But, in any case, I make sure that I have enough cards for all the video that I will shoot on the trip.  Then I have two copies, one set travels back with me and one set travels, well secured and sealed, deep inside my luggage.  I figure that, with this approach, the risk of loss is acceptable.


I never zap a memory card until I have the content copied onto my main editing computer at home and have taken at least one reliable backup.  Call me cautious, but (touch wood) I have never lost an image or clip through media problems.




#334328 What to Buy?

Posted by peterbkk on 15 July 2013 - 02:12 AM

Your XF105 may have 422 50mbps, but the noise performance will never match the output of the bigger sensors.  Physics is undeniable, as are the results.  




How dare you criticise my choice of equipment.  The mere fact that I chose it means that it is the best.  I find your implication that it is not the best most insulting. You besmirch my good character. I demand satisfaction.  Pistols at dawn.  The survivor gets to say which camera is best.  OK?  Name the place and time.



People get very obsessive about their equipment, as you can see here! :)


What you talkin' about?




#334297 What to Buy?

Posted by peterbkk on 14 July 2013 - 12:38 AM



What your posts have done for me - Educated me in the complexity of DSLR.




I have been watching this "Video on a DSLR" story for a year or so. It'd be great to have both a great stills and a great video camera in one housing.  But, every time I get tempted to make the plunge, I listen to all the pros and cons, watch the new models solve some of the problem but not all, hear about great alpha-test "hacks" and end up deciding that, for me, it is still "wait and see" time.  Maybe another 6 months...

#334284 What to Buy?

Posted by peterbkk on 13 July 2013 - 06:37 PM

Another factor to throw into your decision making: familiarity.

Familiarity is much underrated, IMHO. I often see people on their "dive trip of a lifetime" struggling to get their brand new camera to behave itself.

If you've got enough time to get your new system, set it up, and spend quite a few hours playing with both above and underwater then, yes, get a new system. Or, if you have played with so many systems over the last couple of years, then picking up something new should be easy enough. But the last thing you want to be doing is floating around on the bridge of the Saratoga trying to figure out which button does what and what setting works best in this lighting situation.

Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.

Walker's Law of Familiarity: buy a new underwater camera system no less than 3 months before an important trip and spend at least 10 hours using it, reviewing the results, adjusting the setup and figuring out its lighting and focusing behaviour through at least 3 cycles before the big trip.

The 10 hous is just indicative and can be spent on the kitchen table, in a pool or at your local dive site, but at least once in the sea. I have a little "test" list on a laminated card that ensures I go through all the situations that I might need to work with when shooting for real.


#330986 Night/Wreck diving in Roatan with Keldans and HF G10

Posted by peterbkk on 07 May 2013 - 04:10 AM

Loved it.  Enjoyed the beams of lights through the holes.  Great idea.


Only one gripe!  Really hate that little timing speed-up you edited in at the 54 second point.  Broke the mood of the video for a while...




#325497 Considering an Upgrade from Canon HF-S11 to D-SLR Video: Is it Worth the Inve...

Posted by peterbkk on 01 February 2013 - 03:56 PM

I considered this option for myself last year and borrowed a DSLR / housing to try it. I chose to stick with a video camera, at least for now. Here are my reasons, mainly about the housings than the camera:

- Stability and Panning: The shape and balance of a good video housing seems to be more conducive to smoother handling, especially when shooting a pan or trucking shot. DLSR housings being shorter front-to-back tend to pitch up and down more. I'm sure that you could learn to overcome this but video housing are definitely more stable.

- Controls: On the DSLR housings (and cameras) that I've seen, the buttons are well placed for photography but the critical video buttons are not as well placed. start-stop, af-lock, zoom. Also the monitor window, being vertical and lower down, makes the handling more awkward for comfortable video shooting.

- Depth of Field: You could argue that the shallower DoF on DSLRs makes for more artistic footage with differentiated focus. But that also mean that you'll need to pay a lot more attention to focus. When that shot of a lifetime swims past, your chance of messing up is greater. Not a problem for an photo but more complicated for camera movements, eg trucking into a macro subject.

-Mindset: With a DSLR, there is a risk that you'll adopt a mindset of "I'll shoot some clips and then take some photos". Very tempting to exploit the versatility of both options while diving. Isn't this a good thing? Maybe / maybe not. Flipping between these modes could possibly take you out of the "story telling" mindset needed to get the footage to weave together a story back home in the editing suite. Your videos may become moving photos rather than a story. This might not be an issue for you but certainly something that I've heard others say.

For me, I'm watching this space and waiting to see if any of the housing manufacturers make a DSLR housing that's great for shooting video...