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About stillhope

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  • Location
    Suquamish, WA, U.S.A.

Additional Info

  • Camera Model & Brand
    Sony PDX-10
  • Camera Housing
    USHV mini-DV
  1. I searched this forum, but didn't see any references to this camera. It's fairly new and looks like it might have some pretty good features, but of course I'm leery of basing a decision strictly on manufacturer's advertising and professional reviews by people who have only tried the camera for a day or 2. Lately I've been incorporating more topside video with my underwater video, so a camera that does both well is a plus for me.
  2. Thanks for the suggestions. I'm not sure what you mean: "DSLRs seem designed around mechanical controls", and I'm not sure it's relevant. As long as the camera provides control via an electronic means (e.g. USB port as some do), then a good user interface can be built on the outside of the housing, it doesn't matter how the camera was designed. I wasn't suggesting a broad multi-purpose housing, but something specific to a model line, such as the Nikon D200, D300, D300s, where gross physical changes are minimal, but there was enough change in detail that the D200 mechanical controls in the housing won't work for the D300.
  3. I've been shopping around for an underwater housing for my new DSLR that replaces the video cameras I used since the turn of the century. There are many amazing choices out there, but I haven't found what I'm really looking for, so I'm tossing this out to see if anyone has any ideas. The biggest obstacle I had with my previous underwater video system is that it was exceptionally difficult, if not impossible to get a lot of macro shots because I physically couldn't position my head behind the camera to frame the shot — at least not without adverse impact on lots of flora and fauna when I stretched my body out on the seafloor. I was looking into right-angle viewers and external monitors when my old system gave up the ghost. Since then, on land, I've been using a CamRanger that plugs into my camera and allows me to use my iPad as both an external monitor and a controller. It's a brilliant solution, and it has other benefits as well, such as touching the picture to select a focus point, or automated focus stacking, etc. So it seems to me that an underwater housing could do away with most of the mechanical controls, and just have a through-the-hull port for a cable that goes to a tablet. The electronics between the camera and the tablet could be a CamRanger or a custom built controller. Benefits of this over the mechanical housings I've been looking at: - eliminate a large number of mechanical penetrations and associated cost, maintenance, and risk of leak - housing is no longer physically suited to just a single camera model, perhaps delaying obsolescence, certainly reducing cost even further - focus rings and gears won't be needed - advanced programmable controls - external monitor I asked Ikelite and Nauticam and Aquatica if they were working on any such product. Ikelite and Nauticam replied "No", and Aquatica didn't reply. Any ideas?
  4. SEMINAR TITLE: "Improving the Health of Puget Sound by Improving your Underwater Images: Telling Stories that Matter" TIME/DATE: Same workshop offered on both days: April 21 and 22 from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. LOCATION: Tacoma Dive and Travel Expo, Tacoma Convention Center http://www.divenewsnetwork.com/attendee-info/seminars.html DESCRIPTION: Sure your family and friends politely sit through your underwater slide and video shows, but when was the last time they were eager to see more? Who else gets to see your work? Did you ever want to see your images on KOMO TV or PBS? Now that you've mastered the technical aspects of underwater photography and video, take the next step to telling stories that matter. Underwater filmmaker John F. Williams will talk about why stories are important and show lots of examples of how stories are incorporated into both still photos and video. He'll also show examples of how even simple stories can help preserve the health of the marine ecosystem that is such a large part of our world.
  5. I'm producing a short film about bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) restoration in Port Gamble, WA. The restoration is a nonprofit project and the film is to assist with raising awareness about the issues and solutions, including showing people how much fun it is to get involved as volunteers. I'd prefer underwater footage of herring roe on bull kelp, I might use some surface shots too if they fit well. I'm also looking for footage of Tribal or First Nation harvest of herring roe on Nereocystis luetkeana. The final project will be 4:3 SD, but footage may be any format as long as cropping it to 4:3 won't degrade the composition. This is a low budget project, but there is a small budget for footage. I can pay up to $5/second depending on the video, and I'm looking for a total of about 15 to 30 seconds. I can add $25 research fee if I use just a few seconds of your footage. I totally realize the $$ is just a token gesture, but I do want to reward people supporting this nonprofit project. I already have underwater and surface footage of the restoration process. You can see more about this project at: http://www.restorationfund.org/projects/portgamble You can contact me at: jw@StillHopeProductions.com thanks! John F. Williams www.StillHopeProductions.com
  6. Entries are sought for the Salish Sea Ecosystem Film Festival, to be held in conjunction with the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, on October 25, 2011, from 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia. Entries can be submitted in electronic, DVD or videotape formats and must have relevance to natural or human dimensions of the Salish Sea ecosystem. Submissions must be under 20 minutes (total, including credits) running time and can include stand-alone segments of longer works. All entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges, which will make its recommendations for the final lineup of films. Entries must be received (or posted to the festival’s FTP site) no later than 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on September 2, 2011. Please include written information on: —The entry’s title, director and producer —A brief (250 words maximum) description of the entry, its running time and its relevance to the Salish Sea ecosystem —The year produced Please send entries to: David G. Gordon, Science Writer
 Washington Sea Grant
 3716 Brooklyn Avenue NE
 Seattle, Washington 98105-6716
  7. "SEA-Inside: Pacific Northwest" is a bimonthly TV journey to meet our neighbors who live under the surface of Pacific Northwest waters. Now in its fourth year, this series produced by Still Hope Productions is a magazine style show -- each episode includes several short videos contributed by a variety of individuals and organizations, from recreational divers to NOAA. Do you have underwater video, photos, or art that will help people get to know our sub-tidal neighbors? If so, we'd like to include them in one of our monthly shows. Your work will appear on more than 40 community TV stations around the country, including the Puget Sound region, the Portland/Vancouver metro area, and a scattering of other small towns around the U.S. like Washington DC., Berkeley CA, and Fargo ND. For more information, visit: http://SEA-Inside.org
  8. Follow along as a hard-hat diver visits the HMCS Chaudiere, a destroyer escort sunk by the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia. Episode 19 of "SEA-Inside: Pacific Northwest" features "Return to the Chaudiere". If your cable-access station doesn't carry this program, tell them they can now download it. Contact me or for more info, see: SEA-Inside.org
  9. You are invited to my video tour of our underwater neighborhood on the big screen at two venues in the near future: * Seattle at REI on April 2 from 7 to 9 p.m. ($6 for People for Puget Sound members, $8 non-members) * the Norm Dicks Govt. Building in Bremerton, March 31 from 7-9p.m. ($5 suggested donation) I know a lot of you see as much, if not more than I do underwater, so here's a chance to share what you see with your friends and family, so please extend this invitation to them. In addition to video clips from my TV series SEA-Inside: Pacific Northwest, (the PNW's only underwater TV series) there will be a chance to discuss some of the issues facing our waters and an exhibit of underwater photographs. More info at: http://SEA-Inside.org
  10. Great, thanks. I'll look into it, though my TV series is an underfunded non-profit project and has no money to spend for content. Maybe I can talk them into making a donation.
  11. Very nicely done video! I have a couple of comments, and though they may sound critical, they are really about systemic problems we all face. First, the video says something about these problems going "unnoticed ... until now." Well, that's not precisely accurate. The Cousteau family, as just one example, has created many books, movies, and TV shows to raise public awareness of some of these issues over several generations. Admittedly, their efforts weren't sufficient, as problems are still widespread, but were it not for them many of us might not have become aware of these issues and hence wouldn't be carrying on that work. Second, I always feel a little disappointed when I see something that is intentionally more sensational than educational. Of course I realize that a promo needs to be an attention getter -- and I have the same problem as well trying to balance attracting attention with conveying more than soundbites. I just mention it to get that thought out there in the filmmaking universe so perhaps some people smarter than me can contribute suggestions about how to create a better balance. Great job, I look forward to the book.
  12. I'm doing a short video about oysters in the Pacific Northwest, but gee, somehow I don't have any imagery of them underwater. Can anyone help me out? The video will air on my TV series, SEA-Inside: Pacific Northwest. Thanks. for more info about the show, see: http://SEA-Inside.org
  13. First of all, awkward when you're not shooting isn't really the key issue here. A tripod is awkward when not shooting, but if I need tripod, I'll use a tripod. The question is what buoyancy factors help keeping the camera steady while shooting. I'd say that if buoyancy is the only tool you have for adding stability, then make the camera either rather positive or rather negative, depending on your situation. That's like using a chainpod on land -- not the best of all possible worlds, but if it's all you've got, it can be better than nothing. But in addition to buoyancy, mass is important too. If your camera rig is perfectly neutrally buoyant, but has a mass of 500 kilograms, it will be pretty stable underwater -- you won't have to worry about hand-held camera shake. But no matter if it is positive, neutral, or negative, if it has a mass of only 1 kg, it will be difficult to keep stable.
  14. I did an interview with Howie Robins of the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia, and I'm working on turning it into a short movie about their efforts. Howie also sent me some photos of what he talked about in the interview. In order to round out the movie, I'd like some underwater video of some of the wrecks they have placed there, like the Columbia, the Chaudiere, the Mackenzie, the GB Church, the Cape Breton, the Saskatchewan, or the 737. This video will air on my TV series, SEA-Inside: Pacific Northwest. If you have any video of these wrecks that you'd like to reach a larger audience, contact me.
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