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Steve Douglas

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Everything posted by Steve Douglas

  1. No, CC will not create pixilation. However, if your greens look yellow and your blues look red you know that you might have taken things too far. Not sure what NLE you're using but most have parameter reset buttons in case you need to start over. If what you are seeing meets what you want it to be then your color correction is probably ok. Also, almost all NLEs do have an 'undo' keyboard shortcut so if you don't want to completely start over and just want to undo the last couple of corrections, you can do that as well. I use my undo all the time. One last thing, learn to use your waveform monitor, vectorscope and histogram..they will help you see, in graph form, what your corrections look like. For instance, in your waveform monitor, the one I use the most, never have your highlights above 100 and avoid crushing your blacks below 0, unless that is the way you want your blacks to look. Another scope that may be in your NLE is the Parade monitor which can show you the balance of your colors. I don't use it much myself but sometimes do go to it. Steve
  2. Back in the early 90's I owned a dive shop near San Diego. We were the first BSAC shop in the USA as one of my 2 partners was a Brit and big BSAC promotor. After becoming a BSAC Advanced Instructor and being in the business for awhile I grew to really disdain the so called 'Advanced' certification regardless of agency. At least a BSAC Advanced certification meant that you had a few hundred dives under your belt. Here I was having people with 30 dives stroll confidently into the shop telling me how advanced they were. More often than not they got that certification with all their dives being in nice easy, warm water from the Caymans or some place like that, or worse yet, from a quarry in the middle of Kansas. It was just so much of a joke. I really think it should be completely removed as a certification title as it gives the wrong slant to a diver who has just earned it. I honestly never started to think of myself as being somewhat advanced until I had about 600 dives in a variety of conditions, gone through the Sheriff's Dive Rescue Team where we were jumping out of choppers with full gear and rappelling off dams, also in full gear. During that period I made some horrendous mistakes, as all divers eventually do, but learned from that. Now, I no longer own the shop or instruct and, being older, am not the diver I used to be. However, no one can remove the training and experience that is so valuable. The agencies to me are a joke. One last anecdote, I recall in 1992 I was aboard the Cocos Aggressor talking to Wayne Hanson, the owner, as we motored out to the Cocos Islands. He told me that when guests fill out their experience form, anyone who writes themselves down as 'Expert' are the ones the divemasters look most closely at as they are the ones who tend to overestimate themselves. Glad I had just written down 'Experienced'. No one is an expert. Steve
  3. Drew is correct as Adobe has many fine tutorials on color correcting. I know it is not always feasible financially for many to CC using an external monitor, either a HD TV or the much more expensive broadcast monitors, but the best CC really shouldn't be done off your computer's monitor. If you can, use an in/out box like the Matrox MXO2 or Black Magic Designs Intensity Pros to go to an external monitor. Also remember that an external monitor should be properly calibrated after a new monitor has at least 150 hours on it and then let it warm up for about 20 minutes before you actually do the calibration. In general, and I am sure others have different techniques, I like to initially crush the blacks a bit before I move on to other areas of the correction or grading. Steve
  4. PADI in it for the money? Nah...I am so glad they talked me into my 'Getting My Right Fin Wet' course which, now completed, allows me to sign up for their 'Getting My Left Fin Wet' course. This will lead to my advanced certification course 'Getting Both Fins Wet...at the same time' course. Can't wait. Steve
  5. Been to the Cocos twelve times now and it is always a different trip each time. I generally only go during the period of late June through late August tho Sept is supposed to be good as well. During this time it is the rainy season and all the island run off brings in the nutrients and the hammers to be cleaned. Simon, you should have contacted me, would have gone again. I am sure you will have a great trip. It is my favorite place in the world to dive. When you leave, come up to San Diego before heading to the UK. Great work on the video, it is amazing what a little GoPro can do in the right hands. Super photos as well. Steve
  6. You might also want to read other people's dive reports and see what factors appear to be most important. I'm always learning from others. Steve
  7. Hey Matt, Plenty of sharks there for sure. Was it a cleaning station? Never been to that part of Australia; what was the water temp? Steve
  8. Read the review. VERY comprehensive. Since I am fairly new to DSLR shooting, but have already had some issues, this comes at a good time for me. Steve
  9. Thanks for the heads up Dustin. steve
  10. I've long wanted to visit PR. Have things changed much now that it is a few years later? Steve
  11. Hey Mithere, But what did Moses, Mohammed and Buddah say about tipping? How are people supposed to know if tipping is ok or not? Now I at least know that if I ever get to NZ, I will know not to tip but what of other countries. Do we ask the waiter in France if I should tip or not. He'd probably be reluctant to say no and leave his pocket just a bit barer. I always tip but I tip what I can afford.....except for my future trip to NZ Steve
  12. Silk Air used to have a special page showing extra weight allowances for divers. I recall pulling out a few years ago when being questioned by the attendant and showing it to her. She then let us proceed as our carry ons were very heavy as well. Do they still have that page on their website. It might be worth looking for. Steve
  13. You might also want to consider learning how to dive with a drysuit. It can get cold down there. Steve
  14. However, Optical Flow, at least in FCP, does not uprez as Drew said, nor is it a stabilization plug in. Optical Flow smooths things out, whether for slow for fast motion, because it creates new frames in-between current ones rather than duplicating or blending them together which can cause the jerky stutter you see when you sped the sequence up. Not every NLE has optical flow. In Final Cut Pro, I have never had the Optical Flow issues that Drew mentioned. All stabilization plug ins whether from Red Giant, CHV, Boris, Digital Anarchy or Apple work by rescaling which, as Drew mentions, and dependent upon how much stabilization is needed, works by upscaling. Upscaling more than 103% can reduce resolution. Just note that a stabilization plug in is a whole different thing from Optical Flow. Steve
  15. All this made me go back to re-view Eric Cheng's excellent shark feed film, now on Mary Lynn's DiveFilm Podcast, where during the course Eric used a few Go Pros to film inside the sharks mouth. The film remains both interesting and exciting to see. And well edited. Steve
  16. What a great behavior shot from beginning to end. I wonder if using optical flow would have smoothed out the last sped up sequence. Congrats for staying with it from beginning to end and recognizing the behavior from the beginning. Many might have moved on because it took so long. Steve
  17. If there is no downside to moving the shipping lane, what is their reason for not moving it? Steve
  18. Does anyone know whether the Kararu is still taking divers out of Phuket? Steve
  19. Hey Brumpy, Sorry if I offended you. Just giving an honest appraisal. And yep, getting old but still don't think the music fits. I love the Blues but wouldn't use Muddy Waters as a soundtrack for any film I produce. Steve
  20. Really great, such a shallow DOF, you were faced with either having the shrimp in focus or the lizard fish. Were you actively trying for one or the other or did you set the focus and then just let the scenario play out? Which 100mm lens were you using and what was your distance from the fish? Steve
  21. Even on your website, or Vimeo and Youtube, always watermark anything before you put it up. They can't steal it if it is watermarked. Steve
  22. I know Richelieu Rock is supposed to be great and all that, but I have been there two times and both times Richelieu was really not that much. Never a whaleshark. Thailand and Myanmar have some of the most beautiful soft corals I have ever seen. Unfortunately, on the last trip there, we were in the water outside of Phuket when the Tsunami hit. Obviously, we cancelled that last day of diving and beat it up to Bangkok as soon as the airport opened. Steve
  23. It has been some time, too long a time, since I have been to Lembeh. Trying to get Steve Williams to take the long haul with me. A shame about your lights though. To me, the most important thing about Lembeh, especially if you new to the place, is to have excellent spotters. How were they? Look forward to seeing your video once done. What were you using? Steve
  24. Beautiful color, solid focus. Congrats. Your positioning works for these photos. Remember that it is often best to get slightly below your subject, thus, slightly shooting upward. Steve
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