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About Drewski

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  • Birthday 01/14/1963

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Virginia Beach, USA
  • Interests
    Wreck diving, hot tubbing, camping and climbing - in that order!

Additional Info

  • Show Country Flag:
    United States
  • Camera Model & Brand
    Sony DCR-VX2000 and PD-170
  • Camera Housing
    Gates VX-2000
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    DiveRite twin 15W HID
  1. Hi Guys: Just FYI on white balancing. I use 15 W HIDs with a Fathom SWP and a Sony PD-170. I used to use a white slate in natural light. It doesn't work with artificial light and will red shift. Instead, now, I carry a small white cutting board weighted with a clip. All my video is done on wrecks. I use the lights for "critter approach" lighting. When I get to the bottom, I set the f stop in natural light and focus. Then, I find a dark crevice on the wreck and strike the HIDs. I place the white board in the crevice, back off about 8 FT or less (depending on water clarity), adjust and center aim the lights, zoom in on the illuminated board and MWB. For that depth and lighting conditions I don't touch it again. Here's what I get now, compared to my older stuff: [vimeo]12935171[/vimeo] I did some blue shift in post, but very little. I still need to work on diffusion, the shark was very close, less than one foot from the port. THANKS... Andy
  2. Well, it's summer again in North Carolina. That means SHARKS! 1 min of pure bliss with a Sand Tiger that just loved to be on video: [vimeo]12935171[/vimeo] Enjoy! Andy
  3. Although some may disagree, I've found over the last 2 years that shooting high quality underwater video is 80% skill and 20% equipment. No matter how much money you have, you won't get good results before learning the craft. So, you could invest a ton of $ now in equipment only to find you can't use it to the potential of technology before it becomes obsolete and you get better. I use FCP on a Mac, but the learning curve for the software is incredible. With my "daytime" job, I haven't had the opportunity (or energy) to invest the time in really learning FCP. But, that said, I love my Mac and you haven't lived until you use a Mac 30" display. I'd suggest starting smaller. Get a higher end 1080P smaller HD camera in a nice housing. It's easy to use underwater. Invest in the super wide port, external monitor and lighting. Learn the craft. Wait for the technology to mature. It's great to shoot in RAW, but what are you going to watch or broadcast it on that uses the full potential of the technology? You can always resell or re-use some of your purchases for the next system... Good luck! Andy
  4. Hi All: I'm still playing with video settings for ideal images in different settings with my PD-170. I fixed the white balance problem I spoke of before (needed something further from the lens) and now am getting a feel regarding when pixelation along vertical lines will form. I've had better success with wider aperture, low added light and about 5 FT from subject shots. Notice the pixelation on the yellow regulator hose from clip one to two. This was converted with the Apple H.264 Codec in FCP. Ideas? UPDATE >>> Thanks, Drew. Dropped in the de-interlacing filter and dropped the gamma to .9. Re-processed same codec. Updated the Vimeo feed, same below. [vimeo]9902221[/vimeo] THANKS... Andy
  5. Now, now, it was John who "sorted out" the Queen's back trouble, not Pam. You know what's good for that problem!
  6. DUDE, awesome stuff! That whale shark looked like a Star Destroyer going by. Great camera work! Andy
  7. Oh, I disagree with that. Environmental fish killing stuff aside, I really HATE the "fake" drama of today's media. I live with in walking distance of Discovery Communications World HQ and you just don't know how many times I would like to stop by and tell them to cut out all the "our BRAVE divers, tempting death, diving with known man-eating sharks" CRAP. Are audiences so SHALLOW that they need stuff like that to hold interest, or are the media producers self-fulfilling by using what they THINK will sell? In my opinion, the beauty of Cousteau's work was that he often let the diving and the ocean speak for itself. The environmental setting was dramatic, NOT the stupid story. You'd never hear something like "at any second the Calypso could be crushed by tons of Arctic ice if we don't get the engine fixed." Sure, sure, back then nobody dived so all of it was fascinating and probably an easier sell, but I'm telling you Cousteau can translate to today just as easy. To prove this, I did the "10 year old test." My kid nephew, 10 years old, PS3, airsoft and skateboard junky. He'd watch 10 channels at once if a TV had them. Bored out of his skull in 5 minutes. I have an old VHS tape of the "Undersea World of JC" with the Truk (Chuk, LOL) Lagoon expedition. Scratchy as hell, poor audio, but JC's voice is REALLY clear. Popped it in the player, tuned it on and left the room with him playing PSP and working on the computer in the same room. 15 minutes later the house is stone quiet and I can hear JC's voice on the second floor "...the Calypso diveers feeel thee nummbing greep of naarcosis deeep witheen these forgotteen releecs of humaaan traagedy..." Thinking I drove my nephew from the house, I go down to shut off the VCR. But, there he is, slack jawed in front of the TV, frozen and staring at the screen. I had to say his name twice before he snapped out of it and then he wouldn't leave me alone, asking all sorts of questions about diving and "that funny talking old guy." I think the biggest disappointment about all of the Cousteau stuff is how both sides of his family (legitimate and illegitimate) have SQUANDERED his legacy and robbed the world of a valuable resource. They argue back and forth about the rights to this and that while the years pass and nothing happens. Re-creating his journeys and re-mastering his old work along with placing it beside new work at the same locations and on the same dives could REALLY demonstrate environmental impact and change if done right. I guess it's a French thing I wouldn't understand... SIGH Anyway, FLAFROG, cool, 35 mm? I didn't know that! That explains the film quality. I thought the color depth of that film was fantastic in the opening sequence given it was natural light. Anyway, SORRY to ramble... Andy
  8. I'm always looking for restored Cousteau films on the Internet because I so love his work. Came across this the other day: I thought he was using 16 mm film for most of his stuff in the 1950s, but MAN that's NICE for 16 mm. Loved the dramatic approach shot to the bottom - all one clip! Keep in mind, no BC, triple steel tanks, small fins and no steady cam. Andy
  9. Hi Drew: The wreck is actually the "Tug," just a little prepared artificial shipwreck sank several years back about 4 miles southeast of Hatteras Inlet. It's a beginners wreck for the area, but JAMMED with fish. We wanted some photo time so we dived it on the way back in. Underwater visibility varied, but it was a cloudy 20 to 30 FT. That Fathom port I use makes just about anything look good! Here's a link to a guy with a GREAT idea. He's using Google Maps and Google Earth to plot all the wrecks off North Carolina. The tug's not on here yet. If more places did this, it would be REALLY cool. Most of the shipwrecks I dive are on this map. THANKS... Andy
  10. HA! First, thanks everyone for the compliments... Steve, it's from, surprise (!), Sonicfire Pro, Mystery/Undercover/Odyssey (PS19) "The Waiting" variation. Can you believe I just exported the track to the time length I needed, threw it down on the FCP time line and then did NO editing to get it right? I listened to it like 5 times while replaying the video and really couldn't see how to improve the timing for a short clip. Beginners luck, LOL. Which, given how much I'm enjoying learning FCP, was NICE! Does Ripple Training give multi DVD discounts? I'm serious about the diving, would you like me to PM you some dates for June 2010? Andy
  11. ...is just NOT what this video is about. Most of the time sand tiger sharks in North Carolina are indifferent at best or shy at worst in terms of being cooperative for video. THIS shark approached me from behind on the far side of the wreck and practically ran me over just to let me know she was there. Once I started pointing the camera at HER, she did pass after pass with a very nice smile. I did this quick teaser reel for the guy in the last clip (when a cloud passed overhead, unfortunately) who just had to see what he looked like when she gave him the eye. Now if I could just teach that shark to do this stuff AWAY from the anchor line, LOL. BTW, in the closest pass, subject distance to the lens is about 12 inches. I'm shooting with a PD-170 in a Gates Housing using a Fathom SWP-35 110 degree port. Settings are shutter 1/100, exposure F 5.6, white balance off the sun. The wreck is in 70 FT of water, horizontal visibility was a cloudy 20 FT. STEVE, buddy, when are you coming diving? Andy
  12. I've seen them a couple times now, each time while on a deco hang off Hatteras. I usually have between a 20 and 30 min hang in the open ocean. I suspend my camera on a long tether clipped to my harness and of course by the time I see them it's too late to shoot video. Ya just watch them cruise by... I wish they'd hang with us occasionally. All the other sharks aren't shy and stick around but the GHs only visit and leave...
  13. Hi Guys: Ya know, you three guys are always so nice to me here, I really do appreciate it. Nick, the camera does get a fix and I do get a color shift. But, it's still all red. The slate's mounted on an arm and has worked fine for natural light, but I'm thinking what Steve is saying may have merit. I usually test in a flooded stone quarry before going to sea, but my lighting stuff came in after the season started. I do have a pair of white fins which may help, but I didn't have great success with them before. I'll try which each of you has suggested and report back. Steve, the guy I dive with off Hatteras is a cat by the name of JT (click HERE for his website). He runs a well laid out 6 pack 40 FT boat and is a great captain. He let's you sleep on the boat during your trip, so no hotel expense. Here's the deal. Why don't we pick a date next summer. I'd suggest late June or middle of July. I'm pretty sure we can book the boat for 4 days, Thu through Sun. We can do all the major wrecks, down to about 160 provided you have deco experience. You fly into Raleigh, NC, I'll come pick you up and we'll be sipping a cold one on the boat in under 3 hours. I'll even provide the tanks, but you gotta buy your own gas. I'm sure we can get enough people to fill all 4 days. Of course, some video tips would be appreciated! Oh, BTW, here's a sample of the action you WILL get to see (linked from JT's website): Here's the link to our latest dive a couple of weeks ago documented on JT's website: http://www.capt-jt.com/photos_up_071109b.htm (scroll to the bottom for the GOOD stuff...) Just give me a date... THANKS... Andy
  14. Nope, no red filter. Checked it twice just to make certain. I was thinking f stop might be the issue, but I was also wondering if the slate is just too close to the lens for adequate light illumination, even though it appears to be lit. Unfortunately I'm doing this in the middle of the diving season, meaning all my "learning" takes place between 100 and 170 FT. Doesn't give me much time to figure stuff out. I'll try dropping back between f5.6 to 8 and use the NDF if the camera indicates it. I'll also try dropping a slate and doing MWB from about 3 FT away if conditions permit. Should I revert back to a shutter of 60 or can I stick with higher numbers? As always, THANKS for the help! Andy
  15. Hi All: I just added new lights to my rig, twin 15 watt HIDs mounted on Loc Line arms with video heads for my Sony PD-170 in a Gates housing using a Fathom SWP-35. OK here's my question. I'm intending to use the lights primarily for highlighting swimming marine life coming toward me. For example, sharks often come directly in on me and I'd like to light them gradually as they approach so the viewer doesn't really "see" the lighting if you understand my meaning. Basically, all around is darker, but the shark is lighter and "warmer." Highlighting bait fish to get that shimmer and flash would be another example. I'm primarily a wide angle videographer, I haven't tried the short stuff yet. My first shot at this was 2 weeks ago. The bottom was roughly 100 FT, maybe 50 FT of viz, slightly cloudy blue water (below average for North Carolina). I had settings of an f stop at 9.6 and shutter at 100 because of the sun angle and amount of light at depth. I used a far field focus, to the limit of the visibility. The red filter was not used. I dropped my white balance slate in, set maybe 3" in front of the lens (it still sees the whole thing), illuminated with both lights and manually white balanced off of it. I tried some view finder shots and saw all red where ever the lights lit stuff. Any wreckage was colored red. I tried repeated times to fix this, all with the same result. The camera continues to shift toward red no matter what I do. Maybe I'm doing something wrong here? Any help appreciated and respected... CHEERS... Andy
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