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Everything posted by briand123

  1. I actually have used a cloth covered flex tip valve on a power inflator hose to carefully do this on several occasions out of need (had to risk opening the housing for some reason on a open boat.) Never used a 2nd state regulator directly to do this personally since I had the tip. This was on a large volume housing where no typical silica gel pack is going to help ( not a go pro.) Obviously I didn't blast full-flow 100psi air in unabated, and expect most handling underwater cameras would think about why that isn't a good idea. Maybe I should add a disclaimer here. lol There is no beating letting A/C'd air fill the housing before you close it up if you know the dew point of that air is safely below the coldest temp you'll experience during the dive. It doesn't matter if you take it outside after you close it and it sweats like a ice cold bottle of beer would, as that is on the outside (though it can freak some people out if they don't understand that.) Even as the air temp inside the housing rises or falls with the ambient environment, the dew point remains constant inside the housing as long as it's not opened.
  2. The GoPro heating up has nothing to do causing any fogging. In fact, it heating up during the dive will actually work against fogging by raising the air temp some inside the housing. Fogging all comes about from the air inside the housing cooling to the point it where it hits its dew point temp. The more moisture in the air, the higher it's dew point temp. So, you want the driest air inside the housing possible with the lowest dew point. The key is the air is dry enough so the dew point is lower than the coldest water temp you will experience during the dive. Then you will have no fog. The easiest way to do this is to load the camera in a cool and dry environment (i.e. in A/C )and not on the deck of the boat. 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. -Brian
  3. It's been just about one year since I shot my first 360 underwater video using my self designed and built HD 360 rig. Since then, I've made some changes to the number of cameras, power management, and control system over the last year to increase the reliability and improve the results. Here is a 360 I shot on the deck of the USS Vandenberg in June. Flat Panoramic 360 version on YouTube: Fully Interactive 360 Videos using Adobe Flash for PC or Mac: 360 Immersive Videos Note the the original 2 minutes of Vandenberg video at full HD resolution is over 6GB in size. The online 1/3 resolution and bit-rate compressed version is only 65MB. Let me know what you think. Regards, Brian Dombrowski SubsurfaceMedia.com
  4. There are glitches at the seams for several technical reasons. Parallax error being one at close distances to subjects, and the need for more overlap in frames from the various cameras. It's a work in progress, but it is progressing to better results as I throw time and money at it. Some folks have asked for 'sphere' views but if you have ever tried navigating one of those, they usually get abandoned by viewers in frustration as the viewer gets lost. There will be new videos with a lot more action and color as the water warms here in FL and i tweak the system configuration some. At this time, I'm not prepared to disclose details on my custom setup and workflow just yet. My goal is producing content for the next few months. Thanks, -Brian
  5. I have a new 360 video of USS Mohawk from the starboard deck with some cudas and AJs swimming through. Some minor wrinkles in two seams but i understand the issues and how I will work through them in the future. This is 1min 30 seconds and only 20MB in size for web. I think the quality for the file size is pretty decent trade off. The full quality and res file is over 4GB. New 360 video from starboard deck of USS Mohawk Regards, Brian
  6. Here's a new underwater 360 video using my second iteration design allowing for more vertical field of view. We shot from six vantages points on the wreck. This first one is the shot from the bow deck. Vis was 30 ft. First 360 underwater video from bow of the USS Mohawk Regards, Brian D.
  7. Yes, nor iPhone. The reason is you need a web browser that supports the free Adobe Flash plugin to play 360 videos. The deal is Adobe Flash is the only prominent technology capable of playing 360 *video* in a browser. Apple was mistakenly hasty to thumb it's nose at Flash and ditched it for HTML5 before HTML was even close to accomplishing what could be done in Flash regarding video. Android followed suit about 6 months ago. HTML5 browsers need to support OpenGL before they can support 360 videos.
  8. Hello diving photogs. Just a heads up that the 100ft dive liveaboard "Ultimate Getaway" is running a special trip Sept 5 - 8, 2013 to dive some great SW FL offshore wrecks known to harbor schools of Goliath Grouper. These dates are right at the peak of expected aggregation maximum (new moon of Sept.) I was on this boat in early Oct of 2010 with David Doubilet shooting Goliath images & video on the Baja California wreck for 2 days. We saw dozens of clustered goliath eventhough peak aggregation was well over by then. That trip inspired me to work with Ultimate Getaway to plan a dedicated trip targeted to finding goliath schools on SW FL wrecks. Here is the link to details on the trip we came up with: 2013 Ultimate Getaway Goliath & Wreck Photo Trip Regards, Brian D.
  9. I won't say shooting a full sphere *video* underwater is impossible but it's close to impossible. Still photos are much easier because the azimuth and nadir shots can be done afterward. The video has to be done in real-time. The reason the up-down buttons don't do anything by default is the video is already at full field of view vertically. If you zoom in, you'll see the buttons then have an effect. This was shot at 720 vertical and I've increased it to 960 for some more recent projects which has given me more range. I have a modification in the works that will expand the vertical range by another 33% on top of that. -Brian
  10. I've completed my first 360 underwater video using multiple GoPro Hero2 cameras in a custom designed and built housing specific to this purpose. I made the first full test run with running cameras in October and unfortunately the vis was only 20 ft and I was at 70-80 fsw with fairly low light. So reds are absent even after an attempt at color correction in post. Here are links to two presentation formats: Interactive 360 video version This is only a start. I plan to add radial lighting to the housing over the winter. Let me know what you think. Thanks, Brian
  11. Here is some night dive video I shot with these self-built CREE heads at 70% power. I find if I run them at 100% for more than 5-7 min continuous, I get an over-temp issue with the driver circuit protecting itself and dropping the power automatically. The camera is a HC7 in an USVH with the WB locked at built-in *daylight* color temp preset. Night dive using Ikelite heads rebuilt with LEDs.
  12. The desiccant has nothing to do with it. You can't wildly pan the camera around like that and expect the video to come out 'normal' with a rolling shutter CMOS sensor camera. Obviously, this isn't an issue because no one in their right mind would intend to shoot like you did intentionally, but if you google around and see the problems people have shooting rolling shutter cmos cameras in vibration environments (i.e helicopters), or the artifacts when doing quick pans, you see 'waving' effects like this. It's inherent of the design.
  13. Ok. I just got back after making 7 dives on a wreck 60 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico in 115 fsw. I shot about 1 hour of video on my HC7 using my prototype CREE LED heads. I also did a couple shots with the GoPro hero w/ and w/o lights at 115fsw. Since my HC7 in my USVH housing doesn't allow for manual white balance underwater, I usually just fix my white balance at 'outdoor' during daylight dives and then correct my footage in post. I just put up some raw images in my latest gallery which are simple frame grabs from the HD video. I used no color correcting filters while shooting and then only post processing done for these test images was deinterlace and resize. Overall, I'm very pleased with the results. The light color temp is consistent at various power levels and my batteries never drained low enough to hit the shutdown threshold even after three 42 min dives on day one. Please check out my latest gallery for the LED test result frame grabs. I will get some video up soon.
  14. I was on a trip with David Doubilet and Jen Hayes just a few weeks after diving the Baja California wreck about 65 miles off Naples FL. (October 1-3, 2010.) I got to shoot along side him and helped the scientists by mounting lasers to my video rig to take Goliath measurements. We talked shop a lot on the 7 hour trip back to Ft Myers. I have some vid of him auto-bracketing away at 115 ft. I call it "David and Goliath". A frame grab is in my WP gallery.
  15. I bought a Sartek housing for GoPro Hero HD to work around the underwater focus issue. The quality of the modification is excellent, and they pressure tested it to 250 fsw pressure before shipping. I think it was around $100. There was no vignetting at all at 1080p mode. However, and 1280x720, there was vignetting. Hoping that GoPro will fix their stock housing so that there is no need to buy a 3rd party housing to deal with this going forward. Brian
  16. You need more than just the LED chips. The chips have 4 LED elements in them, and cost me about $28 each mounted on metal backed star PCBs. Each head has two LED chips (8 elements.) I then have some circuitry for control power (5 levels of power) and protection (cut off on overtemp and over discharge of battery.) I may have about $125 worth of parts in each head.
  17. A splice isn't a good thing IMO. I believe the right way to solder wires to an Ikelite ICS plug or socket to the wires is to remove the gold pins from the plastic connector (they will push out), solder them on the ends of the wires, cool, deflux, then and push them back in, being careful to align them. That way the heat from soldering has no effect on the plastic connector inside body, and it's much easier to solder on the pins that way of course. In addition to patience, it helps to have good solder station and tools for building cables.
  18. Spec says 75-80. Not sure I buy into the CRI hype myself, as the results with a particular camera and white bal settings are going to add more variables making CRI subjective for the practical sense. I consider it a 'ball park' rating. For now, I've done some testing in a cavern. The results are very good. The 110 degree beam angle of the chip's native optics give me uniform coverage with zero hot spots. What I have yet to do is test balanced light shots (with sunlight), which is my critical use case. I will update with results when I have those. I will also do some testing with the amphibico calibration slate.
  19. I've been photographing manatees in and around Three Sisters spring every winter for the last 6 years. I just made a trip up there for the first time since the new laws went into effect last Nov. All I can say is all my images and footage from the last 5 years has just increased in value by multiples, because to reproduce the best of them would require one to now risk a huge fine and/or a federal lock up. You will have to risk a big fine to get high quality low angle underwater shots in there. There is no legal way around it, even by permit. The reality of the new law: Note that the new law isn't really against scuba, it's against diving in any form. You cannot dive down to a manatee even on snorkel or if you're buck naked. The law is worded to say any harassment is punishable by fine and/or imprisonment. Then it goes to define harassment as anything that alters the behavior of a manatee. It goes to include harassment as 'diving down on to a resting or feeding manatee'. Carefully note this is worded "on to" not "onto". Now here is the practicality of this enforcing this particular statute. The US Fish and Wildlife officers (now stationed like storm troopers around the spring) are not in the water, and have no intention of ever being in the water. If you dive down, they can't see what you are doing, so they need to suppose you are diving down on to a resting or feeding manatee. You will be told by the tour operator or boat rental shop FIRMLY and REPEATEDLY that you need to keep your head above the water at all times, or risk a Federal fine. You can put your face in the water, but your head can't go below the surface. If you think I'm kidding, take your DSLR camera into Three Sisters and you'll see you'll attract more attention from the 'law enforcement' people than a mut hound does fleas. What I found very ironic was that even though harassment is defined as anything you do that alters the behavior of a manatee, this apparently excludes kayaks for now. My police officer buddy and I witnessed several occurrences where a manatee trying to enter the narrow spring run actually backed up and aborted its attempt to swim up the spring because of an armada of kayaks lined up overhead trying to exit the spring. At one point, there were 10 kayaks lined up trying to exit. (go it all on video.) This obviously constitutes harassment by the definition given by the law. I expect big changes to specifically regulate kayaks is coming next year. FWIW, I used to shoot in Three Sister's on scuba, and would calmly sit in one place while manatees would approach me and check me out out of curiosity while masses of snorkelers and kayaks chased them around at the surface. On one instance, I had a manatee come up to me and put his eye repeatedly up to my lens to see what it was. Apparently he was seeing his reflection. Made for a great experience and equally great images. Glad I was able to do so while I could. If you still plan to try your luck, I suggest you learn to hip shoot or shoot blind by holding your camera as far as you can underwater, angled up to attempt to pull off a low-angled shot. Best regards, Brian
  20. Very nice stuff. Anyone know if the 7D do as good with over-under shots as the 5DmII?
  21. Some of the footage I shot last summer of Goliath grouper aggregations using a static, unmanned camera placed at the base of a wreck for 2 hours. You can see a diver begin to enter the frame at 26;20;00 and the obvious effect on the fish. The diver gives a good reference for the size of these fish. The stern wreckage in the center raises about 20ft off the bottom at 120fsw.
  22. I read the specs. For video, 6500k is quite a bit on the blue side of white. Underwater, I would rather be slightly on the red side of white if you're going to be off from 5500k. There are now LEDs that can do that w/o using filters. Thing is, they are so new I don't know of any companies actually using them in production designs at this point.
  23. I recently got a Sartek housing for my GoPro Hero HD, and it's well designed and built. They also pressure test to 250' fsw prior to shipping. Pool test look awesome with zero vignetting at 1080p. Will be trying it tomorrow with Manatees in Crystal River.
  24. I haven't been here in ages, but wanted to share a prototype project I just completed where I replaced the old 50W halogen bulb in one of my Ikelite Pro Video Light II heads with a pair of state of the art CREE MC-E neutral white LEDs. The lumen power of the LEDs at 20W is comparable with the old halogen at 50W, but the white is near sunlight color at 5000k vs 3200k yellowish of the halogen. With the halogens, I used to use CTB filters for balanced light work losing about 2 stops of light power. Those days are over. I also get 5 power levels at the same color temp and some protections features from the smart boost power supply. Testing results look promising, and I'll be diving with it for the first time later this week. I put up a short slide show video on YouTube showing some steps of the conversion and a comparison of a converted head versus the original one. You can see it here: Brian D.
  25. Photography and Video Liveaboard Trip to the Dry Tortugas - July 10-13, 2008 I'm going to be back in the Dry Tortugas in June and July shooting more HD video. There is still room left on the July trip, July 10-13. So if you want gain lots of underwater photography experience on a fantastic liveaboard that departs from Ft. Myers, this trip is a great opportunity. Also, considering fuel, fuel and airline prices, this liveaboard is good way to get in approx 13 beautiful dives in 3 days at a decent price compared to other dive travel packages. Sign up at Ultimategetaway.net Note that I volunteer as the resident u/w photo/video expert to be on these trips, so I have no interest in plugging this trip other than to help people gain better skills in underwater photography. Regards, Brian D. SubsurfaceMedia.com
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