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Posts posted by Oceanshutter

  1. Gorgeous. And the divers in some of the shots gave perspective on the shear size of those beautiful mantas.


    Thanks, I don't typically like divers in my shots, but this was unavoidable, but really it does give a good persepctive.

    Fantastic. Loved every minute.


    Thank you Peter. I appreciate it.

    Really enjoyed this! Very nice production :)


    Glad you liked it. Thanks for watching it.

  2. I can only speak to a couple of items on your list. As I haven't been to PG. Anilao is one of my favorite places. However September is still a risky time there for weather...normally October/November to May is the safe time.


    As for club O. Been there twice. It is a great place, with great guides. Although, getting a hold of them can be tough. I recommend trying through their Facebook account. They have enough repeat business, they aren't too focused on gaining new clients. If that doesn't work out. There are other places that are good as well, like crystal blue.


    As a side, I have done Atlantis resort in dumaguete and it was great. I am sure pg will be similar.


    • Like 1

  3. Hello all,


    I wanted to share a short film I have put together. Those that know me and my filming style, know that I don't personally like to narrate, nor have divers in my shots....well with this film this was all unavoidable.


    Ever since I have been diving, I have wanted to have an up close and personal interaction with Manta Rays. I have been all of the world waiting for this magical opportunity. Thousands of miles traveled and dollars spent, I went to some of the best places in the world to pursue this dream of mine. Whether it be weather, bad luck, or illness, something always seemed to get in the way. It was very frustrating.


    This film is about how the manta curse eventually got broken. I figured this is my story, and I needed to tell it. So outsourcing the narration didn't make sense. Hence the poor narration...:-).


    Anyhow, Please let me know things you like and don't like about it. Always willing to try to improve and get pointers from others.

    I hope you enjoy it!





    Or Youtube


    • Like 5

  4. I will echo what others are saying....the 17-40mm in my opinion is horrible behind a dome. I have one, and only used it a few times, as I would get angry at how bad the image looked after I was done filming. So that lead me to use the 15mm fisheye. This lens on the other hand is very sharp, and focuses close. Really the only negative is warped look, which in most cases I don't mind. If you are doing reefs, mantas, sharks open water etc...I think it works fine and the warping isn't a big deal. Again, this is personal preference.


    Here is an example of the same camara (canon 5dII) you are using and what the 15mm fisheye looks like.



    Now for the Rectilinear, seriously, don't buy the 17-40mm. It is an old lens, and for on a couple hundred more you can have, as Drew pointed out the new 16-35mm with IS. I recently purchased it because I was going to Truk for wreck diving, and knew the fisheye wouldn't look good there. And boy am I glad I got it! It looks really good imo. The corners aren't perfect but 1000% better than the 17-40mm. And just the color you get out of it seems to be better.


    Here is an example of the 16-35mm f4L with the Canon 5dII..


    I also found the IS to be helpful with the lens...


    Hope that helps.


  5. That's useful info Dustin.

    Where did you get that Locline that didn't creak much? I have a feeling that new Locline might be a little quieter as it may still be a little slippery from the manufacturing process (injection mould release agent etc.).

    And what brand of clamps are you using? Mine are Nauticam. Perhaps some are smoother than others. I wish manufacturers would offer them with a finer thread for finer control over the tension. However that would make them slower to assemble.



    I got them from backscatter. They creak more out of the water than in. I really think it's the ikelite to locline adaptor that made the movement. And I also agree, that the newness of it may have made it quieter. I also only did the small solas on them, I wouldn't do the 4000's on them.


    As for clamps, I use the Ulcs clamps and arms. To be honest I kind of man handle them underwater, I don't have a ton of patience so I keep all connections stiff, and then muscle it into place when I see a subject. This also creaks because it is tighter.

    I also force my tripod legs, and have had to but new ball for the base of my tripod because I tweak them hard underwater without loosening much. Movement is nice, but the stability I think wins out for me on the arms. However, I think a lot depends on what you are used to.



  6. Hey Nick, I thought I would try locline in PNG, but after a few days I noticed that on my tripod shots, it took a while for them to stop shaking. It was a good 8 seconds before they would stop moving the camera after I hit the record button and took my hands off. Not sure if that has to do with the connection to the ikelite handle or what, but it was very disappointing because the movement was nice. Mine didn't creak as much as I was expecting, at least not more than my regular arms.


    So after all that I went back to normal arms, which is fine. They work better in current and above water too. I just have to take the time at the beginning of the dive to losses the clamp just enough to to where I can easily move the arms. I use an 8 and 4 inch arm. Although might try and 8 and 12 next time.



  7. Thanks Dustin. Yeah I was puzzling about the length of each clip. I decided to keep the Pikachu nudibranch and the white one long because it show the interesting way of the pikachu crawl and flop (so cute!), and the white glass one eating. I suppose I could have cut the juvenile dragon shorter.


    The mating part was tricky, I didn't even know they're doing it until when they split up. While I was shooting them, I just saw a blob of black nudibranch stick together, so focus was hard (dealing with diopter and try not to shake/move camera much). Watching them crawl closer kind of set up the scene, but I agree it's very sloooooowwww....... Do you think 15 seconds max per clip is too long? I'm slowly learning the editing portion, so any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.


    I have another big master reel in the progress, so I think I will try to keep each clip around 10 seconds.


    Also, I saw your Nudi clip, will try snoot light the next time, if I get to do more night dive!



    Timing is tricky and there isn't ever a correct answer. When I was first learning, I would keep clips too long. And videos too long. Even now, I am thinking 5 minutes is too long for a full video, but I get dragged into it because I have more footage I want show. Lol. And even now, of course, then you will get people that say the clips aren't long enough. I have found that in general, if someone is very interested in the subject matter, longer clips are fine. But those casual viewers not so much, they need more action and variety. So I suppose it depnds on who you want as your audience. Unless you are nudi freak, you probably won't watch this all the way thru. you are better off making 2 shorter videos.

    Having said that, the video is really good, and I am a nudi freak so I watched the whole thing..:).


    As for the mating....I had the same type of nudis in Lembeh, but they were doing a 3 way...pretty funny. They were positioned well so you could definitely tell what they were doing. any black subject looks bad in video or pictures. Really hard to get that stuff to look good.



    • Like 1

  8. Hi all,


    Would like to get an opinion in regards of underwater tripod. I'm thinking to purchase one for video both for WA shoot and macro.


    I do have gorilla pod that can be used underwater but adjusting them is such a pain!


    Considering the price - the proper one is expensive! - I do want to be sure it will help in getting a stable clip.


    Thanks in advance!



    Adjustin them is always a pain. You have to ask yourself, if it's important to you...? For me and macro, it's essential. For others, not so much. Keep in mind I also shoot a dslr, so that pretty requires a tripod. If you are satisfied with footage you get without one, then you are fine. If not, get one.

    • Like 1

  9. Here is another DIY solution for Macro. I doubt tripod is useful for wide angle, especially on wall dive.



    I disagree. I use a tripod for wide angle, can get some great shots when the camera is staying still. Sometimes nice to leave the camera and let the fish surround it.


    I also use the legs as a wider handle to help with more stable shots. Better than the housing handles imo.

    It also makes my housing more stable above water, so it is more stable on sometimes rocky boats.

    • Like 1

  10. Very enjoyable to watch Dustin! Nice!


    I envy your smooth shoot. It just like you use 3-axis stabilized gimbal underwater! :notworthy:




    Agree, especially the blue, its just lovely. I've been tinkering with my GH4 clips at Premiere Pro and none giving me such blue. Perhaps my technique but I'm dying to have such blue like yours.


    Thanks for sharing.


    Thank you very much!

  11. You could. Color grading is another monster that you can create all kind of filter, mask, gradient etc to change the mood of the scene. That's why many of us don't do it because it really take a toll on the work flow. Like Dustin said, finding music itself is a chore. 3 Weeks after my trip, I'm still selecting clips and trying to decide which one I want to attempt to post stabilize. I would say play around with your GH4 footage and from that point you would get better understanding of the color/quality in the GH4 (Panasonic in general) and find a happy medium to shoot/color correct. We all can't wait for Canon to pull their act together so this is how I chose to move on.

    Canon rumors just posted, that canon isn't putting 4k into the 5d4.....while still just a rumor, it is very frustrating. More about them protecting their cinema line.

  12. Richard,


    Canon and Nikon is well known for their excellent color rendering. I think Nikon is great for skin tone, while Canon is great overall, and with its glass/lens portfolio, that's why these two brands dominated the market. It is very easy to tell what scene/photo are shot with Canon vs Sony/Panasonic.


    For a while I was trying to match Panasonic to Canon's color, at the end of the day, Panasonic with Scenery color profile and red filter (preferably Magic Filter) will get you very close to Canon's rendition of blue when you do the custom white balance right (with right sun position, water clarity, white/gray slate vs sand/hand). Like Dustin said, Canon have their head in the sand and not giving consumer the right camera at the right price point. They are many times I wanted to switch to the Canon G series for their color, but the video feature just kill those cameras for me. So I switched to Panasonic and spent time to find a way to cope with the color shortcoming.


    Sony is very close to Canon's color these days and you can find a lot of video shot with the RX100 with nice blue color, but the WB on the Sony is not easy to work with.


    Dustin, Lee tried out the A7S with Shogun, you can check with him how bad it is, and he would rather stick with his 6D, it's that painful!



    Thanks Moses. I have been in contact with Lee. And we are very much in the same position and have similar opinions. We are both waiting. The 6d is a awesome camera too with better low light than my camera. To be honest as far as color I don't expect that a new camera is going to be better necessarily. I am just looking to get going with 4k and maybe some more fps, some better low light ISO, autofocus would b e nice for some situations. Plus I want to get a new housing....If I had all those with my current camera, I would happy.


    The macro with the a7s is great, but I need wide angle too. That is a problem. I assume that Sony will have internal recording on the next version, but the wb kills it for me.



    I have the wrong camera, I can't see the GH4 rendering this sort of color at all.


    The GH4 is a great camera. I have seen a lot of good stuff out of it. I thought about getting the GH4 myself but after seeing more and more video out of it, I am convinced I would be disappointed in the color. Of course, this is personal preference, and there are people that will like the GH4 more than a Canon...It's all in what you like. But Canon's WB is second to none. I am impatiently waiting for Canon to pull their head out of their A$$ and release an affordable 4k full frame dslr that doesn't cost as much as my car. The competition is killing them in that area. If the 1DC was $4k I would have bought it by now. Rumors are that Canon is continuing the split off the 5d line. Similar to how Sony does their A7 line. Hopefully coming out with a cinema version that shoots 4k. I was really hoping for a new camera by september for my Bali trip, but seems I will have to wait...


    The Sony a7s is another interesting camera, but a few things turn me off...no internal 4k recording. reports are the wb underwater is very bad, and have to use a lens adaptor to get the canon glass to work. The WB is a deal breaker for me I think, unless I see some wide angle work that looks good.


  14. Could you provide us with some technical background to the video?


    Honestly the colours I personally think are 'Epic' - really nice!!


    Using Filters? Lights? WB - if so what? (if MWB, what you balancing on white / 50%?)


    Thank you for the compliment!


    I use a Canon 5d mark II. I also used a the new 16-35mm F4L lens.

    I don't use filters. I am not a big fan of filters myself, so you will never see that from me, at least with this camera. IMO Canon cameras have such a good MWB, you don't need them. I realize some cameras need them, but for my camera it doesn't. With the exception of inside the fuselage, the entire video is all natural light. I just white balanced off of the sand. Which again for my camera seems to be the best way to WB. I have a white slate, but I have never felt that it gives me as good as white sand. This can be personal taste as well as how the camera reacts as well...Some people with the 7d have mwb off of the surface pointed at the sun, and my camera doesn't like that. So cameras can be different.


    As for lights, on this trip I used 2 sola 4000's and 1 sola 2100. I mainly used those when inside the wrecks. If I can do natural light, that is what I prefer, at least for wide angle.

    Hope that helps.



  15. The whole video is excellent, I like the color grading and smooth shots.

    I really love the first shot of the wreck appearing behind the corals !


    The (double) splashscreen at the beginning is too long for me : 30s.

    If I had not been for the preview, I would have left.


    Thanks for watching it. I agree...the first part is too long. There is always a balance of trying to get your name out there and boring people. This is too long to get to the good stuff......but I will tell you my thinking. This might just be me...but, I feel there is a place in every song where it makes sense to start the good stuff...So with this particular song, that was where I thought it was, so I was trying to fill in the gap...Not great I know...but choosing music is hard for me, so if I find something that for the most part I like, I go with it. :)



    Nice work, as usual. I liked the "tilted font" effect that you got on your name in the title sequence at the beginning. I was also very impressed with the water clarity, and how much of the plane was still intact after all this time.


    Thank you!

    • Like 1

  16. Nice job again Dustin.

    I know it's your style but I would not crush black that much because it will look too much black on uncalibrated screen like tv or projector.

    But maybe it just me. :)


    Thanks Eunjae.


    As for the blacks...yes it is my style. Is there anything technically wrong with doing it this way? This might be a false observation, but I have noticed you used to do more of this than you currently do. Are you finding you don't like black in the picture just as a personal taste? Or is it for a technical reason? I definitely like having blacks especially in my macro, as I shoot it that way on purpose. On this trip I was actually exposing to the right on purpose with the mindset of crushing the blacks in post. I have viewed on both calibrated and uncalibrated monitors and TV's and it looks pretty good. I haven't put it up on my projector however. I have often pondered why we are so concerned with calibrating our monitors, when 99% of the monitors/tv's are not calibrated...lol. I always watch it on an uncalibrated monitor to make sure it looks good first. Interesting discussion....


    Thanks again for watching and the comments!


    • Like 1

  17. Nice job Dustin! The exposure/colours/grading looks great.


    I didn't think of it while I watching, but there were a couple of moments where I was struggling to understand how big it was, particularly the wide overhead shot at 2:20, where it could be anything from Spitfire size to jumbo jet size. So I agree that a diver or two in shot would have helped.


    Also, people in underwater videos usually helps the view count. "People-doing-amazing/adventurous-things" videos are hits on YouTube/Vimeo because viewers relate to the divers in the shots. Escapism!


    For me, the music was slightly too epic for the scale of the subject. But as we know, music is really subjective, difficult to find, and you can't please all the people all the time.


    Thanks Nick for the compliments.


    I never thought about the views and with divers in it....very good point! As I am sure most people are, I am also looking to grow my viewership. While I generally hate youtube, as 99% of stuff on there is garbage, it is a necessary evil in my mind. I am looking to grow it. Just not sure how...;) My vimeo is continuing to grow at a pretty good rate which is good. You certainly have a very good youtube following. So any pointers I am certainly willing to listen to you.


    As for the music.....ughhh.. I like the song overall, however I am generally never quite satisfied with the music. I am afraid I won't be until I can have my own composer...lol. Music is so difficult, and quite frankly sometimes makes me want to stop doing this....I spend 10 times more time trying to pick out a song than putting the actual video together. There is so much crap to wade through to get something decent. With this particular track, it was my first time using audiojungle. I was a bit concerned about the "epic"ness, but I decided it wasn't too bad and went with it. As you said it is very subjective. But just know that in general I am never quite sold on the music that I pick. Which is unfortunate, because music selection is a big deal on whether people like to watch your videos.


    Thanks again Nick.


  18. Wow. Just wow. Amazing colours!!!!!


    I remember diving it and the water being quite milky then.


    Can you say about what you did in post with this.


    - and it's amazingly stable footage too!

    Thanks! As for post I essentially crushed the blacks and tweaked the WB in very small amounts.

    Nice video, Dustin


    Yeah, divers in shot can be a mixed blessing. I shoot stills and with a fisheye lens on my camera, "bike riders" or those who dive with their legs bent constantly at 90 degrees from the knee are a real pain! Stop it, you people!


    My partner has become an excellent model: hanging-in the water-column, legs elegantly elongated, lovely green eyes looking at the subject, gently exhaling a stream of perfectly rounded bubbles... and bingo, into view hoves Mr or Ms Bike Rider. ARGH.


    We have thought about putting together a PADI Specialty Course: Underwater Modelling. It's tempting to make it compulsory. At least then we can get perfectly poised divers in shot.


    (Sorry, not trying to hijack your post)


    Thank you for watching it and commenting. Yeah, the divers can be a challenge especially with a fisheye. My instruction to my friends consisted of, "If you are in the shot, look like you know what you are doing, and never look at the camera!"...lol.

    • Like 1
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