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Everything posted by blaisedouros

  1. John, that second image is extremely cool. Great perspective on the eye, it's a very humanizing shot.
  2. This is great work, and a nice fresh perspective on what we usually see in UW imaging.
  3. Hope it helps! Moray Eel is just my current rating, my forum handle is blaisedouros which provides a huge degree of anonymity given that it's nothing like my name. Swear
  4. I notice that it's primarily your UV filter ring that is reflecting like this; presumably it has a relatively shiny surface on it? This is likely the main cause of the issue. Have you tried shooting without this UV filter? I have seen many people paint the shiny portions of their lenses with matte black paint to help alleviate this, especially lenses with shiny silver or gold rings on them. Since it's just a UV filter on the front, what do you have to lose by painting it matte so it doesn't reflect? Notice how in each of these images you are shooting into relatively strong sunlight? When enough light hits your lens through the dome, it reflects onto the inside of the dome. So if you can, avoid pointing your housed camera directly into strong light sources that you know will cause this reflection.
  5. White balance works by reducing the gain on the sensor sites that are receiving higher amounts of one color and increasing the gain on the sites that are receiving less color to produce a balance between red, green, and blue to produce white light. If the only color the camera is seeing is red, there is no green or blue light to produce a white balance. In theory, the only way that the camera could "correctly" white balance a scene lit with only red light would be to turn off the red photosites, producing a black image (since there's no green or blue light hitting the sensor at all). In practice, you might get some weird color shifts or green and blue noise in the image as the camera bumps up the green and blue gain. You'd be better off setting a regular white balance with white light, shooting with red, and just accepting the color shift. You could convert to black and white in post for a less jarring look.
  6. Solas actually do not turn off when strobes fire. However, if you shoot with a shutter speed of 1/125 or faster, the red light will pretty much be eliminated, since it is not very bright. Red lights are not very useful for video, as you will never be able to white balance out the red color. It's primarily meant for still photographers as a stealth spotting light, since they can fire their strobes, which overpower the red light. You can still use the light for stealth video, but you should not expect your colors to be accurate--you can take video of behaviors that wouldn't be possible with white light, but the scene will be red-colored. Think of it as the underwater version of that green-y night vision-type footage--it never looks amazing, but you see things that you might not otherwise see.
  7. Have you considered the GIMP? It's free, open source, cross-platform, does many of the things that Photoshop does, and best of all, it's free! Did I mention that it's free? Downsides include a bit of a learning curve to get used to a different interface than Adobe's, and less regular updates. Upsides include updates to the latest versions, forever, for no money.
  8. Was just about to write the same thing. Nice stuff, Roger.
  9. Are you running Mac OS, Windows, or Linux? On the Mac, I like Data Rescue 3. It has saved my rear end several times, both when I worked in post production and on my own personal projects.
  10. Speaking from a bias of "L&M makes a housing for it," I have been really impressed with this little camera. It uses the same CMOS Pro sensor Canon is using in the XF100 and XF300 cameras--a native 1080p sensor. Still a small sensor, so your DOF will be fairly deep, but larger pixels mean it's easy to white balance, and good in low light. 24 mbps AVCHD provides more than enough detail in the motion for almost anything I can throw at it. I like its options of 1080i60, 1080p30, and 1080p24. You can manually set the gain on the camera, or turn off auto-gain entirely, which is great for managing the digital noise that comes with higher gain settings. Underwater-only users should go with its little brother the HF-G10; the XA-10 has twice the internal storage (but both cameras are expandable) and a removable XLR audio handle that doesn't fit in L&M or Gates' housings, and costs $500 more. If you plan to use it as a topside camera for professional use, though, the XLR on the XA10 can come in handy.
  11. What a horrible idea. As though another shark wouldn't eventually arrive to hunt the same waters? This is a recipe for repetitive killing of whatever shark happens to be nearby. Nobody is surprised when people get mauled while mucking around in lion country. Why is this any different? The answer is to respect the wild animals whose habitat you're invading, not to kill off all the wild animals. I'm not saying that the people who were attacked were acting irresponsibly. However, I think it would certainly help if there were better guidelines in place and more education available as to when and where surfers and swimmers should exercise more discretion.
  12. Drink lots of gin and tonics. The quinine in the tonic water won't prevent malaria, but is helpful in treating the symptoms. Plus you have an ironclad excuse to have your cocktail hour every night. I make sure to take plenty of precautions against malaria symptoms wherever I go
  13. I'm surprised more people aren't excited about the RX1. Nobody else has done a full-frame compact, and f2 is a pretty fast lens. With the right housing and adapter ports (always wanted to see someone try something like this with wet adapters), this could be an extremely nice compact system for a serious shooter who needs to travel really light. Obviously the price is high, which will be a barrier.
  14. I think the distinction is moot. Getting access to otherwise-inaccessible functions via a user-generated software patch qualifies as a hack. The degree of danger to the camera isn't relevant to whether it qualifies as a hack, just the end result. I've been too chicken to try ML on my t3i while I've still got a warranty, but there are sure some features that look pretty interesting--focus trap for shooting birds could be VERY handy. Not to mention intermediate ISOs, especially for video; I've found that my t3i's video gets noisy pretty quickly at ISO 400 and up.
  15. Once again, the need for a special sarcasm/hyperbole font becomes apparent...come on, internets! Let's have some REAL innovation!
  16. My previous career was in post-production working on documentaries for NGT and PBS. The cameramen I worked with worked hard with whatever techniques were necessary to get shots as close as possible to corrected color. They had to, since there's only so much color correction that can be applied to compressed camera streams, even when shooting 100mbps DVCProHD, or similar. I learned to shoot from those guys, so my approach is strongly biased towards that. I'm no Howard Hall, but it ain't my first rodeo, either I do understand that shooting RAW is totally different--and I agree that it will make it much easier to fix colors in post. However, given that most cameras are still shooting compressed codecs without anything near the color latitude of a camera shooting film or RAW video, I believe it's still good procedure to get the colors right (or close to it) in-camera, so that any color correction performed is just a minor adjustment, and doesn't end up pushing the codec farther than its color latitude allows. As a post-production guy who learned to shoot, I know exactly what it takes to correct an image that could have been shot better on location...and I avoid it at all costs in my own footage! You've got a stock footage business, and I don't, so I'm not going to argue with you about what sells, or what makes a successful shooting technique Clearly, the approach you outlined works great in many situations! I don't think that means it's the ONLY approach that will provide good results, though, and I think that having lots of techniques in the toolbag is the best way to guarantee success.
  17. I'm talking about in terms of generally recognized best practices for someone shooting manually--you must have a camera whose auto-white-balance is pretty good in low-light? I can tell you that with some of the cameras I've shot, the auto-white-balance was so inept that I would get purple water if I didn't white balance manually! I got some ugly footage that way... Working in TV production, the consensus of all the DPs I've ever worked with, both topside and UW, was that you need to white balance when your light changes. These were guys whose motto was "fix-it-in-post is an obscenity!"
  18. I know, I work for Light & Motion The cyan filters I'm referring to are more for a specialized shooting technique that balances color across both the lit foreground and the unlit background. They're not necessary for all situations, but for some, it's useful. To get back to the OP's real question though; you should white balance every time your light conditions change. If you're doing a night dive, you could do a single white balance and be good to go for the whole dive since your lights will be the same for the whole dive. In the daylight, if you ascend or descend, turn a different direction from the sun, or go under a coral overhang, you should take a new white balance. Lights and red filters don't mix unless you're using the cyan filters we've been talking about.
  19. The one rule of thumb for white balancing is: always white balance under the same light conditions you're going to shoot with. So if you're going to be shooting with the cyan and red filters on, then yes, white balance under those same conditions. You'd use the cyan filters if you want to shoot a scene where you're illuminating the foreground, but want the color balance of the illuminated subject to match the background. We're not used to this, because we're used to strobes and video lights changing the color of the foreground subject while we just let the background sort of be whatever color it is. Big-budget shooters have done this for a long time, since they can use gigantic surface-supplied lights. However, for everyone else, we're used to lights that aren't powerful enough to do this. LED lights are just now getting to the point where it's a practical technique for video shooters with portable lights.
  20. Autopsea's got it. Think of it like this: Normally when you light a subject, the subject is a different color (whiter) than your background, since the ambient light is filtered. Adding cyan filters to the Sola 4Ks (or whatever) filters your white lights so they are a similar color to the ambient light. So, you use a regular color correction filter on your camera, which compensates for both the ambient light and the artificial light. It's a way to increase the light on your foreground while keeping the background the same coloration.
  21. Full disclosure: I am an employee of L&M--not trying to push product below, just to give information: With Sola 4000s, you also have the option of shooting using the accessory cyan filter in front of the lights, in conjunction with your red filter on the camera. This allows you to filter the color of the lights to a color that is close to your background, and use the red filter to get the same white balance for your foreground and background.
  22. It may be helpful, too, to mention which lights the pods are for--the Sunray 1000 and 2000 LED lights used different connectors from the HID and Halogen lights.
  23. No, shallow depth of field is a function of aperture size in relation to sensor size, with the length of the lens as an additional factor. Cine mode on the XA10 is just a series of preset white balances and image effects.
  24. Here's what I use when I'm shooting a Bluefin housing: Image stabilization should be set to Standard (Dynamic will cause vignetting). I set Auto Gain Control to +9dB max if I'm in bad lighting conditions, but usually to +4dB. I like to shoot at a framerate of 30p, in Shutter Priority mode (Tv mode) with the shutter set to 1/60. To me, 30p gives the best combination of smooth motion and cine-like flicker. I prefer Tv mode because it ensures that your motion will always be smooth; if you shoot Av mode, the program settings can drop the shutter speed below what they need to be to get smooth motion, and you get blurry footage. If shooting a wide adapter, that will deepen your DOF enough that the AF won't have much trouble seeking focus. Your shutter speed should never be less than double your framerate; so at 24p your shutter speed should be 1/50, 30p at 1/60, or 60i at 1/120. I usually turn the mic gain way down; unless I'm diving with humpbacks or dolphins, there's nothing to hear. These apply whether shooting in manual or cine mode. I prefer manual mode to cine, as I believe the only advantage to cine mode is the ability to use one of the prepackaged "looks." I don't like shooting that way, I'd rather shoot color-accurate and apply color corrections in post.
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