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Posts posted by Laval

  1. Hi Arellano,

    Thank you for your comment about my video.

    If you are planning to take a liveaboard, I would recommend you to check reviews at Undercurrent. 

    If your choice is a resort (this is my preference), my recommendation would be Papua Diving Resorts: Sorido Bay Resort and Kri Eco Resorts.  They are pioneers of diving in Raja Ampat and located on Kri Island in a middle of Dampier Strait, which offers the best scuba diving of Raja Ampat.

    You could watch my videos about  Sorido Bay Resort and their founder, Max Ammer, using the following links:



    Also, here is the LINK to my trip report posted at Scubaboard. 

    Enjoy your trip to Raja Ampat.

    Thank you,




    Please find the following link to my new 4K video "COLORS OF RAJA AMPAT IN HDR", in which I was trying to show magnificent colors of the Raja Ampat's marine life, biodiversity of which is the highest recorded on Earth. It's simply overwhelming.

    You could watch the video in SDR quality or in HDR quality on an HDR-enabled television, tablets, phones or computer screens. All footage of this video was shot in 4K using Sony Camcorder HXR-NX80 with picture profile Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG). 

    For camera setting, I followed recommendations of the following article: AX700-Z90-Housing-Recommended-Settings-R2: https://www.gateshousings.com/wp-co...AX700-Z90-Housing-Recommended-Settings-R2.pdf:

    Camera Settings: 4K, 30 FPS; Picture Profile: PP10; Gamma: HLG2; Color Mode: BT2020

    Thank you for watching, and please let me know if you have any questions or comments.


    • Like 1

  3. Here is the link to my new video - the Episode 2 of my series of videos about dive sites of Raja Ampat, which will  bring you to the Blue Magic Dive Site at Dampier Strait in West Papua, Indonesia. 

    If you enjoyed the video, please LIKE it, leave a COMMENT, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE for more exciting travel videos!  

    In this video I used 4K underwater video clips shot during our two stays at the Sorido Bay Resort in December 2018 and January 2020.  All 'manta ray' clips and a few 'fish' clips were shot using Sony A7Rii camera in 2018; and all other clips were shot using Sony Camcorder NXR-NX80 in 2020.

    I will greatly appreciate a constructive criticism of this video.



    • Like 3

  4. 18 hours ago, Kraken de Mabini said:

    Just watched it again, enjoyed it twice as much as the first time.  

    I am glad to hear that you like it.  You may want to keep an eye on my YouTube channel, as I will be posting video "Raja Ampat - The Last Paradise" in a week or two.  This will be Episode 1, which will be focused on the Sorido Bay Resort and diving at Cape Kri.

  5. 16 hours ago, Kylie Jonasson said:

    Thanks so much for sharing this.  We've been down south the Misool but not to Sorido Bay. Miss Raja Ampat dearly

    Thank  you very much Kylie.  I am glad you like it.  We' ve been to Misool Eco Resort as well, but we like Sorido Bay Resort better, and planning to come back again as soon as travel is allowed.  I am actually finalizing my movie about Sorido Bay Resort, and, if you are interested, you could follow my YouTube Channel to get unbiased information about this resort and diving at Dampier Strait.

  6. Have you been dreaming of Raja Ampat recently? Me too.

    So, I created a video DREAMING OF RAJA AMPAT to share our memories and dreams about the breathtaking Raja Ampat. In this video, I used footage from our two most recent trips to Raja Ampat.  Both times we stayed at Sorido Bay Resort (Dampier Strait), which is our favorite dive resort. 
    If you are interested in more technical details, please keep reading below.
    On the first trip I used a Sony A7Rii camera, Ikelite housing and Keldan Video  lights 8X 11,000 Lumen CRI 92 (5400K).  Sony A7Rii had some problems with autofocus and did not allow to set WB manually.  
    On the second trip I used the following equipment: 
    Camera: Sony camcorder  HXR-NX80
    Housing: Gates AX700 / Z90 with Gates GP34A Wide Angle Port and internal UR Pro Red Filter 
    Diopters: SAGA +5 Diopter Achromatic Close-Up Macro Lens, and SAGA +10 Diopter Achromatic Close-Up Macro Lens
    Video Lights: Keldan Video 8X 11,000 Lumen CRI 92 (5400K) with Keldan Ambient Filter M1 (10-20m) for 4X/8X
    Camera Settings: 4K, 30 FPS, Picture Profile: BT709, and on several dives - HLG picture profile.  
    For camera settings, I used recommendations from the following article : AX700-Z90-Housing-Recommended-Settings-R2.pdf
    HDR clips were converted to Rec.709 color space using the following two methods:
    1 - FCPX HDR Tool HDR to Rec.709 SDR,  
    2 - Leeming Camera LUT Pro Sony A - HLG to Rec.709.
    For reasons I could not explain, FCPX HDR Tool worked better for some clips and Leeming Camera Lut worked better for other clips.
    Juan Miguel Núñez Arellano provided me invaluable guidance and mentoring in shooting and grading HLG footage.  You could visit his website (http://wetpixel.es) to learn more about underwater videography in general and about using HLG in UW videography.  Juan's videos could be found at the following YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/JUANMONTEREY/featured

  7. 18 hours ago, diggy said:

    Totally loved watching this. Its one of my favourite destinations and took a group there diving. BUT want to go alone for a few weeks.

    Thanks for sharing this and some amazing work being done there.


    Thank you for watching the video and your comments, Diggy. We've been to Sorido Bay Resort twice already and both times we stayed for 18 days.  It was just perfect.  We loved this Paradise, underwater and above.  I would stay longer, but not less than two weeks.


    • Like 1

  8. I am happy to share my latest video-interview with Max Ammer, the pioneer of diving in Raja Ampat, West Papua in Indonesia. About 30 years ago, Max came to  Raja Ampat in a search of World War II relics.  This is a story about how Max built the very first dive resort in Raja Ampat - Kri Eco Resort, and later - Sorido Bay Resort, about conservation efforts of Max and his partners, training local people and building the very first electrical boat in Raja Ampat. 

    Video is shot with Sony NX80, and a few clips with Sony 7Rii.




    • Like 3
    • Thanks 2

  9. On 8/22/2019 at 1:08 AM, AlMitch said:

    See answers above. 


    On 5/26/2020 at 10:32 AM, Lionfi2s said:

    If you are watching on an SDR monitor you will notice the abuse more but it is only a matter of the monitor color space, watch it in an HDR tv and you ll see the difference. 

    I watched your video on different monitors (SDR and HDR), and I like the quality.  I enjoyed the quality on my big HDR TV more of course, but overall it is very good.  Thank you for sharing.  I hope you would keep experimenting with HLG.  I would be interested to see your your video from that trip recorded in Rec 709.

  10. Further to my previous two posts on this topic, PART 1 and PART 2, I practiced with grading of my HLG footage in FCPX a little bit more.  
    So far, I found that the best way to grade HLG footage for SDR TVs and screens is to grade them on Rec.709 Timeline using the following LUTs: Lemming Camera LUT 'Pro Sony A - HLG to Rec.709 and Custom LUT 'Quicker - Neutral Film Brightest'.  After applying LUTs, I graded clips as usual.  It does not take more time and does not require a special monitor.  There are probably other and better ways to grade HLG footage, but I do not know them yet. 
    Here is the link to the video Shooting HLG Underwater-Grading on Rec 709 Timeline  
    You could see depth, ISO and F values of each clip in captions.
    Another version of this video, graded in Premier Pro, was kindly put together by Juan M.Núñez
    It would be interesting to know your opinion about the quality of images on SDR screens.  Also, if anyone would like to play with raw HLG clips that Juan and I used in these two videos, please let me know and I will share a link to the Dropbox.

  11. On 3/11/2020 at 1:09 AM, Lionfi2s said:

    The random shots on the link below are all HLG shots straight out of the camera, no adjustments in luminance or colour or white balance. Exported using a HLG workflow in Resolve.

    They where shot in Egypt with a GH5/14-42 pz lens and WWL-1. Lights were some unbranded weak video lights that someone borrowed me since my checked luggage was misplaced by Egyptair. Dont know their lumen output or color temp. No filters used in camera or lights and no Luts.


    I watched your video on my HDR TV, and, in my humble opinion, it shows good potential of using HLG underwater.  I appreciate that you do not have proper lights, but when there was sufficient light, I could see very rich, good colors.

  12. 10 hours ago, Lionfi2s said:

    Hi Laval,

    I have seen the sdr version of the footage and I think you are pushing the files too much and they just "collapse". You are trying to bring out colors that are not captured the way you want them or not captured at all. The result is ugly chroma noise (lots of it in the blues), loss of texture in reds etc.  My 2 cents forget HLG and log with 8 bit files and a small sensor camera. Try simpler things and stop custom white balancing if you are deeper than 6 meters (maybe 9 in very clear blue waters), Go close and WB on your lights if not using lights just accept that the footage will be blue or green. 

    I will later try to watch the HDR on my tv as well


    Thank you, Lionfi2s.  I appreciate your feedback and recommendations. I will definitely try them.

  13. 12 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

    As explained in my tutorial as you cannot see on the HDR screen what is coming out lacking a monitor you need to use the PQ but apply some small improvements than go back to HLG deleting the HDR tools adjustments

    The difference you see is because is graded differently not because of HDR / SDR conversion

    On my HLG set it shows that underwater footage of the nature captured in your clip has really little dynamic range and does not benefit at all from HDR

    Also consider that some translation on computers that use sRGB naturally reduces contrast this depends on the implementation of gamma curve in the device not on your clip

    I still think the mix of situation and camera you have does not warrant HDR and you should shoot directly SDR maybe see if you have a log option to record in case you want some headroom

    Thank you for watching my videos and your valuable feedback.   I will try your recommendation "use the PQ but apply some small improvements than go back to HLG deleting the HDR tools adjustments". 

  14. Inspired by discussion triggered by my PREVIOUS POST on this topic, and after watching an interview with Alister Chapman, I experimented with HLG footage a bit more  (without a special HDR Monitor).  This time, rather than converting HLG clips to Rec.709 clips, I created a new video in true HLG format, to see how it would work for both HDR and SDR TVs.

     I actually ended up creating two versions of the same video.  Both versions were created with the same Video Codec:

    •  ‘HDR TV’ version – in this version I wanted to see what would be the quality of the video without any color grading (okay, almost no color grading)
    • ‘SDR TV’ version – in this version I did some minimal color grading to get an image quality on an SDR screen similar to the one an HDR screen (in my subjective opinion).  

    I selected several video clips that I shot in HLG (BT2020 color space) at different depths (from 5 m to 35 m) and did the following (mostly following Apple’s recommendations):

    1.    Created a library in FCPX and set it to  Wide Gamut HDR

    2.    Imported all clips to this library

    3.    Slightly adjusted Midtones by lowering brightness to -0.1 (this what I understand Alister Chapman has recommended)

    4.    Slightly adjusted Hue vs Hue of Hue/Saturation Curve of a few clips to change water color from greenish to blueish.

    5.    Slightly increased sharpness (3.78)

    6.     Applied HDR Tool (PQ Output Tone Map)

    7.    Shared the project as a Master File, using Video Codec: Apple ProRes 422 and Wide Gamut HDR - Rec. 2020 HLG color space

    8.    Uploaded the Master file to YouTube

    As you can see from the above steps, I basically did not do any color grading, and all above steps took me only about 5 to 10 min, as I was using adjustment layers, to which I applied most adjustments, rather than to individual clips.  

    Here is the LINK to the 'HDR TV' version of the video. 

    When I watched this video on the my HDR TV (Samsung Q80R, 2019) I was quite impressed with its quality.  

    Then, I watched the same video on my old plasma TV and a 2-year old HDR TV, on iMac, on MacBook Pro (2018), on iPhone X, and on my new Dell laptop (2020). I noticed that colors on these screens got 'washed out' a bit, compared to colors on my HDR TV.   So, I decided to create another version of this video (‘SDR TV’ version), in which, in addition to the above steps 1 to 8, I  made the following adjustments to increase contrast and brightness:

    1.    Increased brightness of Highlights up to +0.21

    2.    Decreased brightness of Shadows down to -0.22 for some clips

    3.    Increased saturation of Midtones slightly

    As a result, I got a video with quality  quite comparable to the ‘HDR TV’ version (in my humble opinion).  As such, it appears that for people who do not watch YouTube videos on an HDR TVs  the second version ('SDR TV') would work better. 

    Here is the LINK to the 'SDR TV' version of the  video.

    Most probably, quality of this second video could be improved further by making some additional adjustments, but I already see that shooting in HLG underwater could produce very good quality videos (at least to my taste) without much grading and without a special HDR monitor.

    I should note, however, that I am not sure how good could be quality of underwater footage shot in HLG picture profile using other cameras.  With SONY cameras like the one I have  (Sony FDR-AX700 / HXR-NX80 / PXW-Z90), it is very easy to set manual white balance underwater with just one click, and I did it for every single shot.  Sometimes, however, when there is not much ‘white’ color in a scene to be used by the camera for reference, you have to experiment a bit, and this is where the mastery is.  I am not there yet, and I need to practice more to improve this skill.

    Also, I would like to mention that I am not an expert in HLG, and if anyone is interested in learning more about advantages of HLG I would refer to experts like Alister Chapman.  

    If you would like to learn more about using HLG in underwater videography, I would refer you to J. M. Núñez’s WEBSITE.  Juan has tonnes of experience in shooting HLG underwater, and his website is full of very useful and practical information and tips.

    Please share your opinion about picture quality of the two versions of my video on HDR and SDR screens when you have time.

    Thank you all.  Stay home and stay healthy.  


  15. On 4/3/2020 at 4:31 AM, Interceptor121 said:

    Juan and I have different views about this.

    Personally I do not advocate shooting HLG to convert to SDR. Firstly HLG already converts itself to SDR anyway as it is based on the same IRE system. Second HLG is hard to monitor without an HLG monitor and considering that metering is incorrect at best you are almost guaranteed to make the wrong decisions when you shoot on an SDR LCD

    Finally HLG requires 10 bits to work, compressing the gamma curve over 8 bits means the digital scale is really rough and with insufficient grey levels this will generate banding and soft image. Both seems to be there in this clip.

    I think 8 bits is for zero grade operations and the Sony camera is very ergonomic @Laval should use a rec709 profile with knee setting to protect the highlights perform white balance and aim at zero corrections in post. I would like to see an HLG version of this material unedited to see what it looks like.

    I work with 10 bit files at much higher precision with a larger sensor and I would not shoot HLG underwater myself for those type of dive in Raja Ampat that tend to be pretty dark most times.


    Thank you, Interceptor121.  I always like your posts.  They get me to research, think and experiment more.

  16. I just posted a short video which Juan M. Núñez helped me to grade and export using Encoder Adobe Premiere MXF Intra 300 4.2.2.

    I shot all footage used in this video, but because I do not have an HDR monitor, Juan M. Núñez, who has all right equipment, kindly agreed to grade a few of my clips and put this short video together, for which I am very grateful to him. 

    You could visit Juan's website http://wetpixel.es to learn more about underwater videography in general  and about using HLG for underwater videography. Also, you could visit his YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnKjMMMzc7HFmFwSy40Nt4g


  17. On 3/10/2020 at 2:54 AM, Lionfi2s said:

    Why are you shooting HLG and then convert it to REC709? Why not export as an HLG so people with HLG capable devices can enjoy HDR content, everyone else will still be able to watch it, as HLG is backwards compatible with SDR devices.

    To be honest I didn't like the colors of the video (because this is what we are discussing about), colors are muddy, WB is off, you crashed the shadows in many areas that there where details to see (most probably the LUT does that). To be even more honest some clips are better in the ungraded version, especially the blue of the water. It reminded me issues I had when using  a Sony camera.

    Also I think the UR pro is "too red" for the Keldan ambient filter and you would have better results if you skipped the filters altogether and just use the lights with a proper white balance method. 

    HLG is not designed to be heavily graded, unless you are shooting really shallow and you wont do any color drastic color changes I cant find a reason to use it.

    Sorry if it wasn't what you wanted to hear.  


    Thank you for your feedback, Lionfi2s.   I appreciate it.  I am still learning and experimenting, and honest feedback is always very helpful. 

  18. On 3/9/2020 at 6:31 AM, Interceptor121 said:

    The Leeming LUT rebalances colors based on Xrite so this corrects the camera skew and once you white balance avoids you having to do it.

    So it is not so much how the HLG to SDR is done but the LUT itself correcting the camera before the change


    The link however is not working

    Thank you for your comments.

    Here is the link again: 


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