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bghazzal last won the day on September 3

bghazzal had the most liked content!

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About bghazzal

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    Wolf Eel

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  • Interests
    Underwater video -
    Ambient light -
    Macro video -
    Filming on breath-hold

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  • Camera Model & Brand
    Lumix LX10 - Olympus TG5 - GoPro7
  • Camera Housing
    Nauticam NA-LX10
  • Accessories
    UR-PRO CY Filters, Inon UWL-H100, Inon UCL-165, Keldan SF2

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  1. Done, thanks - Always good to have a backup plan!
  2. Thanks Rous - how did the Grand Cayman shoot go? Here I've been testing new gear add-ons with my LX10 setup. On the lens side, for macro I now have an AOI UCL-09 +12.5 diopter wet lens, which is really nice, and combines well with the Inon UCL-165 +6. I've also had some success stacking these two with the Backscatter macro mate mini (made for gopros, roughly +10ish diopter), for shooting super macro subjects - but working distance is quite tricky with the 3 stacked. On the lighting side, I bought SUPE / Scubalamp MS10 snoot video light, which worked quite well. But... after only a few dives, it flooded from the button (I could see the tiny bubbles during the dive...). They'll be sending a replacement, but I since invested in a Backscatter MW4300 video light along with the Backscatter optical snoot. It's an interesting piece of kit, very flexible, with a4000 lumen at 6000 kelvin (calibrated) 90° wide mode, along with a 1000 lumen 5000 kelvin (uncalibrated) macro mode, which can be snooted. CRI is not great though, CRI of 71.1 in wide and 70.3 in spot mode according to their tests. I'm still testing things out with the light, but overall quite happy with it so far, many options. This first clip of juvenile frogfish was shot with the late Scubalamp / SUPE MS10 snoot light, the Inon UCL165 + the Macromate (this was before I had the AOI UCL-09), subject size is roughly 1cm. The power of the snoot light made it possible to get dark backgrounds in midday. And this more recent clip here was shot with the Backscatter MW4300 in macro mode, and the AOI UCL-09 + the Inon UCL-165 cheers! ben
  3. I'm sure most of you will have read this already, but here's an interesting - if vague - snippet from the Divernet article published on Sept. 15 "Hanlon is quoted in the article as stating that “Wetpixel Ltd has physical assets that can and will be liquidated to repay creditors”, suggesting that this process was already underway. Wetpixel had a number of potential purchasers, he told Bantin, and its sale would “alleviate the liquidity problem too, or at least go a significant way towards doing so”." Source: https://divernet.com/scuba-news/wetpixels-hanlon-denies-sitting-on-divers-cash/
  4. I see what you mean, but I was thinking underwater in general, diving, freediving (which is having its moment) snorkelling, surfing etc there's more in-water content than ever. Shooting on or below the waves is no longer a technological frontier - in way the Nikonos paved the way for this, but this was really a divers-only product at the time - since waterproof action cams hit the market, this is on much larger scale, uncomparable. Working in the diving industry, I'm well aware of the figures you're referring to - however, as other have mentioned, even in this dwindling scuba industry, the number of people entering the water with at least an action cam has grown enormously, to the point of it becoming the norm, even for introductory dives. This was unthinkable only a few years back. Newish leisure/tourism markets like populous India, China (if it does rebound...) or SE Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore etc) are also proving to be an active demographic very keen on capturing their adventures both on land and underwater. This is bound to expand in the near future at least, as more people have access to holidays in local areas that already have great diving and a striving tourism industry. As to my other point, it is not really on the number of people traveling at the moment, but rather how sustainable this will be in the future. There is a tendency to think in terms of exponential growth and, especially in the post-pandemic uptick, of business as usual when it comes to tourism and travel. What I was hinting at is that there are also chances that the impact of the climate crisis might be quite severe, affecting the world in ways that are now difficult to fathom, and this only in a generation or so. Such changes have the potential to affect economies and of course, leisure and travel activities, including diving and UW image making. I do hope this will not be the case, and that such gloomy scenarios are really missing their mark, but this could very well be wishful thinking, given the difficulties faced. On a more personal note, this has made me question the validity of working in an industry which, for all its awareness-building, ocean-preserving and Marine Protected Area launching goodness, is also linked to practices with a profound environmental impact, key issues that are conveniently swept under the rug, because we divers love the ocean, right? It really feels like loving something to death at times.
  5. It's somewhat paradoxical to feel a decline in UW photography in a context where - quality aside - it's actually exploding, since waterproof equipment has never been as cheap or readily available. The decline is probably that of "traditional" specialist photography (and its culture), with big expensive camera rigs - linked to a specific, aging demographic able to not only afford the equipment but also have the time and funds to go use them somewhere - on the other hand, non-specialist UW imaging is probably on the rise worldwide. Taking underwater images is less of a frontier than what it used to be. Same goes for aerial photography, now that drones are cheap and affordable. But what of the quality? To a certain point, more accessible tools are indeed now competing with specialist equipment as mentioned - less so in some aspects such as control of shutter speed, depth of field, , which still require a little more control - but this might change with iphones and the like, AI and processing. Same goes for UW lighting, where beyond ambient light, results offered by strobes and video lights are still hard to beat - but this might also change with advances in LED technology. The technical requirements of UW macro photography are still some sort of frontier though. The Olympus TG series is the odd man out, as it was really the first to offer cheap, low-maintenance access to macro imaging, through the series' microscope mode digital zoom, and it still is a lone contender in this area. despite gopro / backscatter / inon / AOI forays into macro lenses for action cams But then again, gorgeous supermacro nudibranch pics are also less engaging than a manta selfie or snorkeling clips, immersive experience-based content, and speak mostly to people already in the game, so not sure this will be what drives UW forward on a broad scale. One other thing to consider is that tourism as we knew it is also evolving, and fast. It's difficult to imagine the impacts the onfolding climate crisis will have on our oceans, but also more broadly on global economies and lifestyles, including travel and leisure activities. The technology will certainly be there to shoot amazing content, but are we really so sure (a large demographic of...) people will still be traveling regularly to dive and snorkel, take UW footage and share these "very best life" holiday snippets online in 30 years?
  6. Brilliant discussion - love the low-resolution texts - and great insights I also think in a way it's always been like this - in the time of film cameras and slides, you also had Polaroids and Hanimex compacts, (then those throw-away cameras), in the golden age of Hi-Fi audiophilia, you also had cassette tapes and boomboxes, Laserdisc home cinemas coexisted with the ol' family TV sets and cheap VCRs... This was certainly due to necessities and constraints but also like to functionnal aspects and purpose. But the major difference lies in the new forms of social consumption of material. When it comes to photography, back in the old days, you might invite friends to look at your newly developed snaps or holiday slides, join a photo-club to share with like-minded nerds enthusiasts, hang prints on your wall, and you might get a few prints displayed in some random, or not so random expo space, or even in a magazine or book. But not much else. This has changed radically. Digital photography is one of the main pillars of social media, ever since it moved away from text-only bulletin boards and usenet-like formats. Facebook, Instagram were/are photo-sharing based apps in essence. In a way, we could go as far as saying that modern internet networking began when we moved away from text only to broader digital content, which started with digital photos. I remember my first steps online, this empty space where major companies had these showroom-like websites with nothing much....but hey, they had photos (which would take a while to load). Of course there was already the idea that things could be updated in real time (or almost), the speed of email contact, and the interactivity of the first chat rooms then of the first chat apps, but still, photos was what it was all about. After photos came animated GIFs, and then the first clunky embedded players for low-fi audio / video clips appeared, a mini-revolution in itself - when they worked, which wasn't often.... When people first hopped on mainstream social media, it was very much about sharing photos, which was new, and probably why things really took of when phones had cameras, and especially more so when these phones became "smart", and pictures could be shared smoothly. Social media has given people the opportunity to market themselves and their own life-style brand, non-stop, in a context where commodification of the self is becoming the norm. And technical tools have naturally adapted to such self-marketing ("sharing") requirements. This self-marketing, streaming angle has indeed generated a new type of content, indeed more focused on experience sharing as mentioned above, content which co-exists with somewhat more traditional forms - and both are now feeding into each other. Another interesting trend is that the video format, which was / is often presented as the future of photography, poised to take over still pictures on social media, has never really done so. However, video content is now mostly reformated to more shareable format which is actually closer to photos, bite-size shareable clips that can be viewed quickly and silently, fueled by media platforms favouring such a format, clips, reels etc... Whereas the legacy video network, youtube, has become a place filled with talking heads (and uber-expressive faces in the thumbnails...) video podcasts and live streams, with content that is actually more often audio-based than truly video-based. In terms of engagement and self-marketing, photos are still where it's at. Generation Z / Alpha drone shots or short GoPro clips with a manta might get some views, but more often than not it's peanuts compared to the reach photos still have.
  7. Here's the OMS / Olympus product info page, with pics and specs https://explore.omsystem.com/us/en/tg-7#gallery-next-area
  8. This is making the rounds, an AOI GoPro housing with an integrated screen, battery and lens port, looks like a little step up from the ol' Hugyfot housings. "As a leader in underwater imaging, is partnering with renowned underwater videographer Kay Burn Lim to create the first "Signature Series," a cutting-edge underwater housing for GoPro cameras. This collaboration combines AOI's expertise in designing top-quality underwater camera products with Kay Burn Lim's experience in underwater filmmaking, aiming to set new industry standards for underwater photography and videography. The "Signature Series" features unrivaled durability, advanced optical clarity, ergonomic design, compatibility with various GoPro models, and an exclusive edition bearing Kay Burn Lim's signature. The housing is compatible with GoPro 9, 10, 11, and the recently launched GoPro 12. This collaboration promises to redefine underwater content creation and elevate the capabilities of adventurers and content creators in this field. The housing is currently undergoing testing, so watch this space as we provide more updates including availability and pricing." Source: AOI Facebook post
  9. I can't find the exact post for some reason, but someone here had contacted hosting services a few weeks back, and then posted in this thread that forum hosting had: "auto-renewed for a full year in July and will not renew again until July 2024" So July 2024 might be our web hosting fee deadline.
  10. Thought you might be interested in this little piece, comparing the SMC-1 to the AOI UCL-09 : https://alexribeiroco.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/aoi-ucl-09-wetlens/
  11. Good idea - it should be possible to make some gradual adjustements by acting on the kelvin / warmth scale (need to check, but I think there is a slider in Final Cut), and also fine tuning with curves. A bit labour intensive setting the points, but with a bit of practice... Will give it a go on some clips, so how it looks.
  12. Yes, this definitely seems to be the case. I had pretty bad full-moon conditions today, so focused on running some tests with the 4390 filter on the slope. Staying at 15m, I filmed towards a piece of rope with feather stars - including one with some white tones - moving from wide shot to closeup and out. Parameters were as follows: - Depth 15m, tropics, midday, swell, less than 10m viz, particules, volcanic black sandy bottom - Equipment: LX10 with a UR-Pro filter, 4000 lumen 6000K (calibrated) light with a Rosco 4390 (3 stops) filter, manual white balance with a Whibal calibrated grey card. I tried the following: Auto WB - Manual WB on grey card on ambient light only - Manual WB on grey card with lights on - WB set to 5000K WB set to 6000K. Overall, it just doesn't work - once you get too close, there is too much red, most likely for the reasons mentioned above. However there seems to be a slight workaround. The issue is that the mixed light WB becomes incorrect when we are close to the subject, the closer we are, the redder the image becomes. BUT when working with Manual WB with lights on, the WB will actually be correct up to the point where the card was when doing the manual white balance with the lights. Go too far beyond that point and WB breaks down and red increases - but up to that specific point, it's good. So the key to making closeup mixed-lighting work seems to be to manually WB with the lights on, and making sure to stay behind the point where the card was. So say if the grey card was 1m away from the lens, and lights where hitting the card, this will be the closeup mixed WB limit. Moving out is not an issue, but moving in beyond that specific point is. It would be interesting to play around with light angle and card positionning when white balancing for closeup mixed lighting. Here is an example, for manual WB with lights, crudely graded. Note that the closeup sequence is out of focus as I was in manual and deliberately not refocusing, (concentrating on the light alterations in the shot). I freezed the WB point, which roughly corresponds to where the card was when white balancing to ambient with the lights on. You can see the shadows coming from the artificial lighting, and there are more details than in ambient only, especially in rather murky (for here) conditions like today. cheers ben
  13. Thanks Chris - that's really interesting, I didn't know Rosco data sheets were as precise, thanks for that. The filters I tried were the Rosco 4360 and the 4390 - on the video above, I have both stacked on top of each other . The 4390 enhances blue and green by 3 stops, so it's quite strong, actually. Reason I selected these was not actually related to light power, but because of previous tests done by Dreifish and Interceptor121. Massimo was using a Rosco 4360 for video and 4390 for strobes on his mixed light Red Sea tests., and Andrei was experimenting with these as well, but ended up using a stacked Lee 353 + Rosco 4330, also in the the Red Sea, and these worked. But in my closeup situation, the stacked 4360 + 4360 still didn't cut out enough reds. So basically the Keldan spectum filter I'm using is the -1.5 gel, with the following characteristics: and I'm trying to make this work with the following filters: 4390 (3 stops) I and the 4360 (two stops) you posted. I'm not going to invest in Keldan filters for this just yet, but might try to source other filter gels. But I'm not sure what to try, as the 4390 is one of the strongest cyan in the Rosco Range (and options are limited in Indonesia). What you suggested on the infrared spectrum is really interesting, thanks - and I'll try looking into this further . I'll do some more testing tomorrow morning, but this time only with the Rosco 4390 (3 stops), combined with the warmer UR-Pro, rather than the Spectrum filter. I don't have full characteristics for the UR-Pro (specs page is long gone....), but based on Massimo's tests it should have a warming effect of approximatively 3700K, with a strong magenta tint, for 1 and 1/3 stops of light. cheers
  14. Yes, I think this is the root of the issue - closeup artificial light creates too much of a spectrum contrast to blend smoothly with ambient white balance - In theory, it's probably possible to overcome this, but impractical as it would imply too much loss of everything through the amount of filtering required both on the lens and on the light to make it work... I'm guessing that balanced mixed lighting only works in ambient light dominant context (where artificial light is made to blend in), so there's a limit to how close / tight you can get. Come too close and the scene becomes artificial light dominant, in a situation where you can't act on ambient light (other than "boost the reds" by using lens filters, to caricature), and artificial light would have to be altered too much to make it work (blend). You can redo the white balance to get correct results with ambient filters for one or the other, closeup artificial or ambient, but the amount of filtering required closeup makes it impractical to get a proprerly balanced mixed lighting solution.
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