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beck22

First video ever, Sony SR12/Ikelite, Spiegel Grove

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Well folks, some of you may remember me from the "newbie chasing dream" thread. I just got back from Key Largo, with many firsts accomplished. First time u/w shooting, first time editing, first time posting to the net. Take a look, pointers welcome. I know I got lazy on a couple of the transitions.

 

HOW THE HECK DO YOU GUYS KEEP YOUR CAMERAS SO STILL??? I did a search here for "shaky video" (the underlying theme of my short video, lol) and just found a few threads, one about Apple's "shake" program. Is there one for us PC users? In reality, I'd just like to become a better videographer in the first place, so let loose your iron-hand secrets!

 

http://vimeo.com/3403509

 

:P

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Well folks, some of you may remember me from the "newbie chasing dream" thread. I just got back from Key Largo, with many firsts accomplished. First time u/w shooting, first time editing, first time posting to the net. Take a look, pointers welcome. I know I got lazy on a couple of the transitions.

 

HOW THE HECK DO YOU GUYS KEEP YOUR CAMERAS SO STILL??? I did a search here for "shaky video" (the underlying theme of my short video, lol) and just found a few threads, one about Apple's "shake" program. Is there one for us PC users? In reality, I'd just like to become a better videographer in the first place, so let loose your iron-hand secrets!

 

 

:P

 

 

 

The Spiegel Grove has a piece of my old Nikonos somewhere (actually my viewfinder got knocked out heading out and down) so some sections are kind of rocky to being with. The Spiegel is probably a tough one to start out on, we were told if you let go of the granny line before you get down, the next stop is Cuba :uwphotog: Since you are editing on a PC and asking about Apple product I guess you are not the Brian Conner who writes some books on Apple software :)

 

Apple Shake is a program that does many things, including having a smooth cam function which helps with camera shake (Final Cut does also) and they are good to work with, but there are limits of what can be done depending on the footage. In other words some the camera motion in your video cannot be corrected by the software. As to keeping the camera still, larger rigs will help. I shoot a small rig myself and it does take some getting used to, watching your breathing, figuring out which way surge is going, holding the handles with the right pressure. Also some movement is not bad, after all you are underwater and judicious use (and editing into and out of some movement in the video) is not bad. Once you get a few more dives with the rig under your belt it starts coming together.

 

Probably a good place to start are easier sites. Also the Spiegel is deep (saw you were at 98') so lights would really help. (Not sure if you White Balanced things or not, and at that depth it does not get you far, but a red filter and some balancing would help a bit, more so in shallower waters. )

 

The next thing to keep in mind is shorter is better in terms of the length of shots and some things need to be left out. One way is that after the first edit, step away and look again and think about the shots and whether someone not on the dive would like it. I usually do a couple of edits of things. One for myself/others on the dive who would find it fun no matter what, a slightly shorter cut with scenes perhaps a bit longer for those who may like the subject, such as Cenotes or the wrecks and then a real one that is paced quicker. Not fast, but more so with the constant asking of whether the shot it too long. Also be careful of the non standard transitions, such as swinging doors and the rest. They can be useful but be careful. Try to get 5-10 seconds of a shot without jumping around to another shot, for instance on the deck moving one way and not jumping to look at something else. Keep an eye on the counter in the viewfinder, 5 seconds takes a long time at 98' Can't tell you how many shots I took where I thought I held it long enough until I got back to my computer :dancing:

 

When you edit usually 5 seconds or so is going to be what you want, but it is good to have a few seconds on either side. Of course there are exceptions, but it is a good general rule. Also there is nothing wrong with getting longer shots, and if you can, do so. It is alot easier to cut things out than not having the footage (but see the planning note below) A far, mid-range and close shot of the subject if possible. Or a continuos shot all the way through.

 

Of course in an ideal world you could plan everything out, know what shots you are looking for and just get those shots as you sit there waiting. I usually do not have that luxary myself since I do not dive often enough or do repeat dives in one place to be able to just shoot with one firm plan.

 

I love the Spiegel (only dove it when it was on the side) so thanks for letting me see what it looks like now :)

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No, not that Brian Conner, but good to hear that my name's doing good things elsewhere! :P

 

Thanks for the insight, Drew! You really hit the nail on the head about 5 seconds being a long time underwater - I was so worried about making my audience bored that I kept my shots short and hurried - like you said, that can always be edited later. While diving, I really thought those shots were more like 10 seconds each! Will have to start counting while filming. Pans were way too fast as well.

 

I didn't really want to use the barn door transition, but was getting bored with the usual "dissolve" trans's.

 

I did have a red filter on, and set MWB on a white slate at about 65' at the deck. As my dive got much deeper than that, I should have set WB again. How much of a depth change do you usually re-set WB? I was messing around with it later in the week on a gradually sloping reef (Carysfort) that went from 15 - 65. I was trying to get a feel for how often it should be re-set, so I'd change it at every 10 feet of depth change, then every 20 feet, etc. I guess experience will just teach me that.

 

Thanks for taking the time to give me some feedback, I really appreciate it. Your "edit twice" practice is a great idea and I'll implement it from here on out!

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No, not that Brian Conner, but good to hear that my name's doing good things elsewhere! :P

 

Now you just need to get a Mac and noone will know :uwphotog: I know someone else who calls me for help, then found out they have the same exact name as a person who writes books on the subject. Gave them alot of grief about that, "why are ya' calling me" :dancing:

 

Thanks for the insight, Drew! You really hit the nail on the head about 5 seconds being a long time underwater - I was so worried about making my audience bored that I kept my shots short and hurried - like you said, that can always be edited later. While diving, I really thought those shots were more like 10 seconds each! Will have to start counting while filming. Pans were way too fast as well.

 

At 98' feet the narcossis sets in :) But even shallower the same issue on time. There are those around here who seem to be real good at getting the shot and time (with vision), mortals like me though have to find another way. As to pans, make sure you have you shot for the 10 seconds or so, then pan and as you said keep pans slower, you can always speed up a tad if needed in post. Counting, like you said, also works and eaier (depending on shot and angle) then looking at the counter where the looking can cause bounce. I usually use the old one missippi ..two missippi thing. If I could only count to 10 :)

 

I didn't really want to use the barn door transition, but was getting bored with the usual "dissolve" trans's.

 

Perfectly fine to use other transitions judiciously and you will see times when it works. I am not saying it did not work in context (would have to go back and look) but usually straight cuts and regular dissolves are fine and if the video is otherwise working, people will not get bored based on dissolves. "If it don't resolve, you must dissolve" Always liked that one. The other transitions can actually be distracting.

 

I did have a red filter on, and set MWB on a white slate at about 65' at the deck. As my dive got much deeper than that, I should have set WB again. How much of a depth change do you usually re-set WB? I was messing around with it later in the week on a gradually sloping reef (Carysfort) that went from 15 - 65. I was trying to get a feel for how often it should be re-set, so I'd change it at every 10 feet of depth change, then every 20 feet, etc. I guess experience will just teach me that.

 

Thanks for taking the time to give me some feedback, I really appreciate it. Your "edit twice" practice is a great idea and I'll implement it from here on out!

 

 

At 65' or deeper you are going to start hitting limits on WB, though I do have some things that did work at that depth, got lucky on the light. Not perfect, but it worked. Take a look at adding lights at some point. Lately I have been resetting WB before each shot, but that was because how/where/conditions leant themselve to it. For instance if you were shooting a wreck in shallow water that started at 30 feet and goes down to 60 and you want a "follow the edge" shot to keep it smooth getting the shot probably would not be possible if trying to reset. The edit twice issue is helpful (at least for me) so I can go back and look. Usually my edits wind up being about 2-5 minutes for a dive if I am going to show people the video (non divers) and 3 minutes is probably where it ends up.

 

After another couple of dives, this will start becoming old hat for you :)

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Hi beck22

Yes there was quite abit of wobbling going on in you clip that's for sure.

Maybe too much for a anti shake filter to take out.

 

Your camera is not a torch so don't swing it all over the place like a torch.

Think of it as a still camera, each shot is just like taking a still pic, frame the subject and push the button ....only it runs for 10-20 seconds.

 

One important thing to becoming good at shooting vid underwater is to not worry about anything else down so you can give 100% concentration on your subject.

If you worried about buoyancy, marine life, your gear, where the boat is, how to use you camera or are just not 100% comfortable down there, then you will not get good shots.

It all takes time and that's why folks with 100's of dives behind them generally become very good at shooting underwater.

 

As for a shake filter for the PC.

EDIUS 5 comes with a very fast and powerful one with many options. You simple add it to any part of your clip on the timeline and render that section.

All anti shake filters though will make your image abit softer depending on how far it had to zoom into the image to get rid of all the wobble.

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Thanks for the info! I've been reviewing some of my other footage from the week of dives, and find that it gets a bit steadier as the week goes on and I'm more comfortable with the rig. More to come.

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