Night Diving

I just put together some night diving footage to help the local dive shop on Staniel Cay promote their night dives.  It’s so great to be able to share video clips through youtube like this.  It’s hard, however, to not be able to moderate the viewers experience.  I know you’re probably not going to turn out the lights, load the HD version and listen on your hi-fi sound system with your feet up.  Oh well, do what you will.  It doesn’t really warrant that anyway. Put on headphones or turn the sound up though…

White Balance Underwater

Considering the rising number of underwater videographers out there, it’s surprising that there isn’t more/better information online about white balancing in the water. For amateurs and professionals alike, proper white-balancing is one of the most difficult parts of getting good underwater images. And as critical as it is, the little information that is online is often incomplete at best. There are different approaches to white balancing underwater and people have great results with a variety of approaches but understanding the principles involved is key. When I started shooting underwater I scoured the web for information and ended up having to just learn by trial and error. Hopefully this post can save a few of you that long process and keep some great shots from being ruined. Continue reading White Balance Underwater

Super Suit

One thing that rocks is my wetsuit.  Every time I put it on I feel like a superhero.  Without it I feel more like a naked monkey that just dropped out of a tree into the ocean… “kerplunk.”  Like a dinner bell for scary ocean things.  But in my suit I’m a stealthy underwater predator in my own right.  Continue reading Super Suit

Let There Be Light II

Went out on the stormy, dark, heaving seas and jumped in the water last night.  Usually when I’m rolling around at night in the rain on a boat abandoning ship is the last thing on my mind.  Obviously for night diving, a good light is key and I can’t help but sing the praises of Keldan dive lights again.  I took one video light last night and it transformed a dark and scary world into a warm halo of undersea amazingness.  The diffuser cap that Keldan uses is genius and, besides being strangely gratifying to hold, it casts a nice even flood without hotspots or dim areas.  The light is color-balanced perfectly and took the guess work out of trying to get good colors.  One of the best things about this light is the super-accurate battery level indicator.  I alwasys knew exactly how much light I had left.  I’ve owned this particular light for two years and have charged and discharged it countless times.  It still reads perfectly and the quality of light does not change as the battery wears down.  It also shows you the battery level while you’re charging it which is handy when you’re in a hurry.  The only problem with the light in fact was that it’s balanced so closely to natural daylight that it attracted all sorts of small organisms (the other 4 lights did not) which interfered a little with the filming.  Small price to pay to be able to capture the night-time activities of this little Burr Fish.  Cool.

Let There Be Light

Yesterday while diving I crawled under a big ledge looking for a grouper that I’d seen swim inside but it was too dark to see anything in there.  Last year I started using underwater video lights made by a Swiss company called Keldan and I’ve been very happy with them.  They’re entirely self contained so there are no cables to the camera body or to battery packs.  Simple and well-designed.  Anyway I turned on my light, a little nervous about what menacing creature might be staring back at me.  At first I didn’t see anything but then, in the very back, I saw a funny looking rock that looked suspiciously like a turtle shell.  I scooted a little further in and shined my light on a sleeping hawksbill turtle.  Hawksbills are considered to be the most beautiful sea turtles and their shells are highly prized for decoration and making combs, hair clips, jewelry, etc.  They are considered to be highly endangered and, as usual, man is their biggest threat.

Hooray for turtles!  And video lights to film them!  Here’s a page out of the Keldan light brochure – that’s me on the far left.  They’re very cool lights and if you’re looking for an underwater light at some point, they deserve serious consideration.