Friday, 10 August 2012

Freediving / Underwater Videography


Taking video clips underwater uses very similar techniques as taking a photograph underwater, so all the previous tips apply. There are however slight differences. When first starting off you will find that your videos will be shot "blair-witch-project" style (i.e. very rapid movements which don't allow the eye to focus on any one thing)...which is cant see much and you'll make whoever watching it really dizzy. So this leads me to my first tip....

Tip #1. Have a very steady hand

Again I totally understand that this is very hard to do given waves and sea currents, but the more smooth you are the more watchable your videos will be. You will see in my example below that i too often struggle to keep a steady hand! Employ the old "grab on to something" trick and you'll find that things get much better.

If you are adventurous you can try swimming underwater while filming at the same time....but given that your camera will most likely be in your hand, and we humans naturally tend to move our hands a lot (especially underwater), you have to be extra vigilant in keeping your camera hand LEVEL and STEADY.


Tip#2. Do Not Chase Your Target

As humans, we evolved out of the sea many millions of years ago and grew legs, but those animals that STAYED in the sea retained their fins and have become very proficient at using them, i.e. you will not be able to swim faster than a fish, turtle, shark, manta-ray, moray eel, whale etc. As such if you try to swim after them to get a shot, you will most likely scare it off and you will not be able to catch up to it! Take a look at the video below you will note some turtles towards the end of clip, i "tried" swimming after them and they just swam away as fast as we humans would walk away from a chasing snail!!!!

My suggestion to you suggestion to you would be to STALK your target...swim around it and slowly approach it. If you want to go down underwater, do it at a distance or with the cover of larger coral (i.e. use the geography to hide the fact that you are creeping up on it). When you get close, move slowly and take your shots/clips. Again, difficulty exacerbated by the fact that you have to do all this while holding your breath!!!


Christmas Island (Australian Territory) - Indian Ocean

Below is a YouTube video i compiled from a few clips thrown together of my time free-diving/snorkeling just off Christmas Island (CI) . I know CI is predominantly known for more troubling circumstances pertaining to asylum seekers however this does not negate the fact that of all the places i have visited/lived in, CI has the clearest waters i have ever seen and also the most beautiful coral gardens!!

The varity of marine life is second to none, including massive whale-shark migrations (i just missed seeing this), turtles, stingrays, sharks, octopuses, eels, GTs, squid, lobsters and giant coconut crabs!!!!

In the clip you will see the pictures i have shown you in the previous post relating to underwater photography and also a couple that i threw in for good measure. The entire video clip was taken and filmed with the Cannon Powershot D10. Take a look!

Well this just about brings my underwater segment to and end (for now). Hope you enjoyed it!!!

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