Berkley White:Another great day! We pushed the Photoshop seminar back and spent another afternoon discussing shooting techniques. It was great to hear "Now I get it" coming from the entire group. I reviewed top tips for shooting macro such as locking auto focus and moving the camera back and forth, aligning 2-3 key subject elements with the focal plane before setting final composition, proper strobe placement to create subject defining shadows, and how to best use TTL or manual strobes...to list a few.
Guests photos for the nightly critique were very strong and once again the video team impressed us by editing clips to music on a tight schedule. Tonights photos had improved exposure and it was great to see more wide angle submissions. We discussed details on working with models, when to rotate horizontals to verticals, making shadows by getting away from the "default" strobe position, and watching the "near wall" strobe for burn out in vertical images. It was a very impressive group of images so early in the week!
I spent my dives testing out the Sigma 12-24 (full frame) lens behind the Subal FE4, Zen, and a Backscatter customized Sea & Sea dome port for Subal. I'll follow up with results as soon as I get time critically analyze the data.
The demo crew was busy handing out gear all day. Tomorrow is scooter school and a field trip for split images... time to round up some models and polish our dome ports!
Daniel Brown:I think there’s a “life-improving ideas” calendar that lists, among its suggestions, “Go take a class in something you know nothing about.” It’s both helpful (and humbling) to throw yourself into something you don’t know at all (or, in my case, THINK you know pretty well only to find I know less than I thought).
I know a thing or two about underwater photography (i.e. Always dive with a housing for your camera, don’t forget to monitor your air, get close, then get closer, shoot upward when possible, etc.) but on the first dive of this trip, I felt rewound to rookie status. Concepts I thought I understood fall apart when tested more thoroughly. I consider myself a reasonably intelligent guy, but sometimes the process of shooting underwater utterly baffles me. I keep quiet for a while, assuming the answer will just pop into my head from somewhere. It usually doesn’t. It’s at that moment that I must do what most people (especially guys) hate to do the most – ask someone smarter than me. I usually confide in Berkley and, often in a single sentence, he’ll deliver that forehead-smackingly-obvious answer.
We don’t need to go far to put that advice to use (In our case, it’s down stairs, around a corner, and out the end of a dock.). While the classroom time is immensely helpful (I hear people on the boats every day reminding each other the tips-and-tricks learned the day before), but it is the combination of classroom time, as well as practicing in-water what we’ve learned, that makes this so valuable.
Only talking about underwater photography and the techniques involved has an equivalent in the music world – it’s called “air guitar”; here, it’s like we get to tour with The Stones.
Dan Baldocchi: It was just another day in paradise... After two great dives this morning,
Mary Lynn gave a real eye opening seminar on video editing concepts. She
talked about tackling the timeline, working with audio, and output & sharing.
A lot of people are intimidated by a blank page and sometimes video editors
don't know where to start with an empty timeline. Sure, you may have a lot
of great footage but how do you get it from raw clips to a finished
masterpiece? Mary Lynn showed us how to organize ourselves and come up with
a plan to make a video that hit our target audience. It was great!
Audio is often an afterthought when making a video but really it's one of
the most important editing decisions you'll make. Think about it. Your
choice of music will set the tone for the video and influence the viewers
mood while they're watching. Mary Lynn gave us some great examples of this
and talked about different sources of royalty free music and even ways to
make it ourselves. When we were done with that we learned how easy it is to
post our videos up on YouTube. I couldn't believe how simple it was! What
a great way to share your video with friends and family. Upload to YouTube, send out a link
and before you know it, people around the world can see
all the cool stuff you shot. Isn't technology amazing??
David Fleetham:Two more great dives this morning. As I was photographing a pair of
the most cooperative French angelfish I have ever encountered, two of
my camera toting cohorts were lighting up a similarly accommodating
octopus in only 17 feet of water. All of us spent 3/4 of the dive
with our subjects. I don’t need any more French angelfish shots. On
to the frogfish, turtles and squid!
Lenny Bucko:Taco Tuesday at the bar tonight before the slide show and we all need the energy after a great day of shooting, class, and more coaching. An adult beverage or two may help wash the nitrogen level from my body and get me ready for tomorrow.
Two of the boats, went to the Hilma Hooker today and both of them had great dives at the 100 foot deep, 300 foot long ship. The second dive for my boat went to the end of the town airport runway and it is called Windsock. Lots of small critters in the rubble piles up at 15 feet but right under our boat as we hit the bottom Orlando our guide, casually points out a brillant orange frog fish who is feeding.
Hard to see at first but these guides are amazing.My new policy now is to try to be in his BC pocket when he hits the reef because he is the man. Just another day in paradise as I am shooting the 45th picture of the frog fish, I look up and I am face to face with a Spotted Eagle Ray . Not sure who was more startled but he was definitely a lot better looking than me. The days keep getting better and I am losing sleep planning my next days shots in my head.
Manana mi amigos,
Lenny ( Uncle Buck)