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Photo / Video News & Reviews

A Guide to Underwater Wildlife Video & Editing: Part 4

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Read Part 3 here.

A part serialisation of a book by Jeff Goodman

PART 4: Tool Kits & Spares – Housing Buoyancy

Tool Kits & Spares

Many housings these days require minimal servicing. But I can strongly recommend that before you go on any trip you make yourself up a set of tools that will fit every nut, bolt and screw on your housing. If possible also assemble a set of spare items such as o-rings, filters, electronics board and a port etc.

The larger and more expensive the housing, the more the need for spares and tools to keep it running. The small compact housings are pretty well service free.  It’s always good to use the power of the internet and benefit from other peoples experiences. Search a few blogs and see what others have elected to put in their spares box.

Housing Buoyancy

Just one more thought on housings and that is their buoyancy underwater. Ideally for me, a housing with camera should be just about neutrally buoyant.  A housing that is on the heavy side (negatively buoyant) will after a very short time become tiring to hold steady, while at the same time trying to maintain your own neutral buoyancy. The same applies if the housing is too light (positively buoyant) as it will continually try to pull your arms and you to the surface. After a few minutes even a slight pull can prove to be unnecessarily tiresome.

Most moulded metal housings are pretty well spot on with the intended camera inside. Generic type housings, especially the acrylic ones, that are able to house numerous camera types, will need careful adjustment. Small lead weights are either added or taken away from the housing to make it perfectly neutral.

The position of those weights is also crucial. If all the weight is either on the front or the back of the housing then your wrists and arms will have a tiring time trying to hold the camera on the horizontal. Make sure the weights are evenly distributed so that tilting the housing up or down is a one finger manoeuvre requiring very little effort.

Salt and Fresh Water Buoyancy

Of course all this is well and good if you are always diving in the same type of water. You may have a perfectly balanced housing for diving in the ocean but as soon as you take it into freshwater, (lake or river) then the housing will immediately be heavy (approx 2.5%) due to the fact that fresh water is far less dense than salt water. So don’t get caught out, make this factor part of your dive planning and preparation.

Next time we look at a generic camera and housing in the camcorder range.

Jeff Goodman is the Editor-at-Large for Scubaverse.com with responsibility for conservation and underwater videography. Jeff is an award-winning TV wildlife and underwater cameraman and film maker who lives in Cornwall, UK. With over 10,000 dives to his credit he has dived in many different environments around the world.

News

Ocean Art 2020 Winners Announced!

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Ocean Art Contest Announces the Best Underwater Photos of the Year

The prestigious Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition, organized by the Underwater Photography Guide, has announced the best underwater photos this year with its 2020 winners. Despite global travel restrictions and the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, the 9th annual competition attracted an extremely high caliber of photos from oceans around the world. Underwater explorers captured photos locally, in select destinations currently open to travel, or revisited their archives to bring us some eye-catching photography. This unique assortment of photos could not have been possible without the help of our generous sponsors who have all had to navigate a changing travel and dive industry. Many of these same sponsors helped the Ocean Art competition raise money earlier in this year to raise money to donate to the WHO and CDC in their fight against Covid-19. These photos showcase the perseverance of underwater artistry amidst the adversity of the times.

All the winning photos can be seen at the Underwater Photography Guide at https://www.uwphotographyguide.com/ocean-art-contest-winners-2020

The Best of Show is a once-in-a-lifetime moment of an octopus taking a selfie with the photographer and his curious family in the background. The photo was captured by photographer Gaetano Dario Gargiulo close to his home in the tide pools of Kamay Botany Bay National Park, New South Wales, Australia.  Other extraordinary winners include astonishing scenes of animal behavior, images that bring hope for the next generation of sea creatures, displays of ingenious photographic technique, and conservation scenes that reflect on not just the need to conserve our planet, but our species as well. The judges evaluated thousands of entries from 80 countries before selecting the final set of images as Ocean Art winners.

Ocean Art 2020 judges included prestigious underwater photographers Tony Wu, Mark Strickland, and Marty Snyderman.

Over $45,000 in prizes have be awarded, making the Ocean Art prize value among the highest in the world.

Ocean Art prizes are provided by some of the world’s top scuba diving resorts, liveaboard dive yachts, and underwater photo gear manufacturers. Grand prizes include a choice of 7 or 8 nights for two aboard the Coralia Liveaboard in Raja Ampat or Komodo, a 7 night liveaboard trip on the M.V. Bilikili in the Solomon Islands, a 7-night dive package with Villa Markisa, a 7 night dive package at Siladen Resort & Spa in Bunaken, a 12 night Passport to Paradise with Murex Dive Resorts and Lembeh Resort to three different Indonesian destinations, a 5-night dive vacation with AquaMarine Diving Bali & Ramayana Candidasa, a 7-night dive vacation at Atlantis Philippines Dive Resorts, and a variety of gift certificates from Bluewater Photo and Bluewater Travel. Premium travel prizes are provided by Volivoli Beach Resort (Fiji), Crystal Blue Dive Resort (Philippines), and Solitude Liveaboards & Resorts (Philippines and Indonesia). Premium gear prizes are provided by Sea & Sea and Ikelite. 12 different categories ensure a competitive contest for all levels and disciplines of underwater photography.

The photographic ingenuity from competitors is getting better every year – making judging very difficult and demonstrating that the winning images are some of the best in the world. Bluewater Photo and Bluewater Travel owner and Underwater Photography Guide publisher, Scott Gietler commented, “The Ocean Art team was thrilled to see that so many photographers were able to get out, dive, and immerse themselves in photography this year. The Best of Show was especially impressive. My only concern is that the octopus should get its share of the prize, as it did assist in taking the shot!” 

For more information, please visit http://www.uwphotographyguide.com 

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Gear Reviews

Gear Review: SeaLife SportDiver housing for iPhone (Watch Video)

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In a video shot exclusively for Scubaverse.com, Jeff Goodman reviews the SeaLife SportDiver housing for Apple’s iPhone, used with the Sea Dragon 2500 Light.

For more information about Sealife Underwater Cameras visit the website by clicking here

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