We've just come off the back of an awesome week of diving in British Columbia. It's no secret that the winter time is the best time to dive. Crisp air and crystal clear waters make for some stunning dives full of colour, marine life, and adventure.
Last week saw a great group of divers from all over North America descend upon the Comox Valley and Campbell River, visiting some classic local dive sites such as Row and Be Damned, April Point Wall, Steep Island, and Norris Rocks. They were stunned by the wall to wall colour, the abundance of marine life, and clarity of our beautiful emerald waters.
Along with Trisha and Russell, Jill Heinerth and Jaqueline Windh bought the Royal Canadian Geographical Society Fellow head count up to four. Jill (Explorer in Residence) also bought out the RCGS flag for this group shot (photo by Maxwel Hohn).
We were shooting some immersive (and rather amazing) 360 video for a client. We'll be sharing some 360 virtual reality footage ourselves in the future, but for now we're just very happy to shot some of the coolest BC dive footage we could have hoped for.
As the snow continues to fall the dives keep happening. It may be cold out site, but the water is warmer than the air, more inviting, and full of things to keep us busy!
Another year, another DEMA. The Dive Equipment and Marketing Association show is an annual even switching between Florida and Las Vegas. This year Vegas was the over-air conditioned location for North America's largest dive show. Each year we have a handful of clients attending, each with different videos or works on show.
In addition we always meet a ton of great new people, lots of old friends, and say thank you to all our fantastic supporters.
We recently had the pleasure of presenting at this years Divescapes Conference in Calgary. The show, put on by the Alberta Underwater Council, is a fantastic two day event that brings together divers from all over Canada, and speakers from all over the world. Over 250 divers attend the conference and dinner and we had a great (if a little nervous!) time presenting our passion - underwater stories. We had some lovely comments from people, met some great new friends, and showed a selection of video work from our adventures. We can't wait for the next show!
We are looking forward to speaking at this years Divescapes show in Calgary! Divescapes is the bi-annual scuba show and conference organized by the rather amazing Alberta Underwater Council. The AUC is an incredibly active council that puts on a huge variety of events throughout the year. Alberta, despite being a wee way from the coast, has a hugely active scuba diving community. Their show, Divescapes, is the only dive show of its kind in Canada, and pulls in some top speakers from across the global dive industry.
This year we were asked to speak and shall be giving a 45 minute presentation at the show in October. There's a great roster of top speakers, so get a ticket, get a seat, and help support Canada's only dive show!
Maxwel Hohn is a local BC underwater photographer, drone pilot, commercial diving instructor and all round good guy. He's also one of our dive buddies and a fellow GH5 user. A few weeks back he invited us to head out with him and fellow photographer Ryan Miller to visit The Abyss, a freshwater dive site in Gold River, north west Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
The site is quite something. The soft limestone has been carved into an incredibly canyon by the Gold River's high winter water flow. During the summer the river calms allowing divers to jump in. Not only that but it's crystal clear and a lovely 20 degrees. Wetsuit time in Canada!
We never actually intended to make a video from this day, we were just out practicing and learning more about our Panasonic GH5 and Aquatica housing, but it soon became clear this site deserved a little bit of love! So we got a quick audio interview with Maxwel and slapped it together with a few clips. We think it turned out pretty well!
The GH5 is great in this environment. There's enough light to utilize the GH5's VFR mode - or slow motion as its also known. You still have to crank up the ISO, and noise does became a major factor in the blacks, but you can get away with some nice shots, especially for web audiences.
For more on BC visit our little site www.beneathbc.com - for more of Maxwel's work visit www.salishsky.com
Our most recent project for scuba diving brand Shearwater Research has seen us take to the skies. Not many scuba diving videos have an element of falling a few thousand feet through the air, but this one does. We can't say too much about it at this point, but the video should be out soon, and we're pretty sure Trisha will be singing up for sky diving any day now!
In this photo Seaproof.tv's Trisha and sky diver Krystal do a quick run through before take off.
To quote someone that we can't name "the best camera is the one you have with you". Well for the vast majority of people that's a smart phone, and for us, it's a shiny new iPhone 8. Not convinced? How about a pocket camera that shoots 4K 60fps video? Sold.
During a non-working fun dive we may not want to take the big camera system with us. The option of diving without a camera is obviously not an option at all! We can't not have a camera underwater! So we're always on the look out for a super easy, super handy, super practical little camera to take on adventures underwater. With the iPhone 8, we found it.
We've tried a lot of iPhone and iPhone housings over the past few years, the latest iPhone 8 paired with the Lenzo housing (made by ValsTech) is by far the best. By a massive margin. It's the solution we've been looking for, and really does pack a ton of amazing video and photos features into a system that is small enough to take anywhere, and easy enough to use on a day off (little brain activity required!).
Lenzo iPhone housings are tough, they have great optics, the latch is reassuring, the buttons feel nice, and the two little "arms" mean you can focus, select different functions, and dismiss any "low battery" error messages. It's the most versatile, practical, highest functioning and best design iPhone housing on the market.
The iPhone 8 is a fantastic camera to have underwater. Using the iPhone's native camera app we can take "Live Photos" - essentially 3 second snapshots, we can shoot HDR images, switch between 240fps slow motion at 1080, time lapse, and video functions. Using Camera+ we can shoot RAW still images, and using the awesome Filmic Pro app we can shoot a ton of video with more options than ever before (an app that really shines above water), such as focus peaking, increased bit rate and an incredible stabilization mode.
The Lenzo is now our go-to "day off" camera. We always have it, it shoots remarkably well, and it makes for a very fun dive! In fact, it really gives a lot of other, more expensive cameras a run for their money. Never underestimate the power of a telephone!
Find out more here: https://www.valstech.com
We shot some fun 360's of the fantastic Under the Jungle store in Mexico, just out of frame - us hiding from the camera that sees all!
We had the pleasure of working with Aqua Lung Canada a few months ago. It was a fun shoot on the white water rapids of the Fraser River in British Columbia. A freezing cold day at the end of the season, on an inflatable boat, custom made for that particular river.
The shoot was to promote a new drysuit that is part of Aqua Lung's impressive military & professional line. The Raptor is a water rescue drysuit aimed at search and rescue operations, such as river rescue, police, and other first responders.
The shoot was supported by Rescue Canada, a premiere training facility that provides a vast array of (often breathtaking) training courses to cover all areas of water rescue. Rescue Canada provided a wealth of information, as well as some trained rescuers as models for the new drysuit.
The shoot was a great time to put our newish GH5 through it's paces. Using mainly the excellent Panasonic 12-35mm lens, and the indispensable Lens Coat rain jacket, we got some great shots on the front of the inflatable. Those shots don't appear in the above, but getting thrown around some white water rapids whilst trying to frame a shot was a lot of fun!
The bulk of the shoot was on details and features - this video is more for informational purposes than a glitzy Facebook commercial - the suit has many more features than you'd get in a traditional drysuit.
The video was edited by Aqua Lung's James Manke, one of the hardest working guys we've been lucky enough to work with. We look forward to more projects with Aqua Lung, including one this coming May.
You can learn more about the Raptor here.