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.
We've just returned from a week-long shoot near Akumal, Mexico, part of the Yucatan Peninsula. South of Playa del Carmen, this area is home to vast landscapes of incredibly beautiful cenotes.
A cenote is a deep well or sinkhole, formed by the collapse of the surface limestone, often exposing water filled caves. It is a beacon for cave divers and explorers from around the world, and at the center of it all is Under the Jungle, a unique cave diving operation, owned and operated by Natalie Gibb and Vincent Rouquette-Cathala.
Unlike a lot of dive operations, Under the Jungle aren't looking for a mass of tourists eager to strap on a tank and go for a guided dives. In fact, their very location makes it unreachable for most. Instead, they're much more focussed on providing top tier service for experienced, passionate, and responsible cave, cavern, and technical divers.
Our relationship with Under the Jungle began just over a week ago when we touched down in Mexico to begin a week-long shoot for an upcoming Shearwater Research project. Natalie and her husband Rory, were our guides, hosts, and models for the week. We quickly learned about the area, the cenotes, and the way they do business. To say we had a lot of fun, adventurous, and great experiences would be an understatement!
Such focus on quality rather than quantity is rare within diving, but these guys truly mean it. They want to promote safe diving, cenote conservation, and responsible diving practices. They have a respect for the land, the locals, and the future of the area. It shines through in their business and is an reassuring attitude to be exposed to.
Natalie Gibb is herself, fast becoming a well known figure in the diving world. Her years of work exploring Mexico's cenotes is substantial, and her attitude towards sharing it is infectious. Her recent speaking tour in the US and Canada was hugely successful, and her video work increasingly impressive.
We had a fantastic time exploring and shooting inside the cenotes with Natalie and Rory. We can't yet share the results with anyone as it's an ongoing project. But rest assured, we got some awesome video! We'll also be putting together an interview video with Natalie, so keep an eye out.
For now though, give serious consideration to joining the Under the Jungle team in Mexico, they have an excellent training program, great accommodations with their onsite Limestone Lodge, and unparalleled knowledge of the area. We can't wait to return!
Seaproof.tv's Trisha Stovel was recently part of a shoot for Volkswagen. The goal for the underwater team was to get a shot of their new car travelling over an ice road in Yellowknife, northern Canada. Discovery Channel's Daily Planet were also there covering the event, their segment screened a couple of days ago and you can watch it above, including Trish on camera - instead of being behind it!
We’ve just returned from a fantastic week in Ottawa where Trisha Stovel and Russell Clark both had the pleasure of being elected as Fellows of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.
We're very honoured to be amongst such distinguished company in the RCGS College of Fellows, all of us charged with making “Canada better known to Canadians and to the world”.
We had lots of fun visiting the amazing new RCGS HQ on Sussex Drive, checking out the excellent giant floor maps, catching up with Jill Heinerth, and another BC diver Andy Lamb (also made a Fellow this year), playing a game of “No, you first” door tag with the Prince of Ethiopia, and of course meeting lots of interesting Fellows from many walks of life.
It’s a great end to an incredible year for us. We have some fantastic things planned for 2018, and we’re looking forward to sharing a submerged Canada with as many people as we can!