Monday, June 28, 2010

Africa: Shot on RED

March 2008:
  This was a first professional assignment for me using the RED ONE both underwater and topside. I joined Ken Corben who was working on a story for Mike Devlin of Dangerous Passage Productions an Alaska based production company. Our assignment:  a story about African Wildlife Veteranarians doing their work in the bush and wildlife game ranches of South Africa. By this time we had already been working with the RED ONE for about six months and the RED camera firmware and upgrades were developing and breakneck speed.
We had taken the RED on it's first underwater journey only a few months before in custom build pvc housing by Aqua Video and by this time we had aluminum (tube) housings made with only basic controls. We had to manually set exposure and focus prior to closing the housing up. Our only controls at this time were on/off and rec/stop. But after several dunks, we knew our exposure and focus settings quite well. You could only hope that a cloud or shadow would not come overhead during our shoots so as to blow the exposure settings. But in the end and after much trouble-shooting, we got the images we came for.


  During the course of our month long filming expedition to Africa, we took time to capture additional images of wildlife on the Okavango Delta and the big animals we really wanted to see.....Tiger sharks south of Durban at a location less than 2 miles off the beach. This place was FULL of sharks: Blacktips, Bulls and of course some very large Tigers.

Diving with Tiger sharks - Durban, South Africa:
  Well, this was certainly the highlight of our filming expedition. Water was warm, sharks were plentiful and the visibility negotiable. I can recall few places I've ever dove and been amongst as many sharks. At times we would have a minimum of fifty or sixty blacktips along with a few bull sharks mixed in. All would make room once the Giant twelve foot tigersharks made their appearance. Having one or two tigersharks in the water mixed in with over fifty other smaller sharks was actually manageable. But then by the end of our second day and last dive, a few more tigersharks appeared making for a total of five. This then became far to unmanageable. While dive conditions were beginning to fade as the visibility became poorer, the Tigers became far mor agressive and would always seem to find a way to move in on one of us from either behind or below....Always coming from our blind spot. You could easily fend them off with your housing....that is as long as you saw them coming.

Tigersharks - RED ONE frame grabs

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