Underwater Cinematography Courses
Underwater Cinematography Course, 2013
Course director: Pawel Achtel
Also: possible workshop at Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, USA (TBA)
Topics covered include:
- advantages and limitations of flat ports, dome ports and submersible lenses;
- how to optimise your underwater optical system for best performance underwater;
- how to find the entrance pupil of the lens and align with the dome port;
- what lenses perform best and why;
- how to measure and improve underwater optics;
- how focus is affected by flat and dome ports and how to convert the scales;
- how to measure MTF values for underwater optics and why does it matter?
- understanding light and colour science underwater;
- colour balance, exposure, colour temperature and filters;
- what light is best (LED, HMI or tungsten) and when;
- how to place lights and how to achieve the desired look;
- how to consistently achieve great results.
- shooting for television and shooting for large screen;
- how to achieve bright, vivid, colourful and crystal clear images in what divers commonly refer to as "poor visibility";
- how to achieve perfect focus?
- framing, camera movements and shooting sequence work;
- how to get rock-steady, smooth, interesting and breath
taking shots consistently.
Certification Level IV in Occupational Health and Safety. He has made 5000+
dives, most with a cinema-grade camera in his hands. He has almost 20 years of
experience shooting from the Equator to Antarctica
and in some of most unhospitable and remote locations imaginable, mostly diving
solo, often at night, sometimes in conditions that would scare the daylights
out of you - all carefully planned and with safety coming first. He also
designs, invents and tests equipment and trains special
forces on using rebreathers and other, let's
call them, "toys" that enhance their capabilities and safety in the
water. He will share with you how to identify, assess and mitigate common
risks, stay safe and capable in the water environment when diving with a
- how to set up your 3D rig;
- timecode sync, shutter sync and camera sync;
- converge or not and how;
- calculating depth budget underwater and how different it is from shooting on land;
- calculating and estimating Inter-Axial (IA) using foreground and background subjects;
- beam splitter or side-by-side - advantages and drawbacks of
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