In our day to day work when filming students; who are experiencing diving for the first time; we will often only ever use one of these shots to illustrate the skill, which means that there is time available to practice and compose the shot whilst other students perform the skill. Then once you’re happy with the shot and position, choose the moment to capture. As I mentioned in my last post you will notice just how different two similar shot with the same subject matter can feel, and this was just from just from changing my position and the framing of the shot.
It s not often in underwater videography that you can do this re-run of a shot as underwater nature videography is about capturing a special and unique moment. You only have a split second in which to make the decision about how to to capture it. It is not possible to rehearse, block and stage the action of course you can prepare by studying your subject matter and it’s typical behaviors; you can have a plan; BUT because it is glorious, wonderful, nature something unexpected is going to happen it could be a whale shark, a mating behavior or a tiny critter never seen before. At these times you need to be sure of what your position, the lights position, your subjects expected movements as well as all of the appropriate configurations your camera.
This is why it important to use any available opportunity to practice your skills. Whilst a safety stop in the blue may be a slightly boring but necessary wait for others; for an underwater videographer it can be an invaluable time when you are not hunting or concentrating on the next shot and the wonderful colours, textures and creatures of the dive - it can be a time of experimenting; with the play of light in water maybe use your buddy as a subject. It can be used explore and push the limits of your skills, the equipment and get to really understand how to control and improve on these factors - remember safety is always the priority so watch your dive skills and control. The more instinctual this understanding becomes the more improved your shooting will be as you naturally know the best placement or settings to deliver the best shots because you took the time to practice.
I hold then tilt then hold ensuring to white balance and expose correctly.
The more relaxed you are in the water, the better your understanding of how light plays, the better your shots will become. I have also got in to a habit of visulsing all my shots in my minds eye before I take them.