Wednesday, October 19, 2016

5 Tips for Making Better Underwater Videos with Action Cams

Ever wonder why your video has a green/ blue colour? Or why your video is not stabilized? Here are some easy tips to help you make better videos with your action cam.

Tip 1: Learn to control your buoyancy

If you are not neutrally or nearly neutrally buyont, your video recordings are going to be really bad. Do not record the first minutes of your dive, use the time to control yourself and try to get used to the special underwater feeling. After that, you can begin filming for the initial attempts at recording. Be sure to initially focus on remaining calm and achieving buoyancy so you don't get overwhelmed with that and attempting to film. If you make sure your buoncy is correct, you can concentrate much better on recording!

Tip 2: Mounting your action cam

Be sure to choose the right position for mounting your action cam. I would not mount it on the head, because the mask might not allow the strap to fit tightly enough; my favourite position is the wrist. You can buy a special wrist mount, which looks like a fingerless glove that can be tightly fastened. The advantage of the wrist mount is that you can use your arm like a tripod panhead since the water resistance allows you to move your arm slowly, so you can ensure a smooth camera movement, which looks great with the right effects in postproduction. If you own a second action cam, you can mount it on the leg or on the shoulder to have a different view.

Tip 3: The colour problem

To get better colour on your recordings you should use some filters. The deeper you dive, the less colour you can see/ record so you need to add a red and a violet filter. For blue water, you might use the red filter, for green water you can mount the violet one. But take care, not every action cam supports a filter mount. Here you might have to be creative and build one yourself!

Tip 4: The wide angle

Most action cams have a wide angle which is great for wreck diving since it make it easy to catch the whole wreck in one picture. Did you know that wide angle lenses can be good for close up shots, too? They allow you to record impressive images of fish and corals with your action cam. The angels vary by the company, so just go for a dive and try to find the best distance for close up recordings.

Tip 5: Night diving

Now we go to an advanced topic: video recording during night diving. Of course, you can use heavy pro equipment with 3 lamps and a really good lens. Is it necessary? In my opinion, no. To record videos during night diving, I mount my action cam on the bottom of a good lamp and set the picture to ,"upside down" so that the camera is turned but the picture is displayed correctly. The footage looks really great, because on the one hand you have the black of the night and on the other hand you see a certain angle of the underwater world which is enlighted by the beam of your lamp.

I hope those tips help you make better recordings during your next scuba diving adventures. To see an example of how a night diving video can look, check out this link of my dive to the Twin Towers at Attersee using the plastic dive cards provided by Ocean Maps:

About Markus Bachofner:

Markus Bachofner is a semi-professional multimedia producer and passionated scuba diver. He has three years of experience in photography and now dives deeper into video production and sound recording. Due to his work at Ocean Maps he is now becoming an expert in the field of underwater video- and photography. For his recordings Markus uses high end Nikon and GoPro equipment. His work can be seen at his Facebook-Page ,"Markus Bachofner Multimedia":

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