A Studio In Your Hand
Scuba Diving|September/October 2020
Video can bring non-divers into the underwater action
By Annie Crawley

Innovations in digital cameras, lighting, mobile technology and faster data speed transfers have revolutionized underwater imaging. Ten years ago we were driven by text; today it’s visuals. Our mobile devices—and speed—changed the way we communicate. Whether you want to learn about sharks, change an O-ring, or find your next dive destination, the internet holds the answers. A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but one minute of video equals more than a million.

As divers, we carry a production company and movie theater in the palm of our hand. The power of video brings our friends and family into the action of our dives. This year, mobile viewing surpassed TV for the largest share of U.S. adult entertainment minutes. Gen Z spends nearly five hours per day on mobile devices, half of it viewing short-form video. Mobile consumption and use is unique. As the user, you are the viewer, remote control, DVR, editor, broadcaster and creator. Whether filming with a GoPro, SeaLife camera, mobile device, compact, mirrorless or a DSLR, you have the ability to capture 4K video and share minutes later.

No matter what kind of camera you choose, the principles remain the same. Start with a basic underwater imaging class. Transfer your photography skills to video. It’s a disservice to the sport of scuba diving not to share videos! Copy these 10 tips to a slate and carry them on your next dive.

1 Practice on land and at your local dive store’s swimming pool before heading out to a dive destination.

Figure out your buttons and settings. Weight your camera system so it is neutrally buoyant or slightly negative. Practice filming and swimming through the water. After practicing, download immediately to your computer. Review. Shooting and editing go hand in hand. Don’t make your viewers seasick because of your filming technique.

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