Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sleepin' Swimmin' wit da fishes

Been reviewing the video I shot snorkeling in Paradise. It would probably have been a good idea to make time to try the Kodak Playsport ZX3 out in controlled conditions, or maybe the snorkeling equivalent of a "bunny slope", to get the hang of things. Here is one of the first pieces I shot that was savable:

A lot of it turned out that way; too short, kind of jerky, trying to shoot subjects too far away to get any detail. There is a tendency for the camcorder--or the person holding it--to bob around in the current, which accounts for much of the unsteadiness.  Plus, as Dirtcrashr points out, zooming in and out underwater doesn't work well for a variety of reasons.

I was thinking that the audio would turn off when I switched to "underwater" mode, but it did not.  Most of the noise is what you hear underwater anyway--those sea critters are loud!  Some of it is me breathing.  (The boat motors--Yamaha 150s--were amazingly quiet.)

So far, all the video I have reviewed was shot in, off Honaunau, or, to be more precise, Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau"The City of Refuge."  This is a lovely spot, a National Park, which was a designated sanctuary to which people who had violated kapu ("tabu", "taboo") could flee to avoid the penalty, which was death. Losers in battle could also avoid death here.  Theoretically, having survived to arrive at the City of Refuge, one could be purified by a priest, and leave safely.  The only way to get there, or to leave, was by water.

Out of the two dozen+ videos I have reviewed thus far--discarding over half a dozen outright--these are the best two I took:
 These colorful guys are Threadfin butterflyfish, Hawai'ian name Kikakapu,and easily the most colorful (and easy to viedo/photograph) fish I've seen while snorkeling.  (Which isn't saying much, as I've been snorkeling twice now...)

I still have at least another two dozen videos to go through, so I will definitely be posting more.  Like I said, maybe this will help me get over not being there anymore...

1 comment:

DirtCrashr said...

In moments of exuberance I tried to dive straight down with the video running and give the viewer a StarWars joyride through canyons of coral. Repeatedly. It was more fun to execute than to view. When I tried to actually watch the video I got a brain-scramble headache. Diving down from the surface usually results in over-rotation, and kicking down causes a lot of jerky movement that is visually spastic and chaotic. I have had best results when I slowed down more than I thought necessary, and held on longer to a subject - but I also realize that my old dream of being a cinematographer is fading.
The Kikakapu are some of my favorites, and yellow Tangs and Moorish Idols too - maybe because their bright yellow/white/black present such a contrast in the blue water. But also real-kewl are the long thin trumpetfish or needlefish that sidle up and look sideways at you from the periphery with their big eyes.
We walked around the Honaunaau sanctuary but didn't snorkel there - it was a bit of overcast with vog, and they called that bay Sharks Bay so my wife was less enthused!