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Mounting Lights When Filming Underwater Sequences

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Dinkum Systems Founder and Emmy award-winning cinematographer John Mans reports about filming underwater sequences for Travel Channel:

For me, the best assignments are shooting at sea or underwater.  Recently, Travel Channel sent me to the Yucatan to shoot stories for one of my favorite series, "Top Secret Swimming Holes". On a recent job, I shot with my Canon 5D inside an Ikelite underwater housing, and used Light and Motion's Sola underwater light.

     

When filming underwater - especially in a cave - there's often no option to ascend and give directions to the talent because you risk crashing into a stalactite or not finding an air pocket in which to discuss your plans. Shooting the cave scenes, I needed all my lighting options available, so instead of locking my lights onto extension arms (which are generally used in deep open ocean), I used Dinkum Systems Clamp-to-Clamp arm.

          

With one clamp attached to the underwater light and one to the Ikelite handle, I could quickly unclamp the video light and give it to the talent to use on-camera as their "dive light" for better quality illumination than the actual dive lights.  Likewise, I could remove the whole dive light/ Dinkum-clamp setup and attach the light to a piece of the cave... without Dinkum, how the hell are you supposed to 'mount' a light in a cave anyway??

It's good to have both sizes of ActionPod's with youso you can clamp to different sized pits and features on the cave wall (components to make both of these mounts can also be found in the Video ProPack). Make sure to wash the clamps with fresh water and add some WD40 to keep parts from corrosion... and enjoy the dive!

Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival

Dinkum Systems Founder and Emmy award-winning cinematographer John Mans reports:My favorite film festival gears up this week! The Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival is a bi-annual showcase of nature documentaries, and a gathering of cinema's most fascinating hard-core adventurers. While the remote location at the base of the Teton Mountains, Wyoming during the beginning of Fall make it a spectacular [...]

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Behind-The-Scenes w/ Sound Mixer James Tobin

Dinkum Systems Founder and Emmy award-winning cinematographer John Mans reports from the field:I work regularly with my audio buddy James Tobin in very remote places, usually in Alaska.James is a super solid sound mixer who always seems to have the perfect gear for any situation.  Whether it's a multi tool, a white balance card, or any type of aviation [...]

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Sea Kayaking in the Bahamas

Dinkum Systems Founder and Emmy award-winning cinematographer John Mans reports from the field:On location in the Bahamas shooting for Travel Channel we needed to cover a segment which included our cast paddling a sea kayak from one cove to the next.Time was short, as always, and the main coverage was to be shot by a drone and [...]

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​'Pack Rafting' with Dinkum Systems

Dinkum Systems Founder and Emmy award-winning cinematographer John Mans reports from the field:I worked on a Travel Channel show called, "Alaska - Water and Ice" that aired recently. The network people really liked a couple of the segments that I shot, and Dinkum Systems had much to do with the footage we got.The show is about what you [...]

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Don't Let Rain Stop Play!

Dinkum Systems Founder and Emmy award-winning cinematographer John Mans reports from the field:This week I'm up in Anchorage, Alaska shooting an HGTV show, and while it's beautiful up north, we're dealing with shoot days where it's just rain, rain, rain... Given that we can't change our schedule around, we just have to deal with the wet conditions.The DJI Osmo [...]

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Game of Thrones Behind-The-Scenes

There are many reasons why we love getting messages from customers and friends who snap a photo when they "spot a Dinkum” on productions large and small, and this image has particularly tickled our fancy.Caught on a behind-the-scenes HBO special for the incredible series Game of Thrones, it shows the wonderful actress Emilia Clarke in full splendor as the character [...]

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​How To Get Amazing SUP Shots with Dinkum Systems

Stand Up Paddle Boarding with Dinkum Systems in Travel Channel's new special, "Alaska - Water and Ice"Travel Channel is airing a special this month called, "Alaska - Water and Ice", and I was lucky enough to shoot a couple of the segments. One of the challenging shoots was stand up paddle boarding (SUP) around icebergs just outside of [...]

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Jibs with DSLR and Lightweight Cameras Need Lens Protection Too!

With so many lightweight cranes available these days, jibs seem to be coming back into vogue.Producers who were enamored with drones a few years ago are often taken aback when they see a shot that starts high in a tree and sweeps gracefully through the branches for an establishing shot.  We seem to have forgotten the beauty of [...]

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What's the easiest way to mount an LED panel, you ask? Let us tell you!

Dinkum Systems Founder and Emmy award-winning cinematographer John Mans shares his thoughts on how the new era of lightweight LED Panels has made our range even more useful, giving you an easy way to solve the onset challenge of quickly mounting lights in a variety of spaces…                  [...]

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