In September Melinda surprised me with a trip to Bali for my birthday, as well agreeing to finally try my much loved sport of scuba diving. I have been diving since 1991, but this was the first time that I had been able to entice her into the water, although in fairness she had suggested that she try a dive in Melbourne. Knowing that the cold waters in Port Phillip Bay would certainly put a dent in her enthusiasm for future underwater exploration, I suggested that she wait and try a dive in the beautiful warm waters around Bali.
I captured the following footage using a GoPro Hero 4 silver, shooting at 4K the quality in such a small package makes this such a fun and affordable video camera to take on every trip. Obviously the GoPro does capture stills, some of which I have included here, but the quality of these is very average by comparison to the video footage.
For Melinda’s introduction to the underwater realm I booked at day of diving at the USS Liberty wreck in Tulamben, which is about a 3 hour drive from Seminyak. I have dived this location before ( https://michaelevansphotographerblog.com/2014/06/19/diving-tulamben-and-experience-with-the-panasonic-dmc-tz40-underwater/ ) and knew that the simple shore based entry would be perfect for Mel since she occasionally suffers from seasickness on boats, combined of course with the amazing diving that the location offers.
Unfortunately we were only able to get two dives in at Tulamben on this occasion, although I had originally booked for 3, which was somewhat disappointing. However the next day I undertook three boat dives at Nusa Penida, the first of which was at Manta Point where I was indeed fortunate to catch a glimpse of these awe inspiring creatures as they congregate in the very murky waters, both to feed on the rich plankton brought in by the currents and to be cleaned by the resident wrasse population. All of the footage is somewhat shaky as this was my first attempt at filming underwater with my GoPro, and I certainly made many mistakes with jerky camera movements, but to me of course the footage is a priceless memory.
Jana, the dive guide and instructor that escorted Melinda through her first 2 full dives confirmed what I already knew would be the case, and that was that Melinda was both a natural and thoroughly enjoyed the day blowing bubbles!
I cut this together in Adobe Premiere Pro, which does feature a powerful ‘warp stabiliser’ to fix shaky footage, however I discovered it does not work all that well on my underwater sequences… Also I have of course compressed the video to keep the file size down – Needs sound!