Here are some answers to some Frequently Asked Questions. I realise there are lots of people looking to get into underwater film making and I hope these FAQ’s can help in some way. If there is anything I haven’t covered or you’d like me to go into in more detail then please contact me. I am often in the field but I’ll do my best to answer your questions. Just make sure you do some simple research first before contacting me please!
My SCUBA gear is from Dive-Rite who have the right blend of reliability, durability, adaptability and comfort for me. When I need to stay down longer or be silent I use a rEVO hybrid Closed Circuit Rebreather. My equipment is valuable so I use tough, reliable cases and bags from North Face, Lowepro and Pelican.
As of writing this (April 2017) I think the best value for money is in compact mirrorless or DSLR cameras. Something like the Sony a6500 or Panasonic GH5. You can often find last years model with a housing for a reasonable price on eBay or the excellent Wetpixel classifieds.
Sounds I travel with a UE Megaboom which is rugged, can take a splash, and will pump out music for the crew on long van rides or while watching rushes. For private listening on planes and the like I use some bluetooth headphones with a cunning Taotronics portable bluetooth transmitter. This is probably my favourite gadget as I hate getting tangled in cables every time I get out of my seat.
Phone I use a Samsung S7. The battery actually lasts a full day and there are two slots for sim cards meaning I can either put a local sim card in for data use while in the field or have a micro sd card to store music, video, useful camera related files etc etc. It’s also waterproof to 2m.
Stanley These guys are the greatest outdoor brand ever ever. I think I only work outdoors in order to be able to use and talk about their products. Awesome, bulletproof and stylish gear at affordable prices. If you just buy one thing get one of these. In fact just go to the Amazon online Stanley shop and go crazy.
A whacking dollop of Patience. Things won’t happen as planned. Shit will go wrong. Baggage will get lost. Cameras will break. People will get ill. Animals won’t turn up. Cameras will break. Weather will be horrific. Coffee will run out. Cameras will break. You get the picture. Did I mention that cameras will break?
John Brown has an excellent blog with advice for wannabe wildlife camera operators on his website. Much of what he has to say is good general advice for underwater shooters as well.
Warwick Sloss is one of the most experienced and successful wildlife cameramen around. He has some well written and highly amusing thoughts on his website.
Sophie Darlington is a well-known long lens shooter who has some advice here.
Chris Burkard is a successful and well known adventure photographer and social influencer. He has a very well thought out and interesting FAQ which is worth taking a look at for anyone with an interest in wildlife or adventure photography and cinematography.
I wrote an article for Scubazoo a few years ago which is still valid today. You can find it here.