By Guest Blogger James Waller
My first was an unexpected free Discover Scuba Diving in Lake Mckenzie while on tour in Frazer Island, Australia. That led to living 8 months in Cairns and becoming a Divemaster. Then a few years later after a break from diving, completely unplanned I walked out of a dive shop having booked an IDC in Taupo, New Zealand, and after a few years teaching in Thailand taking up Underwater Videography in Asia. It was the perfect step for me to keep the fire and passion of diving alive after giving it my all as an instructor.
I sold a few stock clips over years, but filming and video making has just been a hobby so far. It’s a whole new way of diving, to be able to show people the beauty of the underwater world, relive amazing memories, and learn about fish. I have learned so much about fish ID by having to file clips by species and tag stock footage. One quickly develops a hit list of creatures you have yet to shoot, so no matter what you have already seen, until you buy your first camera setup, you start from scratch and want to see it all again, craving that ‘perfect shot!’
This video contains all of my favorite clips. From a huge Tiger Shark (Fiji) and Mola Mola (Bali) to Frogfish’s (Lembeh Straits,) Weedy Sea Dragon with eggs (Sydney) and the very tiny Pygmy Seahorse’s (Wakatobi.)
Among most memorable moments were Blue Ringing Octopus mating and crawling inside a beer bottle for some private time! Sadly the male dies immediately after mating so I was happy she found such romantic location for him to enjoy his last moments! Another is the endangered Sand Tiger Sharks from Fish Rock Cave at South West Rocks, Australia. One of these poor creatures has a fish hook stuck in their mouth, but watching the silhouette of these graceful predators peacefully cruising around from the opening of the cave is an experience not to be missed.
The most recently described animal in the video (near the end) is Kyonemichthys rumengani, possibly the world’s smallest pygmy pipehorse, just 3-4 cm in length, discovered in 2006 and named in 2007.
All the shots are filmed on a Sony Sr12 Light & Motion Bluefin housing with a fathom 110 lens, but it has shot it’s last shot April 2013, damaged beyond repair. The fathom lens is what gives the shots the cinematic feel, and through 6 lenses lets you shoot super wide angle and zoom through macro with one lens.
Time for an upgrade and just maybe, start an underwater video business somewhere.
Will my 4th life change be just around the corner?
I hope you enjoy my best of video!