Thursday, November 11, 2010

Deep Sea Robot added to our Expedition-NIGHT OPS !

Wow sums it up nicely as we have just learned that the new SENTRY DSR will be onboard the Atlantis on our journey to the Gulf. To learn more about it's capabilities click here!

The sentry can stay down for over 20 hours operating on Sonar to avoid collisions with the Ocean floor! A real R2 d2 crusing at depths of over 3.1 Miles !!! It runs on over 1000 Lithium batteries...

The right camera for the right job: Well looks like we're using Canon DSLRs, VideoCams and POV's like Contours HD1080 on our trip. So we've been looking at clever ways to get some backup underwater POV type footage and came across this stuff from Liquid Image and this is really cool stuff indeed! A POV built into a Dive Mask...WIDE HD and the company has generously agreed to donate use for our cause. You can even strap 2 Underwater lights to it for about 9.5 Watts of light. I would say that Mike d. will look mighty photogenic wearing one of these as he's diving with the manatee's when we're down in Florida...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


So today one of our followers, Neal, suggested we post some info on the ALVIN and the Atlantis Research Vessel! So look to the right for some shots and video below of the ALVIN going through a complete teardown.

Checkout the guys bangin on the ALVIN Deep Submersible with 2x4's !!??!....what the heck? Maybe they're chasing a marine iguana?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lenses lenses lenses CINE LENSES !!!

Well with the advent of HDSLR Video comes the search for the holy grail of lenses for our expedition. We need CINE lenses, WIDE ZOOM for underwater but it's like searching for the Holy Grail. DUCLOS, ZEISS, RUBY, HOT ROD to PL or not to PL that is the question. Whether tis nobler to stay the EF course...

We're kind of use to lenses that don't CLICK on your aperture/iris, Focus that moves at least 120 degrees of rotation, good ole CINE STYLE lenses. So we're up for suggestions as we need to accomodate a wide zoom like a 14mm-60mm range EF lens that has Aperture and Focus a la CINE and will fit in a housing.

Then there's this other NAGGING issue with the CANON DSLRs ! The AUTO FOCUS button cannot focus underwater, unstable, unreliable! So basically we have to fix it to shoot from around 3ft to infinity which pretty much kills any decent BOKEH, DOF...have to shoot at 5.6 or higher : > (

Ah good old technical issues they just seem to rear their ugly head up everywhere with every new piece of gear...Anyhow I need to keep surfin the web to get some answers here. All suggestions welcome here.

Spent the day digging out my SCUBA gear

hmmm this gear looks like the way to go
Had my regulator and Octopus rig rebuilt along with a request to replace the Battery on my #1 dive computer in preparation for the Gulf expedition. So for some reason the Dive shop also decides to replace the battery in dive computer #2 which was working fine. Good intentions but now the computer no longer works! Oceanic won't repair it as they no longer support the Datamax Sport! Good old dive gear! Oh well I have a waterproof Abacus : >) lol 

Tomorrow we narrow down the gear we're bringing aboard ATLANTIS...we'll see how that goes, the less the better, good ole run 'n gun!

Still continuing in Pre-Production with "the Film Crew!" This week we've been scheduling interviews with top scientists, conducting camera and lens testing and doing rigorous physical training to prepare for the environments in which we will be filming.

I'll be heading up to Monterey to meet with underwater film experts at Backscatter, Monterey Bay Aquarium and cinematographer Chuck Davis.

We are also getting more sponsors to help match the grant we received from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The additional funding will help make this expedition a safer less hazardous journey for all of us.

Also been scouring through all the gear for the journey so we don't get caught with our proverbial "pants down" on any particular shoot. The wrong screw size on a camera plate can cost you stabilization on an entire shoot! Then you'll get seasick watching our clips! And by the way have you noticed the ridiculous times we've been posting! Yep excitement factor which also yields some anxiety equals odd hours of sleep...

Our team so far :

Mike deGruy-on screen host and re-known Filmmaker

Michael Hanrahan -scientific coordinator, media
locations director.

Harry Rabin-DP on this film.

First trip to Gulfport, Mississippi to board the Atlantis home of the Navy's Alvin Deep submersible begins Dec. stay tuned and we'll start posting photos & video of our exploits pretty soon.