I'm finally getting down to the business of outfitting, (purchasing in some cases) my camera and housing equipment for my first underwater big animal project, diving with Great White Sharks at Mexico's Guadalupe Island. Guadalupe Island is probably the best place in the world to film Great Whites due to the extremely good water visibility and abundance of Great Whites that visit the island. One of the main reasons I decided to schedule in October was because late Sept, Oct, & Nov is also when the gigantic females show up to the island. If you happened to have see the footage of the 20' female White Shark swimming past the cages in 2013, that was shot at Guadalupe Island. There are a couple dive operators that go out to Guadalupe, but based on their outstanding reputation, I decided on Nautilus Explorer Liveaborads. Of their three different ships, I've scheduled on their newest ship in the fleet, Nautilus Belle Amie. This particular trip also offered an unusual extra day of diving, so even better!!
So camera equipment... Because I can't seem to do anything in the "good enough" category, I've chosen to go with Canon's flagship professional series camera, the EOS-1D X Mark II. To me, 1XD MII was really the only choice due to it's superior low light & high ISO performance, fast focusing capabilities in near total darkness, and oh yea, it shoots stills at a machine gun rate of 14-16 frames per second! The 1DX Mark II also shoots gorgeous 4K video up to 60fps! So yea, I'm pretty excited about this camera body!!
Note: The 1DX Mark II was used at the 2016 Rio Olympics as a "robot controlled" camera that captured those incredible underwater images in the pool, check them out here.
I'll also have the 1DX II matched up with what many consider to be the finest in underwater housings, Nauticam NA-1DXII.
My lens selection for this trip will be the wide angle Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM and super wide angle Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens. I will of course have a longer lens along for topside photos. Mounted to the housing will be Zen Underwater's DP-230 230mm Fisheye Dome Port.
Strobes?? I haven't completely decided yet, but since the water visibility is so clear, generally 125' to 150', and the cages are relatively shallow, at a depth of 30' and at the surface, I don't know whether I'll even be taking strobes. I'll more than likely opt to shoot everything with ambient light..
I'm hopeful this combination will enable me to produce some truly professional quality images! The rest will be up to the sharks and of course my ability to get the job done!!
And for you Nikon fans, yes, they have an amazing top line of cameras which are more than capable as well. I find talking Canon vs Nikon is worse than politics! haha!
Following Guadalupe Island, I have several other really great projects on the radar including Tiger Sharks in Grand Bahama's and Whales in Tonga.
I'm also extremely pumped because this adds the capability for me to now shoot swimming & water sports as well. Being able to shoot swimming from underwater opens up an abundance of creative possibilities and I can't wait to get this new project underway soon!!
Thanks & stay tuned!!
~ Die with memories, not dreams...
Zen Underwater 9" Glass Fisheye Dome Port...