U/V Fluorescence Underwater Videography Course
Koh Tao Thailand
Oceans Below specializes in Fluoro/UV filming and has been commissioned numerous times by the BBC for productions like “Nature’s Weirdest Events”.
We now offer a unique Fluorescence Underwater Video Course including 3 UV night dives and editing days. Since the night dives might not be every night we might have to spread out the course over 6 days.
During a UV Night Dive, we descend with specialized High Intensity Blue lights and a special visor for mask and camera. This allows us to see and film marine fluorescence. During the course you will be using a Sony A6500 or an A7R II 4K camera with a Nauticam or Fantasea Housing (or your own rig) and yellow barrier filter and the “SuperBlue” blue light fluorescence lights based on the Intova Supernova or the Fantasea Radiant 2500.
We will teach you all the techniques needed to capture stunning close ups of corals, small crabs catching their meal, following scorpion fish on the move and fly overs of the fluorescent coral landscape.
For this course you need to be an Advanced Open Water Diver and have done a ‘normal’ night dive before. Experience with a camera is a must!
Oceans Below’s award winning video “Visions in Blue” explains in short what UV Night diving is.
UV Fluorescence Video FAQ
UV/blue lights are essential for fluorescent underwater video and photo. Blue lights pick up the fluorescence of corals and marine critters better, in my opinion. (If you are using a strobe for fluo photography you should get a special UV filter to attach over the strobe).
The coral absorbs this blue light and re-emits it in another wavelength which we see as vibrant, fluorescent colours.
Get a yellow barrier for your camera and for your mask. When taking video or photos, make sure you lift up the barrier on your mask to see that your shooting with the right setting since your camera has a filter already. This yellow barrier will block out some of the blue light.
Fluorescence is a result of re-emitted light from a blue light. As a result, there is less light reflected back to the camera. So, your f-stop has to be low and your ISO quite high. Most of the time you will film macro subjects or coral close-ups because your light will not be able to illuminate big areas. The strength of your lights will, of course, influence your settings.
For blue lights (and best results), you will need yellow barrier filters on your camera lens to block out the blue.
To get the best out of your fluoro images make sure to set your camera to photograph in RAW for easier editing. In post-process, you can then adjust the white balance, exposure and saturation easier to make the fluorescence pop by adding more green, taking out some blue and adding reds. This will make the colours look closer to what you saw underwater.
Some ‘normal’ video lights have an option to switch to blue (UV) light these days. Fantasea Line Radiant is one of those with a white light (flood and spot) setting, red light and blue light settings. Keldan makes a special UV LED module for their video lights. Others, like firedivegear.com specialize in making UV/fluoro dive accessories including filters, video lights and barrier filters. The industry is quickly evolving, so it’s best to do your research to get the most up-to-date information.
You’ll experience it more like a psychedelic disco, with black lights! It’s like being in the movie Avatar. This night dive cannot be compared to a “normal” night dive. You will discover a completely different world on the reef at night diving with blue lights (or UV lights) and yellow vizors. This is fluo diving – you are using special lights (blue) and filters (yellow) to reveal the fluorescence of corals and other critters on the reef on a night dive.
© 2021 Oceans Below Co. Ltd
4/15 Moo 1, Koh Tao, Suratthani 84360, Thailand
Tel/Whatsapp: +66 81 268 20 31