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Lights, filters, both?

Discussion in 'GoPro Video' started by Seaweed Doc, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. Seaweed Doc

    Seaweed Doc Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Seattle, Washington State, USA
    My limited experience with UW photography (over many years, dating back to film cameras) always had me upping the light intensity to get the good color quality I wanted. With GoPro having the option of various colors of filters (red, magenta, etc.) I wonder what happens when you have both (let's say hypothetically) 2,000 lumens AND a filter.

    Would you want both? Does the filter add something?

    I've only been using a weak light source with my GoPro (maybe 300 lumen) and it works fine for close up work, but fails (obviously) at any distance and for reasons I can't figure out seems to lose colors I thought penetrated pretty well in seawater (e.g., yellows before reds, some brighter greens, etc.). I was planning on upgrading the light source to 2K lumens. Do I need more? Would doing both the filter and added light help?

    Hypothetically let's say I'm particularly annoyed that Caribbean parrotfish won't show good color when they're 10-20' away. What would serve me best? What if on the same dive I want to take pictures of juvenile damsels at 2' distance in water 2' deep. Do I change or remove the filter? Or does the screen view give me a good sense if things are weirdly red with the filter in place? And what's up with the magenta filter they sell? Too many options! I'm so confused....

    Apologies if this question has been asked and answered.....
  2. MaxBottomtime

    MaxBottomtime Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Torrance, CA
  3. Seaweed Doc

    Seaweed Doc Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Seattle, Washington State, USA
    Grazie mille. Parlo un po d'Italiano, ma male. Sottotitoli sono buoni.

    It does look like you can overdo, and get a "red haze" in the foreground, but by adjusting light intensity you can get around it.
  4. Divenut1959

    Divenut1959 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Minneapolis
    I have a gopro5 and use the backscatter flip filter product. Initially, I used a small 700 lumen light thinking this would be good enough for video and it was barely ok and I knew I had do something much brighter. I bought a SOLA 3800 light from Backscatter during the holiday period at a killer price. I did diving with this in the Philippines in late Feb. and this was the ticket. Actually most of my diving I was only using about 50% of the power so around 2000 lumens and it was so much better and really made a difference. As shown in the video a red filter does make a huge difference below depths of around 40-50 feet. Besides the video I also have done some macro video using the Backscatter macro lense for the gopro and when shooting macro you can get by without the red filter as you are so close to the subject.

    Long and short is your 2000 lumens should give you decent lighting for objects 3-5 feet but further away you will need alot more light and very expensive. Checkout the Backscatter website as they have a number of video to explain filters and show you the differences and the products they sell for GoPro. Hope this helps.
    Seaweed Doc likes this.
  5. oly5050user

    oly5050user Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Westchester NY
    Colors that have longer wavelength affected first (red) the greater the distance it travels from light source to subject. Water filters out colors as light travels thu it. Any distance much greater than 4 to 5' will lose red, orange ,yellow . A stronger light will not help as it is not so much the intensity of the light, but the distance traveled. A wide angle lens will let you get closer to subject and fill frame. Try to stay 2' to 4' from subject for best results with any light source you have. Use a light with a wide angle beam to cover area. Do not use a red filter with a light , you will not like results. Use either a filter or a light, not both at same time.
    Seaweed Doc and BDSC like this.
  6. Hatul

    Hatul Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tustin, California, United States
    For day dives I use both a filter and a video light with my Hero 4 and I set the White Balance to Auto. For night diving video I flip out the filter and just use the video light.
    I don't do macro video but if you do get very close you should flip out your filter and just use the video light, like in night diving.
    Seaweed Doc likes this.

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