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Contact - The Humpback Whales of Tonga
  • My 2016 video of humpback whales, using 2008 footage.

    I tried to convey some of the sense of awe I felt swimming with these magnificent animals. After colour-wrangling, I deinterlaced my 30i HDV footage to 60p (using QTGMC), slowed most of it down 50% (to 30p), and sharpened it a little. There is still life in the old formats if the content is interesting.

    Any feedback, positive or negative, is welcome.

  • 6 Replies sorted by
  • I've holded a camera freediving.. and it's soooo difficult! U waste most of the time in getting in the right position without using the hands and then.. your oxygen is over and you have to go up. Great job Nick!

  • Magnificent. Really well done. I was fortunate enough to swim with whalesharks inMarch, so I can understand the feelings when diving with these animals.

  • Gorgeous shots of these truly majestic beings; congrats Nick... with a pinch of healthy envy ,-)
    The footage could be interchanged with the ones in the beginning of this trailer

  • @NickHope: Great pictures!

    Is it intentional that the "The Humback whales of Tonga" title script bounces a little up and down, or is this some de-interlacing artifact?

    One thought: The first scene where a human is visible, providing a "scale" for the many not knowing how big such a humpback whale is, is shown ~50s into the clip. If you want to catch & keep the attention of today's smartphone-ADHS-stricken audience, I would recommend to place a first "scale" providing scene right after the intro.

    At 02:12 there's some serious color banding around the nearby fluke - I guess this is due to Youtube's excessive compression (to 4.3MBit/s for 1080p30), and probably not present in the original material, right?

    BTW: I'm planning for a Philippines trip later this year, and interested in any must-see location recommendations for underwater videography, there.

  • Go to Oslob, southern Cebu, Philippines. There you can dive with whalesharks. We hat 4 when we were there in March. 3 around 8 meters long and one "baby" with about 4 meters

  • Thanks for the comments. @karl Thank you for your feedback and so sorry for the ridiculously slow reply. I thought I was subscribed to this post, but obviously not!

    The title had a little jitter added in the NewBlueFX titler. I just liked it at the time. Not sure I'd do it again.

    Good point about showing the diver nearer the start to give the scale. Didn't think of that.

    I don't really see significant banding at 02:12. It might be that YouTube has started delivering the video with the superior VP9 codec rather than H.264 since you commented. There is a kind of a white "glow" around the fluke in the original footage from my old Sony Z1 HDV camera.

    As for Philippines dive sites, I suppose you've already been. I only know Anilao, which has pretty nice macro. I want to go to Romblon and Dumaguete, which I hear good things about.