Underwater Video Training
This is the first step during the trip around roads less travelled in South East Asia. So going on a training course to use my video camera above and below sea level and edit the results is the best way to start!
You can see my Final Project from the course here.
I completed the underwater videography course with Liquid Media in Koh Tao. This place came recommended to me by another diver. Recommendations mean a lot to me, so this is one reason why I chose this company. The second was because the diving here is good, easy and all locations are very close to the island (30 mins) – you also have a variety of different dive sites such as; deep pinnacles, islands, reefs, boulders and swim-throughs. So you see why I chose this island to do my training right! I can’t think of anywhere else better in the world to do this, and it’s on the route to the philippines! Perfect.
First of all, the course is great! It’s not cheap, but I like to view training in yourself as an investment. This is a quality course and all the diving is included in the price. The only things I paid for was accommodation (which they helped source for me) food and bike rental. And do you know what? I don’t regret a single penny of it. Having a very limited knowledge of camera’s or photography, the learning curve was very steep for me. But the way the course is designed is that you are “drip fed” information so that each day you learn something new – both underwater and with the editing after the dive. The pace of the course was also very good.
The training starts with the complete basics, so I was told how to care for the camera housing, how to spot for leaks and what to do in case of flooding. I was using my own camera but you can also use theirs too. As I mentioned before I really learnt a lot when it came to editing the days clips. You can have the best footage in the world, but it’s poorly edited, it isn’t going to look good!
Andi, the instructor and Co-owner was a pleasure to be around. He spent extra time in helping me with certain things and Tailoring the course to suit my needs. I am not that interested in creating “souvenir DVD’s” for dive resorts – which is what most underwater videographers do. As I am about to travel to some very exotic dive locations I wanted to know more about documentary making and taking good shots above the sea too. So Andi shared his knowledge and camera techniques with me for these situations.
Unfortunately, the island itself is not what I would call paradise. Sure, some of the beaches are nice and if you want to share the island with 1000’s of other “backpackers” – who are all following a trail (sorry, concrete road) that millions of other people have followed before – then this is YOUR PLACE! Sairee beach (the main accommodation and party town) actually reminded me of being in some trashy spanish holiday destination like San Antonio in Ibiza or Magaluf. Personally, I wouldn’t want to travel halfway round the world to have a holiday that I could quite easily have in Europe. You don’t see hardly any thai people here either, 95% of the workers in the restaurants, bars and dive boats are Burmese and pretty much all the dive instructors are western. It’s a shame because I think once upon a time this really was a nice island. Chalok in the south is much nicer. Chilled out vibes and some nice places on the beach there.
The whole point in me doing this course and the only reason I am in Thailand right now is because I didn’t want to visit these spectacular dive sites in the Philippines and Indonesia with a camera I have no idea how to use and an editing program that i don’t even know how to open. I didn’t want to arrive in these places and have to teach myself. This would be complete waste of time. So for these reasons: the time on this island has served it’s purpose and the course with Liquid Media has certainly exceeded my expectations. I’ve learnt much much more than I ever thought I would. These guys are highly recommended in my book!
I can now embark on my journey with the confidence and knowledge that I will be able to take good footage and it will be well edited.
Wish me luck!
Special Thanks to Liquid Media and Andi.
Please contact them via their website for up-to-date prices and availability