Saturday, October 20, 2012

Shark Reef - Video!

Doug Seifert's iconic pic of Rusi and our Bulls - do click for (amazing) detail!

Filmed entirely on yesterday's dive.
Kidding! :)

This is footage from the Boat.
We have a camera in the water on every single Shark dive, this principally in order to verify our basic presence/absence data but also, in order to document any unusual behavior.
As insiders know, I usually go walkabout, mostly with Rusi but also solo in order to venture closer to the action but also, in order to record general developments withing the SRMR via a cursory transect, meaning that I also keep tabs on the many Fishes, some of which are highly unusual.
I trust you know your Sharks (do you?) - so here's something about the short Fish segment:
  • 08:04: Scalefin Basslet, Pseudanthias squamipinnis. This is actually the only clip that is not from Shark Reef. It is the signature Fish residing on top of the bommies within Beqa Lagoon.
  • 08:10: Squarespot Basslet,   Pseudanthias pleurotaeniae. This just goes to show that given the necessary dedication, even the smallest Fish can be trained. I went back several times to play back the same jingle to the same individual Fish and one day - bingo!
  • 08:28ff: Garden Eels, the usually very shy deep-water orange-and-white Splendid, Gorgasia preclara amid the common Spotted, Herteroconger hassi, from the sand patch in front of the 25m feed.
  • 08:45: Large-toothed Cardinalfish, Cheilodipterus macrodon, mouth-breeding an egg cluster
  • 8:58: Gray Sandtilefish, Hoplolatilus cuniculus, a shy, deep-water Fish that can be rarely seen on the deep slope to Beqa Channel.
  • 09:05: Yellownose Shrimpgobies, Stonogobiops xanthorhinica, with Randall's Snapping Shrimp Alpheus randalli.
  • 09:13:possibly Flagtail Shrimpgoby, Amblyeleotris cf yanoi - if so, a huge range extension from its type location within the Coral Triangle proper; if not, a new species.
  • 09:17: Blue-and-Yellow Fusilier, Caesio teres.
  • 09:2: Panther Flounder, Bothus pantherinus, more uncommon than the rather ubiquitous and very similar Bothus mancus
  • 09:25: Elliptical Shrimpgoby, Amblyeleotris ellipse, a range extension from its previously only reported location in Samoa.
  • 09:30: Dragonet, likely Morrison's, Synchiropus morrisoni.
  • 09:40: Sharksucker on Sharksucker, Echeneis naucrates, see this paper by Juerg.
  • 11:15ff Giant Trevally, Caranx ignobilis prey on Sharksuckers, Echeneis naucrates. Never recorded before, this is natural predation in an unnatural setting.
Obviously the video is what it is.
My videography is principally utilitarian and this is my second-ever edit in FCP, so there. 
As I want to be able to grab screen shots with minimal motion blur, I've chosen to forgo a more cinematic look in favor of sharpness, and film in 720/50p over-cranked to 60 - but Vimeo requires compression to 30fps that comes at a loss to the original crispiness.
The edit is for our booth at DEMA and has the sole purpose of showcasing alot of Sharks, and for this reason I've indulged in a succession of long sequences that will basically only appeal to real Shark freaks - meaning hopefully you! But it gives a reliable impression of what you can expect to see on our dive, albeit from a different perspective owing to our rigid safety protocols.



Cristina said...

Outstanding mix of sharks,sharks and more sharks with an incredible variety of the other fish.
The details of events during the footage, together with your choice of music make for a video to watch over and over again.
The final clip is simply majestic, it brings home the sheer size of the Tiger Shark and the capabilities of Rusi.

DaShark said...

Grazie Cristina - appreciate! :)

OfficetoOcean said...

Superb sharks, superb footage, superb edit!

Love it!

Sam Cahir said...

Wow, memories!!!!. I loved every second of it. Makes me want to book a ticket to come back. Mike, great job (as always). I loved the cleaning station and for a devote shark photographer I actually enjoyed the fusiliers for the first time in my life. Normally when I see them it's followed by the phrase, F$%#ing Fusiliers and a vow to give up underwater photography!!!.

DaShark said...

Thanks guys, much appreciated!

Sam, you're thinking of the darn stripey DamNselfish who specialize in positioning themselves right on top of the Sharks' eyes - no?
I hate those, too!

Wolfgang Leander said...

Good clip - nicely put together. As far as the "man-eaters" go - the bulls and the tiger - this video simply proves that they are not dangerous (yes, I know - 'potentially', and so on...). They are gorgeous and very graceful animals.

The only thing that I don't quite like is seeing Rusi using a shark wand. What for? Hands are much better than sticks to handle sharks.

DaShark said...

It depends on the individual - some of the Sharks do not like being touched & will bite whatever touches them!
Better the pole than the hand!

And sometimes one needs the extra reach, especially when they come in "hot" - as always, all is situation-dependent!

But if the Shark is mellow and not one of the notorious biters, Rusi will always use his hands.

Billy Mocean said...

Great video mate, love the diversity and the long sequences, gotta show the whole comportment of the animal. Good stuff.

Tim Rock said...

Nicely done video. Love watching the big bulls glide. Last shot is amazing.

Ken Hoppen said...

Great Stuff! A most amazing dive site with so many big fish and run so well!