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Endless Gravity | A Mesmerizing Underwater Video Shot In 14-Bit Raw

By Hanssie on June 29th 2015

As a homeschooling parent and former aspiring marine biologist, any field trip that involves the aquarium, sea life or sea creatures will see my daughter and I. We’ve trekked the hallways of many a sea life theme park and ooh’ed and ahh’ed over what seems like countless slimy and colorful sea creatures in pretty much every field trip worthy location in California. There’s just something about the ocean, water, and sea creatures that have captivated my attention since I was a child myself. I’m in awe of the beauty that is found below the surface of our oceans; some never have been seen by humans before!

endless-gravity-underwater-1

One of my favorite sights in an aquarium is the jellyfish. They float about in silent beauty, their translucent bodies luminescent in the dark caverns of an aquarium hallway. I’ve many a photograph of jellyfish from our field trips, and they remain one of my favorite creatures to see there. I’d not want to encounter one in real life, though.

[REWIND: SURROUNDED BY MILLIONS OF JELLYFISH | PHOTOGRAPHS BY NADIA ALY]

Cinematographer and photographer Alex Soloviev was also inspired by these free-swimming marine mammals the first time he saw them. Back then, he knew exactly how he wanted them to look on film, but didn’t have the equipment nor experience to execute his vision. A few years later, armed with a Canon 6D, Alex made his way to a local aquarium to create this beautiful video.

With a goal in mind of making it look like he was filming these creatures in their natural habitat on the ocean floor, Alex shot in RAW with mix of 1080p and 2.5k shots downscaled to 1080p in post. He spent much time looking for the correct lighting and angles, shooting wide open to expose properly and try to keep his objects in focus, all while fighting the reflections of the glass (for which he used Marumi’s CP-L filter to help) and avoiding other aquarium attendees. He wasn’t able to bring in a tripod (for obvious reasons), but a Kamerar viewfinder helped stabilize the shots.

He used VAF to eliminate aliasing and had to remove it for 2.5k shots. Using a Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8, a Canon 50mm f/1.4 and a Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 at f/3.2 and f/3.5, ISO 800. He then graded and stabilized the footage in Davinci Resolve Lite, exported to Cineform 10 bit AVI, then did the final curves and editing in Sony Vegas.

The result, a hypnotic underwater peek at some gorgeous sea creatures. The video was also picked as a Vimeo Staff Pick.

See more of Alex Soloviev’s work on his Vimeo.

About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com. Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Dave Haynie

    They certainly are beautiful… from a distance. And the lighting here is amazing. But I don’t like them in the water with me!

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  2. Tanya Goodall Smith

    Wow, this is mesmerizing.

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  3. Jesper Ek

    Under water is always great!

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  4. Brandon Dewey

    cool video!

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  5. Graham Curran

    I agree that one of the most photogenic exhibits at marine aquaria are the jelly-fish, they tend to be displayed with good lighting and it t is easier to photograph them than most fish because of the thick glass and poor lighting..

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