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Dec 31, 2014

The Underwater GoPro Book

I've spent weeks putting together this instructional eBook for scuba divers who want to get the most out of their GoPro video camera. It's available on iTunes at:

Here are a few screen grabs:

Jill Heinerth writes: Pete Bucknell has just released an important book for avid GoPro users. Available on iBooks, the comprehensive manual offers tips specifically geared to help you overcome issues found while shooting the GoPro in an underwater setting.

Jul 31, 2014

Australian Youth Orchestra: video insight during their concert's interval

I spent the week pointing various cameras at the Australian Youth Orchestra, filming a 16 minute feature for webcast last night. 
The musicians gave great interviews, providing interesting insight for the viewers watching around the world. Have a look:

Need Video work for classical music?

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Jul 21, 2014

Florida Cave Diving: video

A flight to Jacksonville Florida, and a ride to Cave Country to see what the fuss is about: Cave Diving in Florida.

It's a bit of a cult, and the people who dive the caves of Florida are special, it seems to me, different to the rest. The caves are quite deep, and the rivers flow, and there are accidents to learn from.
Such was my gentle introduction to this particular sub-sector of the diving community.

Here's a short film that I think captures the experience of heading into Florida's underground waterways.

Watch more of my videos here

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Jul 8, 2014

Shooting Deep on Air in the North Atlantic

The mission was to shoot footage of rebreather diver: Ralph Towlen gathering seafood from in and around the shipwreck of the Coimbra.

The Coimbra lies at 175 feet below the surface of the North Atlantic. A large wreck, easy to get lost in, and deep, especially considering that I was diving with compressed air with no helium in it.

Nitrogen and CO2 are narcotic gases which at depths below 100 feet become more and more disturbing to brain function as the diver descends. With special training and a thick wallet, divers can replace some of that narcotic nitrogen with helium.

Twenty-five minutes on the bottom, pressing tiny buttons on my camera housing and adjusting lights for bad visibility, followed by about half an hour of decompression on the anchor line and time to come up and be ready to attend to the passengers who would be coming up soon.

Here's a glimpse of a crew member, Andy, jumping in with some gas to spare:

I need help: documentary in process (More info here )

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Jun 25, 2014

Cave Diving in Florida: the underwater river experience

"How to Scare Your Family, in One Easy Lesson"

No-one in my immediate family bats an eyelid at the idea of me scuba diving for a living. However.....  take that hobby deep underground into dark caves that are full of flowing water, and the comments about the films I'm producing become more abusive and emotional.

"That made me feel sick!" wrote my little sister.
"I don't like you doing that Peter. What's wrong with diving in the ocean?" wrote Mum.

Even to me, the idea of swimming along narrow corridors of springing water, pitch black but for the beams of light shooting from our thousand dollar torches... well I question it too, especially during occasional, fleeting moments of doubt during our journeys away from safety, near the turning point of the dive, and we are at maximum penetration. "What am I doing here? This is crazy. Go back."
But controlling the natural flight response is part of the deal, and if you can't do that, you don't pass your training anyway.
Many divers who successfully complete full cave training never venture into a cave again. It's an adventure that many prefer to avoid once they see and feel what's involved mentally.

Tiger Woods is a certified cave diver. There was a photo of him at the dive shop where I was staying in Gainesville, posing with the owner. Apparently his sponsors have banned him from the sport. Too risky for Nike.

Florida's caves have water flowing through them, and the flow can be quite strong, to the point where you have to drag yourself in and along, much like a rock climber, only without so much gravity. Doing this with a video camera and lights takes some getting used to. It's not for the faint of heart.

The caves in Florida tend to be deeper than the ones I trained in in Mexico. Watch the Video.
A hundred foot dive in a cave such as Ginnie Springs can incur a good bit of decompression as you near the surface. Hanging around at ten to twenty feet can be fun if you are warm enough. 25 minutes can slip by quickly surrounded by all the natural colors of the river, autumn browns and tropical blues.
Ryan Christie doing Deco
The fun part for many is the 'going with the flow' part of the dive.
This past week, we would dive into the flow at the beginning, having calculated how much gas we would like to keep for the return journey and a reserve for pear-shaped situations.  The exit leg of the journey, aided by the laws of water dynamics, would be more of a joy ride without much kicking, more steering than anything, and with the knowledge that you have already fit through any and all restrictions on the way in, well it's comforting. It's mainly the navigation that you have to keep at your mind's forefront.

We all read the accident reports and learn from them, following a set of rules that has been developed and fine tuned by those who have gone before us. It might seem crazy, but we wouldn't do it if we didn't all love it.

Just added this video to youtube:

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May 9, 2014

Cave Diving: the dark sister of scuba diving

Down in Mexico, there are holes in the earth that extend miles away from sunlight.
Some of us dive in them....

I need help: documentary in process (More info here )

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Apr 7, 2014

Cozumel: new dive sites discovered to the North

Aldora Divers have been exploring the Northern reefs, and made some exciting discoveries:

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Mar 21, 2014

Wreck Trek and some spear fishing with John Chatterton

Pompano, South Florida has some great diving. 
Here's a short film that captures a couple of dives, one with Diving legend: John Chatterton.

I need help: documentary in process (More info here )

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