Hero Under Water Basic Equipment

So what equipment does it need in addition to a GoPro HD Hero 3/3+ to shoot good videos below the water line? Apart from that it takes a different camera, that is? Of course, it depends: on your demands and standards. However, if you want more than just shooting some short and shaky fun clips à la smart phone quality: please read on for my highly subjective suggestions. From my own experience, these suggestions proved to be practical so far to improve my standards.

But of course, equipment is just one part of the overall equation. Without any skill, competence, and pain even the best equipment never cuts the mustard. But one step after the other...


Impression: Dive Vader and his Light Sabres

Poking the Pike Lightly (BY/D)
Axel again showed his clear eye and shot this funny photo in Friedberger See (a former dredging lake). It was a cloudy, overcast, dull, and cold day. In return, we were the only divers below the wakeboard complex ... and we saw fish, a lot of fish.

Much whiting, and that of course draws a bunch of pikes. There were almost fed up, hanging around motionless, barely taking any notice of us divers. The land of plenty for them, it seems.

Here, I've discovered a tiny pike, just from this year. It tries to not move at all, lurking at the rim of some sea plants, waiting for prey. And it probably hopes that Dive Vader won't grill him with his laser swords...


Hero Protection

In some situations it is impossible use its protective case when shooting footage with your GoPro HD Hero 3. For instance, when I'm filming aerial videos using my DJI Phantom Quadcopter I need to directly mount the cam into the Zenmuse H3-2D gimbal for weight reasons. Unfortunately, dirt and dust stirred up by the propellers' air blast may some day cause scratches on the lens.

Fortunately, GoPro finally took notice of this problem and now offers remedy...


Hero Lights: Light and Motion Sola Video 2000F LED Lamps

Neufelder See (LA/Ö).
When filming under water a well-proven rule of thumb applies in many situations: you need a lot of light to get good footage. Without light you quickly hit unpleasant limits and all you get are grainy shots in dull colors.

However, the wide field of view a GoPro HD Hero 3 cam has to offer isn't exactly easy to illuminate: your lights should feature evenly distributed light cones and yet still cover a significant area, and all this without bright spots. Otherwise you will get the desired bright colors only in a small spot and everything else drowns in darkness and flat colors.

After my previous LED dive and video light had bugged me long enough, I finally made up my mind and invested in decent video LED light: I allowed myself two Sola Video 2000F's by Light and Motion which give real good light. Luckily, they arrived in time to give them a first try in Neufelder See, just at the gates of Vienna...


Big Frame Hunter

Ready to Shoot: The Big Frame Hunter.

Don't get bogged down by these tiny little critters: think big ... think big game hunter. You got the cam, we've got the specialty.

Correct Sidemount!

Make sure your bottles contain only the best stuff...

It was surely about time: the one and only true sidemount specialist training. Deep down you simply want the best ... stuff in your bottles, that is.

PS: Many thanks to Axel for this shot he made in Neufelder See near Vienna.