Mark Gee - taking time-lapse underwater

Mark Gee is famed for looking up. His astrophotography has kept us mesmerised and feeling very, very tiny for years now (have you seen his Sunset to Sunrise lapse?!), but for his latest project, he's decided to take his time-lapsing in the complete opposite direction - underwater.

Read on for a short Q+A with Mark about how it all went down.

What were your main challenges with getting the final time-lapses?

Finding suitable rock pools for the setup was the biggest challenge - I needed to rig the Syrp Magic Carpet, Genie and Genie Mini across the rock pool just above water level, so it couldn’t be too wide. Height of the rock pool walls and water level was also a consideration, as was the amount of plant/animal life within the rock pool itself.

Set-up times sometimes took up to an hour, especially with the over/underwater transitions. Getting the timing and submerging of the camera was a critical factor, as was avoiding any obstacles in the rock pool. These were certainly things I wouldn’t have to consider for regular time-lapses.

Where/when did you come up with the idea for it?

At the start of this year I was experimenting with different ideas for time-lapses. I originally just wanted to capture the tide coming in over some rocks with the camera ending up underwater. I started with a locked off shot with no motion control which was quite successful, but the cool thing I noticed from that time-lapse, was how much the sea snails on the rocks moved around over time. I took this idea and expanded on it to use motion control and do a over to underwater transition. I didn’t know how successful it would be, but the first test I ever did of that just happens to be the first shot in the film.

What did you use for post processing?

I usually shoot astro timelapses, and with those there is a certain amount of processing that happens in Lightroom. But with the underwater footage from the GoPro, I simply took the image sequence through Adobe After Effects and did basic colour grading and any additional stabilisation.

 

Oct 16, 2017