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Video: 4K UltraHD 2160p underwater stock footage Demo Reel

Here is some 2160p footage from my first extended underwater stock footage shoot with our new fully decked out 4K UltraHD rig. After nearly 100 dives with the Gates/Sony Z100, I finally feel like I know how to get the best out of this system.

The major new additions on this 14-day shoot were a redesigned tripod—now a pentapod, actually—and the magnificent new monitor from TVLogic and Gates.

I remember upgrading to HD in 2006 and the talk was all about how critical the focus was, and how difficult it was to achieve. UltraHD takes that to a whole new level. The shallow depth of field videographers had been begging for (and flocking to DSLRs to achieve) is now here in spades. For my first fifty 4K dives in California and Noosa I had fumbled along with assorted monitors that were on the small side and lacked peaking functionality; throw in some pretty poor viz, and I hadn’t really appreciated just how sharp the images could (or should) be.

Although it still feels like a new camera to me, at least now I am getting consistently sharp, stable images without thinking too much about it. And so once again I am able to enjoy the real work of studying through the lens the complex species interrelationships that make the underwater realm fascinating, fragile, and resilient.

All footage here was shot on our recent Solomon Islands expedition aboard the Bilikiki, and below is a shot list of what’s in the video.


Time What
0:00 Manta ray (Manta alfredi) approaching and passing overhead
0:08 Exposed reef dominated by Fire coral (Millepora sp.)
0:15 Flounder (Bothus sp.) follows Kuhls stingray (Neotrygon kuhlii) as the ray feeds and disturbs the sand
0:26 Clark’s anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkii) in Heteractis crispa anemone
0:37 Spotted shrimpgoby (Amblyeleotris guttata) keeps lookout and displays to intruders as shrimp (Alpheus ochrostriatus) do the heavy lifting of burrow maintenance; shrimp maintain antennae contact with the shrimpgoby at all times
0:59 Glossodoris electra nudibranch charging across the sand
1:03 Target shrimpgobies (Cryptocentrus strigilliceps) prefer the silty sand habitat found in protected caverns and overhangs
1:06 Lionfish (Pterois volitans) stalks then eats something on the sand
1:10 Clownfish (Amphiprion percula) tending their eggs
1:18 Pink anemonefish (Amphiprion perideraion) in an Heteractis magnifica anemone form large family groups
1:22 “Plucked Chicken” pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus denise) looking around for grub
1:29 Red-margin shrimpgoby (Amblyeleotris rubrimarginata) displaying to intruders on sea grass slope; shrimp (Alpheus bellulus) housekeeping, and Dugong grass (Halophila ovalis) showing heavy epiphyte growth
1:40 Pair of Decorated dartfish (Nemateleotris decora)
1:45 Segmented blenny (Salarias segmentatus) chased away by angry damsel
1:51 Porcupinefish (Diodon hystrix) love train
1:55 Manta rays (Manta alfredi) feeding at the upwelling in a ripping current
2:02 Bigeye trevally (Caranx sexfasciatus) and Scad
2:06 Bigeye trevally (Caranx sexfasciatus)
2:10 Chevron barracuda (Sphyraena qenie) circling, Vlaming’s unicornfish (Naso vlamingii) waiting below
2:14 Titan triggerfish (Balistoides viridescens) breaking off and moving rubble, Checkerboard wrasse (Halichoeres hortulanus) hoping for scraps
2:30 Flatworm obliviously swimming toward a Java moray (Gymnothorax javanicus), passes without trouble
2:46 The convoluted growth form of the Barrel sponge (Xestospongia testudinaria) offers a range of nooks and crannies for invertebrates and their hunters—such as this juvenile Canary wrasse (Halichoeres chrysus)
2:41 Isolated Staghorn coral colonies like this one often host dense cardinalfish and damselfish populations; during the day, damsels feed up in the water column above while cardinals rest in safety, at night the positions reverse
2:46 Japan armina cruising the black sand looking for sea pens to eat
2:54 Twinspot gobies (Signigobius biocellatus) filter mouthfuls of sand in a small territory, usually under a ledge or shear face, and maintain their own underground escape tunnels
3:16 Trimma gobies have tiny territories that they defend aggressively; this is a good spot for ambushing passing plankton. This particular species is not yet described, but referred to as “RW sp.70”
3:20 These Lizardfish (Synodus sp.) were vibrating and slowly changing colours at dusk
3:08 Tiny juvenile Star puffer hiding from a strong current behind a small rock
3:23 Broadclub cuttlefish (Sepia latimanus) are a common reef species
3:26 This male Mimic cardinalfish (Cheilodipterus parazonatus) broods a mouthful of eggs that he needs to aerate
3:20 Eyespot blenny—my blenny of the week—typically predictable, easy to shoot, and entertaining to watch
3:30 Crinoid clingfish (Discotrema monogrammum) make a home in the arms of crinoids
3:38 Caverns and cracks in walls are always occupied by various species of Soldierfish (Holocentridae), joined here by Gold-lined sea bream (Gnathodentex aureolineatus)
3:41 Fusiliers are found at the leading edge of every coral reef
3:46 This brand-spanking new tuna boat sank perfectly vertically after being dragged off the reef in a disastrous salvage attempt; it makes for an unusual and disorientating dive site

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Alex Bean
8 years ago

Simply stunning. Thanks for sharing this amazing work!

Bill McAdory
8 years ago

I recently returned from the same trip and shot HD video with my camera. It was okay, but left me desiring more. I was truly stunned by your videos and the quality. Further, your composition is next to none! Thanks!!!

8 years ago

Brilliant work this one. Can watch it over and over.

7 years ago

As always, I am amazed at your talent. Recognized a few places we may have shared together……I will be in touch soon for help on a project. Thanks!
Robert J. Arnold

6 years ago

How can I buy this video? I love it!

Sharad kol
6 years ago

Can’t I download to watch it offline??

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