Wildlife Filmmaking A 4-week experiential learning masterclass

This wildlife filmmaking training program is run by my wildlife media company – Africa Media.

Develop, film edit, and produce your own five minute wildlife film documentary in the heart of one of Southern Africa’s premium wildlife game reserves.

Whether you just have a desire to film Africa’s fascinating wildlife, or you are aiming for a career in the competitive world of wildlife film making, then this training program is for you. Our wildlife film making course is specifically designed to offer a practical introduction into the world of wildlife film making, and the work of camera operators, directors, producers, script-writers and the diverse positions required to produce and broadcast a successful wildlife documentary.

Come and make your own wildlife film making documentary, starting from concept and ending at TV screen, under the guidance and direction of passionate and experienced filmmakers. Revel in this unique environment and wildlife, and experience the highs, lows and challenges that wildlife film makers face daily when attempting to bring to life the wonders of nature. Walk away with a high quality five minute documentary showcasing your ability as a film maker.

Quick Info

Student portfolios

View all the final documentaries of our alumni from the wildlife filmmaking program –VIEW PORTFOLIOS HERE

Program dates
  • 1 – 28 March (S.Africa)
  • 1 – 28 April (S.Africa)
  • 1-  28 May (S.Africa)
  • 1 – 28 June (S.Africa)
  • 1 – 28 July (S.Africa)
  • 1 – 28 August (S.Africa)
  • 1 – 28 September (S.Africa)
  • 1 – 28 October (Moz.)
  • 1 – 28 November (Moz.)
Syllabus

The program is structured around a 9 day filming expedition living on one of South Africa’s iconic wildlife game reserves. Full syllabus can be viewed here – VIEW PROGRAM SYLLABUS

FAQ's

I have answered all the most common questions that student interns have here on the programs FAQ page. VIEW FAQ PAGE

Testimonials

Many of our past interns and students have taken the time to write about their personal experience with Africa Media. Here are some of those: VIEW TESTIMONIALS

Start your adventure

Delve into the world of wildlife filmmaking in the heart of Africa

Shark Development Program A 4-week experiential learning masterclass

(Link to the Blue Wilderness – Shark Research Unit.)

Our shark development program is run by the Blue Wilderness Shark Research Unit – Giving you the skills to  work as a shark specialist

The Shark Research Unit welcomes students and enthusiasts on its internationally acclaimed shark development program. Almost anyone can join our dedicated team and develop skills in shark diving, research, conservation and education.

Participants learn snorkeling, diving and scientific techniques to collect data that is vital to the management of some of the world’s vulnerable shark species. As a team member at the Shark Research Unit, you will be the driving force in our education and conservation programs, as well as ensuring the ongoing success of our dedicated shark and ecosystem level research programs. In addition to shark diving and snorkeling with up to five species of sharks, participants will be working in the Aliwal Shoal Marine Protected Area, one of South Africa’s most pristine and important marine biodiversity hotspots.

Quick Info

Location

The Shark Research Unit of Blue Wilderness is located in the small coastal town of Scottburgh, South Africa. It lies directly opposite the world famous shark hotspot – Aliwal Shoal Marine Protected Area. 

Program dates
  • 1 – 28 March
  • 1 – 28 April
  • 1 – 28 May
  • 1 – 28 June
  • 1 – 28 July
  • 1 – 28 August
  • 1 – 28 September
  • 1 – 28 October
  • 1 – 28 November
Syllabus

Please take time to view the program training syllabus VIEW PROGRAM SYLLABUS 

FAQ's

We have answered many of the common questions students ask us on our programs FAQ page. VIEW FAQ PAGE

Start your adventure

Develop your career as a specialist in shark research, education, conservation and ecotourism

(Link to the Blue Wilderness – Shark Research Unit.)

Underwater Videography A 4-week experiential learning masterclass

Our underwater videography internship programs is run exclusively through my media company – Africa Media

Learn vital skills for shooting under the waves. A hand-selected team personally trained by renowned uw photographer Fiona Ayerst will guide you through these essentials. Come to tropical Mozambique or adventurous Durban.

Acquire the knowledge and practical skills required to master the art of underwater photography and videography while exploring the incredible diversity of the stunning coral reefs of the warm Indian Ocean. The course uses  dSLR cameras in Sea&Sea housings; DSLR and panasonic video and GoPros together with exceptional LED lighting and accessories.

Developed by internationally acclaimed underwater photographer, journalist and conservationist Fiona Ayerst, this course will empower students to see and explore the underwater realm in a totally new and intimate manner. We focus on becoming part of the marine world; using specialised breathing techniques and capitalising on the natural curiosity of the marine inhabitants. Fiona’s team will teach you how to capture the perfectly exposed and composed images and film. Creativity and new techniques are key.

Quick Info

Student portfolios

View all the videos filmed and edited by our alumni on the underwater videography program – VIEW VIDEO PORTFOLIOS HERE

Program dates
  • 1 – 28 March (S.Africa)
  • 1 – 28 April (S.Africa)
  • 1-  28 May (S.Africa)
  • 1 – 28 June (S.Africa)
  • 1 – 28 July (S.Africa)
  • 1 – 28 August (S.Africa)
  • 1 – 28 September (S.Africa)
  • 1 – 28 October (Moz.)
  • 1 – 28 November (Moz.)
Syllabus

The underwater videography programs full 4 week syllabus can be viewed here – VIEW PROGRAM SYLLABUS

FAQ's

I have answered all the most common questions that student have regarding the underwater videography program on our FAQ page. VIEW FAQ PAGE

Testimonials

Many of our past interns and students have taken the time to write about their personal experience with Africa Media. Here are some of those: VIEW TESTIMONIALS

Start your adventure

Master the art of underwater videography in tropical Mozambique and stunning Aliwal Shoal. 

PADI Openwater Diver Become a qualified SCUBA diver in four days
The PADI Open water course is where it all begins, this is your foundation course that will qualify you to dive anywhere in the world to a maximum depth of 18 meters. Millions of people all around the world have learned to SCUBA dive with the PADI Open water course and have continued to discover the wonders of the underwater world.
Academics

PADI’s online training program is designed so that you can learn the academics at your own pace, when it is convenient for you. You can complete the academics online at your own time and keep the book and quizzes handy on your mobile device or laptop/desktop, never to be lost!

Equipment

In the PADI Open Water Diver course, you learn to use scuba gear, including a mask, snorkel, fins, regulator, buoyancy control device, a tank, a compass and a surface marker buoy, that you learn to deploy yourself. The thickness of the wetsuit you wear may change if you live or travel in a warmer climate,  but in Mossel Bay you will learn in a 5mm with a hoodie to ensure you stay warm during training

Pool Training

When you’re fitted with your scuba equipment you can begin your pool training at Oceans Hotel in Voorbaai. Fiona will put into practice the techniques you learned in the academics program. Your training dives will be logged and approved by Fiona before you move on to open water.

Open Water Training

Get ready to experience everything you’ve learned with the freedom of open water. As soon as your open water training dives are approved by Fiona you will be a certified diver. PADI Open Water Diver certification is recognized worldwide to a depth of 18 meters so your diving experiences will be limitless.

Quick Info

Location

I run my SCUBA diving training courses in Mossel Bay, South Africa

Course dates

I run my PADI Openwater training courses on a adhoc basis. When you indicate your interest, we can chat and make a date that is most suitable for you. 

Eligibility

To participate in a PADI open-water program you must obtain a medical clearance from a GP stating that you have no respiratory issues. All students must be 14 years or over to participate. 

  • Will my certification be recognized internationally?
    Yes! Your diving certification is not just limited to South Africa but is valid worldwide. PADI is the most widely recognized diving certification agency in the world – almost 80% of all recreational divers get certified through PADI. This means that your certification will be recognized wherever you go!

 

  • How safe is it to scuba dive?
    Statistically, scuba diving is one of the safest sports there is out there, with very few injuries. Part of the reason for this is that divers get trained very well, and if you stick to the rules there is very little that can go wrong.

 

  • What open water reef do we dive on in Mossel Bay? We will dive on Santos reef for the most partThis reef forms the Western border of Mossel Bay’s main swimming beach. Depth ranges from 2-7m. There is a colourful garden of feather worms, sea fans, red bait, octopus and abundant schools of blacktail. On the edge of the reef, “Sand dollars” can be found.

 

  • What about sharks in Mossel Bay? Sharks are a bit like dogs – there are a few different types in Mossel Bay. You get big ones, small ones, cute ones, ugly ones… some are friendly and some not so friendly. There are some shark species that we specifically go to look for at times, as they present no danger to humans and are really nice to see while diving. Seeing a Great White shark on a normal scuba dive in Mossel Bay is extremely rare – between our staff, we have thousands of dives under the belt and we have never seen one! However, there are no fences in the ocean, which means that there is always a chance of meeting one on a dive. Meeting a shark underwater does not mean that it will attack you, however. Scientists say that shark attacks on human are normally a case of mistaken identity, for example, a surfer on the surface might look like a seal to a shark. Scuba divers, however, spend most of their time under the water and not on the surface and as such do not look like a Great White’s natural prey. The noise from the tanks bubbles also tends to scare them away!

 

  • Is the water cold around Mossel Bay?
    Mossel Bay’s water is not tropical, but we wear wetsuits to keep us warm when we go diving. We believe that there is no such thing as cold water – only divers that are incorrectly dressed!

 

  • What do I need to bring with me?
    You need to bring the following:•    A towel•    Swimming clothes•    A snack to eat and something to drink during the day•    Coral friendly sunscreen with an adequate SPF factor;
  • Can I drive with you to the dive site from the kit up area?
    Yes, you can.

 

  • Can you take pictures of me while diving?
    We have an underwater camera. Please note that booking is essential for this and an extra fee would be applicable so if you are interested please let us know.

 

  • How old do I need to be to do the diving course?
    You can do a youth dive course in a 2 m pool from age 8. You need to be 10 years old to dive in open water. Divers between ages 10 and 15 will receive a PADI junior open water certification, which is automatically upgraded to a full open water certification once they reach the age of 15.

 

  • How fit do I need to be to scuba dive?
    You do not need to be very fit, but you do need to be reasonably healthy and should be able to swim. Please download the PADI Medical Questionnaire here, and if you answer “yes” to any of the questions on there, you would need a note from your doctor to say that you are healthy enough to scuba dive.

 

  • I don’t have any friends that scuba dive in Mossel Bay – who can I dive with after I get certified?
    We have some contacts in other cities, and ideas for you to keep diving on guided dives after your certification. Speak to Fiona to see which will work the best for you.

 

  • What’s next after I qualify?
    Once you have qualified as an open water diver, you can take part in the following programs:•    Guided dives – use your qualification to explore underwater.•    Diving holidays – sign up for one of our scuba holidays and get to dive in the best diving destinations in the world•    The PADI advanced open water course.  This is a very practical course full of the exciting adventures that can be had underwater – like wreck diving, boat diving, deep diving, and underwater photography.

 

  • Can I buy this scuba course as a gift for someone?
    Of course, what a great Christmas Present. We can email you a voucher that you can give to a friend as a gift. This voucher will be valid for one year.

Start your adventure

Explore the wilds of Africa as an environmental and travel journalist intern with Africa Media

In the heart of the Swartland, the Tinie Versveld Reserve (Tienie if you are Afrikaans speaking) is a 20ha slot of farmland about 14 km outside of Darling, on the R315 between Yzerfontein and Darling. The land was donated by Oom Tienie (Marthinus Versveld) to the National Botanical Society of South Africa. This unpretentious reserve is open to all, and there is no entry fee. This gem of a flower reserve is uncommercialised. It is best known for its bulbs flowering from early August to mid-September. You’ll also find the graves of Oom Tienie and his wife, Beatrice (a.k.a Baby). There are also plenty of wild birds, and you’ll often find a wobble of ostriches on the field, just over the R315.

This reserve comprises of different veld types such as Sand-, Strand-, and Renoster-veld and Rietvlei. In fact, Swartland Renosterveld is one of the most endangered types of vegetation in the world, much of it having been lost to the plough. Only 4 % of pristine Renosterveld remains and only 1.6 % in reserves such as this one. The mix of soils helps to ensure the considerable array and diversity of the plants that pop out of the earth here.

This was our first ‘real’ flower stop and even Ryan got down and dirty, photographing the flowers. Finn wouldn’t let him stand up again and planted his foot firmly on Ryan’s back. That was the only time I ever saw Ryan attempt this position in the flower fields !!

fi ayerst

Hi, I’m Fiona. I love cats, sharks, reading, writing and being underwater.

The total time required to walk around thoroughly is approximately two hours. My only suggestion would be a few rustic wooden benches so that people could sit and absorb the quiet beauty of this remarkable place. Unfortunately, I think we were around a week to 10 days too late as I could see that many of the flowers had already gone to seed even though it was only 24 August! I’d suggest seeing this reserve in mid-August. It also appeared that some of the canola being farmed in the background had spread its seeds onto the wildflowers

…….and for the edification of those who were wondering…..Geophytes are plants typically with underground storage organs, where the plants hold energy or water. A broad synonym for a geophyte is bulb, but it is far more diverse than that.

Other reserves worth visiting if you are on this flower route path – are the Darling Renosterveld Reserve, The Groenekloof Renosterveld Reserve and the Waylands Flower Reserve.

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One thing I did struggle with a little whilst travelling was having a clear direction. In other words, which way to go first and then where to go from there. I’ll be covering this in blogs going forward and ending all of them with suggestions.

You’ll find this reserve on the R315 in-between Darling and Yzerfontein, but closer to Darling- around a 10-15 min drive. I’d suggest you take a minimum stay of two nights in Darling or surrounds, to explore all the small reserves in this area. Three nights would be perfect if you have the time. Most flowers are usually best viewed between 10 am and 4 pm on a warm-ish sunny day. Ideally, the temperature needs to be around 16-24 degrees C. Bear in mind that some flowers are evening blooms but in this area, and for me, the best array of colours were in the middle of the day. 

Fiona 30 September 2020

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Fiona Profile

Blogger: Fiona Ayerst

Fiona is an award winning professional underwater and environmental photojournalist. Her work is published and portrayed throughout the world in numerous magazines, blogs and sites. Between May and October annual, Fiona manages Africa Media’s environmental and travel journalism internship program. 

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Dubbed the best in decades, and South Africa’s epic wildflower 2020 season is still blooming. I’ve been rather uselessly, trying to get to the West Coast of South Africa for the past five years, in time to see the little beauties. Looking back into my camera metadata from those past years, I know that I have been around two weeks late, as a general rule. Hmmm sounds too familiar! 

Anyway, this year, the Coronavirus lock-down happened to ease up on the exact day Ryan, Finn and I decided that we’d been inside for too long.  No shrinking violets us- we decided that a West Coast trip was necessary. We also knew that there’d been good rains all over the Western Cape in March/April 2020 as we had little else to do but watch the weather (I wish). I had an idea that this probably meant it’d be a good year to view fields adorned in colour and social media was beginning to burble on this topic. I could not go through any more FOMO.

We had no idea! 

We had no idea how correct we were; it was going to be a bumper year. Secondly, we had no idea exactly where we were going. We just knew we had to get away. I’m sure the entire world knows what “cabin-fever’ means right now. We had it! Lastly, we had no idea how to camp, and it was too late to arrange accommodation plus we were low on funds from having to close down all streams of revenue during the pandemic.

 

fi ayerst

Hi, I’m Fiona. I love cats, sharks, reading, writing and being underwater.

We also had very little camping equipment; however, a last-minute decision requires compromise, and we were prepared to do that. We had a 30-year-old tent on a trailer and also a Vito van that would triple up as our wheels; a bed and also a mini-studio. 

With two days of preparation, we hit the road running and headed off in search of freedom and flowers. 

My next few blogs posts are about the epic journey and sight that we found! In this one, I’ll begin with our first proper sighting. This field of gorgeousness happened to be entirely white and followed on from a blanketing of snow across the local mountains. 

These daisies Dimorphotheca pluvialis, are commonly known as rain daisies. This species is native to South Africa and is an annual and grows in a blanket, up to around 40 cm tall after good rains. I think it resembles snow. African snow anyway!

I asked Finn to model for me as a foil for the white, and as luck would have it, he was wearing black, which I think works rather well! 

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I found this field somewhere on the R315 somewhere between Malmesbury and Darling. These were actually all over the roads in that area and on the R46 near Riebeeck-Kasteel. After we photographed this field I knew that there were great things to come. I look forward to taking you on my journey over the next few months. 

Fiona September 2020

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Fiona Profile

Blogger: Fiona Ayerst

Fiona is an award winning professional underwater and environmental photojournalist. Her work is published and portrayed throughout the world in numerous magazines, blogs and sites. Between May and October annual, Fiona manages Africa Media’s environmental and travel journalism internship program. 

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“She is a sunflower! She brings hope to people”

-Avijeet Das

Let’s face it, we all need to feel a little golden ray of happiness and hope right now. This is why… I bring you…………. sunflowers.

Is it the colour of their bright golden mustard and butter yellow heads that initially attracts us?  Alternatively, could it be the shape of the head, wide open and friendly, a smile plastered across the face? Perhaps, it’s the perceived strength of the perfectly green stem and generous fleshy leaves. Most people I meet love sunflowers. They appear to be an emblem of warmth, happiness and hope to people.   Vincent van Gogh painted many sunflower scenes, vases full of them and also fields choc-a-bloc with colour. The juxtaposition of rich buttery yellow and deep purplish blue, remains embedded in my mind without me having looked at one of his paintings for many years.

You may have heard that a young sunflower faces east at dawn and greets the sun, then slowly turns west as the sun moves across the sky. Scientists explain this by circadian rhythms – which are behavioural changes tied to an internal clock (that humans also have), which follow a roughly 24 hour cycle. 

During the night, the sunflower’s head slowly turns back east to begin the cycle again. But how does it do this? The research shows that the turning is a result of different sides of the stem elongating at different times of day.

fi ayerst

Hi, I’m Fiona. I love cats, sharks, reading, writing and being underwater.

To see a video of how this works in graphic form – check this short video

https://youtu.be/GCRNHdGXTi4

Why is this important for the sunflower? It was found that if they could not move towards the sun whilst growing, those flowers were weaker and smaller thus ultimately affecting the whole plant. Mature sunflowers respond differently to the sun. As growth slows down, the circadian clock ensures that the plant reacts more strongly to light early in the morning than in the afternoon or evening, so it gradually stops moving during the day. Continuously east-facing large and strong, mature blooms heat up faster and this helps them to attract five times as many helpful pollinators. Apparently, bees like warm flowers too.

The circadian clock’s adaptive function regulates the timing and strength of growth responses to environmental signals. The mature heads stand steadfast and smile up to the sun to ripen.  In this way they ensure the next generation of sunflowers survives. Incredible!

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There are cartfuls of other incredible animals living in the sunflowers but as I was only on the farm for two short days I decided to concentrate on the blooms. I saw many bees and caterpillars but I didn’t have the time to shoot them on macro , and so decided to leave that for another year.  I saw a puff adder but she wasn’t keen to be photographed,  so I left her to snooze in the sun. The cosmos had no chance against my trusty Nikon D800. It was the beginning of the season, but lining the verges of many a dusty South African country road, Cosmos the hues of coconut-ice,  turns a road trip into a riot of colour in late March annually. 

All photos were shot by me and taken at or near the gorgeous Vastrap farm owned and farmed by award winning cattleman Quentin de Bruyn and his wife Marisa, in Ladybrand in the Free State, South Africa. 

Fiona March 2020

 

 

 

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Fiona Profile

Blogger: Fiona Ayerst

Fiona is an award winning professional underwater and environmental photojournalist. Her work is published and portrayed throughout the world in numerous magazines, blogs and sites. Between May and October annual, Fiona manages Africa Media’s environmental and travel journalism internship program. 

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Underwater Photography An introduction into documenting the underwater world

It’s almost time for my next beginner’s underwater photography course at Gozo Azul in Ponta do Ouro. It’s super easy to get into the town these days on the new tar road. Hosted by the co-owners of Gozo Azul, Natalie and Marcus,  I’m always excited to get back to the diverse and rich Ponto reef.  I love to teach in Ponto. Firstly, the weather and conditions in the protected bay are indeed a natural wonder, and this means we always get to dive and complete our course. Secondly, we will be diving in a marine reserve and as a result, the reefs and fish life are in great condition.

This vibey little town is still a great place for divers and non-divers alike. There is a safe swimming beach a short, 5/10-minute walk from virtually anywhere so if you want to bring a non-diving spouse or friend they can go snorkelling or fishing, 4 x4 adventuring or walking on the beaches.

They could also take a dolphin trip with local legendary dolphin lady and guru Angie Gullan who you can find here. It’s a fascinating and quirky little town with some quaint markets, restaurants and shops to explore.

Cost

R6450 p.p

includes:

  • 4 x nights accommodation
  • 6 x dives with rental gear
  • Course tuition

Here’s some info on what I cover to start my students out on this fantastic adventure of underwater photography.

Day one: 

We meet for a  wake-me-up caffeine kick and then delve into your underwater camera, and it’s buttons and settings; we take a look at possible upgrades and why you could or should. Next, we move into the basics of shooting in all the modes your camera will allow including the ultimate – full manual mode.  We will talk about maintenance and preparation of your equipment, and by then you’ve had enough of me talking, and it’s time to set up your equipment.  After a lunch break, we will spend a few hours in the pool practising everything learned in the morning session. Here you can ask me loads of questions. We will prep. the cameras for the next day. After a quick shower and tea, there’s an overview of the Adobe Lightroom workspace and how to download your photos safely. A quick dinner and you’ll be in bed early as it’s a long day for your brain!

Day two:

Whoop Whoop- it’s time to dive baby.  We will do a pre-dive briefing on the photographic skills we are using for the day and then we hit the water with a vengeance. We do two dives, and they are usually both macro dives on this first dive day. After a well-deserved lunch and perhaps a power nap, it’s back to some theory. We’ll be downloading and looking at your shots from the morning and learning more about the Lightroom library area at the same time. After the crit. Session and a coffee we will get back into some more theory and cover such topics as wide-angle shooting; perfect strobe placement; use of ambient light; reading the ‘peak of the moment’. Adobe Lightroom work for the day includes a look at the develop module. We will set up our cameras for day 3 and then it’s time to chill and enjoy the Moz vibes.

Day three:

As usual, there’s a pre-dive briefing on the photographic skills we will practise and today it’s wide-angle we are concentrating on. We whip around the reefs on 2 spectacular dives and then it’s time to feed the ravenous and have a nap. Same as day two, we do a crit session and then it’s time to choose some photos that really worked and some that really didn’t and to do a group discussion- helping each other to find out why- based on what you’ve been taught. Now, it’s time to really apply the knowledge you’ve acquired over the past 2 days. I will preside of course !! The Lightroom work for the day includes a look at the remaining modules, esp. the slideshow module and how to watermark and export correctly. We get the cameras ready for the last 2 dives – Yes- there are 2 more dives on this course. Fantastic. Six dives will definitely help you to get your skills deeply practised.

Day four:

On this day you can choose whether you’d like to do macro or wide-angle and I’ll be guiding you through some new techniques and introducing some new concepts. I’ll give you some examples of shots I’d like you to try and re-create, using your shiny new skills. After these two dives, there’s a short lunch gap (and maybe a nap if you eat fast) before attacking those computers to prepare our slide-shows in Lightroom. I’ll also show you how to get your best shots out onto social media, appropriately watermarked and resized so they can’t be stolen. After all, they’ll be THAT desirable! On this final evening, we will present a combined slideshow and presentation of certificates whilst enjoying a braai.

That’s a wrap.

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I had the pleasure of being asked by Scubascene to test and review the D910 V video light this month. 

Size: excellent travel size within its case. The torch itself is quite small and only weighs 430g. Easy to work with and not at all cumbersome as it is only 130cm in length.
Contents in the box very well presented and packaged torch, orange band for the torch, two-part charger (cable with magnetic contact and AC/DC adapter), spare o-rings, small user manual, warranty card, ball joint.
Output Rating: There are three neutral white light output settings to choose from on this impressive torch – 5000 lumens at high, 2000 lumens at medium, and 500 lumens at low. This is an Incredibly powerful light to bring light and colour back into your underwater footage.
Pressure tested to 150 meters.
Runtime: at high (5000 lumen) runtime is 50 minutes, at medium (2000 lumen) runtime is 2 hours and 10 minutes, and at low (500 lumens) the runtime is 8 hours and 50 minutes. This is very handy as you can adjust the brightness and power based on the amount of ambient light you have and increase running time. Charging time is 2.5 hours. 
Beam: the beam angle is 120 degrees which provides a nice wide light and ensures you don’t have any concentrated spotlight interfering with your film footage. A diffuser could be added for a softer wider beam.

fi ayerst

Hi, I’m Fiona. I love cats, sharks, reading, writing and being underwater.

Lights: central CREE LED light array which has three modes, changeable by a single titanium alloy switch on the dorsal side of the torch. The single button allows you to swap between the three brightness modes, as well as switching off.
Shortcomings: battery life at high mode might be an issue if you are doing multiple deep dives and want to be able to use the highest light possible at depth, as it only lasts for 50 minutes. For shallower dives where you can get away with using the lower powers, the run time is perfect for doing multiple dives before you’ll have access to a charger. On the last double tank dive done with this torch, each dive was 30 minutes and the torches were being operated at high, so they ran out of battery before the second dive concluded. Apart from that, there’s really nothing I can fault with this light.
Overall review :I absolutely love the simplicity of this torch, and the light that it provides underwater. This is a fantastic light for underwater videographers shooting wide and macro footage. There are also certain shots in stills that do work with this torch on full power, particularly in macro. It is certainly an extreme pleasure to dive with such lightweights instead of the very heavy strobes that stills photogaphers use. Macro subjects are incredibly well lit in both stills and video applications.  For wide angle video this torch is perfect. You can choose between the three power settings based on your subject and ambient light. The ball socket mount allows the torch to easily attach to your underwater rig and be pointed in any direction necessary. The easy access of the single button means no confusion while underwater and is very easy to operate. The LED indicating remaining charge is also a very helpful tool. The LED light will illuminate when the light is turned on and show either green (for over 70% charge left), orange (70%-30% charge remaining), red (less than 30% charge remaining), and flashing red (for less than 10% charge remaining). This allows you to gauge your remaining time at each of the three brightness modes. This is a fantastic light to add to your underwater filming kit.It feels sturdy and should last a long time. I  will use this light myself and will definitely purchase these lights  for the underwater housings in my underwater film-making school.
Cost: Varies according to ZAR value against the dollar,  but online   you would purchase here in South Africa  @ around R5600 

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Fiona Profile

Blogger: Fiona Ayerst

Fiona is an award winning professional underwater and environmental photojournalist. Her work is published and portrayed throughout the world in numerous magazines, blogs and sites. Between May and October annual, Fiona manages Africa Media’s environmental and travel journalism internship program. 

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If you want to see Manta Rays close to South Africa then look no further than Mozambique. Long known as a tropical playground for the large cephalopods- there are still enough Mantas there to satisfy your cravings. Ponto do Ouro is also a marine reserve and so hopefully the Mantas visiting that area regularly will receive protection and success from this are may improve the chances of having more of this vast coastline converted into protected areas.