I personally spent a couple years in South East Asia working as a professional videographer and can attest to the many hazards that face divers filming underwater. The first and possible the most dangerous is the fact that most find themselves solo diving. And most, including myself at the time, without the training required to safety conduct such dives. Often far away from the group gathering marine life footage or deeper for silhouette shots, most are often unaware of the consequences that would occur in the unlikely event of any equipment malfunction. Secondly, regardless of their experience, underwater camera operators use more air then normal as they have to swim quite large distances and faster speeds to get the shots required to make a visually appealing film. For this reason even experienced divers find themselves surfacing will minimal air compared to the open water divers they are filming.

Video Student Kerry filming on sidemount here in Dahab, Egypt.

Its for both the above reasons that Team Blue Immersion FX stresses the importance of some type of redundancy training. Sidemount training solves both these problems. With two independent air sources and proper gas management, the technical concept of ‘redundancy’ can now be applied to recreational diving. If a videographer did ever find themselves separated from the group or too far away from a potential buddy then isolating the problem and resorting to the reserve tank will provide ample gas and time to safely reach the surface.

Remember also that you now have DOUBLE the amount of air. This covers the second safety aspect involving gas consumption. Now that I am involved primarily into the technical side of diving, where gas planning regarding air consumption is pre-planned with a reserve of an extra 1/3, I could not believe how nonchalant most treat their air supply. Having the piece of mind that you have more then enough air required to film a given project lets the videographer focus on the other concepts of filming (composition, storyboard, etc) rather then the concern of lack of air. Excessive multi-tasking can lead to stress, which can further lead to accidents underwater.

Kerry, Dolphins and Le Grand Bleu from Team Blue Immersion on Vimeo.

A great video of Dolphins filmed entirely on sidemount. The videographer was able to stay with them for over an hour based on her gas management and quantity of air.

Most videographers are guilty of one or both of the above dangers of filming while diving. There are no more excuses. The knowledge and training is now readily available. I wish all my friends from the past who are still involved in underwater video production to SERIOUSLY consider the above aspects of redundancy systems while filming.

Safe Diving and Filming

for more information regarding sidemout diving with video training visit the ‘Why Sidemount?‘ page or visit Team Blue ImmersionFX.
Or contact us directly:

Erik Brown – Sidemount Training

Aron Arngrimsson – Video Training

William Remezond and Lieven Bogaert – Round 2 (100m dive)

We are always very lucky here at Blue Immersion and Dahab Divers Technical to have great groups of both people and divers cross our path. The past couple weeks were no different. Lieven and William came as independent divers for recreational and technical sidemount training and instantly became a great team along with fellow divers Dimitri Galle (normoxic trimix) and Nene Kurronen (trimix instructor). After initial training on the Hollis SMS 100, the guys took a break to utilize the depth and amazing environment that is the Blue Hole (article on the Blue Hole here). Both experienced technical divers had a dream of hitting the magic 100m mark and realized the Blue Hole is the perfect location for such a dive.

100 meter dive at the Blue Hole – Dahab from Twilight Divers on Vimeo.

The dive was perfect. Jonas Samuelsson was dive leader, Aron from Blue Immersion FX was filming, and Erik was support. Check out the video here or others at the Blue Immersion Vimeo page. With a day off to relax and the enjoy their accomplishment, instructor training back on the technical sidemount configuration followed.

New student Kerry Thorp has come to do video training with Aron, and for the many reason listed in (Why Sidemount) started off her course with some sidemount training. The safety of redundancy while filming is an important concept while filming here at TBI. William and Lieven started the morning with great briefs about how the course will work, the benefits, and equipment configuration.

Team Blue Immersion would like to thanks William and Lieven for a great couple weeks and wish them safe travels home to their respective countries. Cant wait to get you guys back for some more diving. Congrats again on your sidemount instructor ratings and your 100m dive.