Marine Image Workshop

Marine Image workshop

In June this year Peter Mieras was asked to be one of the keynote speakers at the Marine Image Workshop organized by Ocean Networks Canada in Victoria BC.

During 4 days scientists, researchers, engineers, computer experts and students discussed and exchanged experiences on the production, use and management of marine images. Specifically the management and automation of annotations in the ever growing databases of marine images was an extensive topic of debate and exchange.

Marine Image Workshop
Marine Image Workshop

Roger Hanlon, a world renowned expert on cephalopods was one of the  keynote speakers and took the audience on one of his research expeditions by means of his presentation.

Peter Mieras’ keynote address gave an overview of the challenges and rewards of creating marine images through his photo and video work.

The workshop was concluded with a group dinner at the Salish sea centre in Sydney.

Become Ocean

Become Ocean:

On January 19 2019  ” Become Ocean ” was performed at the Orpheum by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra as part of the VSO NEW MUSIC FESTIVAL

In addition to the performance with the orchestra conducted by Dutch Maestro Otto Tausk, Subvision Production’s Peter Mieras was commissioned to create a 42 minute underwater video to be screened during the live performance.  Although the time to make this video was only 4 days, the final result was synced to the music to match crescendos and diminuendos.  Peter was asked to be part of the pre-concert panel discussion and to introduce the video on stage.

Peter Mieras and Otto Tausk introducing the video for Become Ocean
Peter Mieras and Otto Tausk introducing the video for Become Ocean

The performance and the video were very well received and the evening was a great success.

Become Ocean is like nothing else you’ve ever heard. Made up not of melody, harmony, nor even rhythm, but of waves of immense, pulsing, roiling energy, it is more ocean-like than I would’ve believed an orchestral piece could be. Over its 42 minutes, the soundscape of Become Ocean is continuous, though it ebbs and swells constantly, and the unusual spatialization of the orchestra reveals the waves of sound as they move through space. Adams, as always focussing our attention while not forcing any conclusions, had this to say: “Life on this earth first emerged from the sea. And as the polar ice melts and sea level rises, we humans find ourselves facing the prospect that once again we may quite literally become ocean.”

Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre

Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre

Subvision Production finished the first part of filming at the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre in Port Hardy.  The weather, the crew of the stewardship centre and the salmon could not have been more cooperative.

female chum salmon in Quatse river
female chum salmon in Quatse river

The Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre is located in the beautiful northern part of Vancouver Island close to Port Hardy.  As part of NVISEA (Northern Vancouver Island Salmon Enhancement Association) the centre has been active since 1983. In 2008 the new centre was opened with increased facilities and the learning centre. Surrounded by forest and many salmon bearing creeks and rivers it is an ideal base of operation for salmon enhancement and conservation

tree with mushrooms and creek
tree with mushrooms and creek

The project is set to produce and educational inspiring and informative video which is going to be showed in the stewardship mini cinema. The  stewardship centre has been at the heart of enhancing and conserving a number of Pacific salmon species. These species are Pink, Coho, Chinook and Chum salmon. In addition they also enhance Steelhead salmon in the Marble river.

coho group underwater
coho group underwater

Part of the video is going to be the history and work of the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre. Another important element is of course the life cycle of the salmon from eggs to the moment they expire after spawning.

Female chum at Quatse salmon stewardship centre
Female chum at Quatse salmon stewardship centre

The second part of the project is to be filmed in February or March 2019 after which the final product is to be delivered. It will be part of the 10 year anniversary of the centre in September of 2019. In the mean time the award winning 7 minute short “I am salmon” will be featured in their mini cinema.

Subvision Productions was chosen to create the video based on its long standing track record in underwater and environment video and photo work.

Are you looking for salmon stock footage or video service? Click on this link for salmon stock footage or contact us at:



Adventure guide program

Adventure guide program

Subvision Productions was part of a shoot of an adventure guide program for French language television this past week. The program called “guide d’aventures” is in its third season and is a series by  Ottawa based Balestra Productions.  Producer and director Mark Chatel is one of the busiest producers in the Ottawa area and was present during the shoot at Rendezvous Dive Adventures in Barkley Sound.

film crew
film crew left to right Ivan Cooke, Mark Chatel and Maxime Fourge. Photo by Kathy Johnson

This adventure guide program follows individuals who’s life is not a run of the mill one and who offers adventures of many different kinds to those who want to experience the adventure themselves.

In this episode the program follows a dive guide and a number of his customers on an underwater expedition. Peter Mieras is an accomplished diver, naturalist, film maker, author and lover of oceans. The weather was sublime and during the shoot unexpected wildlife showed up such as whales, eagles and sea lions.

first impressions after the dive
first impressions after the dive. Photo by Kathy Johnson

The adventure guide program will air in the fall of 2018 and Subvision Production supplied underwater and stock footage. After 4 days of shooting the crew and customers were sad to leave but very happy with the result.

Balestra shoot
Balestra shoot. Crew and customers. Photo by Kathy Johnson.


Film Festival

Film Festival:

Subvision Production’s short “I am salmon” has now been shown and  or accepted at the Element Environmental  in Vancouver, at the Smaragdni eco touring in Croatia and at the New York Wildlife Conservation Film Festival.

I am salmon tell the story of the life cycle of wild Pacific salmon and their relationship and importance to the Tseshaht First Nation. They are also intimately connected to animals and forests. They are a key species in both humans lives and nature’s ecosystems.

Go and see "I am salmon" at a film festival.
Go and see “I am salmon” at a film festival.

The 7 minute short has been submitted to a larger number of film festivals and potential acceptances for such a film festival will be announced throughout the coming months.

Herring spawn

Herring spawn

This year’s (2018) herring spawn was a great event and is currently still going on. The initial spawn was further south than normal. It started at Qualicum Beach and went to Madoona Point.  Only after a week it showed up in the Comox  area and may get as far north as Campbell river.

Subvision Productions was on site to witness the herring spawn in the setting of beautiful Vancouver Island. The shoot combined aerial shots  with land based and some in water filming. The nature of the spawn is such that the visibility under water become non existent and the sperm the male herring release colors the coast line a chalk like milk blue.

Aerial image of herring spawn
Aerial image of herring spawn

The conditions were not too bad as the mix of clouds and sun brought its challenges. But the golden light at the end of the first day made for beautiful shots.

Herring spawn back ground:

The story of the herring spawn  is a long standing one and the annual migration was an important part of the First Nation food provision. Each year in late winter and early spring, thousands of tonnes of herring migrate from deeper offshore areas to nearshore habitats and spawn en masse.  The spawn can been seen for miles along the shallow shores where the water is filled with white with herring  milt and eggs.

Herring eggs on kelp
Herring eggs on kelp

Next to the annual fishery by humans which was and still is a significant economic activity, it also provides food for many animals. Eagles, gulls, ducks cormorants and many more birds get an extra protein boost from the eggs but also fish for the herring.  Sea lions are a noisy predator in contrast with the harbour seals. Both species go after the herring and the sea lions often steal the herring out of the nets.

California sea lions
California sea lions

Like salmon, herring are a key species and , culturally or economically important. With that it is clear that any negative impact on their habitat can have significant impact. This is underlined by the slow recovery of the herring on the West coast of Vancouver Island where the species was over-fished for years and struggles to recover.


All footage was shot in 4K and will be available as stock footage. Sample footage will be posted at our Youtube channel.

I am salmon

I am salmon

Subvision Productions recently finished a short video on the life cycle of the wild Pacific salmon and their importance for the Tseshaht First Nation in the Alberni Valley.  I am salmon  is a 7 minute short narrated doc and was recently accepted to be screened on the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in New York October 2018. This video is also submitted to other festivals and we hope to post more screening events in the coming months. The video will also be used in the local  First Nation language revival project. We are proud and honored that we were able to make this video happen.

Here you can watch the video

On location: Salmon

On Location: Salmon

In further pursued of the documentary “Salmon Tails”  Subvision Productions went on the road early November to film salmon in the Alberni Valley. Every year a great migration of these two salmon species takes place in this area. We drove to the site and hiked the 10 minutes to the river bank.  The gear that we filmed with included the Panasonic GH4 with a variety of lenses, a GoPro 4 black and a DJI drone with a 4K camera.

In the early morning the Stamp river was loaded with large Coho and Chinook salmon . Fog was drifting over the water surface as the sun was climbing the sky and illuminated the water and the forest.

On location Stamp river panorama
Stamp river panorama

A nearby creek added cold run off water to the river and the fish assembled at the mouth of the creek. The water gave the small boulders in the creek a beautiful sheen.

On location: creek

As the day progressed the light on location changed and so did the salmon activity.  The sun was sometimes obscured by clouds and  created a wide range of green hues. As the sun started to disappear behind the trees the water turned a vivid green. The salmon became even more active and the Coho were constantly jumping.

On location: Coho in the late sun light
Coho in the late sun light
On location: Coho duo breaking the surface
Coho duo breaking the surface

When the sun was gone so were we. On to the next “On location” destination !







4K footage of fish net removal

4K footage of  fish net removal

During the weekend of April 16 and 17 2016 Subvision Production filmed underwater and topside footage for a video production. The subject of the video was  derelict fishing gear and resulted in 4K footage of fish net removal.

The location in the Gulf Islands in British Columbia was just of North Pender Island and the topside weather was beautiful. The waters however were not very clear and the currents and the diver activities with the silt from the net removal made the filming challenging to say the least.

4K underwater video frame grab of derelict fish net removal
4K underwater video frame grab of derelict fish net removal

A combination of commercial and volunteer divers worked for 2 long days underwater and removed 24 large bags of seine net as well as some recreation fishing gear stuck on the reef. A large amount of invertebrate life was returned to the ocean alive.

fishing gear retreived
fishing gear retreived

The 4K underwater video frame grab of derelict fish net removal depicts divers removing nets underwater as well as footage of the net coming to the surface and the processing of the net of the boat.

This is effort is part of a wider growing movement to establish a BC / Canada wide derelict fishing gear removal and recycling program.

The final video productions is expected to be released on World Oceans Day in June . Short clips are available for purchase after June 8th 2016 and will be part of the Subvision Productions stock footage library.  More footage  of derelict fishing gear s available in 2K .

Contact us for more details


Field test Gates GT 14 lights

Field test Gates GT 14 lights

Review of Gates Underwater Products GT14 LED underwater video lights in green water.

The GT 14 features (amongst a number of other features) a wide angle light angle and maximum light strength of 14000 lumen.

Charging and burning length:
The charger came with 4 charge green LEDs. They indicate 25, 50 75 and 100% charge. However Gates has indicated that they will most likely a different / better charger.
The charging time of the batteries (Li-ion) is stated in the manual as 3 hours for 100% charge and 75 minutes for an 80% charge.
Starting from a battery after burning it down to the flashing lights (2 minutes burn time left) it took 61 minutes to get to 75% and 180 minutes to get to 100% charge.
During charging the actual charger gets warm but not hot. This is normal.

Burn time test:
With a fully charged battery the following burn test results were obtained. Time was measured from turning on and all red LED indicator light flashing (2 minutes burn time left)

Setting:                1                     2                        3                       4                          5
Lumen:             400              5600                 8000             9700            14000
MF approx.
burn time:    > 10 hrs      75 min.             50 min.        40 min.          30 min.
Tested burn
time:                   16 hrs       69 min.             57 min.        52 min.          39 min.
So in general the burning time meets or exceeds the manufacturers indication. I am convinced that the 69 minutes is simply a matter of the battery not the light.

The lights come with a standard 1 inch ball mount which bolted to the housing of the light. This gives you the option of using many different arm types and brands. However one could use an
alternative mount by adapting the alternative mount to the 2 threaded holes (standard ¼ “ bolts).
In am used to both flex arms for lights as well as arms an knuckles for mounting lights. In both cases I found it necessary to add flotation to the light heads in order to have them stay in position
and not fall down. I “DIY-ed” a short sleeve over the battery part of the light. The weight of the light (with battery inserted) is 1417 grams or 3.14 Lbs. Once the floatation was in place the lights held in place without a problem.

The light head has a set of 4 large LED indicators on each side of the battery compartment / rotator switch. They indicate the same so no matter at which side of the light you look you get the same
information. When you insert the battery the top LED (on both sides) turn on and the red color indicates that the battery is ready to use. As long as you do not turn the actual light on this will
remain on. Once you rotate the switch (located at the end of the battery compartment against the back end of the light head) the indicators will signal the strength of the light you have chosen. A single pink
LED at the bottom for the scout setting (400 lumen) and as you increase power to 5000, 8000, 9700 and 14000 lumen the indicator LED will have respectively one (pink turns blue), two, three or four
blue LED lights. This indication will only remain on for 3 seconds. Then the two arrays of LEDs will indicate the remaining battery life with green and red LEDs. This happens every time you change the light strength. I find the 3 seconds rather short , especially if you deal with two lights.  The difference in daylight between settings is not always that clear and with ticker gloves in colder water the clicks between settings are no always obvious. So in order to verify settings on both lights around 5-8 seconds might be better. It could be a matter of getting used to.  I find that the LEDs are easy to see (partly due to their size). However I would personally prefer one
array constantly indicating strength and the other battery life. This would pose a problem with a “left and right hand light” and may not be practical.

Going clockwise it goes from 400 to 5600 to 8000, 9700 and 14000 lumen. However the switch can also go straight to the 14000 lumen if one turn the switch counter clockwise. This a handy if you
need the full capacity right away.
The lights themselves have a very nice evenly spread light and the colours at proper white balance setting hold very true to life. Due to the fact that I tested in green water under dark skies the most
effective setting was 5600 lumen. However for fill light on the foreground whilst shooting toward the surface the higher settings provided a very nice option to have the colors come through at a
higher intensity. I would have preferred a setting between 400 and 5600 but Gates will offer the option to program the lumen settings on a custom basis (at a cost) to meet your needs.
This is a great option if you know you need specific light strength requirements. The light at any setting is nicely and evenly spread. The 90 degree angle gives a great spread and the light also allows an easy bridge for high contrast situations like for example when filming sand and rocks at the same time.

400 lumen 5600 8000                400 lumen                              5600 lumen                      8000 lumen

9700 14000 contrast                  9700 lumen                      14000 lumen                       contrast

Another observation was that with the strong light and a model, a presenter or light sensitive creatures there was a tendency to be blinded. The user guide says do not look into the light and
certainly even with 5600 lumen the light is very strong on the eyes of your fellow diver. Gates is contemplating which system might work best to hold a diffuser. I suggested to Gates that a flip up
system that holds diffusers , gels and folds on to of the light would be a great way to go. Certainly if there was a “click lock” system that would prevent the filter holder to wonder into the
light, the versatility of the light would be better.

The Gates GT 14 lights are a lighting solution that a lot of pro shooters will like for the light performance. I am not sure how the pricing will do for the pro/consumer market but that is not
where the light’s design is geared towards. The even light spread, the power and the relative long burning time will make this a light set that is like all the other Gates products; well designed ,
sturdy and made for the job. Another product that adheres to the Gates philosophy…”under-promise
and over-deliver”.

Providing high definition and 4K (underwater) stock footage (B roll), camera services, research and story development. Science Communications, Environmental Education, Community Engagement & Digital Media Content Production for aquariums and museums