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Hello and welcome to my blog formerly called Gypsy-K. Please note that I am only updating this blog while I am walking from Rome to Jerusalem from September 2015. My online home and permanent blog is at You can also sign up for pilgrim postcards and newsletters here. Thank you for being here and supporting my journey. With love and courage, Kym xx

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The making of my first underwater video (and how it almost never came to be)

"Cazzo, I forgot to bring the Go Pro camera," David announces as the dinghy we are in with our dive guide and three fellow divers slows down, nearing the drop off point on the dive site in Komodo National Park.
I am annoyed, more than annoyed. I am angry and disappointed.
"How could you forget? I reminded you on the boat before we left."
"Mi dispiace."  I'm sorry.  It's all he can offer.  It's too late now.

Our dive guide suggests we can go back to the main boat to get it. I tell him not to worry. I don't want to delay the dive for everyone else. We put on our masks, put some air in our buoyancy vests, and when our dive guide counts to three, simultaneously roll back into the sea and a minute later descend into its clear blue depths.

Halfway through the dive, David swims over to me and pushes his Sony video camera in its solid black marine housing into my hands. I push it away from me. I am still annoyed with him for forgetting the Go Pro.

"Dai," he says in Italian through his regulator, sounding like 'die' and meaning 'come on.' I shake my head side to side and push it away. I can be obstinate and slow to let go of my anger.

"Dai," he says once more and pushes the camera firmly into my hands. I  take it. Reluctantly. David nods and then starts showing me what I need to know. How to turn the camera on and off. How to white balance. How to zoom. To make sure I always zoom at least one click so I don't film the sides of the housing. How to hold the camera to keep it steady.

I start looking for things to film. Surgeon fish. A moray eel. Wide angles of the coral reef.

There is current pushing me sideways, first one way, then the next. I am shaky. I focus on the camera more than my buoyancy. I move up and down. I get frustrated but keep trying. I am completely engrossed and captivated. I am determined. I want to capture the wonders of this world.

We finish the dive. My tank of air is almost empty, not the half tank I normally finish with.

I am addicted. I want to film more. I take David's spare camera and underwater housing on the next five dives.

Once we arrive back in Phuket from Bali and Komodo, I import all my footage onto my computer and start editing. David teaches me the basics of iMovie. How to select and shorten clips. How to adjust the colour of clips. How to stabilise. How to transition between clips. How to use slow motion.

I am absorbed by my project. I spend more than 16 hours engrossed. I give it my whole heart. I want to make something that I am proud of. Something that I can share with others to show them how beautiful and how filled with wonder is the sea.

I am grateful to David for ignoring my tantrum, for persisting and insisting that I take his camera. I am proud of many things in my life. This is one of them.  It is not perfect.  I can see the wobbles, the incorrect zooms, the incorrect frames when I watch it.  But it doesn't matter.  I have captured and immortalised moments that I was in love with this world.  And I get to share my love with you all.

Here it is.

Diving Komodo from Kym Wilson on Vimeo.

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