This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit

Disability Arts Online

Egypt 4 - Day 3 / 22 March 2013

Divers underwater: In foreground Trish holds the 360 rig, Sue in chair in background with other divers

Trish takes the 360 rig to the seabed Image: Ben Davies

Zoom in to this image and read text description

Today is the day we need to start capturing some great shots. For the new films we are working with four different types of technology so we tend to try to get in the water for about half an hour at a time, splitting the dive into ten minute sections so we've been able to use 3 of the different camera rigs in any session.

It's now just after lunch and we've been reviewing footage on the laptop from Dan's Nikon DSLR. The light and colours are beautiful so we plan to return to the same location here at Middle Garden this afternoon. We are hoping to be able to get some new 360 footage to be shown in April as part of the ongoing exhibition People Like You at Salisbury Arts Centre. This will also form part of Sue's assessment for the MA Fine Art she is currently undertaking at Plymouth University. The area is just beyond the bow of the boat so it's a short underwater push for Tamer to transport Sue to the location. 

We have a rig of six GroPros mounted on a tripod anchored by a belt with weights. This is a simple, tried and tested solution from our previous filming trips to the Red Sea. Whereas before we have positioned the tripod in a large area with sandy seabed, here we are trying something new, placing it about a metre away from a mass of coral with plenty of fish. 

Settings on the 'chair remain the same and Sue is very happy with the results. Only when the batteries begin to lose their charge can we stop her playing and exploring. It's producing some incredible footage. Once the rig is set up I have to go through a meticulous process of turning each camera on and then checking it is in the right mode. Next, Sue signals the ok that she is ready to begin and I start from camera number 1 switching each one on record in sequence.. The important thing we have found is to have an even gap between each camera so that it is easier to sync when editing. The other 360 filming method which we have named 'travel footage' is described in yesterday's blog. 

Whilst we are here we are also taking opportunity to film some promotional footage for Camel Dive Club and Hotel. This focuses on their excellent access around the hotel and how they facilitate disabled people onto the boat and to dive in the sea. Camel cater for groups including DiveAbility and Scuba Trust but are equally set up to support individuals to come out and enjoy the stunning diving here.

The Freewheeling motto is 'the best for everyone' and Sue feels the outstanding support that's been given by Camel and its staff during the course of this project needs full recognition. In down time we are doing some pieces to camera about the Camel experience so that people thinking about coming here get a real sense of what its like. So, we have a lot to achieve but we're now approaching half way through the trip and beginning to get some great results.  (Picture to follow, Sue is currently editing with the hard drive)  

Keywords: sue austin,underwater wheelchair,visual art,visual arts



22 March 2013

I'm following these daily reports with much curiosity about the technicalities and hard work involved; and even more enthusiasm about the freedom, the light and colours. But the possibility of seeing some of this new footage at the Symposium end of the 'People Like You' exhibition in Salisbury (UK) Arts Centre has me really excited - can't wait!