We love editing underwater videos! Did you know that dugongs were the original ‘mermaids’? In this post, we give our top tips for editing GoPro underwater footage.

Swimming with Dugongs

Lisa from Ohio, USA sent us this wonderful footage of swimming with dugongs in Vanuatu. We love editing wildlife footage!

Did you know that Dugongs were the original ‘mermaids’? So the story goes, sailors (who had clearly been at sea too long), saw these animals suckling their young like we humans do, and took them for aquatic temptresses. Along with the manatee, dugongs are part of an animal order called ‘Sirenia’ (from the Sirens of Greek Mythology), and while they’re sometimes called ‘sea cows’ they are actually related to the elephant.

Either way we think they’re beautiful creatures, and we love Lisa’s footage of swimming with them. The video was shot on a GoPro Hero 5 Black and an Olympus TG-4, both with underwater housings.

If you’d like your underwater videos edited into a cool video like this one, Contact Us. We make videos from your footage for clients worldwide.

If you’d prefer to edit your own footage, editing underwater GoPro is easy if you follow these simple tips.

  1. Start by making your cut, you want the full video edit completed before you start removing sound or colour grading your footage.
  2. Unlink your audio from the video and strip it out (goodbye GoPro clicks and pops!). Any professional NLE will have an option to unlink sound from video so it can be removed. Sampled audio will make a huge difference to the quality of your finished video.
  3. Replace the original sound it with underwater sound samples. If you edit a lot of underwater footage, buy ‘multi-use’ samples from one of the many SFX libraries online, it will work out much cheaper in the long run.
  4. Colour grade your footage so that the water and overall video image looks as seamless as possible. While white-balancing is usually the first step in grading footage, we’ve found it isn’t always that easy with underwater footage. Play it by ear, or should we say, by eye.
  5. Add some music, we’ve found that the more languid and laid-back, the more ‘watery’ the feel you’ll get. Vóila, you’re done!

If you’re planning a trip to Vanuatu and want to swim with the dugongs, here is a great guide from Vanuatu Environmental and Science Society (VESS). Their aim is to make sure your interaction with these beautiful creatures a positive experience – both for you and for the dugongs. Head to the VESS website for this handy guide to swimming with dugongs in Vanuatu. Guidelines for interacting with dugongs.

To read more tips for editing better videos, head to our post 7 Rules of Video Editing

How do you shoot your underwater videos? Do you use a red filter? Which camera do you think is best for shooting underwater?