Weather always plays a huge part in the success of any production and on a shoot last December in the Fijian Islands, we really tested our luck. Working for Nikon we were hired to shoot some new images and video for the Nikon WP-N2 waterproof housing campaign. The WP-N2 is an incredible accessory to the beautifully compact Nikon 1 mirror-less camera system and allows users to expand their creativity into underwater environments, even at depths of 130 feet. The small, lightweight and versatile design of the WP-N2 really compliments the Nikon 1 J3 and Nikon 1 S1 systems and was a lot of fun to shoot with and easy use.
We wanted to shoot in the best possible underwater conditions to capture these shots and had a short window of time to make it happen. While analyzing global weather conditions, water clarity, species diversity and reef health, water temperatures, and local production support, our team decided that Fiji would give us the best chances of success to create the images we had in mind during this time of year. The scuba diving in Fiji is world class with a variety of beautiful dive locations and landscapes to choose from, coral reefs and species diversity flourish as strong currents move around the islands.
The threat of impending weather in Fiji was on our radar as we finalized our plans to travel, however we still felt we had good odds. As soon as we landed the threat of real weather became more of a reality and ultimately imminent. A large cyclone was tracking over Samoa and locals on the island predicted the storm would do a one-eighty, turn around, pick up momentum and head right towards the Fijian Islands. Sure enough the locals were right, the cyclone was headed our way. Our condensed schedule became even tighter as we needed to pack in as much shooting as possible. Overnight water clarity around the islands lost its gin clear visibility as strong winds, currents and warming temperatures increased the amount of sediment in the water column. Fortunately, with the support of Sam Campbell and Mark Synder of Wet Art Productions and the dive crew at VoliVoli, we logged a few giant days and tons of time underwater allowing us to get what we needed before cyclone Evan hit Fiji.
In the end, Evan turned into a category 4 storm and caused major damage on Fiji. Thankfully, no casualties occurred in the massive storm and Fijians, including our new friends, we are able to shake it off and quickly dry out after the storm passed. Special thanks to Nikon, Alexx at NAI’A, Wet Art Productions, Volivoli, Joe Tul and Leah Stone our dive models, Lowepro, Clif Bar, X-Rite and Backscatter camera shop in Monterey, CA for all of their help and support.
30 second sample video clip shot with the Nikon WP-N2 Waterproof Housing and the Nikon 1 system.