You can upload your efforts to YouTube, or you can try to make them pay – though in today’s media-saturated world that’s not so easy to do.
I’m talking about underwater video footage, and I guess it’s only natural that underwater videographers should be sorting through their archives in the hope of squeezing a few quid from souvenirs of past dive trips.
Mike Seares has chosen to produce a series of iPad “books”. The apparently random content (in geographic terms) would seem to suggest that these are periodicals, but five were published around the same time at the turn of the year, each costing US $6.
I looked at the first one, which covers Bonaire (specifically Klein Bonaire in terms of images) and four Egyptian Red Sea sites, Jackson Reef, Ras Katy and the Carnatic and Thistlegorm wrecks.
First off, this isn’t a read – the words are minimal, and what is written comes over as standard guide-bookese.
Fair enough, a picture allegedly paints a thousand words. An image gallery accompanies each of the five sections, though the photos are mostly run-of-the-mill reference shots, the wreck ones being much the most interesting.
So the “book” is plainly a vehicle for the videos, which each last three or four minutes. These are OK and certainly give you a feel for the sites, but as this is the work of a well-known cameraman, I have to say that I was expecting something more artistic, innovative or inspiring.
They give the impression of being records of one-off dives, rather than a painstaking exercise in distilling the best of any site over time.
Pleasant soundtrack music by Simon Wilkinson and Peter McIsaac serves to bring them to life.
The other books cover other sites in the Red Sea, Malta, the Maldives and Malaysia. I’m not sure what the market is for such products – you couldn’t really call them guides because so little effort has gone into providing any information, so I’d call them packaged underwater videos.
If YouTube can’t meet your needs, who knows, perhaps these can.
Steve Weinman

In Depth Solutions
iBook, 39pp, US $5.99