A grouper poses for the camera
Mattias Granberg is a budding cinematographer from Sweden. He first learned to dive in 2013 and bought his first underwater camera the year after. His newfound love of diving made him want to capture and share his experiences with others, and he began by producing short films of his dive trips as a hobby.
Last year, Mattias and his partner decided to start their own company, Ocean Exposure, and work on a documentary about diving in Europe. They left Sweden this summer to travel around the continent in their van, and unlike many of us, have continued to experience some awesome diving even during the height of the pandemic. In their forthcoming film, the couple hopes to demonstrate how great the diving is in Europe and also cover important topics such as marine protected areas and overfishing.
We spoke with Mattias to find out a bit more about him and take a look at the work he has produced so far.
Northern Europe: Coldwater Moments
DPG: How did you first get into underwater videography?
I started diving in 2013 and bought my first camera the year after. I didn’t know anything about videography, but I was so amazed by the underwater world that I felt a strong need to capture what I saw and inspire others to discover it.
DPG: Can you tell us the story behind your most memorable underwater footage?
I had the good fortune to see orcas hunting herring in the north of Norway. They trap the herring by circling around and below them, and pushing them against the surface. All of a sudden, a humpback came from beneath and plowed through the baitball and breached the surface. It was such a humbling experience to get to observe these intelligent animals as they were hunting.
Raja Ampat: Kingdom Of Diversity
DPG: Where is your favorite place to shoot?
I have been diving around Indonesia a lot and really enjoy the diving there. To see pristine coral reefs and everything that lives around them is incredible. However, I have to say that my favorite place to shoot is Saltstraumen in northern Norway. It’s a place that I always come back to. The walls there are as colorful as tropical coral reefs. At the top of the walls, you find big kelp forests. There is so much life, including one of my favorites, the wolffish.
DPG: What camera equipment are you currently using?
I’m currently using the Panasonic EVA-1 in a Nauticam housing and two Keldan Luna 8M CRI 8,000-lumen lights. I would love to upgrade the EVA-1 with a Atomos Shogun Inferno to get RAW files, but the budget does not allow for it at the moment. Hopefully, it does one day!
A bobtail squid keeps a low profile
DPG: What has been the most exciting point of your career?
Up until recently I have only been doing short films from dive trips as a hobby. I have always wanted to do something more, and the idea of making a documentary has grown over the years. In 2019, my partner and I started our company Ocean Exposure and began planning a documentary about diving in our European waters. We have been on the road now since June and run a side project on social media during this time.
DPG: Have you ever missed an epic shot due to unforeseen circumstances?
Sure! The one that haunts me the most is when we were doing our last swim for the week with orcas and humpbacks. I knew that the battery was about to run out but there was no time to change it, so I jumped in the water and a humpback calf swam straight towards me. It slowly swam past me then it turned around and did the same thing again. When I pressed record the camera shut off.
DPG: Do you also shoot stills? And if so, how do you balance the two?
No. I have tried a few times but I much prefer shooting video.
Portland and Pembrokeshire
Coldwater Dreams 2019
DPG: Is there any particular footage that you are still after?
There is so much out there that I’ve yet haven’t seen but if I have to choose one thing, I would say getting up close with a leopard seal that’s playing or hunting.
DPG: Have you any advice that you’d like to give aspiring underwater videographers?
Patience. It’s better to have one good shot than a lot of bad ones. Usually, the most interesting footage is when you catch the animal in action, eating or mating, and for that to happen you need patience. Another tip is to have a well-balanced housing so you can get long and steady shots. There are lots of different options out there regarding weights and float pads that you can try out.
Mattias preparing for a dive—somewhere cold!
Plan Your Adventure >