“The sea that I have come to know has changed for the worse,” says underwater cinematographer Dong-Sik Kim while emphasising the importance of humans’ co-existence with the sea. Kim has been filming underwater life for 40 years. Kim’s latest project is a documentary displaying the wonderful aquatic world beneath Jeju Island. The project includes the special characters Haenyeo — Jeju’s sea women who represent the island’s semi-matriarchal structure. Known for its natural beauty, the largest South Korean island is a famous holiday destination.
Kim features in a video released by electronics giant Samsung on World Oceans Day, in which he can be seen diving into the pristine waters of Jeju and talking about his dream of portraying what is hidden beneath the waves in all its vividity.
Showing dolphins suffering from infections such as oral cancer and flukes, Kim calls for attention to protect the sea from human destruction. Sea is critically important for human life as well. More than half of the oxygen we breathe in comes from the oceans that cover 70% of our blue planet, essentially giving it the blue colour. Not just that, from providing seafood, transportation medicines, oceans also make our planet more life-friendly, by regulating the earth’s climate and weather patterns and by transporting heat from equators to the poles.
Chasing life beneath the waves with bulky filming equipment, the filmmaker says that he wants to limit the disturbance caused by the hefty camera. In such a situation, a smartphone comes in handy. In the video, he can be seen using a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra covered in a waterproof cover. Samsung aims to promote the smartphone by demonstrating its camera quality in the video. Capable of capturing 8K videos, the smartphone was launched in January 2021 and costs about ₹1 lakh.
With the latest advancements in camera technologies, smartphones are now capable of capturing high-quality images from the sky to the ocean. For professionals like Kim, taking smartphones underwater to film the beauty of the marine world does not seem foolish and ambitious anymore.