Underwater Photography

Hi everyone, 

Sorry for not posting anything on this blog for so long. As my closer friends and followers know, my mum passed away about 3 months ago and I had to take a break for a while. 

Now I am back and excited to show you something new!! Yesterday I had my first attempt at underwater photography and for the ones of you who always wanted to try it and never dared (like me), I wanted to tell you about my experiences and why I instantly fell in love with it. 

There are several brands who offer underwater housings. You have to make a decision if you want to buy a hard case or a soft one. Whatever choice you make, I would recommend buying a known brand with good reviews and not something cheap from ebay because after all you will be putting your precious camera into the water! ;) The one I used yesterday for the first time is this one from DiCaPac and I can totally recommend it! I would advise you strongly to test it for possible leakage before putting your camera under water though. As you can see in the photo, I put a few kitchen towels into it and put it under water first to see if any water got in. 

My DiCaPac WP-S10 ready for action :D

My DiCaPac WP-S10 ready for action :D

I did some research and read about what other people did when doing underwater photogrpahy before I drove to the lake but realised quickly that I have to make my own experiences with regard to settings, setup and everything else. 

I had brought several dresses to the lake and quickly decided on a specific one. I tested the case, set my camera to automatic focus and then tried to decide what the manual settings should be. I knew I wanted my model to be in focus but also that not that much light would be available under water so I went for f 5.0. My shutter speed was 1/1600 and I put my ISO to 250 since I was not sure if it was necessary at all - the water seemed quite bright (you can see the sunshine and how opaque the water was in the photo above). So we went into the water (which fortunately was not that cold) and I explained to my model (the lovely Anne from Anne Puhlmann Photography) what poses I had in mind. We counted to three and both went underwater. 

Anne going into the water - at this point not THAT many people were watching us yet ;)

Anne going into the water - at this point not THAT many people were watching us yet ;)

I quickly realised that the camera behaves completely different under water and that it is hard to tell if the shutter exactly clicked. You basically have to keep your finger on the shutter button and hope for the best... at least that seemed to work best for me!

After a few minutes - during which Anne unfortunately realised that she cannot deal with having her head under water which meant that some of my ideas could not be realised with her - we went outside to check the photos. They were...let's say they were not exactly what I had in mind. In the sunlight we could basically not see anything on the camera, just a green-brown muddy water with something shadowy. I managed to recover the two images below with quite a bit editing and while I like them, I wanted to get better images than that. 

Our first attempt

Our first attempt

Our first attempt

Our first attempt

I had a feeling that the settings on my camera were not quite right yet and decided to try again with slightly different settings. This time I set my camera to f 4.0, put my ISO back down to 100 and set my shutter speed to 1/1250. We went back into the water and tried another time. And this time it worked much better! I was already really happy with the results! 

Beautiful light play on her arm 

Beautiful light play on her arm 

My love for light rays is infinite!

My love for light rays is infinite!

So after that we went down many many times! I think all in all we were in the water for 2 hours and ended up shivering like crazy and having to sit in the sun for an hour to warm up again ;) I took a few more photos with the before-mentioned settings and then in the end settled for        f 5.0, ISO 100 and a shutter speed of 1/2000. For this particular location (completely opaque lake and bright sunlight) this seemed to work best. 

My advice is to try different settings and not shoot straight for a long time without checking if your settings actually result in the kind of photos you want. Experiment, try different locations in the water that are brighter or darker, deeper or more shallow. Try some photos half under water and half over the water. And most important: HAVE FUN!!!

I had the most fun in a long time yesterday and am hooked on underwater photography now! I cannot wait to shoot more photos under water so if you have a pool that I can use, let me know! :D

Half over the water / Half underwater :)

Half over the water / Half underwater :)

I have many many photos and different series that we tried to show from yesterday's session and will do several blog posts to show you some of them! :) 

Stay with me if you want to see them! 

Love, 
Andrea

P.S. Here is a little preview of a series that could easily be my favourite from yesterday. More to come soon!

My blue series

My blue series