let yourself be open and life will be easier.
a spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable.
a spoon of salt in a lake goes unnoticed.
beyond grateful for my week in minnesota and all that it offered me…
questions & answers regarding my underwater shooting:
Q: do you use a waterproof camera?
A: i don’t use a waterproof camera (refer to next Q & A).
Q: what underwater housing do you use?
A: i first purchased an equinox housing, but it was way too big and heavy, for the type of photography i was doing. i later purchased an SPL housing, which is what i am currently using.
Q: what are you able to adjust once your camera is in the housing?
A: i’m able to adjust aperture and shutter speed, once my camera is in the housing.
Q: were you able to stand while shooting the lake photos?
A: i was able to stand some of the time. other times i was doggy-paddling or floating in a tube (so not easy).
Q: are you wearing any special gear or clothing during the shoot?
A: no special clothing; i wear a bikini and sometimes a rash guard. if i’m shooting in the pool and need to stay underwater, i sometimes wear a diver’s weight belt (refer to next Q & A)
Q: how do you stay down? do you use weights in shallow water?
A: if i’m shooting underwater, in a pool, i sometimes use a diver’s weight belt. if i don’t, i’m pretty quickly floating back to the surface. when i’m shooting in the ocean or lake, no weights with me.
Q: do you use the lensbaby or filters on these shots?
A: i cannot use any other camera or lens in my housing except D700 and 35mm. and no filters.
Q: how do you keep things so sharp?
A: same principles apply as regular shooting (out of the water).
Q: do you do much to your photographs post-shooting?
A: no, i don’t do much to my underwater photographs in post-shooting. basically just standard post-processing, similar to my regular (out-of-water) photographs. i never add any additional blur, textures, etc.
Q: my questions are a little different as i’m interested in how you fell into this – if you are open to sharing the images that sparked the idea, any thoughts around the creative experience – roadblocks or challenges you found along the way and how you worked through those to these today.
A: i’m not exactly sure what initially sparked my interest in underwater photography, but i do know that it wasn’t images. i think it really was just something i wanted to try. my first attempt with underwater photography took place about four years ago when i lived in san diego. i rented housing to do underwater maternity photos of a friend. while it was definitely challenging, it was at that moment that i fell in love with underwater photography. even back then, i dreamt of shooting underwater in tampa.
it didn’t take long for me to purchase underwater housing here in tampa, since we have a pool in our backyard, we’re surrounded by water and it’s hot as shit half of the year. and i quickly confirmed that underwater photography is not easy!! but i continued to experiment in the water — shooting of my kids and friends in my backyard pool. recently, i moved into the ocean and then last week, i had the opportunity to shoot in a lake. i’ve come to prefer the ocean and lake, to shooting within the constraints of a pool.
some of the challenges / roadblocks with underwater shooting — it’s a bit challenging to adjust settings and things on the camera are hard to see. a lot of patience is required. i also have a problem with the 35mm lens i’m using, and when the problem occurs, i have to take apart my housing to reset the lens (very frustrating!). the simple task of getting someone to the ocean or a lake, to shoot, is not exactly easy (i’m about 50 minutes from the ocean). and my dreads. they take forever to dry, so getting them wet often can be a bit problematic.
regarding the creative experience — for me, the creative process is the same; i shoot no differently in the water than i do out of the water (martha can attest to that, as she was with me the entire week, while at the lake in MN). it’s what’s in me. it’s how i shoot. it’s what i see. and…it’s difficult to explain.
if you look at my underwater work over the past year, it’s definitely evolving and growing — and i’m trusting. it will be interesting to see how things feel when i get back in the pool. it will be interesting to see how things continue to progress. one thing i know is that i absolutely LOVE shooting in the water. i can’t help but feel it’s exactly where i’m meant to be!!
i’m not sure where the water will take me, but i’m sure enjoying the ride and oh-so-grateful! you can see more of my recent water images HERE.
Q: I would love to know if you are ever worried about water leaking in?
A: the first time i put my housing and camera in the water, i was a bit nervous, as i ever-so-slowly submerged it under water. but now, i do a quick initial dunk, check if any water leaked in — and start shooting.
if you’re interested in purchasing underwater housing, i highly recommend renting one before purchasing, as many are custom-made, not returnable and NOT cheap (around $2000). or maybe even play with an underwater disposable camera, point & shoot or casing for your phone first. for a very casual underwater shooter, i’m not sure expensive underwater housing is the answer. just my honest two cents.
i’m not sure where the water will take me, but i’m sure having fun and enjoying the ride! you can see more of my in-the-water photographs HERE.
Q: I am wondering what else you need besides the housing for the camera. Do you need specific rings? What if you want to use a different lens. Is it possible? Are you happy with your housing? Have you ever heard of Sea and Sea? I
i don’t need anything else besides my housing. if i wanted to use a different lens, i would have to buy a different front piece for the housing, which would cost about $700. i cannot use a different camera, as my housing is designed to fit only the D700. yes, i’m happy with my housing. i have never heard of sea and sea.