How I Started Underwater Photography

Well it all started very innocently :)

I have bought, just to experiment, quite simple and cheap underwater case for our weekend away as there is a lovely lagoon. My female friend, who happen to be model, was coming with us. Unfortunately the water was to cold and bottom of lake very muddy, so we did not even try. The all fun started in the small swimming pool only week after. Alice – my friend and the model – likes to try new things and experiment so there was nothing in our way.

The pool we were shooting was quite small probably 4m wide, 6m long and 1-5m deep, which was enough. The temperature of the water around 27C which was great and most importantly the quality of the water was perfect. As I learned later in my other shoots, the quality of the water is very very important. If the pool is often clean with to many chemicals like chlorine or salts, it creates very milky and hazy water and you can forget about the photo shoot as you will hardly see the person.

In the water: first I tried to shoot with goggles on, then even with snorkel, but I really struggled to see as the goggles were getting misty and water running in. I eventually took them off which actually worked better. Other problem was, that I really struggled to get under water, even half meter and stay there. My underwater case, had quite bit of air in it and that kept lifting me up. I eventually stayed just bellow the surface which seemed to be fine.

Alice was doing great, she kept on flowing very well, pushing herself off the edge of pool and even manage to look at me and smile :) We shot probably 40min all together. My settings were prepared before I went to pool as the only control over camera in this case is the shutter. That’s why I shot on Aperture priority. It works fine.

In post production I had to adjust the white balance, as the photos in pool are quite green and increase contrast. The main struggle was “smoothing” the background as the walls of the pool were not that nice.

Well that was the first shoot, quite and adventure for both of us and so many things to learn for next time. But mostly it was fun and I loved even the first images.

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