Underwater camera basics..

Post and discuss beautiful underwater photos and video brought back from the depths of the sea.
User avatar
Grateful Diver
I've Got Gills
Posts: 5266
Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 7:52 pm

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby Grateful Diver » Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:34 am

Lightroom ... http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop ... 07143354:s

... Bob (Grateful Diver)
Threats and ultimatums are never the best answer. Public humiliation via Photoshop is always better - airsix

Come visit me at http://www.nwgratefuldiver.com/

<2>diver
Just Settling In
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2014 6:00 pm

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby <2>diver » Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:49 pm

So after all my research and planning I bought a Nikon cool pic P&S and a case for it. The camera is waterproof to 59ft it says so when we arrive in the Maldives we can't wait to get in the water so we throw our snorkel gear on and head out to see what's around. I'm in the water for 5 min and there are fish EVERYWHERE and a hawsbill turtle and a 4-5 ft white tip reef shark so I pull up the camera and take a pic and it looks like my finger is in the lens. So I re-adjust and take another one. Then I appears the screen shorts out. Weird.... So I look at the front of the camera.... FILLED WITH WATER. manufacturer defect, not water proof at all. Camera ruined. Immediately. Obviously they are accepting a return but needless to say I was pretty heated. I thankfully have a contour camera and a waterproof case that worked nicely so I wasn't totally without.

Which brings me to me next question, what video/photo editing software do people use?

User avatar
Scubie Doo
I've Got Gills
Posts: 2607
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:13 pm

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby Scubie Doo » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:26 pm

johnclark wrote:It doesn't matter what you have. The most important thing is to go out and shoot!


Amen! I've seen awesome pics with P&S cameras. Nothing like practice.

johnclark
Aquaphile
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:25 pm

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby johnclark » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:08 pm

It doesn't matter what you have. The most important thing is to go out and shoot!

User avatar
Norris
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4507
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:31 pm

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby Norris » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:17 am

I think its pretty well known that an underwater housing for an SLR can generally cost 2-3 times the amount of the camera it is housing.
**Pinch it, don't stick your finger through. You're just pinching a bigger hole.
CAPTNJACK - 2012**

<2>diver
Just Settling In
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2014 6:00 pm

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby <2>diver » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:07 am

So I went with the Canon T3i DSLR, got the package deal with the standard lens, a 700mm zoom lens, several UV filter lens caps, a wide angle lens, 2 tripods (5'' and 57'') and a grouping of other things to make above water life easier. Now I need to figure out a housing for this bad boy. I did a quick google search and found one for $1500 and was a little shocked! Are they all that expensive or was that not the normal? Thanks for the input guys!

User avatar
Dashrynn
I've Got Gills
Posts: 1873
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:24 am

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby Dashrynn » Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:44 pm

I used to shoot below water with a g11 and single strobe setup, now I shoot above water with a Nikon DSLR. As Inflex mentioned, moving from dslr to point and shoot will drive you insane. I hate shooting in full auto now, even on my DSLR.

The difference between a point and shoot in the PNW, and a manual camera with a strobe is miles apart up here. In warmer waters where the viz is amazing, you can get by with a P&S, which seems to be where Chris's pictures come from. The biggest issue is light refraction and reflection, where the light from the camera blinds the camera sensors due to the flash being so close to lens and crap in the water reflecting it into the sensor. There's other mumbo jumbo that dives deeper into this but I will leave that to someone else.


Also, this is something that bothers me. Too many people tend to think megapixel= better camera. Lets get this straight, megapixel determines your image size, and only that. But, too few megapixels can create a "stretched" image. To put this into perspective, 4k video is less than 9 megapixels, 1080p is around 2 megapixels.
http://www.digicamhelp.com/camera-featu ... egapixels/
http://www.digitaltrends.com/photograph ... rs/#!62Stm

Now with that being said, proper lighting is the key to any good photo. Too much lighting equates to washed out images, too little and you have an image fit for the haunting or paranormal activity. As you all know, we loose color the deeper one goes, so how does one alleviate such problems? A light! Behold this glorious chart, it smirks at you and shows how many colors you cannot see at a depth without a little buddy to light your way.
http://www.divephotoguide.com/fitch/dat ... 443414.jpg

User avatar
Greg Jensen
Perma Narc'd
Posts: 797
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:02 am

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby Greg Jensen » Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:21 pm

In my case, I "de-evolved" from a housed slr to a p&s. As Laura said, the best camera is the one that you have with you, and the size and hassle of an slr was making me less inclined to bring it along. Another big factor was the limitations that it put on my subjects, as a big octopus or wolf eel would show up when I had the macro lens on.
After seeing the great images that Jan and Dusty were getting with Canon G cameras, I got one and haven't used the slr since. As pointed out, the housing blocks the flash when really close up, but you can mostly overcome that by using the zoom. I don't know anything about the S series and Oly XZ that cardiver mentioned, but if they're comparable to a G without the flash problem, it sounds like a great deal. Add a little Sola or equivalent and you can shoot nice macro video- another thing I couldn't do with my slr.
It depends too on your priorities. I know that even with a high-end slr, I'm never going to out-do the shots of common animals that are already out there. But if I have a camera with a wide range of capabilities in hand, I have a better chance of getting shots of rare species or recording new behaviors (Jan's great 'scalyhead sculpins as cleaner fish' sequences, for example).

<2>diver
Just Settling In
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2014 6:00 pm

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby <2>diver » Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:08 pm

Scubie Doo wrote:Agreed, nice dialogue regarding photography. I took a different approach to UW photography. I did not take up photography until I started diving. In fact, I did not own a camera until I started diving 5 years ago. I started with a Reef Master Mini and was very frustrated, my shots were terrible, because I could not tell what most of the critters were. About 50 dives later I bought a G10 and was amazed! Not at my talent, but at the fact I could show people what I saw. I went through 250 dives and 2-1/2 years shooting with the G10 and got some nice results. My initial goal was to document the critters I saw and show friends and family the cool things underwater. Once I got strobes (a huge difference), I began to get a bit more artistic and quickly "outgrew" my G10. I wanted crisper shots and more flexibility in my shooting. I have been shooting with the Canon 5d for about 1-1/2 years now and really enjoy it. Now I am trying to get different variations in my shots. However, there are some of my old G10 shots that are still my favorites (as Mr. Bailey mentions). After 4 years of UW photography and photography in general, my philosophy is shoot want you want to. If you want to simply document what you have seen, by the gear that fits your budget and shoot away. If you want to build a website, enter contests, get published, you can with a point and shoot; it will be a little more challenging. But again, get what you can and shoot away.

UW Photography is very difficult by itself. However, you are doing something very few people ever do. A small % of the population dives and an even smaller % takes photos. I love seeing any and all UW photos. I hate hearing people say, "I didn't post my pictures because they aren't good." I say BS. Getting an UW photo that you can recognize is a great feat. I love to see new critters or the excitement of someone who has just posted their first UW pics. Personally, I wish more people posted pics on the site, regardless of how they think they came out. UW Photography is difficult, there are a lot of factors/variables. When I first heard my wife say, "That's an octopus." I was ecstatic. I thought, she recognized the photo :-)

Anyway, happy diving and shooting. I can't wait to see the posts/photos/video from all the cool dives going on this weekend. Off to the San Juan Islands for me :-)




So after reading though all of these posts I see that the general concensus is that if you are just starting out in UW photog, get a P&S and make sure that it has a Macro setting. So with that being said, what are some suggestions for a decent point and shoot and housing? I am not sure if I will ever get REALLY into taking national geographic level photos down there (mostly because I don't possess the artful eye) but I often see things I would like to take a picture of and almost all the time it is something up close. So for those of you who have been in the photo game for a while, if you have an idea of whats out there today in terms of camera and underwater housing that I should look into I would REALLY appreciate it.

User avatar
cardiver
I've Got Gills
Posts: 3897
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 10:43 am

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby cardiver » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:33 am

Norris wrote:In my opinion get a cheaper point and shoot to start. Just make sure that it supports macro photography as not having the strobe arms and all, you may want to stick to things you can shoot close up.
Having the cheaper point and shoot with housing also builds on your habits on how to care for something like this..i.e. did I check my oring lately, did I assure that my latches are secure, etc. The mistakes you make on a cheaper alternative might save you down the road.

So don't be discouraged that you want to take pictures but don't have a thousand dollars to throw down on a system. Get something simple and start with macro photography. Those nudis are really very good subjects for up close photography.

There is a large contingent of photogs here that were getting excellent results with just a p&s. No strobes, no macro lenses.....
If you go this route make sure that you can shoot macro as Norris said. Something aroung the 2-5 cm range and more importantly, make sure that the flash is not blocked by the lens port on the housing. The Canon G series have that problem in the Canon housing. The S series are fine as is the Oly XZ ( with difuser).
-Ron T.
"When I'm 80 I'll take up real diving, which is done in a pub..." Ray Ives.
253-227-0856
My Dive Pics...
https://www.facebook.com/RETOPPPHOTOGRAPHY

User avatar
Norris
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4507
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:31 pm

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby Norris » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:48 am

In my opinion get a cheaper point and shoot to start. Just make sure that it supports macro photography as not having the strobe arms and all, you may want to stick to things you can shoot close up.
Having the cheaper point and shoot with housing also builds on your habits on how to care for something like this..i.e. did I check my oring lately, did I assure that my latches are secure, etc. The mistakes you make on a cheaper alternative might save you down the road.

So don't be discouraged that you want to take pictures but don't have a thousand dollars to throw down on a system. Get something simple and start with macro photography. Those nudis are really very good subjects for up close photography.
**Pinch it, don't stick your finger through. You're just pinching a bigger hole.
CAPTNJACK - 2012**

maelstrom
Just Settling In
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:30 am

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby maelstrom » Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:52 am

Excellent advice above. Due to the limitations of physical optics you will not get even decent photos or videos here without artificial light, i.e. strobes and/or video lights. Don't even bother trying. If you cannot afford lighting then wait until you can.

Most of us go through the usual progression of starting with smaller, cheaper cameras and gradually working up. I did. In the end this actually costs a lot more than getting something decent to start with. There is always a good supply of high quality, used gear from people who moved up, or quit UW photography. When your cheap housing/camera breaks or floods on the trip of a lifetime, you will not be congratulating yourself on how much money you saved.

As Dan said above, if you are used to a DSLR on the surface, you will be very unhappy with a point and shoot underwater. You need to be comfortable using manual mode, and understand the very basic concepts of shutter speed, f- stops, ISO, etc. Your diving skills and buoyancy need to be excellent. Underwater photography is not the place to learn diving or photography. But, it is a way to create unique and beautiful images that very few photographers can match. Underwater photography here is even less common, and greatly appreciated by most of the public.

Taking a class is a great suggestion to shorten the learning curve, then LOTS of practice.

User avatar
inflex
Avid Diver
Posts: 70
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:35 pm

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby inflex » Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:18 am

I'm in a same boat as many others here -- started off with a basic P&S and became very frustrated quickly. I eventually bought all the underwater stuff for my DSLR and never looked back. Reflecting on that experience, it comes down to knowing yourself. Will you be happy just snapping a few mementos, or do you take photography as a challenge and seek to master it? Knowing where you fall on this spectrum will help you decide what to invest your money in.

I too still have a favorite pic that was taken by my first UW P&S:

PIC_0158.JPG

This was taken using a light placed behind the nudi.

If I had to do it all over again, I would not have purchased a P&S, especially a basic one.

Certainly, a prosumer camera (like a Canon G-whatever) will get you 95% of the way there. Whether you care to achieve that last 5%--the perfect specular highlight or ultra sharp reflection in the eyes of a fish--is just knowing yourself.

Today, I'm bored if I dive without my DSLR rig. I do look for that extra challenge of doing UW photography and the satisfaction that I'll have captured something interesting to share. That's the joy for me.

Getting used is great advice. Although used prices aren't great as most other items (just given the narrow nature of UW photography market), you can occasionally strike gold. Which reminds me... I have a 5D MK1 housing I'd be willing to let go for cheap.

User avatar
Scubie Doo
I've Got Gills
Posts: 2607
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:13 pm

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby Scubie Doo » Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:06 pm

Agreed, nice dialogue regarding photography. I took a different approach to UW photography. I did not take up photography until I started diving. In fact, I did not own a camera until I started diving 5 years ago. I started with a Reef Master Mini and was very frustrated, my shots were terrible, because I could not tell what most of the critters were. About 50 dives later I bought a G10 and was amazed! Not at my talent, but at the fact I could show people what I saw. I went through 250 dives and 2-1/2 years shooting with the G10 and got some nice results. My initial goal was to document the critters I saw and show friends and family the cool things underwater. Once I got strobes (a huge difference), I began to get a bit more artistic and quickly "outgrew" my G10. I wanted crisper shots and more flexibility in my shooting. I have been shooting with the Canon 5d for about 1-1/2 years now and really enjoy it. Now I am trying to get different variations in my shots. However, there are some of my old G10 shots that are still my favorites (as Mr. Bailey mentions). After 4 years of UW photography and photography in general, my philosophy is shoot want you want to. If you want to simply document what you have seen, by the gear that fits your budget and shoot away. If you want to build a website, enter contests, get published, you can with a point and shoot; it will be a little more challenging. But again, get what you can and shoot away.

UW Photography is very difficult by itself. However, you are doing something very few people ever do. A small % of the population dives and an even smaller % takes photos. I love seeing any and all UW photos. I hate hearing people say, "I didn't post my pictures because they aren't good." I say BS. Getting an UW photo that you can recognize is a great feat. I love to see new critters or the excitement of someone who has just posted their first UW pics. Personally, I wish more people posted pics on the site, regardless of how they think they came out. UW Photography is difficult, there are a lot of factors/variables. When I first heard my wife say, "That's an octopus." I was ecstatic. I thought, she recognized the photo :-)

Anyway, happy diving and shooting. I can't wait to see the posts/photos/video from all the cool dives going on this weekend. Off to the San Juan Islands for me :-)

User avatar
DanClements
Just Settling In
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 10:26 am

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby DanClements » Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:53 pm

Lots of good input. Here is my two cents. If you are shooting a DSLR above the water and know what you are doing (shoot RAW, understand ISO, aperture, speed, white balance, etc) you will be horribly frustrated by a P&S camera very quickly. If you are learning photography/videography at the same time you are learning to dive, an inexpensive rig will work fine.

Changing white balance while descending and lack of light have been covered. But in our waters backscatter and how to aim strobes are really important.

If you want to talk with other photographers/videographers, PNWUPS has pretty regular get togethers and pool time. Best way to start is in a pool where you can pop out of the water and immediately correct a problem or try a different technique. Post processing is also a key part of digital photography, and it really helps to see what others do.

Have fun!
Dan Clements

User avatar
Grateful Diver
I've Got Gills
Posts: 5266
Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 7:52 pm

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby Grateful Diver » Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:14 am

One of the best pictures I ever took was with a relatively low-end camera, back just a year or two after I started taking pictures ...

Image

The fact is that around here we mostly do macro photography, and you can take good macro shots with pretty much any camera. Today's low-end point-and-shoot cameras all do an excellent job if they're used properly.

The two most important skills are the ability to "see" the picture you want to take before you get into position for it, and the ability to get into position and maintain that position for the shot without mucking up the water. That last one takes some reasonable diving skills.

One of the biggest mistakes a lot of people make is taking the camera out on their dives too soon, and because they spend their dive concentrating on taking pictures, they never really make the effort to develop the "finesse" on their basic buoyancy and finning skills that are necessary for good photographs.

Although today I carry a big rig with DSLR, two strobes and focus light, I started out small and progressed through several cameras ... working my way up by adding a piece of gear at a time and spending some time getting the most use out of it before adding another piece of gear. Task-loading makes taking pictures harder, and starting simple makes the job of learning both photography skills and diving skills easier.

Concentrate on your diving first. Learn how to hover completely motionless, without moving anything. Concentrate on being able to move through the water without kicking up silt. Learn a back kick ... it's seriously useful for getting and holding the position you want for the shot. Then pick up the camera. Start simple ... even with a good camera, limit yourself at first to a single strobe. Add accessories when you feel you've reached the limit of what you can do with what you have.

Strobology is more an art than a science. You can develop basic strobe positions and intensities for what you like, but you'll find that they don't always work to your best advantage, and moving strobes around or changing the intensity of the strobe(s) gives you a better picture. Don't be afraid to play with them, or risk a poor exposure to find out what works.

And remember the blind squirrel ... take lots of shots ... play with angles and exposures. Photography is art, and art is unique to the individual. What you like might not be what someone else thinks is the best picture. Which matters more to you? Only you can answer that question. Personally, I love sharing my pictures ... but it's the one that makes me smile that matters the most.

Have fun ... as with all things diving, that's really why we do it ... and as with all things diving, it gets better with practice ...

... Bob (Grateful Diver)
Threats and ultimatums are never the best answer. Public humiliation via Photoshop is always better - airsix

Come visit me at http://www.nwgratefuldiver.com/

Peter Guy
Compulsive Diver
Posts: 375
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:28 am

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby Peter Guy » Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:40 am

Good points made by many posters, but here is another thought and one that is often ridiculed:

If you are new to photography, either UW or just new, think about taking a class. Yes, there are classes on UW photography that aren't worth the money but there are also classes on UW photography that are very well worthwhile -- even a PADI UW Photography class -- IF TAUGHT BY SOMEONE WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING.

I consider myself a decent photographer -- above and below water -- and have been shooting since I was 7 or 8. As a result of just doing it, I've learned a lot about the technical side of photography. But over the years I've also taken many classes and I've learned something in every one of them. Don't be afraid to go to your local Community College and take a digital photography class -- or take a class from Optical Oceans (Scott Lundy is a great instructor) -- or...

I'll close with a review of my PADI UW Photography Class I took from Dennus Baum who has become a good friend of mine (full disclosure). As I wrote, I knew a lot about photography when I took the class from Dennus but he taught me/showed me a lot about taking pictures under water. We actually measured how far the strobe was effective; we actually measured the color absorption distance; we actually played with shot angles on a "reef" (he really does have a "reef with fish" that he puts on the bottom of the pool) to determine what angles were better.

Really, GOOD classes can help a lot.

User avatar
Jeff Pack
I've Got Gills
Posts: 2813
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:51 am

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby Jeff Pack » Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:29 am

Linedog wrote:All I can say is that It's better to have Jeff behind the camera than in front of it.


You obviously havent seen any of the pictures I've taken. Bad doesnt even come close to describing them.
=============================================

- I got a good squirt in my mouth
- I would imagine that there would be a large amount of involuntary gagging
- I don't know about you but I'm not into swallowing it

CCR discussion on Caustic Cocktails.

User avatar
ljjames
I've Got Gills
Posts: 2616
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:46 pm

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby ljjames » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:05 pm

I'll add something else to this thought...

It's ok to start used. Those folks who buy the biggest bestest every year or two (because its not about the money) often sell for a reasonable price. Its a great way to get a couple year old good set up as opposed to bottom of the line.

Why I don't like bottom of the line you ask? Simply the housings are not as good. I guess that doesn't matter so much when the camera you put in it is worth only a couple hundred bucks but still...

My first housing (in recent history) was a nice used Amphibico with a Sony TRV900, 3 chip great low light, standard def camera. Second was a Light and Motion Stingray + which started out with a sony HC3 in it but was forward compatible (for a small fee) all the way up to the CX500 (which still does an excellent job on the macro stuff) meaning i was able to continue using it through like 5 camera upgrades. Next up, a used 5DMK2 in a modified Subal housing (a housing for a Canon 10D, like a decade old still camera) I could only use it in auto and had no zoom control, but that didn't bother PBS or Discovery channel at all. All in all i've probably still invested less than I would have had I bought my current system new.

So don't necessarily shy away from solid "older" gear, just buy smart and have someone who knows cameras take a peek at it with you.

Camera's do matter, and at a certain point if you shoot a lot, you will reach the limits of your equipment and the only way to step up your game is to decide whether or not it really is something you want to invest in.

Additionally think about what you like to shoot. Video, stills, close up video, wide video? will you drag along a big camera or would a little go pro 3+ on a small baseplate with a couple SOLA2000's keep you happy? Do you think you'll want to shoot close up and wide on the same dive? Go with a handy-cam that has zoom. Want epic wide angle and don't mind having only shooting one 'style' on the dive, don't discount DSLR's. The small mirror-less such as Sony NEX cameras with big sensors are also a nice balance with regards to size.

My current kit is STILL all used kit, although I do have control of all the switches and buttons again which is a delightful feeling after only shooting in auto for a couple of years.

At the end of the day, the best camera is the one you have with you.
----
"I survived the Brittandrea Dorikulla, where's my T-shirt!"

User avatar
DecidedlyOdd
Aquaphile
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:44 pm

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby DecidedlyOdd » Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:48 pm

I agree with what Gregp said above about underwater photography being a more challenging type of photography right out of the gate. In local waters especially, you're dealing with low light conditions. Once you start using a strobe, the schmutz in the water can easily lead to backscatter. It can be a lot to learn at once for somebody with limited photography experience.

Because of the water between you and your subject is absorbing all that light, you really need to be close to get the best photos. That leads most underwater photographers to macro (where you can get close, making small things fill the frame) and ultra wide angle (where you can get close, making big things fill the frame). Point and shoot cameras can after do respectable macro. They just won't do ultra wide angle without add-on wet lenses which still don't work all that great. Those factors just tend to limit the kinds of photos and subjects you can take well with a point and shoot.

Moving to more expensive mirrorless or DSLR options mainly means access to ultra wide angle (fisheye and rectilinear) and macro lenses, but also improved sensor and autofocus performance in low light. That ultimately just gives you more options for the kinds of photos you can take or take more easily. Of course, that comes at a significant cost premium.

A simple but reasonably powerful strobe like a Sea&Sea YS-02 will probably get you the biggest jump in quality for the least outlay on top of a basic point and shoot in a cheap housing. Plus, you can take a strobe like that with you when/if you upgrade to a fancier system in the future.

User avatar
H20doctor
I've Got Gills
Posts: 3727
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:13 pm

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby H20doctor » Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:27 pm

my photo taking is limited..I think someone like scooby Doo, grateful diver, Penders could answer the strobe question...I have never shot using a strobe, but I do agree with your .technical stuff ISO, aperture settings, white balance...
NWDC Rule #2 Pictures Or it didn't Happen

User avatar
Gregp
Frequent Bubbler
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:10 pm

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby Gregp » Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:16 pm

I like your advice H20doctor- start small, and learn.

It seems one of the major difficulties in UW photography, is that this is a low lighting condition (even at 10 feet of water). This isn't beginning photography. In order to get quality photos- this either calls for longer exposure times (UW tripod anyone?), higher ISO (more expensive camera and housing to go with it), larger aperture (which changes your depth of field and most point and shoots are limited here), or a strobe or two ($$), or a combination of these.

Then you have the white balance problem and either need filters, to shoot in RAW mode (to correct WB later), or to custom set your WB every 5 feet or so of depth (for the many camera's without RAW).

Sure, you can always correct (to some extent) in software - but if you polish a turd, it's still... well, you know what it's still.

The big question is - what's the best strategy for starting small, yet achieving proper lighting and exposure to be able to produce high quality photos? I think it can be done, but probably the best results will be with a strobe. Any thoughts?
Greg.DC
"Do something today, to be healthier than you were yesterday."

User avatar
Linedog
I've Got Gills
Posts: 1260
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:53 am

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby Linedog » Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:47 pm

All I can say is that It's better to have Jeff behind the camera than in front of it.
Pop tarts and gravy,
It's what's for breakfast.

User avatar
Jeff Pack
I've Got Gills
Posts: 2813
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:51 am

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby Jeff Pack » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:10 pm

that's my problem, whatever the artistic gene is, I don't have it. I once bought a godawful expensive camera, learned all the settings, etc, and my pictures totally sucked.

I dont bother much with cameras anymore.
=============================================

- I got a good squirt in my mouth
- I would imagine that there would be a large amount of involuntary gagging
- I don't know about you but I'm not into swallowing it

CCR discussion on Caustic Cocktails.

Peter Guy
Compulsive Diver
Posts: 375
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:28 am

Re: Underwater camera basics..

Postby Peter Guy » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:34 pm

The most important "part" of the camera is "the eye behind the lens."

Cameras today, even "low end" cameras are much better at taking technically good images than even a couple of years ago so it is true that "low end" cameras can do a decent job. However, "low end" is a very squishy concept.

The sale on the E-PL1 or E-PM1 last year made them "low end" cameras but with quite high-end features.

YMMV


Return to “Underwater Imaging - Photography & Video”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron