Tag Archives: photography

Spooky Underwater Photography

I am still experimenting with the way I want my images look. I want a unique look and style of my own. There many other extremely talented underwater photographers creating some amazing images. A friend sent me a great link to my FB account of a UK photographer Phoebe Rudomino that does very unique underwater images. The studio Pinewood Studios in the UK is one of the state of art studio’s anywhere in the world.

I on the other hand I rely on gracious home owners that allow me to use their pools. Which has been working out, but I need to take it to the next level. The Canon G10 and housing is nice, but I would like to use the Canon 5D mk II for greater control and faster shutter release. I do plan to try to rig optical triggers that can fire land based strobes, for more interesting visual effects.

National Kidney Foundation Surf Contest

The mission of the NKF of Florida is to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases, improve the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increase the availability of all organs for transplantation.
The NKF Surf Festival began 24 years ago as event to benefit chronically ill dialysis patients. It was the heartfelt commitment of former professional surfer, Rich Salick, of Cocoa Beach FL, and his twin brother Phil, who put his life ont the line in 1974 by donating a kidney to save Rich’s life. All proceeds of the event go directly to dialysis patients. Come join the fun and make a difference in people lives. Let’s have some fun!

I tossed my gear in the truck and headed up to Cocoa Beach. Shoot before 11-12ish on the east coast of Florida presents back light issues. Shooting in mid day is great light but better have a bucket of sun screen and water. I was shooting with the 5D mk II and 2.8f L 400mm lens. The lens has the range and sharpness to really get close to the surfer in the water. I shot from 8am to 2pm, I was cooked and tired by this time as well as the surf had flatten out. Over all the images are good, I need to tweak a few more settings.

I shot using aperture priority at f8 and ISO 100 because of the very bright light, I was getting shutter speed with enough speed to stop the action. I had the auto-focus set to AI servo because to the constant movement of the subjects. I also used burst mode to allow continuous shooting so I can go back and pull the best action shot of the bunch. I found this technique to work better that single frame shooting. I would miss the peak action shot. Apples Aperture has a great feature called staking which can group shots that are very close in time to each other. This makes finding the best of an action sequence easier than hunting by opening and closing files in Photoshop.

Underwater Photography the second try

On a sunny Sunday afternoon I was able to shoot again with Janice. This attempt I tried to learn from all the previous mistakes I had made with the other shoots. I broke out my scuba gear which I felt might be cheating but really help me improve the images and allow me to focus more on the quality and compositions more than running out of breath. Shooting in noon day sun was a blessing that allowed high shutter speed at a relative low ISO setting. Good anti-fog is worth is weight in gold for keeping the mask clear. The Canon G10 and underwater case has been really good so far.  I have encountered only a few minor issues and have found work around for most. Considering the cost is far less than a underwater housing and lens port for a 5D mkII.  It has been a great way to work under water without deep six my wallet. Janice was a real trooper, she kept working with for a few hours, as my technique and skill improved her posing got better and she became more comfortable underwater. Over all I am happy with the results and look forwarded to further improve and extermination with underwater images

Underwater Photography Revisited

Well I took the lessons learned from past attempts to shoot underwater and attain visually pleasing images.

  • A mask with anti-for is your friend.
  • Weight belt is good, even when you over loaded it.
  • Clean & clear pool is wonderful

I pitched the idea to Janice and she was game for a quick experimental shoot. The first problem was the pools underwater light was dead. So I pulled out my mega dive light and tossed it to the bottom of the pool. Until you try to do underwater photography there is no way to compare it to land or studio photography.  The simple act of composing a shot can only take a few seconds, those wonderful models don’t have gills. Difficulty moving to get a shot is compounded by your subject floating and as the photographer. I am happier with these results of the images than the previous attempts. I found issues, the G10 considerable shutter lag and the small sensor and optics combination make getting great shots difficult. I think I can set the camera to shoot in a bust mode and multi shots. This will allow better timing to capture the moment I see in front of the lens. The small sensor effects the properties of optics. Look here for the math.

We plan to do another shoot in the middle of the day to use natural light, check back soon.

Surfing Pictures

Hurricane Bill produced some big waves for Brevard County. I when out to 2nd Light and drug out the f 2.8 L 400 mm lens and added a 2x Tele-converter on a Canon 5d MKII. The first thing I can say is the day was over casted and the angle of the sun light presented less than perfect likelihood for get great surfer mag quality images. The main problem was the angle of light, I think switching metering from average to spot I would had a better exposure. The surfer in front of the wave was shaded from the sun on the back side.

Underwater Photography

Getting a good image in a nice calm studio is hard work. Shooting underwater is another whole other level. I drove up to Blue Springs State Park only to find it over crowed and admission to the park was blocked. Lucky Ponce de Leon Springs State Park was open had reasonable number for people. As we drove into the park a storm broke which closed the sprint to swimming, so we waited. Storm finely passed and the sprint was reopened.

In to the 68 degree water we go. I learn from the last attempt to shoot underwater a mask and weight belt are required to get a better shot. First thing is the mask fogs up complete in under a minute because of the difference between my body temperature and fridged water. As soon as we try to get to the bottom of the spring we kick up a good deal of sand and silt.

The suspended material in the water makes the shot look like crap as well eliminating the use of a strobe. Even time I try to get near the bottom I kick up more sand. Also having a camera in your hands and trying swim is tough. I tried get good shots, but I have to say this attempt to shoot underwater was a learning experience.

In a nutshell I need a lot more time underwater and behind the camera, it is very difficult to get a great image underwater. I going to try a swimming pool next, see what I can do with out the sand and the slit. Maybe get some gills and a heavier weight belt…

Beach Shoot

Did a beach shoot @ Melbourne Beach with Tash. I have never been a big fan of the beach shoots, too easy to get sand in expensive gear. I tend to bring too much gear to shoots and hate dealing with gawkers. I did agree to do the shoot. She has always been fun to work with and she had picked up some new outfits. The shoot went well, wish I had not forgotten my Hensel ring flash…