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Lighting to shoot Icebergs

Lighting Icebergs Greenland

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#1 TIMSH

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Posted 06 October 2018 - 09:52 AM

Hi,

 

I went to East Greenland in September and sailed through a number of the Fjord systems.  We had amazing water, which is common deep in Fjords.  Coming home I realized I next year when we go back I want to work on Over / Under photo's of Icebergs.  Living in Seattle I don't really have a great place to practice on something of that scale so I'm hoping to get some advice, especially around lighting.

 

Gear: D850, 8" Dome Port and a Sigma 14MM F1.8 lens.  What I'm struggling to understand is what type of lighting I need.  Clearly strobe lighting is required, but being new to this, do I need something with a high guide rating?  We shoule have decent ambient lighting and the water tends to be quite clear generally and very calm.  

 

Thanks for the tips.  I'm completely new to underwater photography so hoping to get a decent setup and then head into some of the Alpine lakes around me this winter to practice.

 

Tim



#2 tursiops

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Posted 06 October 2018 - 10:21 AM

If you are looking for a picture like this:

iceberg.jpg?resize=500,683

 

Forget it. It is a fake. See https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/giant-newfoundland-iceberg/. 



#3 TIMSH

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Posted 06 October 2018 - 01:52 PM

Ok, well, I'm not looking for a photo like that I guess.  I'm still curious if anyone has any tips on how to shoot the subject.  As stated ther water is often glass in these areas and the weather is more stable that would be expected.  There are a couple areas specifically I think could have some really amazing shots.  Being I don't have much chance to practice on the actual subject, the more I can learn over hte next 12 months the better.

 

Thanks again.



#4 tursiops

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Posted 06 October 2018 - 03:54 PM

Your strobe won't reach very far...10 feet would be a long distance. This means a very wide-angle lens/dome (as you have) so you can get close and still get subject matter in the frame. I'm not sure I'd even worry with the strobe, but would try just ambient light...with good clear water it might be enough. The brightness above suface will be a problem, so sun angle and shadows will help. ideally, backlit for the above surface part, and ambient light below. Practice finding he exposure that does not burn out any sun-illuminated part, but still allows some non-pure black below. If you could find a stable platform, HDR would help. Low ISOs to try and get max exposure range.

 

All those scenes you see in caves are not lit with a strobe on the camera, but rather with many strobes placed around the cave, so each one is close to what it is illuminating. Covering a large area with light is challenging. I would personally not even try it with an iceberg. I've dived in Antartica, next to an iceberg, and the u/w formations were wonderful, but they wee shot on their own, not as part of an over/under.

 

Good luck.







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