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Sports Underwater Fashion Editorial

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#1 Land & Sea

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 03:40 PM

I was wondering if there were any Action/Lifestyle Photographers that would be willing to share some of their experience regarding their workflow, safety and challenges they might have encountered.  What type of makeup is do you suggest for underwater shots and 50-50 shots?  How are you controlling and triggering your lighting?  Any insight would be appreciated.



#2 nyaquaman

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 10:23 AM

Hi, L&S,

Sure, happy to share some of what I know.

 

Regarding safety: I always have at least one dedicated, trained safety diver on all my shoots, but have had as many as eight on an open water shoot with larger crews. Each job is unique from a cast, crew, location, and liability standpoint, and I always conduct a risk assessment for each new gig. It makes the talent, client and crew feel safer, and surprise surprise, more productive. That said, a simple pool shoot with a small crew tends to be more informal, and I'll sometimes use the facilities lifeguards instead of my own safety crew.

 

Makeup and hair/skin prep: I instruct the talent to do a gentle exfoliation the night before (I don't want them showing up on set with angry red, blotchy skin), followed by a light, non greasy moisturizer as a base for a good quality waterproof, creme makeup. I highly recommend that you find a makeup artist that has done wet work before and will bring their own kit. in addition to doing a dedicated job, freeing you and the talent up to focus on your jobs, the HMU person is another pair of eyes on set ensuring less continuity problems. Discuss your lighting plan with the HMU because covering blemishes or other skin issues can get complicated if you're not lighting head on. Rim lighting can make skin look like the surface of the moon if you're not careful. And on that note; goosebumps look terrible underwater and are a nightmare to remove in post - if even possible. So, keep the pool and the talent toasty warm.

 

Lighting: I might use many different types of lights on any one shoot; daylight, strobes, continuous lighting, both above and below water.  Be aware of differences in color temperature between light sources. They do not need to match, but they do need to be intentional. 

 

If I'm using an underwater strobe as my key light, I have it off-camera with a long synch cable, and all my other strobes are fired remotely in optical slave mode. That keeps cables underwater to a minimum, which is really nice.  (A simple underwater blue screen scene I was lighting this summer with Hydroflo florescent banks had 24 power cables coming off it. Ugh!)

 

Hope this helps. It's a lot, I know. 

 

best,

- Adam


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#3 Land & Sea

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 05:39 PM

Adam,

 

Thank you for your informative response.  Depending on your time of day as well as depth, how are you able to sync your top strobes via optical slaves given the depth of your underwater strobes?  Have you found a limit or ideal depth to sync your top and bottom lighting?  Where are you finding your underwater casing for your strobes or are you using specific underwater strobes?  

 

 

Thanks, again!

 

 

Roy



#4 troporobo

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 12:28 AM

FWIW, there used to be a guy around here who posted a lot on UW fashion shoots, including photos of his setup and safety advice. Try searching on keywords like fashion and model.

#5 nyaquaman

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 09:20 AM

Hi Roy,

All my strobes underwater are industry standard - Ikelite, Sea&Sea, etc. Which ones specifically depend on the job, but I like the old big Ikelite DS200 or Sea&Sea YS-250 on a long sync cable as my key light. Shooting indoors, even down to 13 ft deep I almost never have a problem with optical slaves failing underwater. The bigger issue are the strobes recycle time keeping up with my shooting fps. Above water, I usually use Profoto B1 strobes in optical slave mode because though they have built in radio triggers the optical sensors seem to work just fine.  Outdoor pool shoots in bright sunlight can sometimes be a bit trickier in optical slave mode, and I need to be more careful in positioning the slave sensors and pointing the triggering strobe. Though as I often shoot with 5 or 6 strobes, there usually is adequate coverage to keep all strobes triggering - and when occasionally one or more fail to trigger, I sometimes get interesting lighting effects that work nicely.

 

Best,

- Adam



#6 troporobo

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 02:43 PM

It was loftus that I was thinking of.  Here's a post of his pool setup, he's also put up many samples of his shoots:

 

http://wetpixel.com/...l=loftus&page=1



#7 nyaquaman

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Posted 08 April 2018 - 03:40 PM

Also set electrical safety is paramount, so on that note:

 

1) Electrical safety:

Any AC electrics MUST have a People-Safe GFCI attached AT THE SOURCE. This means The GFCI gets plugged into the power source (wall outlet/generator) before any extension cords. DO NOT plug extension cords into the power source, then the GFCE into the studio strobe or continuous light source! You may still have power to the extension cord this way even if the GFCI trips, and it could kill someone.

 

Set rule: Nobody plugs or unplugs ANY electrical device without your direct approval. This ensures that you personally ( or an electrician) have inspected the proposed electrical connection for compliance with the above #1 GFCI rule.

 

All light fixtures on light stands are sandbagged, and if in traffic lanes near the pool edge have safety lines tying the fixture back to prevent it from accidentally tipping into the pool.

 

Feel free to contact me directly if you are planning a pool shoot with electrics and I'll be happy to talk with you about your setup.

 

Best,

- Adam



#8 Land & Sea

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 04:02 PM

Adam:

 

Thanks for all your advice and safety precautions.  Water creates a whole new element of paramount concern.  Your shared knowledge is very much appreciated.  I will continue to research and learn prior to putting together a shoot.  With the high degree of danger that underwater shooting presents, it is best to be over-prepared.

 

 

Troporobo:

Thanks for the link to Loftus. It is always nice to find others that have experience and first hand knowledge.  







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